Friday, June 27, 2008

Godiva - I'm a Big Girl Now

The first and third photos are Godiva in the beginning of May - the second and fourth at the end of June. There is no doubt she is still a puppy, but she has really grown in the last 8 weeks. The stubby little puppy snout has grown out along with the rest of her. She is now 15 weeks old and 7.5 pounds. She has gained a pound and a half every three weeks. At this rate she will be a Great Dane by Thanksgiving (don't hold me to the math).

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Couper and Godiva: One Month Or So Later

Sorry for the lack of posts. We have been exhausted. Couper/Godiva’s Mommy used to go to the puppy store and pine for all the puppies. Now she goes just to warn people to look past the cuteness and envision the hard work and lack of sleep. She is a week or two of sleepless nights away from standing outside the puppy store wearing a sandwich board that reads, “The End is Near!”

Godiva is getting better at sleeping. She does not wake up screaming every hour to hour and a half like she did the first week or two. Sometimes, if we wear her out enough, she even sleeps through the night. But usually there is screaming once, maybe twice, during the night. Not to mention the knack of wanting to get up a half hour before our alarms go off. We have tried a couple of things to get her to sleep. The biggest was having her sleep a soft kennel in the bedroom to make her feel more like part of the family. In actuality what this accomplished is moving her screaming closer to the rest of the family. This may not have been my best idea. As mentioned the only effective way to get her to sleep is to wear her out. Having her run around and not nap is the best option.


When Godiva is sleeping, she is not biting. And when she is awake, all she does is bite. And getting bitten gets old very quickly. We understand she is teething. We have bought numerous toys, nylabones, and chew sticks to help her along. However, given the choice between, say, a rope, and the hand that gives her the rope, she wants to chew the hand every time. I guess I would too. Even though I know where my hand has been (and it isn’t good), I really have no interest in chewing a rope either. However, I seem to remember an old saying about biting the hand that feeds you. I think the saying advised against it. The strangest part is that the hands that feed her are the only human hands she seems to want to bite. She doesn’t bite the vet or the nurses at the vet. She doesn’t bite the kids who want to pet her when we go for walks (by the way, she is the Anti-Couper on walks, she loves attention while Couper goes crazy-go-nuts and has to be pulled away). She doesn’t nibble on guests to the house. Nope, she likes to eat her mommy and me. We have tried all the prescribed methods. Give her something she is allowed to chew; ignore her when she bites, act like it hurts and scream “Ow!!!” (Sometimes acting is not necessary, it really does hurt. Her little teeth are getting big). None of them have completely worked, but she is slowly getting a slightly better.


Her favorite thing to chew is Couper. More than us. More than rugs. More than baskets. Certainly more than ropes. Needless to say, this is not Couper’s favorite thing. He is less tolerant of her biting than we are. This leads to epic battles. She runs up to him and nibbles. He growls, she persists. He nudges her, she persists. He pushes her down, she gets up and (you guessed it) persists. He pushes her down, holds her down, and nibbles back; she surrenders, thinks about it for two seconds, hops back up, charges at him, and nibbles away like nothing happened. She also has a maneuver we like to call the torpedo. Couper will be standing outside minding his own business. Godiva will get into a deep crouch about 10 yards away. All of a sudden she shoots up and sprints towards Couper, barreling into his side at full speed. It reminds me of the old Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom show:
Marlin Perkins: While Jim is out tracking the cheetah as it stalks, lies in wait, sprints, and attacks the wildebeest, I will be back at the camp having a martini and getting a massage from the girls from the local village.
The torpedo used to be cuter when she was littler, but now it makes a sound somewhat like a linebacker hitting a quarterback. Of course after the torpedo hit, wrestling ensues. We are not sure what to make of all of it. Sometimes we think the two of them are playing. Sometimes I think I am on the verge of sharing a cell with Michael Vick. Neither of them has hurt one another, yet. Somewhere between the biting and wrestling, there is a chase, Couper chasing her, or more fun, Godiva chasing him. We know Couper likes chase the puppy, so maybe this is all good. But all through their interactions, Couper is groaning and whining. He otherwise only does that when he sticks his toy somewhere and then can’t get it out. In that case, he is playing, but he also is annoyed.


