Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pupdate #5 (Puppy yoga!)

Hey folks--
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:

Dead Cockroach!

Flying Frog!

Helicopter Tail!
Practice up to 54 times daily.


Bookwormom said...

I'd vote for an hour's worth of dead cockroach right about now. Could your neighbor help you on days when you're gone a long time? Poor Linus must be stir crazy by the time you return.

Beth said...

Gads, he's cute as all heck.

Nathanael said...

Ah ha! You never emailed me back with your blog, but I finally found it on my own.

Your anonymity is gone!