Posts filed under ‘Outdoors’

Boogie- Day by Day

I have started a “Daily (Walk) Log”  for Boogie to keep track of his behavior on our outdoor walks, with improvements or otherwise.  It’s easy to forget the details and I want to record and remember everything… especially Boogie’s  responses to different situations – what he likes/dislikes, what freaks him out, how he handles himself etc.  including too what *I* do and say- what works and what doesn’t

This log is hosted on a separate blog – http://boogietoday.tumblr.com/

On the right sidebar, there is a Widget of this blog’s RSS feed – Look under “Boogie Today” – I will be posting something everyday.

Comments are welcome!

February 15, 2010 at 7:53 pm Leave a comment

A typical morning walk

I walk Boogie for 20-30 minutes every morning. Today we went for an extra long walk  around our neighborhood (45 minutes). I brought along the clicker and a pocketful of treats. In Ali Brown’s book “Scaredy Dog!”, she suggests making a list of all the things that your dog reacts to and keeping some sort of training log. So this morning I paid extra careful attention to Boogie’s body language and reactions more than I normally would and prepared myself to call him, and click-and-treat when I got his attention.

As far as I know are the common and perfectly normal reactions of a fearful animal (or person, for that matter):

  1. FIGHT – bark, growl, lunge, attack.
  2. FLIGHT – move backwards, run away
  3. FREEZE – become very still, stiff and tense.
  4. ASK FOR HELP – look to someone else to know what to do

Ideally, we want to train Boogie to choose Reaction #4 over the others. We want him to LOOK TO ME when he is scared or unsure. And my responsibility as his “benevolent pack leader” is to either get him away from the scary situation or do something to make him feel better. According to the book, a leash correction could effectively STOP the reaction (yes, it works) but would do nothing to alleviate the fear.

I didn’t want to rely on the sprenger collar so I didn’t put it on Boogie this morning.

On our walk I made a mental list of all the people/things that Boogie reacted to, which were moments that prompted me to call him  “Boogie!” (putting on my best HAPPY tone of voice), and to click and treat him when he came to me and looked at me.

1. Old homeless woman walking past us (FIGHT) This is the old homeless woman who hangs out in Los Feliz.  One evening 2 years ago when I opened my front door, this woman was camped out on my porch right outside my front door. This was the very first time we saw Boogie try to bite someone. He lunged at her, snapped, and she ran off. Now whenever he sees this woman on the street, he goes ballistic. He pulls towards her and barks and growls. *This is the same behavior he has towards the mailman. Actually, I don’t think it’s fear in this case. It’s territorial aggression. He HATES that homeless woman.

2. Tall old man on sidewalk (FIGHT).  I have no idea what it was about this person that set him off pulling on the leash, ears up, hackles up. Maybe because he was tall? Big? I don’t know. I read that reactive dogs are affected by “silhouttes” of people, so if they carry objects, wear masks or hats,  or look really big, this can freak them out. I called Boogie to me (there was some resistance) and when he sat, I clicked and treated.

3. Big bus turning around the corner (FLIGHT). Boogie and I were waiting at the traffic light when a big bus turned around the corner which sent Boogie leaping back 5 feet! I called him but he wouldn’t come. Ears back, crouched low. When the bus drove away, I called him again, he came and sat. Click-and-treat. I felt a bit bad about this. I guess I should have seen the bus coming and led him away, knowing that he is scared of buses.

4. Friendly man approaching us with camera. A guy approached us and wanted to take a photo of Boogie because he has a boston pup himself. I told him not to come close (“my dog is nervous and may bite”) and he was really cool and stayed where he was. He said his pup bites all the time. (haha, mister. If only you knew) I asked Boogie to sit and gave him lots of praise and treats while the guy took photos. I could tell that Boogie  wanted to go sniff the guy but I didn’t let him, just kept praising him for sitting and staying. Boogie is never really comfortable getting his picture taken (he turns his head a lot) but what can ya do when you are so cute.

