The Adolescent Times

It’s funny how time fly’s when you’re having fun. Especially since I’ve almost had Daisy for a year. It’s so funny to look back at the pictures of when Daisy was a puppy. It seriously feels like it was only a couple of weeks ago. A whole year, I can’t believe it!

As I have said many times before, Daisy is super smart. Not only does she do lots of tricks, but now I feel that she understands me more than ever. As if I can almost talk to her. I can say certain words, like “outside” or “potty” and Daisy instantly knows what I’m talking about. The coolest thing is that Daisy knows the names of all the other pets I have. She knows Lil Dude’s calling name. All I have to say is “Heyyyy Dude!” and instantly Daisy’s ears perk up and she starts looking around for Lil Dude, as if we’re hunting for a rabbit, or something. Same thing with Yogi, I simply say “Yooooog!” and Daisy begins to search for Yogi. It doesn’t matter where we are, she knows what I said and she is ready to play with whatever friend is around.

Beagles need exercise, so what Daisy and I like to do is play fetch with her tennis ball. I’ll throw it ALL the way in the back yard and she’ll take off, top speed, and bring it back to me. I tell her “Put it down.”, and she drops the ball at my feet. I say, “Sit”, then she sits and then I throw the ball again. Let me tell you, it’s great that Daisy will sit and wait for you to throw the ball. It really helps when guests are over and they are playing ball with her, because Daisy will retrieve it, then simply sit and drop the ball. It makes it easy on the guest. That’s good manners.

Another really cool thing Daisy does is responds to pointing. Sometimes when I throw the ball, it will get lost in a bush or somewhere Daisy can’t find it. So I like to give Daisy a good 5-10 minutes to sniff it out. If she can’t find it, I will then call her name and she’ll look at me. When she looks at me, I will point in the direction where the ball is, and she will head off in that direction I pointed in. With her nose to the ground, she’ll search it out. She’s so cute because if she still can’t find it, even after I pointed to where it was, she will again look at me and then I will point again. She will head off again in pursuit of her favorite ball until she finds it.

Potty/House training definitely paid off! I haven’t had an accident in the house in about 6 months. Well, except for the time she pee’d on my Girlfriends dad’s brand new carpet. That wasn’t Daisy’s fault though! She was scared of this big loud toy that my girlfriend’s little brother was playing with, so Daisy was sort of hiding in the corner of the living room and I think she had to pee, but she didn’t want to leave the corner because she was scared. So, she pee’d. Luckily the carpet was scotch guarded and the pee didn’t soak in. It cleaned up easily. Other than that, it’s been great. To this day (knock on wood), Daisy has never pooped on the carpet in the house. EVER. Yes, she did poop on the laundry room linoleum when I’d leave her home during the day, but that’s normal. I occasionally receive e-mails from people asking how I got Daisy potty trained. I always reply with the word CONSISTENCY. I tell them that when you take your puppy out to go potty, make sure he goes poop, or pee. Don’t assume that just because he didn’t go in the 20 minutes you stood outside on the grass with him, that he doesn’t have to go. I used to sit outside with Daisy at 3 in the morning and I would wait until she pee’d or pooped. Call me crazy, but I can easily say, it paid off in the end. I didn’t want to have to clean up a mess and I knew that if Daisy started peeing or pooping in the house, then it was going to suck trying to get her to stop. So like I said, it paid off. For those of you potty training, don’t give up! It takes time. It doesn’t happen over night. Plan on many nights of taking your puppy out a few times during the middle of the night. Now I know when Daisy has to go outside to do her thing. She will get in my face about it. She will climb up on me and lick my face like crazy. That’s when I say, “C’mon, let’s go outside”. Then she grabs one of her Kong toys and heads for the back door.

One thing that Daisy and I need to improve with is the mail man. Daisy HATES the mail man, LOL. Everyday, the same time, the mail man trots his way to our front door and as soon as Daisy hears the mail box open up, Daisy loses her mind and starts “AROOOOOO”ing!!!! It’s so loud and it echoes when we are inside. I have to tell Daisy, “Quiet!”. It sucks because she is out of control when the mail man is there. As soon as the mail man leaves, I open the front door and let her look out to show her that he is gone, so she’ll calm down. I think eventually she’ll learn to tolerate the mail man.

Another thing we need to improve on is her habit to run out of the back yard gate and chase Lil Dude in the front yard and sometimes into the neighbors yard. It sucks because she is hard to catch once she is out. I instantly have to become a meanie and say “DAISY!!” in a low tone of voice so she will stop. She stops because she hears that my voice is in a low tone and she can tell I don’t approve of what she’s doing. She stops in her tracks and let’s me pick her up. Daisy is a nut sometimes. This definitely has to stop because there is a busy street only one house away. So I definitely have to be careful.