If he really wanted her to leave him alone he would bark at her. The one thing that Godiva is really afraid of is loud noise. If she is outside and a Harley rumbles by, she stops what she is doing, and bolts for the door. If Couper starts barking at the neighbors, she bolts to the door. Remember the Cosby Show when Rudy and her friends would make a big mess, the chubby kid would take off for the door? That’s Godiva, but on the outside wanting in. And a lot less chubby. Anyhow, if there is one thing that we know Couper can do, it is bark. There have been a couple of occasions when she has been in attack mode where he has gotten pissed off, barked at her, and she backed off. If he really wanted her to leave him alone more often, I can’t believe he has not learned that lesson. Even Couper/Godiva’s Mommy and I have learned to bark loudly at her if we want her to back off.


Couper will bark at Godiva like he means it in two instances. The first is he is playing with a toy (and usually his Big Buddy) and she tries to get the toy. Playing is his number one passion, so this is not surprising. The second, amazingly, is when she tries to steal his food. Couper has always been pretty nonchalant about his food, even though he is fed like a king. He sometimes has gone a day without eating his regular food, though he will eat yummies and is not sick. Godiva on the other hand loves Couper’s food. And it isn’t like she is being fed gruel or worse yet, Krusty Brand Immitation Gruel. We did a lot of research at the dog food store to pick out a puppy food just for her. Because we know she likes Couper’s food, we mix in a couple of nuggets of that along with a tiny amount Couper’s Born to be Wild supplement. So at dinnertime, Couper gets his food first. Instead of dawdling, like he used to do, he digs right in, because Godiva is right there eyeing his bowl. To get her away, we put down her dinner around the corner of the kitchen island from where Couper is. She picks out his food, the Born to be Wild, and some of her food. As soon as she gets tired of what’s left, she decides it is time for more of Couper’s food, from his bowl. She will try to sneak the around the island from his front side, but he will growl her off. Undeterred, she then goes the back way around the island. Couper, being a sloppy eater, will usually have a kernel or two of his food on the ground next to his bowl. If we can’t stop her first (and we do try), she swoops in, picks up the kernel or two from the floor, and takes off to eat them in relative safety back at her bowl. She then tries for round two, but without the food on the ground, Couper will bark her away. In the end, Couper has learned to eat quickly and to guard his bowl, though when he is done and walks away, she swoops in to lick whatever crumbs may be left. At least we know what we will feed Godiva when she grows out of puppy food.


We are still not sure where she will deposit it. Potty training is still a work in progress. Sometimes we think she gets it. She will wait by the door; go out, do business, then want to come in for yummies. Then thirty minutes later, she will pee on the carpet. No indications of wanting to go out. No hour between going. Squat and go. So between random potties and biting Couper, she will get gated off into the tiled kitchen, or the kitchen and the tiled hallway. Because Couper would rather not be bitten, he in effect gets gated off to the rest of the house. This was not exactly what we had in mind, and it confuses Couper and Godiva, but it helps keep our sanity when we cannot watch them both. If Godiva is a good girl, and has done all her potty, and both Couper/Godiva’s Mommy and I are there to even the numbers, we will let her in the living room to run around with Couper. When the biting begins it is back to the kitchen. If the potty signs emerge, we all go outside. It isn’t great, but it is the best that we have figured out so far.


We’re hoping it will all work out. We would not trade Godiva for anything and we have a new appreciation for what a good boy Couper has become. We’ve come a long way since Couper started Kindergarten and even since Godiva joined us seven weeks ago. In time Godiva is going to realize what a good gig she has. And I am sure that in time we will look back on Godiva’s early puppyhood with fondness (that’s why we have the blog, to set the record straight).