5. Squirrel! No hope for this one. Boogie would NOT come away from the tree when called, no matter what. I had to stick the treat right in front of his nose to get him to move on.

6. Big truck passing us on the street. (FREEZE)  I was walking in between him and the street, and when two big trucks drove by, Boogie just stopped and froze. I called his name and said “Sit”. It took him a few moments before he sat and looked up at me. Click-and-treat. Lots of praise.

    7. Barking dog behind a fenced yard (FIGHT) We pass this house almost every morning. Sometimes the dog is there in the yard running around and barking. I immediately crossed the street, calling “Boogie!” in a happy voice but Boogie’s head was still turned towards the dog, teeth bared. When we finally crossed the street and he looked at me, “Click!” and treat. Then suddenly, WHOA! There was another dog and owner right there in front of us! (oh shit)

    8. Calm dog with owner. (FIGHT) Boogie’s hackles were still up and he pulled towards this dog that looked like a labradoodle. OH SHIT. I was running out of  treats. Thankfully this dog-owner was really cool and he restrained his dog. “Are you training your dog? I heard the clicker”. We started a conversation and he made his dog sit, and I made Boogie sit, and Boogie was fine just sitting there while this guy and I chatted. During this time I gave Boogie the final 2-3 treats and patted him a lot.  Boogie’s hackles were no longer raised though he continued to stare at the other dog. When the guy and his dog walked off, I called Boogie back to heel and we headed home.

      There you go. A typical morning walk with Boogie. So much drama!

      November 19, 2009 at 9:33 am Leave a comment

      Tips for working with a reactive dog. (Part 1)

      Following on from my previous blog post, I am now up to the part in Ali Brown’s book “Scaredy Dog!” where there is some immensely interesting and possibly helpful information! I am going to take notes here on this blog so that Boogie’s dad and extended family (and Boogie’s blog readers) can have access to this info. Here are some tips:

      1. STUFF-A-DOG

      The purpose of this exercise – which is to be carried out repeatedly many many times in different locations at different times of the day for many many days – is to associate GOOD THINGS with your dog’s name. The idea is to teach Boogie that when we call his name “Boogie” this is always a positive thing.

      What we do is hand-feed treats to our dog and when he is chewing on the treat we say his name. Yeah, we stuff his face with treats and while he is relishing the yumminess of the food in his mouth, we say his name over and over. We should vary the intonation of our voice… sometimes use a happy tone of voice, a sad tone, an angry tone, loud, quiet, silly… we vary the tones as much as we can so that regardless of what tone of voice we say his name with, it will always have a positive vibe.

      Here is the tricky part. In order for Stuff-A-Dog to work to “build the power of our dog’s name”, we have to refrain from using his name in casual conversation when we are talking about him in his presence. We should only use his name when we are talking TO him. In fact, to make things easier for us humans, Ali Brown suggests that we either pick a “nickname” to use when feeding him treats and always use this same nickname… OR… when we are talking about him while he is present, we refer to him with a code word or say “the dog” instead. If we mistakenly say “Boogie” while not addressing him, and if Boogie turns to look at us, we should immediately smile and praise him.

      Man, this one is going to be a challenge because we talk about Boogie ALL THE FRIGGIN’ TIME while he is in the same room hearing “Blah blah blah blah Boogie…. blah blah … Boogie… Blah blah blah…” This explains why Boogie rarely comes to us when we call him!!!!

      “The goal of Stuff-A-Dog” is not just for you to get your dog’s attention but to classically condition your dog to come to you when he hears his name. You really want this response to be a knee-jerk response..”

      We are to do this repeatedly in the house, on walks, in the car, EVERYWHERE. When we have reached 5000 Stuff-A-Dogs over a 6-8 week period (!!!) we can do fewer repetitions.


      2. HAND-TARGETING

      I am pleasantly surprised that she brings up this training activity because Boogie and I are already doing this! 🙂  See my blog post on Clicker Training Boogie.

