rivkasmom: (Rose in the Rain)
The weather was absolutely perfect, not too hot, not too cool, slightly overcast but not cloudy. After yesterday's blustery wind and cold, it was such a relief!

Rivka had a sleep over at a friend's house, and was due back around noon. That meant that I had a quiet night and I got to sleep in this morning. She was supposed to go to her dad's today, and I was going to get into some of my new jewelry supplies and start designing some new pieces.

HA! Man plans, G-d laughs.

Rivka decided that she didn't want to go to her dad's , she wanted her friend to come over and spend the day here. Well, that was OK with everyone, so we changed plans. Her friend is an incredibly sweet girl, so I figured "no problem" I'll still get my work done.

Then the friend's older sister shows up, with some of the girls from the Bas Mitzvah Club. They want to take the dogs for a walk. Um, ok, no problem. Then, they come back and want to give the dogs a bath. What idiot would say no to that? I give the girls a stack of towels and the dog shampoo. At this point, I figure I'm not going to get any jewelry made today.

I get Rivka and her friend and we go out to the front yard, which is in desperate need of weeding. I show them what horsetail looks like, and turn them loose. I get to work on the dandelions and stray grass. We're merrily working along, when the older girls decide to leave before I put them to work in the yard (standing around hanging out is not allowed at my house!).

After a bit, the friend's older brother shows up, and wants to help with the yard too. He goes home to get the weed whacker and comes back to trim up the parking strip and the side yard. I've promised everyone some of my famous homemade strawberry sorbet, so they are really working hard - I feel a bit like Tom Sawyer with the fence painting.

I keep telling myself that I should not pull weeds for more than an hour a day. It hurts like crazy, but every time I try to quit there's one more dandelion just out of reach, and it's taunting me. And the next one, and the next one, and another hour goes by. The dogs are chasing each other in the back yard, the kids are cracking me up with cuteness. A fat robin comes over to grab a stray earthworm, and I'm loving the smell of fresh turned earth and slightly crushed artemesia leaves. Everywhere I'm surrounded by bright tulips and columbine, and I'm discovering more little surprises sprouting up everywhere. Another hour goes by. I realize that I'm going to be paying for this, but I really don't care.

Everyone took a break for sorbet, and then the girls decided that they had done enough gardening, so they rode their bikes up and down the block. Rivka has never been allowed to go to the end of the block and back before, so this was a VERY big deal. She felt so grown up in front of her friend, who is a year older.

As it got close to supper time the Bas Mitzvah girls came back to collect the kids. There was much mayhem with cleaning up toys and tools, collecting bikes and helmets, and trying to secure promises that they can come over and do it all again tomorrow. It's funny, when I was in school I was the biggest geek, and now I'm the coolest person EVAR!

Finally, I had the house back to normal, and the yard looks 100% better. I got Rivka fed, in the bath, read a story and tucked her in. I think she was asleep before I left the room. Both dogs are passed out and snoring. I just took two Tylenol #2s, and I am about ready to fall asleep myself. I just wanted to get this all down while it was fresh.

If today were the last day of my life I couldn't think of a better way of spending it. Baruch Hashem.

PS: I just realized that my nose is slightly sunburnt. Note to self, buy sunscreen.
rivkasmom: (Default)
Wow, it's like a miracle!

For the past three days, he has not had one bite of food without it being given to him by hand, while he is in the "sit/stay" position. In addition, if he lunges for it, he doesn't get it ("leave it!") and can't have the food until I say "OK!"

I can now feed Daisy from her bowl only a few feet away, without having to break up a fight. Rambo happily waits for his kibble while Daisy eats freely. Today he got out the front door a couple of times, and when I called him he ran right back to me, instead of making my beg and plead for him to come in. This is a HUGE improvement. He still barks like a maniac when I have company over, but it doesn't last as long. If I put him in a sit/stay and pop a kibble in his mouth he calms down even faster. Rivka has started feeding him, and I've had some of the neighbor kids who come over to play work with him too. That way he'll be used to a lot of different kids being around, and see that as a good thing.

His bite inhibition is getting better, and he's gentler with hands. I stop ALL play if he gets too "bitey". He's become very attached to us (especially me) and is very affectionate. In the evening he likes to curl up in my lap, into a little ball. He buries his head under my breasts and starts snoring like a chain saw! I'm really glad we're trying to work through his issues because he really is a smart dog with a strong desire to please (unlike Daisy, who couldn't give a rip).

Besides, how can you stay mad at this face?

rivkasmom: (Frinkle Sad)
Rambo is NOT fitting into my family. He is six months old, unneutered, and from what I can tell he has had NO training whatsoever. I have been trying to work on his dominance issues, but instead of getting better he has been getting more aggressive.

He has been attacking Daisy all day today, and at one point he got ahold of her scruff and was shaking her really hard. I've been breaking up fights every half hour or so. They were not playing, and not just sorting out pack order, but really fighting. (I know the difference, and if they are just sorting things out I leave them alone.)

Just now, I had my back turned and Rambo jumped up and bit Rivka on the arm, hard enough to leave a puncture wound. That settles it. Rivka doesn't have the personality that it takes to control Rambo, and he knows it. If I were by myself, I'd work with this little guy and give him a chance at life, but I can't do that with a small child at home.

I still believe that this puppy can be worked with, and he can be incredibly sweet and snuggly when he's in the right mood. I think he'd do best in a home with no children or other dogs/cats. I also think he needs to be fixed, but I wasn't going to invest the money until I knew if he was staying with me or not.

He's a very smart dog (unusual for a pug!) and will fetch toys for you. We've been working on "sit, drop it, off the couch, and leave it" commands. He does know what what all that means, and will do it if he thinks you will follow through.

Anyone out there with rescue experience and a lot of patience?

January 2012

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