Friday, July 17, 2009

A Story and Puppies!

My blog friend Lurker Monkey is hosting a short story group and today is my turn. Mine is the fifth posted (there will be another on Monday) and you should read them all if you have the time. It's interesting to see how varied they are since they were all prompted from this:


I'm not sure what time he'll post the story, so I'll come back and include the actual link once it's up.

Go read! http://1-millionmonkeys.blogspot.com/2009/07/harmony-by-melanie-avila.html




*waits patiently*





So what did you think? I've never written that type of story before and I enjoyed stretching outside my comfort zone.

Now, on to the puppies! Ibis returned to the vet's office yesterday to let them know we definitely want one (not two) and took a few pictures.






We plan to crate-train the little guy (or girl) and I've already done a little research online for tips, etc, but I would really appreciate it if you could point me towards your favorite dog-training sites. I've already been to purina.com, but that's as far as my digging has gone.

As you know, books are hard to come by down here, so that's why I'm leaning towards websites. Thanks!

21 comments:

Jenna said...

I've never really crate-trained a puppy--I guess I thought the crate was just a place to put them when you went out so they didn't tear up the house or poop/pee in the house since most dogs won't poop/pee in their "space". And you just start that as soon as you get them home and it becomes second nature to them.

The one thing I do know is that puppies usually have to poop/pee about 20 minutes after eating/drinking so keep an eye on the clock and the puppy after eating and take them out right about 20 minutes and lots of praise and treats after they do their duty.

Good luck!

Janna Qualman said...

Your story rather rocked!

Good luck with the puppy! Our family dog (when I was still at home) was crate trained, but I don't remember that there was any special technique behind it. Ditto what Jenna said. *waves* Yay for puppies!

JLC said...

WOW! Awesome story! It was almost like poetry. Amazing! You did a fantastic job and I would definitely call that one publishable. Nicely done!

Penguin said...

I am not a dog, but many females have thought I was.
So here is my advise.
Crate training is the most natural way for a dog to learn to go outside.
I did it with all of my dogs and only had problems when I couldn't get to them in time.
The crate is more for you than the puppy. When you cannot watch the puppy it should be in the crate.
The size of the crate is important as to big and they feel they can get away with relieving themselves in it.
The 20min. is correct. For Max it was almost like a clock went off.
Shadow was a little later, Sebastian was early.
The watching is very important as if a mistake happens it adds time before they get an understanding.
Some dogs get to the point where they like to have their crate. Max used to go into his crate all the time, he was safe in there and he knew it. It actually got to be a problem later as Shadow was using the crate and I would have to kick Max out of it to get shadow to go in. The big problem started to happen when Max learned how to open the crate, then I get home and Max is in the crate, house torn, up and Shadow running around.
So if you have any questions I am more than willing to help and have had experience.

Hey my work is ursper........hmmm

Melanie Avila said...

Jenna, I keep trying to picture if Jake has a crate. It's the second nature part that I think takes training.

Good call on the 20 minutes. That's actually the part I'm mot concerned about because we're on the 4th floor and will have to carry it for the first month or so.

Melanie Avila said...

Thanks Janna! This one is completely different from anything I've written before and I had fun with it.

Melanie Avila said...

JLC, so any thoughts on where I could submit it? I'm such a doofus when it comes to finding markets.

Melanie Avila said...

Penguin, oh you make me smile. Has it really been 5-6 years since I've seen you?

That's hilarious that Max could open the crate. I remember you having to get home and worrying that the house would be destroyed, but I didn't realize it's because they plotted against you.

I will let you know if I have questions. I'm sure most of them will hit when we bring it home.

Penguin said...

It gets better, Shadow later taught Max how to open doors. At first I thought I was losing my mind.
I just gave up and let them have the couch so they would stay out of the bedrooms.
Like I said, two dogs right away is not a good way to start out.
And I don't think you have to worry about much damage as your dog is a bit smaller than Max was.

Melanie Avila said...

