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The Ne'er-Ending Tale of a Carpet Alligator

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"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.

The Ne'er-Ending Tale of a Carpet Alligator

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alex say what
I'm back from my trip, and I'll post details (and photos) soon, but first, I am two weeks behind on Alex's baby pictures. These pictures were taken at eleven and twelve weeks of age.

Alex earned himself the nickname "Carpet Alligator" at about ten weeks. I would be sitting, typing nicely on my NaNo story, and suddenly, the Jaws theme would start to play. And from the depths of the pile of our carpet would rise a carpet alligator and *gnash!* There goes my foot.

Alex blends nicely with the carpet. And when he was still little, he seemed very good at worming his way around to sink his little puppy teeth into the hapless foot of anyone daring enough to forgo the pretzel style of sitting for a more languid position.

However, Alex has made excellent progress with the whole foot-biting thing in the past few weeks. When "No!" didn't work, nor did the Softie School of Positive Reinforcement "Get your toy!" and my screeching and crying like a wounded puppy failed to have any effect (nor did dancing around like I was on a DDR machine), then I was forced to get out the big gun: the squirt bottle. A couple of sharp squirts to the top of his head paired with "No!" and he learned the meaning of the word...and to leave my feet alone.

The cool thing about Alex now is that he's learning so much, so fast. He climbs the steps on his own now. He knows "No," "Leave it," and "Drop." Sometimes, he'll even "Sit" or "Off." He leaves our feet alone (for the most part) and my clothes. He still carries things into his lair, but he knows to drop them when commanded. He's discovered the curtains and the wooden base of the papasan chair, so those are projects for the weeks to come. He can jump onto the futon on his own now, so the couch will soon follow.

Every day, it seems, he grows a little more and learns something new. He's also sleeping on his own now, in his crate, without the delicate bedtime game of gradually moving the puppy closer and closer to the crate and then attempting to stand without making a single sound--tough to do on a floor that creaks more than a Polish granny's bones on a rainy day--while closing the door and getting into bed...only to have him wake an hour later crying. Housebreaking is also going very well. He goes to the door now when he has to go potty. Sometimes, he goes to the door only two seconds before he has to go potty and so ends up squatting in the vestibule, but at least it's tile and not carpet and so is easier to clean. We've learned that he doesn't like the rain. On the night that Sharon and Kirsty arrived, it was pouring rain, and he piddled five times on the carpet. We figure that he knew that if he told us that he had to potty, then we'd take him down again into the nasty, cold rain. Operant conditioning is every trainer's friend, but there are times when it can really be a bitch.

Here is Alex at eleven weeks, chewing on his tiny rawhide bone. This was one of the few toys that we could get him to play with by himself when he was a baby. He's since become better at occupying himself.

This one of Alex is just too cute. It's the one that--when we're showing our pile of Alex photos--generally makes people go, "Awwwww!"

Alex had a fascination with our Jack Little pumpkin on the one end table. He would get it from the couch and pick it up by the stem in his little teeth. He apparently shares our love for Halloween! I set up this picture of him and the pumpkin before it got retired to the table on the balcony to make way for the Christmas stuff.

This was still when his legs were short and stumpy. They've since grown quite long and his paws are huge!

The hairy legs in this picture are not mine, for the record.

Alex is pretending not to be thinking how yummy Mommy's Feanorian red Ikea blanket looks....

Alex does have an enemy in the apartment: the door stopper. He loves to attack the door stopper, twanging it with his paws and barking and growling at it. It's quite funny to watch a ten-pound puppy try to look intimidating!

I think the door stop won this one....

Alex can now climb the baby gate. Luckily, my father-in-law rigged up a set-up with the tray tables, some rope, and the gate until our clear plastic "non-climbable" gate comes in. When Alex is put into any sort of confinement, one can almost hear him thinking, "There's got to be a solution!" And usually he finds one.

Step One: "I can get my paws over the top now! This will be easy!"

"Hmmm...wonder if I can get up there? Maybe there's food up there? Something with gravy??"

(And, yes, he would often climb onto the tray tables and "surf" on them while Bobby or I was working in the kitchen.)

He does occasionally behave....

As university-educated and professionally employed parents, we insist that our puppy be a well-read dog. Here he is, off to his geography lessons, taking my world atlas. Too bad it's twenty years old and still has a chapter on the USSR....

In this one, he might be running from a demonic-looking Daddy in the background!

Of course, it ends up in the lair.

Alex insists that there is nothing wrong with metrosexual puppies, even though he is disappointed in Mommy because zebra-print is so 2004!

"Daddy's fingers taste good..."

"...and his hat...

...actually, I'm just ticked because I'm named after Alex Ovechkin and Daddy is wearing a Flames hat..."

"...now I'll consent to pose and look cute. Maybe I'll get a treat?"

  • Awww, he's so adorable! At the end of the week do you look at him and think "He's gotten tall this week" or "he's gotten long?"

    I'm still hoping you get a picture of him surfing sometime.
    • Right now, it seems that his legs get an inch longer every day. My parents babysat over the weekend while we were away, and my mom swears that you can see him get bigger by the day. I think I might agree!

      I'll try to coax him up onto a tray table and take a picture for you, before he gets too big to fit anymore!
      • My bad, that would be encouraging bad habits, so I understand if you don't do that.
        • Well, considering that I rigged the pictures of him with the pumpkin, the handbag, and the atlas....