All in all, it’s a ton of fun. Hard work, but a lot of fun. As I’m typing this, I’m looking down at Daisy sleeping on her bed. I can tell she’s having a dream because her nose and paws are twitching. I hate when that happens, especially when she squeals in her sleep. Now, THAT’s scary stuff.

Daisy’s First Christmas

Ho Ho Ho! Daisy’s first Christmas was pretty cool. I think she had a lot of fun. 8:30am and all the family was there in the living room ready to open their presents. They all started. While they did their thing I was more interested in giving Daisy her stocking. We bought her 2 new Kong toys (the bounzer and treat ship) and a Garfield and Odie newspaper squeak toy. I took inspiration from The Hunting Dog – Best Dog Supplies Reviews. They have reviewed a lot of dog equipment including dog toys. I am a big fan of Garfield so that toy is awesome. I handed Daisy her first present, still wrapped. I told her it was a ball and she immediately took it into her mouth and laid down and starting chewing it up. After she put a hole in the wrapping, she started tearing into the present, as if she was opening it. It was too funny. She eventually got the wrapping off and realized it was a Kong toy and picked it up and started walking around with it, even with the cardboard still attached to the toy. Daisy also got a few more gifts from my mom, sister and my aunts. They got her some treats and more toys.

After Daisy opened all her presents, I went to the other room with Daisy to get her prepared to carry out her gift to my mom. When Daisy was younger, she chewed up my mom’s favorite slippers. So, I bought new slippers for my mom, from Daisy. After the slippers were wrapped, I got Daisy to carry them out to the living room, where she could give them to my mom. Daisy is so cute, I swear! My mom and everyone watched and laughed while I was trying to point Daisy in the right direction to where my mom was sitting. She eventually made it to my mom and let her remove the wrapped slippers from her mouth. The slippers’ wrapping was all wet with slobber by this time. I really wish I took pictures of that. Things were so hectic that I didn’t get a chance to take very many pictures. I did get a movie clip and a few pictures though. I’ll be more prepared next year for sure.

My only regret about Christmas this year is that I didn’t get a chance to spend any time with Brandy, my 16 year old dog. She is pretty old and she has arthritis. She can still walk, but her legs are weak. I hate being so pessimistic, but I have a feeling that was Brandy’s last Christmas with us. It was raining outside on Christmas Day, and we put Brandy in this screen room that we have in our back yard so she wouldn’t get wet. Lil’ Dude was in there with her. Since it was raining I didn’t go outside very much at all and I didn’t get a chance to sit down with Brandy, like I normally do on Christmas. It’s kind of sad, but I try not to think about. The last couple of years, I have thought that Brandy had her last Christmas with us, but she is still here. Either way, Brandy has had a good long life. I look back at all the memories of Brandy chasing cats and chasing her ball. Now, I watch her laying down 80% of the time. When she is walking, she shows she still wants to run and play with Daisy and I think that’s what counts at this point. She isn’t in too much pain, except for the arthritis of course. Her spirits are still high and she still shows her youth occasionally.

Daisy, the guard dog!

When Daisy was a puppy I was sooo worried that someone would steal her from my yard. I mean, if you’ve had a Beagle puppy, you know what I’m talking about. Daisy was probably THE friendliest puppy ever. When people would come over, she would be so happy to see them! When we’d be outside playing and someone would walk into our yard through the front gate, Daisy would be the first one there to greet them, with her tail wagging like crazy!

This worried me because anyone could have walked into our yard and taken her. Could you imagine?? I made sure when I’d leave the house to lock the front gate with my Master Lock X-4000 super titanium power lock!!! Well, not really. It was a master lock and it did the job. I made sure that gate was locked, just in case someone decided to get “wise” and take her! Sometimes I’d be sitting in my front room watching TV, and I’d see little kids walk by and they’d see Daisy behind the gate looking out. Well, Daisy was damn cute and anyone would have stopped just to get a glimpse of the cutest puppy in the Pasadena area. So, another thing that bothered me was the idea of some little kid going up to the gate and opening it, releasing Daisy to the front yard, and worse yet, the street. No way, Jose!

