Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mommy's Day From The Poop

The Poop would like to wish all Dachshund mommies a happy Mommy's Day. Make sure to have the Big Buddy of the house do all the dachshund chores today (and only today! Knowing that Couper/Godiva's Mommy may not read this until Wednesday, I feel pretty confident promising that.).

Couper and Godiva each gave me a little something to say to their mommy for Mommy's Day.

Couper: Thank you mommy for sticking with me all these years. I know I can be a handful sometimes, but without you, who knows where I would be. I know I growl at you sometimes, but only because I want you to stay with me all the time. You are the bestest mommy in the whole wide world!!! Happy Mommy's Day!!!

Godiva: Thanks for picking me out mommy. I like my new home! I like that you get up at 2:30 every night to take care of me. I hope you do that for me forever! Happy Mommy's day!!!

Well, that was mushy, but I guess we can make an exception for Mommy's Day.

A Buddy Weekend

(Editor's Note: This article was written a few weeks ago and purposely held as a tribute to Couper's Mommy on Mommy's Day. Since then, we unexpectedly got Godiva. Please do not worry that she is not in the article. She is fine, the article is old)

Couper’s Mommy took last Friday off and went jet-setting for the weekend, so for the first time in a long time, it was a Buddy Weekend at Couper’s house. It had been over a year since Couper’s Mommy went on an extended jet-set, so I envisioned she would come home to find us passed out on the floor amid empty beer cans, poker chips, and yummies while three TVs blared basketball, Baywatch, and the Dog Whisperer. In other words, we would be wiped out from having too much buddy fun. I guess I forgot what it is really like when Couper’s Mommy leaves.

Couper’s Mommy jetted-off on Thursday, so Couper and I would have to delay our weekend fun. On Thursday afternoon it was business as usual; I got home, we did our potties outside (well, Couper did), we had yummies, and I got changed. It was right then, that I first noticed the impact of Couper’s Mommy absence. I had to figure out dinner on my own. Three and a half hours later, after Couper and I had both eaten, Couper was starting to realize that his mommy wasn’t home. Couper is very particular and likes things to be just right; and his mommy being gone at this time of night was certainly not right. So he stacked two pillows on the sofa nearest the front door, laid down, and waited for her to come home; almost like a nervous father waiting for his teenage daughter to come home from a date. Barky under normal circumstances, when he is on-guard waiting for his mommy, anything, or nothing, will set him off.

The barking is not limited to his couch vigil. Essentially when Couper’s Mommy goes jet setting there is no sleeping that first night. When we went to bed, I could feel and hear Couper snarling every couple of seconds. When he heard night sounds, he went into all out barking. You can count on being woken up by barking at least twice the first night, and he delivered around midnight and 1:30AM. You can also pretty much count on a very early morning potty call, which is really an excuse to patrol the backyard for the scoundrels who must have taken his mommy (why else would she leave her wonderful puppy???). He executed this move around 3AM.

As the alarm went off early Friday morning, I begrudgingly got up; nothing unusual there. In the past couple of months we have had a pretty consistent weekday morning routine.
  • Couper pops out of bed, finds a toy and starts playing with me as I am laboring out of bed. Couper’s Mommy heads toward the kitchen.
  • Couper and I continue playing as I go potty (indoors). (This is one of Couper’s favorite places to play. I was warned not to let him get away with that. Too late.)
  • I take him through the kitchen to the back door and let him out to go #1.
  • He comes back in and his mommy gives him his breakfast as I go back to the bedroom to get ready for work.
  • Couper’s Mommy takes him out to go #2.
  • Couper comes back to play with me as I am getting out of the shower and getting dressed.
  • Couper plays with me as I eat breakfast prepared by Couper’s Mommy.
  • I leave for work.
  • Couper’s Mommy takes him out to go #1, puts him in his kennel, and leaves for work.
We have this down to a science and essentially time our morning to it. However, last Friday morning, I realized that a crucial element of the plan was missing, Couper’s Mommy. Knowing that having Couper making his and my breakfast would be a disaster, I figured those jobs were mine. I could have let him out to go potty by himself, but that always turns into a bark-fest. Anyhow, he likes for somebody to go out with him, so that he gets the proper credit (a yummie) for having gone. Friday, I was that somebody for all potties. Couper has been very good about going in his kennel when we want him to, but he sure was not going to do that by himself. That task became mine as well.