And on Daddy's/Big Buddy's Day we got a miracle. They were both good and good to each other. Godiva was a cuddle puppy and Couper was tolerant of his little sister. It was the greatest Daddy's/Big Buddy's day present ever (though the iTunes card and the Dachshund stuff was great). One would hope it would last forever. It lasted until Monday. Miracles are fleeting.

Since this was written, one of Couper/Godiva's Mommy's friend and collegaue saw Couper and Godiva in action. Owning two dachshunds herself, she assured us that their behavior was normal, that they were just playing, and it was all good. We're going to take her word on it. We almost have to.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Big Buddy's Day from the Poop!

Happy Big Buddy's Day from the Poop! Especially to those Big Buddies with two Little Buddies, one of which is a little screaming puppy who likes to wake up in the middle of the night and likes to bite everything. Or to those Big Buddies with an older Little Buddy who growls at his little sister, likes to bark at everything, and plays every waking minute of the day. But despite all that they are the luckiest Big Buddies in the whole wide world. Yes, a very happy Big Buddy's day to those Big Buddies!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

What the heck happened to Memorial Day?!?

Actual mail from an actual reader. If it wasn’t could I do this?

Hey, knuckleheads! Whatever happened to “Happy Memorial Day From the Poop”? You’ve had all the other holidays. I waited all weekend for the go-ahead to have a happy Memorial Day and since it never came, I had a crappy Memorial Day. I mean how much effort is it to post that tired picture of Couper asleep with the beer toy and type, “Happy Memorial Day from the Poop”??? You wouldn’t even have to say something nice about the troops. I mean it’s not like we’re at war or anything. Oh, yeah, we are. Pinko Commie Imbeciles.

Rich Feder,
Fort Lee, NJ

Mr. Feder, for a guy from New Jersey, you sure do ask a lot of questions. You are right about us forgetting Memorial Day. A couple of weeks ago I was in the computer room, thinking about writing the Memorial Day post when Couper walked in to play. He had been sleeping all day, so I figured I had better give him some attention. I threw the Mr. Hiney a few times when he started coughing really bad. Then all of a sudden, he throws up all over the floor. And not just a regular throw up, but a three thrust throw up. It was disgusting. After getting a roll of paper towels, I looked down at the gooey pile of puke and what did I see? Two little stuffed turtle feet that Couper had chewed off a toy over a week and a half earlier. It had been sitting there in his stomach for two weeks and now it was sitting in a pile of vomit on the floor. It was gross! I thought I was gonna die! I looked at Couper and said, “Hey, Couper, what are you trying to do, make me sick or something?” Huh? What does this have to do with Memorial Day? Well it just goes to show you it’s always something. If it's not one thing, it's another. If you aren’t writing a blog post wishing everyone a happy Memorial Day, you are on the floor scooping up dog vomit containing two week old stuffed turtle feet with paper towels. It’s like my father, Big Big Buddy, always told me, “make sure you write your Memorial Day post early, because you never know what might come out of your dog while playing with his Mr. Hiney”

Happy belated Memorial Day from the Poop. You can always remember those who served in June too.

(Instead of the tired picture of Couper with the toy beer, here is a picture of Couper dropping a Mr. Hiney from the top of a beer cooler)
(And yes, Couper really did throw up two stuffed turtle feet.)

