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Brut Quotes

Brut Quotes

Friday, April 14, 2017

Second Step of Integration-The Door

First I'd like to thank our readers and supporters.  You guys are terrific!  We wouldn't be this far in our dog journey if it wasn't for all of you.  So, THANK YOU!

I started a couple of weeks ago with step 1 of integrating the two dogs packs, which was separating them while fixing their food, because they were fighting at the door that divides them.  It is something that has went on for some time, on occasion, but since Brut's death and recently with Silver's passing the fighting (growling, snarling, snapping, teeth bared) has increased in frequency and intensity.  So I took them away from the door, by putting them in their rooms while I get their meals together.  Worked out great!

That same day after they ate for the first time without all that worked up anxiety, I started blocking the door with my body, making them back up from it to stop the barking at the door.  When I got one side settled I went to the other side and settle that dog.  And I just kept going back and forth until they gave up.

Now Chance has a habit of rushing the door when he comes in from outside and Zappa is always on the other side ready to do battle.  I couldn't figure out how to stop him for the longest time.  It took a couple of days before it dawned on me I could open the fridge door and block the hallway that leads to separation door.  Don't worry, hubby is making me a board to slide back and forth.  No need to pay the energy company more than they need!  So after Chance circles back after seeing the blockage, I give him a treat when he comes to me.  Then I go to the other side and make Zappa back up and sit then treat.  Problem he's caught on how to get a treat, bark and here I come.  So one time when Zappa was being a royal pain and wouldn't stop barking because I wouldn't give him a treat, I put him in his room, he shut up and that worked out great.

And for those times I don't make it in time to stop a debate, I have a shaker can and a cowbell to get their attention.  Thankfully I have only had to use them a few times, but they are nice to have around.

So far it is going good.  The first 4 or 5 days were a little hairy, but now they only bark at the door with each other, instead of fight. At least the ones I don't get to in time.  They are short burst of "talking."  Things have really calmed down this last week.  I doubt it is all over, given the chance they would do it again, but for now we are moving forward with our "plan" as it comes to me.  :)

Here's a short video of our progress:  (or on YouTube)


Forgive me if this post may seem a little jumbly, for some reason it was difficult to write.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

STEP 1 of INTEGRATING THE TWO PACKS-Diffuse the Tension!

Please forgive my silence as I have been grieving again.  Two years ago in the spring we saw the first signs of Brut's tumor on his spleen.  Now that can only be seen in retrospect and I am remembering my dear boy and Silver.   I miss them so much.  Some days are harder than others.

With that said, their spirits haven't left me and Silver in particular guided me through this next experience.  The beginning of the integration of our two packs starts with:
  
Diffusing the tension!

Two packs of dogs, each with their own side of the house and a door that separates them. The boys, Zappa and Chance only fight/talk with each other, while the girls, Fiona and Blaze keep to each other as well. Most of the time Zappa is the instigator, but Chance has gotten many digs in as well. 

This door is the focal point for the two packs.  Most of the time they "talk" to each other, but there are other times when there are "fights."  Growling, snarling and just being nasty to each other at the door.   And mealtime was the worst!  I used to have their dinners prepared so there was no time but to bark and be happy about food.  As they've aged I've added to their menus, which takes more time which in turn has grown into an all out riot while preparing their food!

I have never known how to stop this behavior.   I could never figure out how to be on both sides of the door.  

The light bulb.... I put Chance and Blaze in their room and Zappa and Fiona in theirs and then I got their food ready.  Cutting the tension in half, theirs and mine.  They ate a little slower and I notice a huge differences in their demeanor.  All that pent up anxiety, fear and anger was diffused.  Finally!

I finally had made a breakthrough.

It was a step in the right direction.

I hadn't realize until that first time of putting them in their rooms, just how much tension there really was and the impact it was having them.  This is a sort a new thing with the food since Brut and Silver died, with each death it increased.  It's not like I am oblivious to the strain and tension between them, their behavior at the door has been going on since Chance and Blaze first moved back with us, I just hadn't found a solution.  It's not in any book I know of, so we just keep plugging along until the next light bulb goes off.

I'll tell you more about the next step of diffusing the situation in my next post and I will try to have some video too!  


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Exciting News!

There's been a lot happening here at the 24 Paws of Love, so it will take a few post to get it all in.  The best and most exciting news is in relation to the post about Silver's Last Song.  It seemed like within days of writing that post and sharing how quiet the house was since Silver was the one who always starting the Howling Choir, the four pups sang!

Blaze started it, followed by Chance, then Fiona and Zappa.  They sang their little hearts out.  They blew the roof off and it was beautiful.  So completely awesome.

So all it takes is Blaze to start and the others follow.

And the Howling Choir tradition carries on with this little girl...


"And a 1 and a 2 and a..."

And this is just the beginning of the good news.  Stay tuned for more!


Friday, March 24, 2017

sadness overload

It's been 10 weeks today that we buried Silver.  It seems like it was so, so long ago.  Like eons of time have past.  Sometimes it seems so long that I wonder if she was ever really here.  I can't explain how it feels but it is an eerie feeling.  I see and feel all of the aftereffects of her death, the dogs, the cats all still stressing now that the mortar of the family is gone, but I don't feel her.  I don't feel my Silver.  She has just vanished somehow, someway, in ways I don't understand.  It leaves me so empty and open and vulnerable.  I feel like I can't reach her and will never be able to do so again.

Grave sadness that kills the soul.  I've lost my girl.  My Silver.

This is how I feel:



Monday, March 20, 2017

Changing Pack Dynamics

I've been struggling to wrap my head around the fact that both Brut and Silver are gone.  The Back Dogs look so empty with just Zappa and Fiona.  There is a huge space missing without Daddy Dog Brut and Momma Dog Silver.  There are changes happening within the Back Dogs as a pack now that Brut and Silver are gone.

At first when Brut died, Fiona took over the pack, as she has always done when Brut was away.  His death was no different, she took the leading role and kept everyone in line.  When Silver died, things stay the same for a little while, Fiona keeping them together, but eventually as time has worn on  Zappa is taking the place of Brut.  He gives off warning barks to Fiona who turns her head or when with hubby, Mark, is on the couch with Zappa, Zappa becomes possessive.  Just like his dad, Brut.  Only not to the degree that Brut would have taken it, but all with the same attitude and style.  As if to say, now we are going to play by MY rules!  It is my turn to be KING!

He is so ready to prove his royalty to Chance, except with Chance, Zappa doesn't stand a chance.  Any one-on-one they have had together, Zappa submits to Chance and in all actuality is scare of him.  No matter how many times he barks otherwise.

It kind of tears me up that Zappa is acting like Brut and carrying on about himself.  He has really come out of his shell, with the death of his parents.  It is amazing how much they can really change when the pack changes.  Zappa has never been innocent.  I've seen this sly side of him many times through the years, but it only came out in little blips.  Now it full fledged.  It's a lot to take in, in such a short period of time.  Silver's only been gone 9 weeks.  It is like Zappa and Fiona are babies anymore and suddenly grew up.  So hard to believe sometimes.  Hard to imagine.  And it makes for interesting pack dynamics.

I just wonder what it will be like now, when we start the integration between the two packs....