Arriving home Friday night, I was exhausted. Couper and I played a little, had dinner, and went for a walk. We vegged on the sofa for a while watching TV, but never did get to much Buddy fun. Around 9PM, Couper decided that it was time for bed, which for him means that a human goes to bed with him. When his mommy is home, he often gets his wish and goes to bed at 9. As tired as I was, I had no intention of going to bed at 9PM on a Friday. When we were in the living room watching TV, Couper slept on my leg, and every 20 minutes would look up with tired puppy eyes saying, “Are we going to bed now, Big Buddy?!?” If I was in the computer room, he would nap on the couch (still keeping vigil) and every 20 minutes come in with the same tired-eyed look for me. Finally, the cutely pathetic nagging was too much, I gave in and we went to bed. At least this time he was too tired to bark in the middle of the night.

Saturday was a very lazy day. When Couper’s Mommy is gone, Couper is much less playful. He plays outside for a while, but really wants to be inside just in case his mommy comes to her senses and comes home. If he is not sleeping, he is either on-guard or mopey. He also likes to make sure that I am always in his sights. It is better yet if he can lie or sit on me to make sure that I don’t leave and get lost like his mommy must have. For a little dog who usually triples the energy in the room, he can suck all the energy out when things are not just right.

By the time Sunday morning rolled around, I had not said the word “mommy” in any context for 24 hours. If Couper hears a name and has any sense that person is arriving, he will do nothing but run from door to door barking. It is almost as if he is trying to signal, “This is where you are supposed to be mommy, in here!!! Just follow the ‘woof’!!!” So we were quietly outside going potty (Couper only), when the back door slid open and Couper’s Mommy, fresh from jetting-in, said, “Hi Little Buddy!” As Couper sprinted to greet her, I thought of my expectation of the moment vs. the reality. Instead of Couper and I passed out in a pile of our partying, we were awake, doing normal stuff, with a (relatively) clean house. Couper repeatedly jumped all over his mommy. He really missed her. I did too. The next time Couper’s Mommy goes jet-setting, I hope she takes us too.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Into The Ears of Babes

Between Couper/Godiva's Mommy's frantic Google searches for countries that do not allow dachshunds and their immigration policies, I was able to get a little computer time and found this article from How Stuff Works called "How many words do dogs know"

Sure, most dogs understand the basics --"fetch," "sit" and "stay." But if you have the motivation and patience, you will probably be able to teach your dog even more than 100 words. Stanley Coren, a psychologist who has performed a significant amount of research on the subject of dog intelligence, suggests that average trained dogs know about 160 words [source: Coren]. Some dogs even show a vocabulary as vast as a human toddler's.

We did a post earlier about words that Couper knows. Due to time constraints (a.k.a. pure laziness) it was far from comprehensive, but showed that we are well on our way to 100 words with Couper.

English knowledge has come into sharp contrast this last week with Godiva entering our lives. All of a sudden, it seems like Couper has a Masters Degree in English (minus the inevitable post graduate job selling coffee at Borders - hey, that's not a half bad idea, what does that pay anyhow?). It is suddenly amazing how many words Couper knows that Godiva doesn't. And it is not like Couper has been subscribing to the Merriam-Webster Word of the Day this last week.

Well, we think Godiva has learned her first word. I was hoping for two words actually, "inside/outside" - as in "let's go outside and go potty" and "good girl going potty, let's go inside and watch TV". I have been emphasizing the words as we go in or out. She no more knows those words than she knows "truculent" or "quixotic" (recent words of the day - as if I know what they mean either). And no, it does not seem that she knows potty, or pee-pee, or poopie, or hiney, though I am sure she will in no time. Nope, her first word is more primal than even those.

(Godiva sits in the living room doing whatever she is doing with her 0.6 second attention span)
Big Buddy: Godiva, want a yummie?
(Godiva races into the kitchen and sits down)

Yup, she is her big brother's little sister. Here's guessing the next word she learns is "Mr. Hiney".