      Ali Brown suggests doing hand-targeting as often as possible in different locations and  we should aim for an 80% success rate. Any more than 80% means our dog will get bored.  You want to keep it mildly challenging and stimulating. If he doesn’t respond to the “Touch” (or “here”) cue, give him up to 30 seconds to figure it out. Wait.  If he still doesn’t respond, take him back to the last location where he responded.  The goal is to do this in increasingly distracting environments (eg, add TV, add music, add people etc) so that eventually when he is out on the street with “scary stuff” around him he will still respond.

      “The more distracting the environment, the more exciting the praise and reward must be.” This could be a tennis ball not necessarily treats.


      3. PAYING ATTENTION
      . USING THE CAR AS A TRAINING TOOL

      To reinforce our dog’s focus on US, we want our dog to pay attention to us  the moment he steps out of a car (or house), instead of pulling forward and away from us. We need to teach our dog to “Wait” at the door. Actually, Boogie is pretty good at this one; when we tell him to Sit and Stay, he does. Or most of the time I say “Heel” and he steps backwards from the door and lets me go out first. Ali Brown suggests adding a treat for reinforcement.  When we say “OK” (or “let’s go”) then this is the cue to jump out of the car or walk out of the house.

      The moment that he is out of the car (or house), we say his name in a loud and happy tone. The moment he LOOKS AT US – click and treat! Then reinforce a few hand-targets and other cues.

      Here’s something interesting. The next step is to put our dog BACK IN THE CAR (or house) and do some reinforcement cues again with lots of treats.

      Then repeat the process. Lead our dog out of the car/house and call his name. Click and treat when he looks at us.  Do some hand-targets. However… If he doesn’t look at us within 10 seconds (this is the goal), he goes back into the car/house and we WALK AWAY from the car/house. If the dog cries or barks (which I am pretty sure that Boogie will do), wait for calm and quiet for a minimum of five seconds before going back to the car/house.

      Repeat the exercise a few times and aim for a 80% success rate. This training could take weeks or months to get down pat.

      “The critical aspect to this exercise is that your dog learns that the expected behavior when coming out of the car is to look at you. In this manner, there is limited opportunity for your dog to look around and find things  that are scary. It seems as if some of our reactive dogs are anxious enough to look around and find things to which to react.”

      The goal is to teach our dog to stay calm and check back with us, to look at us and do what we ask.

      “Even if he finds something that is nerve-wracking, he is much more likely to be able to disengage from looking at it and return his gaze to you”.

      4. WHAT TO DO WHEN WE SEE A DOG ON THE STREET…

      What Ali Brown refers to as the “oh shit” moment!!! OH YES, we know this one very well.

      This is the moment that we can make a change. As soon as we see the person and dog, if we tense up, our dog will pick up on this. (Yes, Cesar Millan makes this point very clear. Dogs pick up on our energy).

      What we need to do is ACT HAPPY THAT WE SEE THE OTHER PERSON AND DOG. We walk our dog 90 degree angle off path and keep walking and talking and praising our dog for coming with us and treating him all the way. After some distance we ask him to sit…. praise and treat him or play with him, as the other dog passes by. A few minutes after the dog passes we continue along our way.  *I have sort of been doing this with Boogie… except that I probably don’t act HAPPY very convincingly  🙂

      The idea here  is to desensitize our dog to the presence of other dogs and to show him that nothing bad is happening to him. When a scary dog approaches, we are communicating to our dog that we are not going to allow that other bad dog to scare him or to get too close to him. We want our dog to internalize that it is a GOOD THING when another dog appears (treats, happy voice, praise, human is in charge etc) Of course, it could take a long time for him to learn to feel safe… after many many repeated experiences. After weeks and months.

