Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Happy 1st Birthday, Denny!
Our tough guy turned one year old today! He was a hard nut to crack! The first months especially felt like years with him. We brought him home, back in April 2010. Even when he was seven weeks old, we knew, we needed help to raise him.
(You might think he's yawning in this photo, but he's not. I was gone and he was with my son. He tried to torture DS with yodeling, so he would open the gate for him. Look at how he folds his tongue to produce the oddest sounds.)
This pup gave us a hard time growing up, but he's 100% better than he once was. He still has to outgrow some bad habits, but I'm not sure he will. It's probably his personality. We got him for my son, after Biko died, but he attached himself to me from the moment we picked him up. This must be the most intense pup we've had so far. We needed help that was clear from the very start. We've tried many different ways to make life with him enjoyable, but the most help we got was from our Bark Buster Lady. I'm still so grateful to her, to show us how to handle him, and dogs in general. Not to talk about Maggie here, but she's Denny's female counterpart in many ways, just not as destructive as he was, and still is.
With Denny it's like child birth. With time you forget how painful it was. I tried to make a list of what he's destroyed in his life so far, but it never was quite complete. He's still destroying so much, if not a dish towel, then he goes for the recycling bin and paper, which is harmless, and just messy. There was a time were it was unthinkable to leave him alone just for a second, in fact you can't even turn around, especially when we are in the kitchen, he's stealing right out from under our noses. He's a Ninja dog, can climb, jump, and lick like nobody else. The only time I leave him alone in a room and he's NOT in a crate is at night, when I take Happy out for his last pee. I leave the sliding door open just far enough, so Denny can stick his nose through and watch us. He would sit there until we come back. Other times, somebody has to be in the room with him, or he'll have to stay in his crate. Period.
It took much longer to house train him, than the other dogs before him, and not because he's stupid, quite the opposite. He revenge peed for some time, every time he didn't get what he wanted, he peed. Before we got help from Bark Buster's we did talk about giving him up, but felt way to responsible for him, to actually do it. Besides, we didn't think anybody else would have the patience, and willingness to put up with his personality. It really wasn't a serious thought, we just threatened him with it, when we were really, really mad at him.
So, I don't know how time went by so quickly, and he's suddenly one year old! As it is so often with puppies, we only realized when something was better, after a while, when we asked our selves, how, and when did the change happen?
By the way, the photos show him in a state he likes the most. He's quite a lazy dog. Sure he likes to run outside, sprints for a couple of rounds around the pool, but soon enough he either gets a twig, a ball ("breaded" in snow, that's the way he likes them best), or anything else, which then he chews into pits and pieces, eating most of it. There are not many chew toys which can withstand his vigorous chewing.
While I play fetch with Happy, Denny relaxes nearby.
He's really good in relaxing. Don't know what makes him so tired. Maybe all the play fighting with Happy, and Maggie does him in.
Sleeping under my desk, surrounded by bones. He does not want to share, at least not with Happy at all, but Maggie is allowed to chew on the things he's chewing on. It will be interesting to see if he stays top dog in this pack, or if Maggie will be the Queen. There sure are signs of that regime change already.
Looking at this photo makes me realize how far he's come. He's chewed cables twice before and got lucky that nothing happened, but now he's not interested in them in the least anymore. The spot under my desk is a beloved one for all three of them.
As I said, he's very attached to me. There might even be a little separation anxiety there, or he's just pissed, whenever I leave him behind, that would also make sense to me. He's a very good watch dog, and to my utter surprise, he's the dog who listens best! From the very beginning he's had a perfect recall. He's sweet and cuddly too, he barks a lot, but mostly he yodels, and makes sounds like pigeons. While Happys whining drives me mad (German Shepherds do that a lot, and I think they don't even realize they are making that sound), Denny's sounds make me go "awe", and make me laugh. He likes when I laugh, his tail wags a lot faster then, propeller style [in circles]). He acts jealous every time I pet the others, but he's got to get over that, because I'm not going to forget my sweetheart Happy, that's for sure.
I wish for him to calm down some more as he gets older, but I love him, and his personality, and I'm glad we got to get to have him in our lives. My little Dumpling, here's to many more years together!!!
And something for you to laugh about: I was run over by Denny yesterday! This was the second time we let all of them run around outside at once. From now on I don't think it's a problem anymore, only hazardous to MYSELF!
See what I mean? Every other dog would stop in front of me, or run by on either side, but not Denny! He mowed me down. And then I couldn't get up right away, because I was laughing so hard. :o) I didn't see it coming, because I was concentrating on the little screen. It should come with a warning, "Objects on screen are closer then they appear!" :o)