As Daisy grew older I began to figure she knew better about strangers. I wasn’t certain though, whether she knew to bark at strangers, rather than play with them. It was almost 2 months ago now, that I finally saw the adult guard dog in Daisy. I know Beagles aren’t truly guard dogs, but Daisy finally knew the difference between people she knows, like me, and strangers, which are bad! I think the mail man had a lot to do with it. Daisy began barking every day at the mail man. She’d see him across the street, then he’d cross on over to our side, hit up the neighbors house, then walk across the front gate, towards out front door. The whole time he did this every day, Daisy would be “ARROOOO”ing at him! As he would walk by the gate, she’d hesitantly walk backwards, then bark and growl. To this day she HATES the mail man. If Daisy was inside at the time the mail man would come by, she’d hear the mail box slot being opened and she’d freak out! (aka barking, howling, the whole bit).

After I really noticed that Daisy hated the mail man, I wanted Daisy to get acquainted with him, but when the mail man was asked to meet Daisy, he said he’s not allowed to pet dogs or other animals when he’s on the clock. Whatever. I couldn’t argue with that, so I figured Daisy will hate the mail man. Big deal. Well it did turn into a bigger deal. Daisy thought that every time someone was at the front door, it was the mail man, so she’d freak out. To this day, when she’s hears a car door slam on the street, or even the VCR clicking around to rewind a tape, she thinks it’s something outside and starts barking. It’s something that can really get to you, especially when you are trying to sleep in on a Saturday morning.

My first plan of attack to correct this little problem was to be firm with Daisy by giving her a “NO!” whenever she’d continue barking after a few seconds. I mean, I don’t mind her barking at something. I think it’s great she does that because it tells me someone’s here, or someone’s in our yard, but when she barks and barks and barks at absolutely nothing, it makes me crazy and I felt a “NO!” would do the trick, showing her that enough is enough. Well, she’d stop for 5 seconds, then continue. It was a simple problem that has turned into paranoia for Daisy, which in my opinion is not good. Maybe it’s part of being a Beagle, but I’ve never read anything about that in this breed.

Worse turned into worse when we’d have company come over to the house and visit. Daisy would first go crazy at whoever was knocking, then when they’d enter the house, she’d freak out and be very hesitant towards the stranger. I figured she would get used to the person being in the house after a few minutes and get over it, which 50% of the time she did. The other 50% of the time, it was a man that was the visitor. I noticed that she would bark more at men, rather than women. I found this very interesting. When she was a puppy, she wouldn’t bark at anyone, including men. She seemed cool with everyone. Now, because of the mail man, I’m guessing, she hates men. I know it sounds funny, but it makes sense in a way. Even when my uncle would come over, she’d freak out at him, even though she’d met him a few times when she was a puppy.

I’ve read a few articles on how to correct this kind of problem, and one way sounded pretty good. It said to have a friend come over. (One who doesn’t come over often and isn’t too familiar with your dog). Then have them act like they are coming to visit by ringing the doorbell or knocking, etc. When the “stranger” enters, have them greet your dog, then if the dog comes close enough, to give a doggie treat to the dog as a “peace offering”. This sounded like a good idea, but the friends that I have would not take the time and do this for me. Plus the friends I have, Daisy gets along with them fine. My uncle rarely comes over and I’m not going to call him and say, “Hey, do me a favor and help me train my dog not to bark at you.” He’d laugh.

What’s funny is that Daisy isn’t like this when we are out on a walk. I think this all has to do with people in her territory. Just the other day, I was walking with Daisy, and this lady with two other little girls comes up to me and asks if they can pet Daisy. I said “Sure.” So they began petting Daisy and she was happier than pie being pet. Daisy is a ham and she loves the attention she gets from people. Even men, she doesn’t seem to care about when we are on a walk. A man could walk or bike on by and she’ll ignore him. Like I said, I think its all because of the territory she’s protecting. Daisy’s my guard dog!

Daisy HATES Bees

A couple weeks ago I was just hanging out, playing with Daisy’s ears. I love the way they feel. They are almost like velvet. When I was playing with her, I noticed there was a balloon type swelling on her right ear. I flipped over her ear and I notice a little bee stinger in Daisy’s ear. Great, she got stung by a bee. So I pull the stinger out and called the vet, just in case there’s something I needed to know about bee stings. The vet said not to worry, just keep an eye out for hives or a change in Daisy’s personality. Also, look for loss of appetite, vomiting, and all that kind of stuff. Basically, if she seems weird, then bring her in. Of course, Daisy is a tough dog. The swelling in her ear eventually goes away by the next day and everything is back to normal.