      If our dog reacts poorly (growls, lunges etc) as we walk away from the other dog, Ali Brown says to keep walking and continue to act HAPPY… keep going until our dog stops looking at the other dog. Then call his name and get his attention and click and treat profusely. Eventually our dog will TRUST us to protect him and to make decisions for him. He will learn that nothing bad is going to happen when there’s another dog around. Over time, the “safe/non-reactive” distance between our dog and the other dog will become smaller and smaller.

      Bootcampers. Me & The Boogs at a "safe distance" away on the left.

      (I noticed this change with Boogie at Bootcamp classes with other people and their dogs. Boogie became more tolerant of smaller distances between him and other dogs…. that is, so long as they don’t bark or look at him.)

      When we eventually get to the point when Boogie is calm and shows signs of wanting to go and check out the other dog’s butt (this could be weeks or months later… we need to learn to read his body signals), and if we know that the other dog is calm and friendly, then we can allow him to “go sniff” BUT…  we should count to three and then we should call Boogie away and back to us. Small steps at a time.

      Or if we see tense body language in Boogie (hackles up, hard stare) then we should call him away immediately. No butt-sniffing allowed.  It is important for our dog to feel safe near the other dog before he is allowed to move onto the next step.  And over time we will be able to read Boogie and know how he feels about the other dog to know what is the best move to make.

      This is as far as I’ve got in the book. TO BE CONTINUED….

      Here is a blog post that I wrote a year ago when Boogie first started lunging. In this post I wrote about some doggie interactions that started badly but turned out positively. At the time I had no understanding of what was really going on but now things are so much clearer, thanks to this book.

      November 18, 2009 at 11:11 am 2 comments

      The new Boogie morning routine

      After doing two solid weeks of Bootcamp,  our long morning walks around Los Feliz seemed really boring by comparison. Same old same old.  So I decided that a change would be good for the both of us – something that could feel more like a workout – and we now have a new routine.

      Mid-morning, we hop in the car  – which Boogie LOVES!!! He props himself up on the  passenger seat, sticks his head out the window and takes in the sights and smells like it’s the best-est thing in the whole world – and we head to the park for a 30 min to 1 hour long walk. So far we have hiked up Bronson Canyon, to the Griffith Observatory from Ferndell and around Silverlake Reservoir. It is SO nice to not have traffic lights and people distractions! Why I haven’t been doing this more often, I don’t know.

      Griffith Observatory - The grass feels good!

      Well, actually I do know why. In Life-before-Obedience-Training, it was impossible to take Boogie anywhere without him pulling on the leash and being a pain in the butt. It is now such a pleasure  to walk together, side by side. Wow, my dog heels. This is so cool. I keep the leash loose. When he moves too far ahead, I call him, he slows down and is back by my side. I pack treats and we practice commands. Sometimes we stop and he sniffs around the bushes, pees on stuff. This is our new bonding/workout experience when not at Bootcamp.

      Bronson Caves & Hollywood Sign

      Bronson Caves

      Bronson Caves

      Thankfully, Bronson Canyon is fairly quiet. The occasional presence of off-leash dogs heading towards Boogie make me nervous, but dog owners are pretty cool if  I warn them in advance that my dog is “not friendly”. They call their dogs, I make Boogie SIT and STAY, and then we all move along with no drama. Perhaps one day I will be able to let Boogie socialize with new dogs and he won’t lunge or growl. I hope this CAN happen some day…

      While we are getting into the spirit of hiking together, I have to share pics of Boogie’s new jogging outfit which I bought on etsy.  Wes took one look and shook his head – “This is so wrong. He’s a DOG”. Well, I personally think it’s SUPER CUTE!

      Imagine this as Boogie’s halloween costume. We stick a headband on him, and give him a mini tennis racket. He already has the tennis balls.

      Just kidding 🙂

      Next hiking destination: I want to check out Elysian Park.

      October 24, 2009 at 7:55 am Leave a comment

      Socializing Boogie, and Calming Signals.

