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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

DOC, a.k.a. Alex

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

DOC, a.k.a. Alex

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Alex is ten weeks old today. Happy birthday, Alex!

In honor of his big ten weeks, we took him for his first walk in the park. It wasn't quite a hike, since it was on a paved trail (Grist Mill trail at Patapsco Valley), but I told Bobby that until he can walk up the steps on his own, I don't think it's such a good idea to have him hiking up steep trails. He did great, though; I'm amazed at how well he walks on the leash. We're trying to get him used to staying on the left side and teaching him the "easy" command. He also had the opportunity to get used to bikes and other hikers, since that trail--being paved--is popular for cyclists and runners. At first, the bikes scared him. I think it was the whir of their tires. But soon, he was used to them and eager to meet anyone who paused to make a big deal over him.

We walked for about an hour and a half at a brisk pace, and he kept up. Then he fell asleep in my arms in the car. These are the times that I try to enjoy. One day not to long from now, he will be too big for this sort of cuddling, and I will miss the days when he could curl up in my lap. (Or right now, he is stretched next to my leg on the couch. He likes sleeping next to me while I work on the computer. Earlier today, he tried to sleep with his head resting on the corner of it. He gets this from me, I guess! A geeky dog for a geeky woman.)

Here's the latest batch of Alex pictures.

Laying under Bobby's legs, looking up like, "Aww, man, I'd rather be on the couch...."

Sleeping under the coffee table. He plays with the piece of yarn stapled underneath of it. This is one of his favorite places.

At ten weeks, Alex's first nature walk:

The other day, Bobby came home from work to a surprise. I had left Alex in the kitchen, his "room." I put his crate under the breakfast bar, gave him some old towels and his toys, a bowl of water, and blocked him in with the baby gate. Yet...Alex was out when Bobby came home.

Once before, when we put his crate up by the gate, he climbed on top of the crate and jumped over the gate. This time, though, the crate was a good two feet away from the gate. We could not figure out how he did it.

We had supper the other night, and Alex goes into his room for this, as he gets a bit too excited. At one point, we heard the distinctive ringing sound of the wires of his crate being struck. Bobby snuck around the corner and caught Alex on top of his crate, under the breakfast bar.

Apparently, he'd been getting on top of it and jumping the nearly two feet to clear the baby gate. He's clever and apparently more athletic than one would expect from a nine-week-old puppy!

Tonight, we went out to dinner at Rocky Run, so we put Alex in his room but put his crate away from the baby gate, against the counter. We came home and Alex wasn't in his room. Or didn't seem to be. He'd gotten on top of the counter and was standing on the stove, pretty as you please. He had his eye on the baby gate. From the top of the stove, he could jump over it and fall the three feet or so to the other side.

He's obviously quite a problem solver, and he's forcing us to do the same, to outsmart him! I've nicknamed him DOC (Division of Corrections) because Johnny the Boss, Bobby, and I were talking about our puppies the other day. Johnny has a Bichon puppy named Jackpot, and he says that when Jackpot goes into his crate, he starts the "DOC walk," pacing back and forth, waiting for the first opportunity to escape. Alex, likewise, has a DOC outlook on life.

Alex won't be spending so much time in his room, though. We'd thought of hiring a dog walker to take him out midway through the day; he is alone for eight hours when we are both at work, and we don't really like this, since he's so young. Alas, my mother-in-law is having some issues with her job, so we offered her the job, and she took it! She will be coming three times during the week to puppysit for an hour or two: walk him, feed him lunch, and just keep him company. He'll still spend most of the day alone, but it won't be such an unbearably long stretch, and we're much more comfortable with his grandmother coming into our apartment than a complete stranger.
  • That is the cutest thing EVER. *Snuggles the pup*
    • He is precious! Half of me wants him to stay a baby forever, as he's really cute and also convenient to pick up and move when he ends up in a less-than-desirable place. The other half of me looks forward to when he's not biting and chewing and waking up several times a night...but I'm enjoying his babyhood. :)

      I love your icon! In our case, it would be, "Puppies and cichlids and Elves...OH MY!" :^D
      • LOL thanks! I love my pets!

        But yeah, Jupiter was a terrible pup... I'm *so* glad she grew out of the bad habits!
        • So there's hope then? ;)

          Alex is actually remarkably good. He even slept through the night last night. If he would stop biting my feet, I'd be much happier. The hand-biting I can tolerate at this age, and the occasional piddles on the carpet. But my poor feet are soft, and that hurts!
  • Is it possible he's even cuter this week than last?

    And he's a counter surfer! Oh my, it's a good thing you're experienced with dog training.
    • Your icon.... *melts* Are they your dogs?

      Our previous dog Crosby--adopted at age eight from a friend who couldn't keep him--was a counter-surfer too. I remember my mom describing how she was washing her hands in the kitchen, looked over, and...there's Crosby! He was a golden/Irish setter mix, so he was similar to Alex. He eventually learned.

      We've come up with a solution to the crate conundrum: It's going back under the breakfast bar and getting stacked to the top of the breakfast bar with heavy textbooks. If he can't get onto the crate, he shouldn't be able to jump over the gate...or onto the counter.
      • The icon is from the movie Eight Below, a very good dog movie, though I teared up at several parts. Paul Walker is yummy too, even when he's wearing a huge parka.

