Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mitzi's first week

Mitzi on the seawalk

Mitzi is adjusting well to her new home with Mama Jean, and has brought an energy to it that we have not seen here for a while.  She may be twelve, but she bounces around with the exuberance of a much, much younger dog.  I must try to capture on video her playful puppy bows, her lion imitations (roar, grrr, roar, roar), her teasing 'catch me, Mama Jean, betcha can't catch me' as she tears around the house, always whipping her little head around to make sure I am playing the game.

This is the first time in her life Mitzi has lived in a home with a backyard, and it only took her about two days to learn to love it.  Of course, that may have something to do with the fact that I rewarded her with a treat whenever she did her business in the yard and then returned to the back door.  She loves her cookies.  And any trip outside ends with her tearing in the house and running straight to the kitchen to sit tall in front of the counter where the cookie jar is kept.  We will be phasing out that reward system shortly - it has become a game with her, and the dog who once needed to go out only two or three times a day, now figures twenty trips outdoors is just about right.

I shouldn't say she always runs straight to the kitchen - she coordinates the run to the kitchen with chasing the cat.  Poor Allie - like any curious cat worth her salt, all she wanted to do was peek out the mudroom window to check what the dogs were doing, and instead she gets the crazy-pup barrelling in and down the hallway after her.  To her credit, she hasn't sunk her claws into Mitzi's face yet, but she has managed to take a swipe or two at  Mitzi's side, resulting in a lot of drama-queen antics from the half-pint furball. Though Allie has not drawn blood, Mitzi's squeals must make the neighbours think all kinds of mayhem are happening here.

Of course, Allie has other reasons to be ticked off with Mitzi.  Mitzi’s  two crates, two beds, two cushions, two blankets, and one warm jacket of Anita’s apparently do not provide a suitable place for Mitzi to nap and feel at home.  Nor are any of the dog beds here up to snuff, according to Mitzi.  The two spaces she has chosen for her ‘own’ are Allie’s mat on one of the living room armchairs, and Allie’s spot on my bed!

After some serious sibling rivalry in the wee small hours between Allie and Mitzi the first night (who would have thought that little dog had such a BIG voice, or that she would be one of the few dogs ever to stand up to my hissy tortie cat!), I had to put Mitzi into her crate for her own protection.  However, they how now worked out the bed thing, and Mitzi sleeps curled up tightly against my shoulder, while Allie snuggles near my feet.  For the time being, however, Mitzi is crated when I leave the house - to protect her from the cat.  Now that's a switch!

An' that's what I think of  the new furball! 

And while Anita warned me Mitzi was not a lapdog or cuddlebug, she is proving to be a bit of both.  She frequently hops up on my armchair to snuggle down on my lap or between my leg and the side of the chair as I read, and her decision to sleep on my bed - not just on my bed but snuggled up tightly to me - is completely her own.  While she has a dog bed in the bedroom, the only one to spend any time there is Riley, who apparently thinks small dog beds can accommodate big collies! People furniture is much more to Mitzi's liking apparently.

Well, of course Mama Jean's bed is more comfy than my own!

Mitzi loves her walks, and has adapted quickly to a change of leash. She has always walked on a 15' flexi leash.   I'm no fan of 'flexi' leashes except on trails or in fields as it is too difficult to control a dog on the end of a flexi around traffic or other dogs or people,  so our walks around town are with a halter and 6' flat leash.  Two walks with the clicker and treat pouch and she had it down to a fine art.  An afternoon trip to Osborne Bay Park on her flexi gave her lots of freedom  - she will not be an offleash girl - she is much too small and rabbit-like to be off leash in our eagle-populated parks and beaches.

Ah think the eagles would find a chicken much tastier than little ol' me!

Mitzi walks about 3 km every morning and another one or two at night.  She can clamber over logs, run up and down stairs, meet all kinds of dogs big and small without fear, and can bring a smile to almost anyone's face with her dark shiny eyes and upturned face.  She really is a delightful little dog.

An' I can make funny faces, too!

Eddie is a little jealous when Mitzi is playing with me, but expresses it only by over-the-top barking and bouncing around.  I've found playtime with Mitzi works best with one dog in the house and the other outside.    Eddie and Mitzi are not yet  interested in playing with each other - both think humans are for playing with, not dogs. Perhaps in time that will change.