      As part of Boogie’s training (and for everyone’s safety), we are not supposed to introduce him to other dogs or people. So I tell Boogie to “SIT” whenever another dog passes by on our walks. He sits and I say “Good Boy!” and give him a treat. This way, I have Boogie’s full attention. He is completely focused on whether my hand will go inside my pocket to pull out another treat. We stay like this until the coast is clear (other dog is out of sight) and then we move on together. I have been doing this exercise with him everyday… Everything has been fine. No pulling, no lunging, no drama.

      Today being Saturday, there were LOTS of dogs on the street. Sometimes people tie their dogs outside on the narrow sidewalk while they are dining or shopping indoors, and I am proud to report that Boogie stayed next to me, HEELING nicely the whole time. No pulling, no lunging. Most times he would see the other dogs and simply ignore them.

      Towards the end of our walk, we ran into a neighbor with a dog I hadn’t met before (sweet Charlotte), and we both stopped to chat. Boogie was of course intrigued by the other dog and vice versa but I made him sit, gave him a treat. When he was calm and relaxed, I did something I should not have done. Ay – here I am breaking the rules again. I let Boogie move towards Charlotte and made sure he greeted her by going AROUND to her BUTT. NOT front on. (“Front on” greeting is bad manners, and could be considered a sign of dominance) I also turned Boogie’s head to one side (with my hand) when he got close to Charlotte. This signals “Peace”.

      I have been checking out several websites on “Calming Signals” and Dog Body Language, and I am learning to be more attentive about these things.

      click to see larger

      It was awesome when Boogie got down into a “Playbow” position with Charlotte, rolled on his back in front of her, bounced up and down around her, and the two started playing on the grass. (Bit tricky with leashed dogs) It was so much fun to watch … it has been MONTHS since Boogie has played with another dog, and I know that he LOVES to play. He was so happy. I wish I had my camera… I would’ve taken a picture of Boogie and Charlotte playing together.

      While this was going on,  another neighbor walked by with a german shepherd that we hadn’t met before. Boogie went on alert, of course. I pulled him back and asked him to “sit”. He ignored me…. pulled, lunged, growled, snarled at the the other dog. I noticed too that the other dog was “not friendly”. He had approached Boogie front on, stared him in the eye and barked at him.  This isn’t something I would’ve been aware of before had I not paid extra attention to the other dogs’ body language. (Usually I am too busy focusing on Boogie’s behavior alone) You could say it was ‘natural’ for the Boogs to go ballistic, that he had a right to react the way he did but it was still worrying that he totally did not listen to me when I told him to “sit”. He was pulling and growling like a nutcase. Eventually the guy with german shepherd walked off and Boogie went straight into sitting position in front of me. “OK. Drama over. Treat, please”.

      I wonder if dogs recognize “breeds” the way we do. I wonder if Boogs is mistrustful of german shepherds in general, after having being attacked by one…

      Anyway, that small drama aside, Boogie has been a good boy. I am glad that he made a new friend today.

      June 13, 2009 at 10:37 pm 1 comment

      Some People Are Stupid

       

      DISCLAIMER: This blog post was written in 2009. We no longer do Obedience Training using “dominance”-based methods. We no longer use collar corrections. These methods made Boogie MORE TENSE, MORE TRIGGERED and more prone to aggressive behaviors. We switched over to reward-based methods in February 2010 and saw improvements. 

       

      I was walking Boogie this morning when I noticed a man and his OFF-LEASH dog wandering about ahead of me. The dog seemed like a docile senior; he/she was moving slowly and more  interested in the bushes than in Boogie and me. Of course, I wasn’t going to take any chances so I asked Boogie to sit, and I called out to the guy – “My dog isn’t always friendly. You may want to leash your dog”. The guy looked at me as if to say “Who are you and why do I care”, then continued walking ahead with his off-leash dog. WTF.  I stood there for ages (Boogie still sitting) waiting for the guy to do something. He didn’t. Boogie and I then overtook them both and thank goodness, nothing bad happened.