Now, lets jump to the present. Tonight, I’m sitting in my room. I’m on the internet reading about Kobe Bryant and that whole mess he’s involved in and all of a sudden I hear Daisy outside. It was that “girgley” sound that she makes when she’s going to puke, so I got up to see if she was okay. By the time I looked outside, she was standing in the driveway, head down, and she’s letting it all out! Of course, it’s a huge ball of grass that she just threw up. Daisy eats grass. It’s a bad habit she picked up from Brandy and I could never get her to stop. Anyways, Daisy looked up at me as I walked outside. I went over to her and gave her a pat on the head, seeing if she was okay. She walked away from me and threw up some more. And then again. I figured she was just throwing up all the garbage (grass, dirt, etc.) she’s been eating.

After she finished throwing up, I noticed something weird about her mouth. I took a closer look and her left upper lip was all swollen. Great, she got stung by a bee, AGAIN!

Let’s stop for a second… Let me just add that Daisy likes to chase any type of flying bugs. Moths, flies, mosquito hawks, BEES, etc. Unfortunately, Daisy isn’t smart when it comes to choosing the kinds of flying insects to chase.

So anyways, I put 2 and 2 together and I figured Daisy threw up because of the bee sting. I was pretty sure it made her sick. I took her inside where there’s better lighting, I flipped her over, and began my search for the stinger. I found the stinger right on the lip where it was swollen. I tried to grab it with my finger nails, but it was really in there this time. I grabbed some tweezers and pulled the stinger out. I think. I lost it as I was pulling it out with the tweezers. I couldn’t see it on her lip anymore, so I’m pretty sure I got it. Now I had to find it in my brown carpet. No chance there, so I just vacuumed. The swelling hasn’t quite gone down yet. I think I’ll check again in the morning.

The weird thing is that Brandy threw up about 10 minutes after I took out Daisy’s bee stinger. So that threw me off as to why Daisy threw up. Maybe it wasn’t because of the bee sting. I’m figuring they just ate the same grass together. They tend to have grass eating sessions together. So, after all this madness I got to spend the next 10 minutes hosing down the driveway.

Top Four Dog Training Mistakes

Ideally, we would all have well-behaved pets that never steal food off the kitchen counters and never mistake green carpet for grass. However, dogs require prompt, consistent training in order to become well-behaved, and many dog owners make common mistakes that can be avoided early on in the dog’s life. Unless you are paying for expensive training at a local facility, you’ll have to learn these dog training mistakes and how to avoid them.

Dog Training Mistake #1: Inconsistency

Dogs aren’t people and they can’t understand when you change something in their routine or in your commands. For example, if you let your dog lay on the couch during the weekend and then yell at him during the week for getting on the couch, he isn’t going to understand that sometimes it’s okay and sometimes it’s not. As your dog matures and learns the routine around the house, you can make exceptions, but during his or her puppy days, consistency is absolutely necessary.

Dog training should be based on a simple routine of cause and effect. If you tell your dog to sit, you expect him to sit every time. If he lays down or runs around in circles, he’s giving the wrong effect. The same goes for the other side of the coin; if your dog does something wrong, your response must be the same every time. You can’t allow him to lay on the couch one day, then refuse to permit it the next.

Dog Training Mistake #2: Impatience

I took my first dog to training school and something the instructor said has stuck with me since that first dog training experience. He said that you can punish your dog for doing something wrong if you have taught him that the behavior is wrong, but you can’t punish your dog for simply misunderstanding. For example, if you haven’t taught your dog that the couch is off limits and he jumps up one day, you can push him off the couch and tell him, “No!” but you can’t punish him further. It’s only after he’s learned that the couch is off-limits but continues to break the rules that you can punish.

Dog training is a long, complicated process that can last for several years. You can’t expect overnight results and you can’t allow yourself to get angry with your dog when he doesn’t immediately understand your commands. Human beings are often focused on instant gratification because we come to expect it in our society of convenience, but that isn’t how it works in dog training world. Instead, you’ll have to control your impulses and learn to give it some time.

Dog Training Mistake #3: Attitude

Your attitude is singularly important in the dog training process because it directly impacts the results. If you treat your dog like he’s a “possession”, then you probably won’t get very far. However, if you approach dog training as a process in which you both work together, you’ll probably see faster results. Look at your dog like your “partner-in-training” and look at your successes and failures as shared. When something goes wrong in dog training, it’s the combined result of both of your efforts, just like a success belongs to both of you.

Work with your dog as though he is a partner and not a subject. This will not only work toward a more enjoyable dog training experience, but it will also help to create a bond between you and your pet.

Dog Training Mistake #4: Inattention

One of the most important aspects of dog training is paying attention to your dog. You must watch and learn his or her responses to your behavior so you can better understand motivations. When you’re involved in a dog training session, watch your pet for signs that he or she is listening and make sure that you aren’t boring your pet. If you don’t pay attention to your dog, you can’t hope to correct problems that arise in the future.