          I'll get him up there some time for you. They're not even up anymore, so really, he couldn't keep up with the habit.
  • *obligatory squee* Aw, I can't help but love the "grab anything and run around with it" tendency... (fond memories of tiny little White Sox dragging a HUGE mop through the dining room at dinner time once)--Alex kind of looks like he's trying to give a lesson on how to strut around with a zebra print bag and look good at it :D
    • He's definitely got a little strut when he gets a hold of something that he knows he's not supposed to have. Part of it might be that he's so little that he has to hold his head up really high to keep things from dragging the ground...but he also gets this little prance in his step like, "Look how big I am! I can carry the rug from around the toilet, all the way into my lair!" He also tries to drag really big sticks around while outside. He's got ambition. ;)
      • Heehee, White Sox used to have this little "victory trot" he'd do where he'd grab something and prance in a circle around the house with it in his mouth and his head held pretty high--I think dogs are natural addicts of the game "Keep Away" and that strut might be a sort of "Come and get it!" challenge. ;)
  • *MELTS*

    Pumpkins, eh?

    Methinks our dogs could get along. ;)

    *doesn't have a picture of her dog with his face on the table*
    That my dear, is classic counter cruising! Watch out, my old dog ate a whole pie once!

    He's so cute. And Loki says, "Hey man, you know what's better than hating the rain? Making your people take you out into the rain, and then deciding you hate it!"
    • Awwww... *pets doggie with pumpkin* So precious!

      We saw a ginormous chocolate lab at PetSmart tonight (Alex, of course, wanted to be friends, never mind that the dog was ten times his size!) and his guardian said, "Just wait till yours is this big!" o.O

      Our past retrievers have also stolen some funny things. We were eating pizza on New Years once and Sunnie nanced on up and took a single piece in her teeth, went back to her bed, and ate it. I guess it was a holiday for her too! :^P

      Moose waited until my mom was looking at the TV, then took a big bite of her banana. His rationale was that she was holding it right at eye level.

      I'm trying to teach Alex not to stand up to look onto the counters now, but I know he'll get away with some funny things in the years to come. Before we had Crosby, he ate a whole roll of Polish kilbasa sausage one Christmas. His previous guardian said that he had the foulest burps for the better part of the day.

      Yep, big doggies are cool. :)
    • Hehe! That big indeed! And you know, labs are usually smaller than goldens...;P And hey, my dog likes blondes. *giggle*

      My dogs get bits from the counter all the time, courtesy of us suckers. :D I don't think they've snagged anything off the counter since the pie though. We got pretty upset over the pie. ;) But Loki licks the edge of the table. And they both eat off of forks. For stealing, they prefer weirder things. Like socks (bad!), or jalapenos. I think Loki must have eaten four in one day. We've learned to keep food much higher than doggie eye-level! Loki's half-sister stole a bagel off the tabel once. In all honesty, I think I have the dogs with the best table manners in the country! Someone else's dog jumped up on the table and stuck her head in the Cheetos at a dog party one year! *lol*

      *misses her big doggies, even though she just left two days ago*
    • *pops out of the woodwork to ogle* *much "Awwwww"ing ensues*

      :) I think that's got to be the most beautiful puppy I've seen in... ever. Ever ever.

      And re: pets stealing things? My cat stole a pork chop right off the table once... True story! I came in for dinner, and my mom looked at me in puzzlement: "Er... Did you already eat?"
      Me: "Noooo..."
      Cat: *smirks*

      He is always v. bad during mealtimes: he plants himself next to one of us, stands on his hind legs, and meows and gently (but insistently) nudges us with his front paws. *facepalm*

      Chewy-the-mutt, OTOH, is a comparatively tame beggar.
      OK, he's bad, but he's not as bad as the cat.

      *waves* School again, school again, jiggity jig... One week to go, yes!
      • So you're free by now? Yay! :^D

        Alex knows he's cute...and he takes advantage of it whenever he can! :^P

        That's funny about your cat. I thought my parents' orange tabby Jack was bad. He likes lunchmeat ham...but only the imported variety. Snooty cat. ;)

        Their cats also sit at the table in empty chairs...and get ticked when Bobby and I are over for dinner and sit in "their" seats!

        Gotta love pets. :)
  • He really is a puppy's puppy.
  • (no subject) - satismagic
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    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
  • He is adorable *lol* I remember when Min was that small (admittedly not that long ago)

    Min is still an over friendly dog towards others, she wants to say hello to everyone and everything be it people, dogs, cats, cows or sheep...and preferably play with them all too.

    Shr thankfully does not steal thinks from the table/countertops anymore. it was something I came down hard on while she still tried (mince pies - the uk kind that are sweet and mince stands for dried fruits and nuts and stuff - was the last thing she stole I think, about a year ago) She does beg however if you eat certain foods (home made bread, fruit) but if she is ignored she tends to give up. Mind you she loves the fruit. A banana each morning makes a happy puppy.

    The blurred pcture where he is chewing hsi little bone and the one with the handbag are just amazingly cute :) *coos adn admires pictures lots*
    • And Min was such a beautiful puppy! I seem to recall that I caught Puppy Fever from you. ;)

      We sit on the floor at a low table to eat, so that has proven interesting with Alex. He's actually catching on remarkably well. He hasn't stolen anything...yet. Not food-wise anyway. Though he did try to pull my placemat--complete with a full bowl of split pea soup--onto the floor tonight. That would have been a mess. Yuck.

      But I know that he will, eventually. Every retriever we've had has gotten away with some good meals every now and then. ;) Our golden-lab mix Moose used to love bananas too...and stole them right from my mom's hand as she sat on the couch!
  • Awww, look at the boo boo. Mr. Pupigiorgio, puppy man! I never knew my pup would be a carpet alligator, a crazy, crazy gator. You know I think we have the most awesome puppy in the universe (I am however admittedly biased) :)
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