      On another occasion, Wes was walking Boogie and some guy approached Boogie ON HIS HANDS AND KNEES – “Your dog is SO cute!” Wes pulled Boogie back and told the guy “Please don’t come close; he bites”. The guy was like “Oh it’s ok, I am not scared of dogs”. And Wes had to keep pulling Boogie further back because this stupid person would not move away. He was lucky Boogie didn’t bite him.

      Going further back in time, on three occasions that I can recall, Boogie lunged and nipped at someone. In all three scenarios, the person (whom I might add, was a stranger to Boogie… someone he didn’t know well)  stuck their face up close in Boogie’s face to give him affection because they thought he was so cute. These were horrible and devastating moments for me. I felt so embarrassed about Boogie’s behavior… and thankfully the people who got nipped were understanding and said that they made a mistake by getting too close for comfort.

      Jill our trainer reminds us that PERSONAL SPACE is super important to dogs. I read a Cesar Millan tweet last week: “The best way to approach a dog is to let the dog approach you”.

      I’m not saying that people who move towards Boogie deserve to be bitten… not at all… in fact one reason we are going through Obedience Training is to prevent any more “aggressive” episodes from occuring. Boogie is now more obedient and responsive than he ever has been. However… what do we do about OTHER PEOPLE and OTHER DOGS who don’t respect his space? (As you may recall, twice already Boogie was attacked by another dog. First the german shepherd, then the pitbull… not naming any names.)

      I’ll be honest, I get scared of other dogs sometimes. Every morning Boogie and I go on our 30-40 minute walk and I kid you not… 90% of the time the other dog starts the drama. It’s usually the other dog that starts barking first, then Boogie reacts by pulling on the leash and snarling.

      Via the WOOF forum, I recently read a very awesome and interesting article by Suzanne Clothier of Flying Dog Press. The article is called “He Just Wants To Say Hi” (you have to register on the site for free, in order to read this) and the author differentiates between real aggression and common-sense canine responses to rude behavior. I highly recommend this article!!!

      Here’s something from another Flying Dog Press article:

       

      “Learn the difference between aggression and an appropriate response to rudeness. Far too many dogs are labeled aggressive when in fact they are responding in a perfectly appropriate canine fashion to rudeness. This usually occurs with others dogs whose owners allow them to be very rude because they believe that their dog is simply saying “hello” to your dog. What is really happening is a canine version of a complete stranger rushing up to you and hugging & kissing you! If you verbally snapped at such a person and pushed him away, you would be well within your rights, and not considered aggressive.” – Suzanne Clothier

      After reading these articles, it was like a lightbulb lit up in my head.

      In the first week that we adopted Boogie I remember thinking to myself: “This dog is SO sensitive! Everything freaks him out!”

      Seriously, if anyone of us raised our voices- even if we were talking amongst ourselves and not to him – Boogie would cower like he was being scolded. It is no wonder he snaps the way he does. Now, I am neither excusing Boogie’s behavior nor taking his side just because he’s MY dog, but I wonder if it’s really 100% fair to classify Boogie as an “aggressive” dog…

      Hypersensitive – definitely. But “aggressive”?

      In any case, I hope this training will build Boogie’s confidence and make him feel more secure in general and hopefully less reactive.

      May 29, 2009 at 11:08 pm Leave a comment

      Boogie on Squirrel Street

      Posted Date: : Dec 24, 2008 5:05 PM

      One of Boogie’s favorite streets is RODNEY, in between Franklin and Finley (Los Feliz). He always pulls me towards this street because he knows that there is a happening squirrel community that lives here. Or maybe we keep seeing the same squirrel every time, I don’t know.

      Here are some photos taken with my cellphone (from several different walks) which I recently transferred to my computer.

      Boogie always returns to the same few trees on Rodney where he and Mr. Squirrel stare at each other like this, for ages (while his human fumbles for her cellphone camera). Squirrel eventually scampers upwards out of sight, and we move on.