Boring.  Dogs and dog toys are boring.
Gimme a good hike any ol' day.

Riley has been very accepting of Mitzi, and isn't even bothered when Mitzi walks right underneath her, between Riley's legs,  if Riley is blocking traffic in the doorway or hall.  Riley still gets her solo walks to the beach and park each day, and really enjoys just hanging around with me.  Fortunately, Mitzi has not tried to steal either of Riley's favourite napping places - the futon in my office or the raised dog bed next to my armchair.

She better NOT try to steal mah bed.
Even if I do steal hers.

In other news, Riley will be going home on Sunday - Deb and Tom are on their way home and will come to the island for her Sunday afternoon.  I can't wait to see Riley's reaction when Deb walks through the door!

Eddie's cruciate ligament was definitely torn and the knee does show a drawer motion now that the swelling is gone.  However, he is able to walk 2 - 3  km each morning without problem, and is on green lipid mussel supplements and weekly cartrophen shots which seem to be helping considerably.  His knee shall always be a concern, though, and the ligaments prone to tear or rupture, so there'll be no leaping logs or bounding out of cars for this boy.

Well, Mitzi says it is time for her evening yogurt, so this slave to a pint-sized powder puff better get off the computer and into the kitchen.


Anonymous said...

I bet Anita is really enjoying how well Mitzi is fitting in and how well you have been taken in by the "fur" ball--The Okanagan Critters

Anonymous said...

Pint size powder puff is very cute and has clearly settled in with style.
They are all so cute.
What a gift to have them in your life and visa versa of course!
Mitzi is so Petite for a Bichon.. The other breed must dominate. (Great pics of them as usual)

Marie said...

Thanks so much for the update on Mitzi, she seems to have adjusted quite nicely to her new home. Although Allie and Eddie might not think so, she seems to have brought a lot of joy along with her spunky self, Riley just takes life as it comes!

Jean said...

Hey Wendy, Mitzi is a registered purebred bichon frise originally from a breeder here in BC - but, yes, she is very petite. The standard for the breed is 9 - 12 inches at the shoulder. I think she's about 8.
And, of course, she has been kept trim through exercise. Many of the bichons we see on the street are overweight, have a longer coat, or are mixed with maltese or other breeds, giving them a larger appearance.

Pauley James said...

Mitzi, you are totally cracking us up!! 20 times to potty in a day? You will have to exercise an awful lot to work those treats off! Glad to hear that she is settling in well. She sounds like a real hoot.

georgia little pea said...

First of all, thanks for waking me up from my slumber. (I meant that sarcastically of course.) You are the first person I'm visiting in 3 days and OMG! What a drama over at your plAce, not that it ever sounds that peaceful except when you're showing us some glorious walks, flowers, birdies and sunsets LOL.

Mitzi is no ordinary 12 year old, is she? Georgia isn't even 5 and sounds sedate by comparison. I like that bit about the flexi leash! I hope lots of owners of flexi leashes swing by and read what you've written and realise how easy it is to train a littledog to walk on a short leash. The whole bed scenario is a hoot! Can you please do an update on all the dog and cat beds and mats in your house? Plus the beds, chairs and cushions the critters THINK are their beds? If I were you, I'd build a granny flat and move out there for some peace and quiet.

Lastly! How about a picture of the infamous mudroom? I just love the sound of that though I suspect it's not a romantic adobe you're talking about.

On to the next post! :D

Jean said...

GLP, well it was about time you woke up. Now post something on your own blog, will ya? Three mornings and I'm going into withdrawal.

Riley has just returned home, so we are minus a bed or two now, but I will do a post soon about all the beds around here, and the places the animals think are beds, and the mudroom. At the moment, with only two dogs and a cat, there are eight animal beds, and four pieces of furniture they think are beds (not counting the floor, which is where Eddie likes to sleep). Since Mitzi only uses her crate or the furniture, and Eddie only uses his crate or the floor, I could probably remove some of the excess dog beds - but then where would other dogs nap when they bring their owners by for coffee or a glass of wine?

Major's mom said...

We are glad of the update on Eddie, and his knee. I was so concerned over that sweet fellow. He definatly is in the right place,but I wonder if your pets suffer from bed confusion syndrome. Love your posts,