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Sixo de Mayo From The Poop!

Happy Sixo de Mayo from the Poop! Anyone can celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It takes true Dachshund spirit to celebrate Sixo de Mayo.

In the name of responsiblility, we are not allowing Godiva to play with the Buddyweiser toy until she is 3.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Loose Ends From a Busy Weekend

The weekend is over, and we are all exhausted, especially Couper/Godiva's Mommy. We are grateful to get back to work so that we can get some sleep.

We got Couper when he was 11 months. Couper's Mommy has had experience with little puppies, but I have not, so this has been quite the weekend for me. I went through a lot of the fun in the last two posts, so here are the remaining (or repeating, who remembers what I wrote) tidbits.

Like all puppies, so I am told, Godiva sleeps a lot. Except, it seems, during the night. Last night at 2:30AM, she decided that it was snack and play time. Godiva's Mommy told me all about how she figured this out, but it was 2:3oAM, so I remember nothing after Godiva's high pitched shrieks stopped. So Godiva's Mommy took her out, gave her a little to eat and let her run around like a nut for 10 minutes before she tired herself out and they went back to bed. I know eating and playing are signs of being healthy, but doing them at 2:3oAM??? That can't be right. That's when college kids eat and play.

By the time we got Couper, he was thankfully past his teething (or at least his nipping) stage. Godiva is not. She has the littlest, but sharpest teeth. When she nips, they feel like little needles piercing you. Her claws have the same feel, so when you hold her, and she nips AND digs, it must be what acupuncture feels like (my bad back is cured). She is very into chewing. The following is a short list of things she enjoys chewing: Fingers, toes, the sofa, Couper's steps to the sofa, blankets, shirts, bones, carpet, floor mats, artificial turf, her tail, toys, shoes, and shoe laces. I told her that I wanted to come out of the weekend with the same number of fingers and toes as I had entering the weekend. I did, 10 in 10 out for each. Helps me count. Godiva's Mommy came out with whatever number of fingers and toes she had entering as well.

Couper/Godiva's Mommy has mentioned at least five times in the last few days that the house ratio of boys to girls is finally even at 2:2. Couper and I had never really realized it was 2:1 for us all these years. Maybe that is a byproduct of the Tyranny of the Majority. Couper/Godiva's Mommy has not told us what the implications of this new even power structure is, but I can only fear that Desperate Housewives will now be on all four TVs instead of the usual three. We may need to get a male puppy very soon.

Back to our irregularly scheduled nonsense soon (or not).

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Godiva Day 2 - Quick Update

This time it is going to be a quick update. Complete sentences are optional tonight.
  • Couper/Godiva's Mommy is exhausted. We had Godiva sleep in a soft kennel with the top down last night. When she cried she would take her out to go potty. She cried about every hour to hour and a half. Of course, Couper and Sammie followed along for the fun. Big Buddy rolled over in bed and said "hmmmph".
  • Because we are taking her out at least every hour and a half, Godiva has not had any indoors accidents. She does like to go #1 on the cement in the patio, but we can live with that for now. I am going to declare potty training, "mission accomplished!"
  • Godiva likes to run under our feet. We are getting used to looking down before we take a step. Couper/Godiva's Mommy's feet make their Poop debut in the picture to the right.
  • Godiva has a new pink collar, but seems to scratch at it every 5 seconds. We are hoping that is just her getting used to it, because...
  • Couper purposely has three tags hanging off his collar that jingle when he walks. It is the best way to know where he is. When we don't hear jingling for a while, we know that there is mischief going on. Godiva desperately needs multiple collar tags because she can sneak up on us or run off way too silently.
  • Godiva has shown an interest in Couper's toys. She is not yet able or willing to fetch Mr. Hineys, if for no other reason than Couper is bigger, quicker, and way more experienced. However, when one is sitting around, she will sometimes go after it. If Couper can get to it before her, he will snarl or bark and she runs away. If she sneaks up without his seeing (again, the silent tagless sneak attack), he just watches as she chews it or bats it around a little. Fortuneatly for Couper, she has at most an 8 second attention span and he gets his toy back quickly.
  • She can amazingly pick up a full sized tennis ball in her mouth. I have no picture, but she stabs the fuzz with her sharp teeth, lifts it up, and carries it around. We bought her little tennis balls to play with, but Couper seems to enjoy those more than she does. Maybe she wants to be a big girl already.
  • Aside from Godiva trying to take his toys and bones, Couper has been great with her. He has even tried to get her to play with him, as she has with him. In a great sequence earlier in the day, Godiva snuck off with Couper's bone. After she tired of it, Couper picked up the bone and hopped up on the sofa with me. He then (I think) purposely dropped the bone off the sofa and waited. When Godiva came back through again and picked up the bone, Couper bounced off the sofa and chased her. She dropped the bone to run faster, so she lost that battle. However, as she got back around to one of her new beds (Couper/Godiva's Mommy has been to Petsmart a time or two) she found Sammie lying on it. Determined to win something, she jumped up and barked at Sammie, who fled. Yup, she is a dachshund.
  • For a creature so low to the ground, Godiva sure is gangly when she walks. At times she takes these gigantic steps for such little legs. It almost looks like a soldier crawling across the battlefield. I tried to capture this on video below:

That's it for tonight. Couper is telling us he wants to go to bed, and it is still Couper's house.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Godiva - Day 1 - A Quick Update

Someday really soon, I am going to do a post on how we got Godiva, I promise. However, tonight we are all exhausted, so a quick update.
Couper's Mommy split as soon as she could from work to pick-up Godiva. I knew this morning when she asked if getting her on her own was a possibility, that I was out of the equation. Not spending an additional hour in the car in-and-around rush hour was an issue with me. I knew there was any stopping her anyway.

We met at home and decided to re-introduce (they met the night before) Couper to Godiva in the driveway. That way we could let Couper "invite her" into his house. Is this the preferred method of the most renowned dog books? Could be. But basically, I made it up on the way home. If it is the absolute wrong way to introduce a dog to a new home with an existing dog, I'll pretend I read it on the internet. Couper and Godiva seemed to remember each other from the night before and there were no issues.

To make the day more fun, we just happen to be watching Couper's cousin Sammie for the weekend. So we got to introduce Godiva to Sammie as Godiva walked in the door. Sammie essentially personifies (dogifies???) the old line, "Happy to be here, happy to be anywhere!", so there were no issues with Godiva meeting her new cousin. However, with three dogs getting to know each other (or in Couper and Sammie's case, re-getting to know each other), butt sniffing was at an all-time record level.

The evening went fairly smoothly. Couper was a playing fool (nothing unusual there). Sammie wandered around (happy to be anywhere). Godiva was very confused and cried a little, but seemed happy to cuddle with Couper's Mommy or me. Interactions between her and Couper mostly involved sniffing. The first time Godiva tried to play with the toy that Couper was playing with, Couper snarled at her. The next couple of times, Couper just let her play (it was more just taking the toy and chewing it, but it is a start to playing). However, Godiva learned a valuable life lesson later in the evening when she tried to run off with Couper's bone. I was not in the room, but the growl and the shriek indicates that this probably will not happen again anytime soon (no injuries to either).

And the Poop wouldn't be the poop without a potty update. It seems that Godiva needs to go #1 about once every hour or so. We spent a good deal of time outside for just that reason. However, she did get the inside of our house once (on the tile, not the carpet, thankfully) and the inside of her Gramma Buddy's house on our visit there (on the floor, not the rug, thankfully). Knowing that it will be a few weeks before she can really start potty training, there was not a whole lot that we could say or do. However, I am already looking forward to the day when she is potty trained.

That turned out to be not so quick yet not so comprehensive. Great combination. I promise to write the "How We Got Godiva" piece soon. Hopefully not in the same way that I promise the "How We Got Couper" piece. Until next time, another Godiva picture (enjoy my right forearm and watch as well):

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Couper DOES Get A Little Sister

This time Couper does get a little sister. We pick her up tomorrow. She is the piebald one (brown and white; on the right in the top picture, on the bottom on the bottom picture). Her name shall be Godiva (named after this not this).

More on this breaking news later.