      These two photos below were taken this morning. I guess Boogie decided to sit and wait.

      “Please, Mr. Squirrel. Please come down and play….”

      And on that note,

      December 24, 2008 at 7:39 am 1 comment

      Boston Tea Party! (Photos added)

      Posted Date: : Sep 19, 2008 8:01 AM

      UPDATE: The Boston Tea Party was fun! So many cute BTs! So many different sizes, shapes, colors.

      I was so relieved that Boogie behaved himself and didn’t try to attack any other dogs (except a couple of times). I also finally got to meet several people whom I have been speaking to only online or via email.  It was great.

      Click here to view my BOSTON TEA PARTY flickr set with photos by Wes. (There are lots of Boogie pics, of course 🙂 )

      This Saturday! Huntington Park. We will be there probably around 11am, and if you see us please say hi! I cannot guarantee that Boogie will behave himself (please don’t lunge please don’t lunge) but I think he will be OK in a “pack” and getting lots of attention. We may even head out to the Dog Beach (Huntington Beach) Can’t wait! 🙂

      September 19, 2008 at 7:28 am Leave a comment

      Boogie at the beach

      Posted Date: : Jul 15, 2008 10:11 AM

      Our overseas guest wanted to go to the beach so yesterday, we headed out to Marina Del Rey for some lunch and sea air. Unfortunately the beach was off-limits to dogs (I didn’t think of this before deciding to bring Boogie). However, the life-guard said it was ok to take him on the pier where there were people fishing, and pelicans flying overhead. Boogie LOVED it. He was so excited.

      He loved sniffing at the holes on the boardwalk (fishy smells!) and when he wasn’t trying to “protect” us from large-sized shirtless men, he was pulling towards the forbidden sand… Which makes me want to take him to a dog-friendly beach some day, just to see what he would get up to.

      And then on the way home, he was out like a lamp in the back seat of the car.

      And for the rest of the day too.

      I envy the ability of dogs to fall asleep just like that. And to sleep and sleep for hours without a care in the world. 🙂

      July 15, 2008 at 10:18 am Leave a comment

      Boogie’s new (improved) diet and lifestyle

      Posted Date: : Jun 11, 2008 11:17 PM

      I started cooking for Boogie about a week ago. I have been frying up white rice with meat (so far – chopped up chicken, pork or minced turkey), a few veges, pinch of parsley and garlic… and then I put some warm hydrated Honest Kitchen Force over the rice like a mushy gravy and he loves it.

      I cook up about 2-3 days worth of meat & rice each time and yes, it’s time consuming (and more expensive) and I don’t know how long I can keep up with this routine, but already I am finding it really hard to open another can of Hills i/d. I feel so much better knowing exactly what he is eating. I don’t even feel so bad about giving him the occasional decadent ‘human food’ treat (No, not krispy kremes).

      With homecooking and new food, the greatest incentive of all is being able to see the difference! Boogie’s coat is looking nicer (it could also be the new Kelco shampoo that I am using), his eyes are not as watery and goopy as they were a week ago. He hasn’t puked, he has been playful and happy and his poop is looking good. TONS of it but smaller and more “pickable” (ie, “cleaner”) units.

      I am still slowly increasing the amount of  Force that I am feeing him in proportion to cooked food. I really hope that all continues to go well and that he doesn’t one day suddenly do a big puke and get sick like he did on the raw patties and also the California Natural canned “chicken and rice”. Maybe he’s just one of these dogs who doesn’t do well on “commercial dog food” ….

      Now I have to stop him from rolling around in the grass as he loves to do. Today I noticed rashy redness all underneath his body – no doubt from dragging himself on the grass this morning. I think he does this because it helps him cool down in the heat. Memo to self: carry a small spray bottle of water on our walks.

      On the weekend, Wes and I took Boogie for a short hike in Griffith Park. Here are some nice photos by Wes:


      June 11, 2008 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment

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