(Thanks to Dave and Gilda for the material)

(The word "actual" in the first sentence of this post actually mean "made up")

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Name Game

Up until we got Godiva, names at Couper’s house had been fairly simple. Couper’s Mommy decided upon getting Couper that she would be Mommy. For whatever reason, I started calling Couper, “Little Buddy”. I am not sure how that started, much less endured. Even I felt uncomfortable that “Little Buddy” is what Skipper nicknamed Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island. After calling Couper that 15,000 times, and not having seen Gilligan’s Island in years, the discomfort eventually wore off. So, there were two logical choices for me to be called: Beavis or Butthead. Oops, wrong story, I meant: Daddy or Big Buddy. I never quite understood why Couper’s Mommy wanted to be called “Mommy”. She was clearly not Couper’s birth mother. They aren’t even the same species. But it was what she wanted to be called so I never said anything about it. I went the other direction and evolved into Big Buddy. Couper’s Mommy and I were not living together at the time, so I was more like a buddy that Couper visited all the time. Couper and I were (and still are) playmates first. So Little Buddy had a Big Buddy. I call him Little Buddy most of the time and he really only knows me as Big Buddy (“Couper, go to Big Buddy”).

When we started talking about getting a girl puppy, Couper’s Mommy would talk about getting Couper a “girlfriend”. I had two problems with that. First, Couper is fixed, so he probably was not looking for a relationship. Secondly, I knew Couper’s Mommy would also be Mommy to the new puppy. Since we do not live in 1930’s Appalachia, it is socially unacceptable to be boyfriend and girlfriend and share a mommy. We had a little chat about that and decided that Couper would instead get a little sister.

So we did get a little sister and her name is Godiva. Our naming scheme fell into disarray.

Couper’s Mommy is still Mommy around the house. However, on the blog she is now Couper/Godiva’s Mommy, which is only fair to both Couper and Godiva. I thought about her being Couper’s Mommy if Couper messed up and Godiva’s Mommy if Godiva messed up, but not only is that confusing to you the reader, but inaccurate because as Couper/Godiva’s Mommy often points out to me, “When they mess up, they are your dogs.” Couper/Godiva’s Mommy is a bit much to type, and you may ask yourself, “why not just call her by her real name?”, but her actual name is much too long as well and the authorities are cluing into Google.

As for the dogs, Godiva is Godiva and Couper is Couper. However, the Little Buddy is now a Big Brother to his Little Sister. He is also the Little Buddy to his Big Buddy. Couper has also been through the years: Little Bud, Little Boo, Little Friend, and Little ‘Noop Dog. That is to say that he is “Little”. So if I say to him, “Go get your Little Sister”, he looks at me like, “Go get myself??? OK. Here I am. Done”. This is also difficult from a phonics perspective. After years of “Big B” being followed by “uddy”, saying “Big Brother”, especially at 2:30AM, is difficult. “Godiva, follow your Big Buddy, I mean Little Brother, I mean Big Brother”. The fact that Godiva is quite a bit smaller than Couper makes the modifier “Little” seem like it should apply to her in all names, but it can’t because it is Couper’s and as we have found out the last few weeks, Couper does not like giving up what is his. And no, Godiva does not yet have a sustained nickname although “Princess” and “Piranha” have come up a few times.

The biggest change is for Big Buddy. When I got home on Godiva’s first day at the house, Couper’s Mommy said to her, “Godiva, say ‘hi’ to your daddy”. I did a double take, looking for either a male dog or the milkman. The next couple of times Couper’s Mommy referenced “Daddy”, I realized, (1) I was daddy and (2) this was going to persist. We hadn’t talked of this beforehand, nor have we really talked about it since. I’m kind of taking it as “You will have responsibility in raising this puppy and not just be the good-time partner-in-crime while I do all the discipline; like with the last one!” It is Lifetime Movie 101. I haven’t complained. I realize I am much more part of the problem than the solution with Couper. He’s my first dog and gets the benefits of that. So I have to grow up and be Daddy to the second dog. As time goes on I less and less hear the hackneyed phrase “Who’s your daddy” in my head when I am called that. The most confused is Couper who will now hear from Couper’s Mommy, “Go get your daddy”. (Insert your own inappropriate joke here).

So the family is now: Couper/Godiva’s Mommy; Godiva, Little Sister; Couper, Little Buddy, Big Brother; Big Buddy, Couper/Godiva’s Daddy. But if you meet me on the street or here on the blog, I am still Big Buddy. Or Butthead.