        The little guy sounds pretty smart and determined, let us know how long it takes him to solve that problem. Pretty soon he might just jump right over the gate anyway.

        This icon is my dog, but she passed away this past summer. Darn animals, they stake a claim to a large piece of your heart and never let go.
        • I'm so sorry about your doggie. :( There used to be a commercial on telly about a golden retriever named Casey who started as a puppy, then they showed her growing to where she could barely make it up the steps anymore. Goodness, that commercial made me cry. I'm tearing up now, just remembering it.

          I won't even think about Alex....

          I expect that he'll be able to jump the gate in a few months' time. You said your puppy managed it at three months, iirc? I'd think that Alex wouldn't be too far behind that, then. :) Until then, DOC is going to have to work a bit harder to escape.
          • At least ,y dog only did it once, I'm not sure how I convinced her that she shouldn't do it, I probably enforced the crate rule so she lost the opportunity. Or I got a taller gate, which explains why I have 2. (It was a long time ago.)

            But it won't be long before the little guy is a well-behaved dog; you're right, the time does go by quickly.
  • Better check your specs. You may have gotten, instead of a tiny cute puppy, an overgrown (but still cute) hamster.
    • Lol, then I shouldn't worry about him getting big enough to jump the gate?
      • Hehehe...well...That reminds me: we actually have two gates, that we stacked on top of each other to prevent jumping over them. Haha. Yay doggies.
  • One day not to long from now, he will be too big for this sort of cuddling, and I will miss the days when he could curl up in my lap.



    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! Um, my dogs at least don't have any qualms with cuddling in laps, despite being full grown. :D

    This probably sounds horrid and cruel but...if the baby gate falls on him now, you'll never ever have to worry about him trying to escape, because he'll be like "Ahhhh!! It is EVIL!!!" like mine do. *giggle* Or maybe he's fearless and wouldn't care if the thing fell on his head, since he keeps making a liar out of me!
    • He probably wouldn't care. He can climb the thing now like a ladder. Silly little boy.... :^P
      • Are you sure he's really a Golden? I mean, he's the evol-est golden I know of! ;)
        • Bobby read something the other day that said that Golden puppies are rambunctious but usually settle down as adults. *relieved sigh* ;)

          But today he came to an important realization: biting Dawn's feet = BAD

          Yay! :^D
  • *ROTFL* we were going to be strict... dog sleep in the kitchen, dog is not allowed on the furniture... we started it that way from when she was small, if we cuddled with her in our lap we sat on the floor to make certian she did not get bad habits...

    she keppt getting up in the sofa with us every chance she could no matter she knew we were going to kick her down again.... Come June, after 7 months we gave up. she cuddles in our laps on the sofa, she sleeps on a blanket in the corner of the sofa or, in evenings when i am using the laptop uses me as a pillow (having a doghead and laptop in lap at once is awkward)

    we also gave up on her sleeping in the kitchen about that time too. She never stopped waking during night, not because she needed to go but because she wanted company. we tried having the radio on, having a nightlight and all sorts of other things but it would not stop. after herkeeping us awake until midnight, waking us twice a night and deciding it was morning at 4am for two weeks we gave up. She now sleeps either in ehr bed in the corner of the bedroom or under our bed and she finally started sleeping properly...

    I hope yours is slightly less determined and independent than ours *LOL*

    Alex is adorable and should come visit ;) Min would muchly enjoy meeting him.
    • I'm sure that Alex would love Min! He loves other dogs. Other dogs don't always love him in all his jumping-biting-playing-omg!-puppy glory. But he loves other dogs. ;)

      He's doing pretty well with things. He's allowed on the couches until he starts to bite or chew...then he's banished back to the floor. He's still too small to get onto the couches without our help, so this works...for now.

      Though tonight he got onto the futon unassisted, so it's only a matter of time now....

      He sleeps in his crate in our bedroom. Though he occasionally wakes up and wants out to curl on the pillow on the floor by Bobby's side of the bed. But all in all, we can't complain. He's learning the rules, though he breaks them pretty frequently, just to make sure they haven't changed, I guess!
  • Puppy dog eyes! *melts*

    Heh, even if it's a pain at times (like, worrying about a certain adventurous canine who learned how to clear the backyard fence in one leap), one of the best things about having pets is that no matter how much credit you give to other animals for their intelligence before, they absolutely never stop surprising you. :)

    *gives Alex a tummy rub*
    • Alex can now climb the baby gate like it's a ladder. It takes him about twenty seconds to escape the kitchen; we've had to put our tray tables in front of it since their just high enough to create a "ceiling" that keeps him from climbing. The good news about this is that we hope to train him in agility, and it seems that he's a natural!
  • Gah, puppies and kittens are just the best, aren't they?

    *smooches Alex*
    • He is! He's a handful sometimes, but I keep telling myself that one day I'll want this time back, when he's little enough to hoist under one arm and move where I want him to be. ;)
  • Awwww! He looks like he has the softest ears! (Have you checked? I know you have...)
    • Of course I have! It was one of the first things I did! They're like silk...and they're pretty easy to flick too. >:^)
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