Aside from the furniture (I know, I know) there isn't much for a dog to get to. Since I'm home all the time things are generally put away. I'm more worried about it falling off the balcony! (Yes, Ibis is going to block the openings.)

Melanie Avila said...

And I think that's hysterical that he taught him. Pack mentality at its best, I suppose.

Nadine said...

Colby could probably give you a lot of tips as she crate trains the guide dogs.

RE: Harmony. Loved the short story!! Totally creeped me out! And great job taking it from that picture!

Melanie Avila said...

Nadine, I sent her a note a couple days ago but haven't heard anything...

Thanks!

Jenna said...

Jake doesn't have a crate and never really has. We got him from a rescue when he was almost 2 years old and not knowing if he would need one I borrowed a crate from someone when we first brought him home because we were unsure whether or not he would eat the cat...but he never touched her so we let him have free roam of the house and he never tore up a thing and has never peed or pooed in the house.

I guess I mean second nature in that like Janna said, *waves back* there really isn't anything special to it...you just put them in there when you can't watch them (as Penguin said it's more for you than the dog and make sure it is small enough) and being that they are of the animal persuasion they generally just accept it. But like a kid, never, ever, ever give to their whining, or barking, or they'll play you for the rest of your life.

Again, good luck...having a puppy is like having a newborn :).

Melanie Avila said...

Excellent point about not giving in! I can totally see Ibis caving. :)

I've read up on the basics of crate-training, and how you shouldn't put them in there in anger, at least not at first, or they'll view it as punishment, not a safe place.

Your comment about Jake eating the cat made me laugh out loud! I'd forgotten he was a rescue -- he's such a sweetie!

Yeah, I'm starting to freak out a little about our "newborn" but I figure SOOOOO many people have animals that we should be fine.

Aimless Writer said...

Are they schnauzers? Did I spell that right?
Sooo Cute!!!
We raised a dog for the Seeing Eye Guide dog school for the blind. One thing they told us to do was give the dog a command to "potty". The Seeing Eye uses the word "park" so you take the dog out to where ever you want they bathroom spot to be and keep repeating "Park" until they do their biz. It works well.
Also make sure you give them their own toys to chew on since they'll be teething. And hide your shoes! Puppies love to eat shoes.

Melanie Avila said...

Aimless, yes, they're miniature schnauzers. I love them so.

That's a great explanation on the potty thing. I'd heard references to it, but the specifics are GREAT.

I've already warned Ibis that he'll have to start putting his things away or the puppy will eat them. I'm already good about keeping things inside the closet with the doors closed.

I'm so excited!

WendyCinNYC said...

Crate training is the way to go. My dog, Truman, was crate trained and still loves to sleep in there, so we never got rid of it. It made housebreaking much, much easier. I think he has a bladder of steel.

Melanie Avila said...

Wendy, growing up my dogs had doggie doors, so I am a little concerned about the bladder issue, but I'm sure it'll be fine.

Robin said...

I'm going to go read your story now. Yay!

Those puppies are just precious. It puts me in puppy mood. I don't know of any sites, but I do have a good piece of advice. Make the crate space reeeeeally small - even if it looks inhumane. Too much room, and they'll poop in it. Actually, our dogs were so dumb that they pooped all over themselves no matter how small we made the space. I'm betting your dog will be smarter.

Sharon Marriott said...

I am a big fan of Ian Dunbar and Sirius Dog training. Google them and they have some PDF training files to download.

Many times two dogs are easier than one. Dogs do like to play and have a pack experience. Play is an important part of dog psychology.

Both my Golden Retrievers are trained to go "Potty" on command. It makes life so much easier. We use an X-pen instead of a crate now but both dogs were trained on a crate. They both came from a rescue organization which started us on crate training.

The crate is like the dogs den. They do not like to soil in their den. I would take the dogs out every hour on a leash and offer them to "potty". If they did not, they went back in the crate for an hour and we repeated the exercise until we has success. When they went "potty" they got kibble and praise. Otherwise, they went quietly back into the crate.