sorry for the long interruption. School kinda caught up to me last week.
Anyway, thanks very much to all for the support and kind advice. My last entry was a little ranty, wasn't it? Sorry. Linus has a lot of energy, intelligence, and sociability; while those are all good qualities and ones I would always look for in a dog, they also require an outlet. Without companionship and stimulation for the mind and body, any dog will develop problem behaviors; Linus is no exception. His bad habits--leash-chewing, cat-chasing, and nipping--nearly disappear on days when I can spend enough time with him.
And then, on the other hand, we have Fridays: class from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, work from 2:30 pm to 9:30 pm. When I got home this past Friday, he was a complete head case. He ran around the apartment for an hour and a half straight, gnawing at my hands when I put him in his crate for time-outs. Once in his crate, he proceeded to shred the nice bed his grandparents gave him for Christmas. I was so furious, I wanted to scream. Fortunately, I retained enough sanity to remind myself that he had legitimate reasons for being hyperactive. So I gave him a carrot. Chewing on it calmed him down to the point of...manageability, if not good behavior.
And then, miracle of miracles, I had the whole weekend off! We've started working on leash-walking skills, a procedure that involves me stuffing his mouth with cubed lunchmeat while telling him how smart he is for walking calmly at my left side.
The first miracle, I forgot to mention, is that I realized last week that the tennis courts at the local park would make a great puppy playground. We go there once or twice a day; I bring toys, but he also finds his own in the form of discarded tennis balls, watter bottles, and candy bar wrappers. Given his past joint problems, I am not entirely thrilled to be running him around a concrete surface for 30 minutes each day...but in the absence of a backyard, it keeps both of us sane.
And by the way, he's been almost an angel this whole weekend.
And you should see this puppy run! He looks like a little white deer! He throws himself around the courts as if he could take off and fly by running fast enough. Compared to the heartbreaking condition of his legs a month ago, it is a joy to behold.
I think I've discovered the secret of his miraculous recovery. Linus engages in an ancient form of yoga so secret and obscure that it is only known to a handful of practitioners, who are born with it in their DNA. Yes, it's true--Linus is not a pit bull mix, he's a rare and gifted Tibetan Rescue Dog!
Ok, maybe not... but you too can cure weak joints and bring about world peace through practicing poses such as the following: