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Current blog look inspired and dedicated to Silver. The late Momma Dog of the 24 Paws of Love.

Brut Quotes

Brut Quotes

Monday, August 12, 2019

The jealous monster (aka Zappa)

Ever have one of those dogs who has to be the center of attention?  The ones that turn green when other dogs or humans get any attention?

That is our Zappa.

Not little ol' me!

His jealousy of the Front dogs getting anything can be heard around the world.

Zappa was so riled up about the Front Dogs getting a treat, it turned into a fight between Fiona and him.  I missed it being on the other side of the door, but thank God they stopped before I could get to them.

Zappa has these jealousy fits, mixed with his aggression towards Chance and he literally has a tantrum.

He is the court, the judge and the jury.   He thinks he is top dog and will do just about anything to fight for that title, even if he always loses.

He drives me crazy with all of the mouthing off he does due to his jealousy and injustice that he swears is being done to him.

This competition has been going on since day one with Chance and Zappa.  Right from the day they were born and every day after.  Competing for food, weight and that top dog position.  All Chance and Zappa did was pick up where they left off when Chance came back to live with us.

It has been a long 11 years, when it comes to these two, but more so with Zappa, now that his mom and dad, Silver and Brut aren't here to keep him in check.

Oh that MOUTH!

That demanding, obnoxious, soap-boxed MOUTH!

The one that tries to get all the attention.  That one.

That's my Zappa!

He's lucky I love him.  lol

Do you have a green-eye monster dog?


Monday, July 15, 2019

Sometimes having two packs sucks

There have been many advantages and disadvantages to living with two packs of dogs.  Not exactly my dream situation, but we've learned to manage our time and attention with both packs by balancing between the two.  If you add our two cats, it is actually three sets of pairs we are dealing with.  For whatever reason they can not all get along together.  While there are a few exceptions, most of the time they have to be apart from each other.

I don't know if I could do this again when the next phase of our lives comes.  Maybe for temporarily purposes but not 11 years worth.  This whole plan of dividing the dogs started as a must, only to find out after years of trying to bring the two dog packs together, that it was not going to happen.  It is still hard to admit that now.  I had doubts, but I also believed in the possibility of they could mesh as a unit.  While lack of socialization is part of it, the bigger influence comes down to Daddy Dog Brut's genes and the way he was raised with aggression.  Because Fiona has no reaction when we run into any other dogs out and about, yet is the vicious one with the Front Dogs, Chance and Blaze.  Fiona will attack.  And has been that way from the first day Blaze came back to live with us, after her owners returned her.

For the most part I accepted life with two packs and for the most part the positives outweighed the negatives.   Though there were many times when I was following other bloggers or knew of people around me that brought new dogs into their home with skill and ease that I couldn't.  No matter what I tried, read, or witnessed, I couldn't change Brut's aggression and that it was passed on to his kids.  They were never going to accept each other.  Even with the "help" of a trainer and a behaviorist  I found I was further along without them.

And so the beat goes on...going from one side to the other, taking turns when there are treat games and the ruffling of furs at the separation door.  It is the never ending saga that is our life right now.  It is trying, it can be very difficult and sometimes it is no fun, but to have all four dogs in our lives...priceless.




Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Retraining Chance and myself

Well, I'm here again.  I've circled back around and found myself in the same place I've been before, training Chance not to run and pull on the leash.  I shouldn't say I'm training Chance, I'm training both of us, or I wouldn't be starting again.  lol

I have some back issues that have brought us here that I don't want to make worse.  I haven't been able to walk the dogs in over 2 months.  Now that I"m doing better, I want to start again.  And basically, that means retraining Chance.  My mini-race horse.  My top pulling dog.  My most hyper dog.  Because my body can't take it like it used to. 

So we started with walking around the yard with him next to me and without a leash.  We did this several times and he did great. 

Next I got the leash and laid it on the ground by the front door.  I got in between Chance and the leash, clicked and rewarded when he sat down. 

Then we started walking around the yard again (no leash) and this is when his anxiety started to spike.   

Chance's anxiety continued for several minutes as we took a little break. 

He walked around the yard, while I brushed Blaze.  Eventually he calmed himself down. 

Blaze went back in the house, I went over to the leash and touched it.  Chance sat.  Click and reward.  Clear eyes, centered, calm and a little excited.  Did this a couple of times.  He remained calm. 

Then I picked up the leash, he laid down calmly.  Click and reward. 

We took one last lap around the yard.  And called it good. 

Not bad for playing the whole thing by ear and not really knowing what to do or how to start.  And everything played out quite smoothly. 

We'll see how tomorrow goes...

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Time may heal all wounds, but time never met Brut

Four years ago today, I lost my best friend. 
My heart dog.
My soul dog.
My love dog.
There isn't a day that doesn't go by
Brut is always on my mind.  
Forever Brut
May he be causing a great raucous in heaven!





Thursday, May 23, 2019

Whew! So far, so good



Fiona's ultrasound test went good.  All her organs were all good.  The concerns with her liver were good, although there were a  couple of spots in her left lobe that "lit up," but the vet thinks that it is due to age and the fact that her levels were up.   They also did blood work to check the liver levels and they were all down.  Good News!

We are staying on her supplement of milk thistle and SAM-e combo and will be doing blood work again in a couple of months.  Hoping there will be no more spikes and we can rest a little.  :)

Monday, May 20, 2019

Fiona's latest liver test results

Fiona will be going in for a ultrasound for her liver and surrounding areas.  Her liver test results were high and the vet was concerned.  They have all been low up until now and we don't know what the change may be. so we will be taking her in on Tuesday and wait for the results.

Could you please send a prayer or two our way for Fiona.  Thank you!




Friday, April 26, 2019

On the sly, we became best friends

There are some things that I find so challenging to write and one of them is my relationship with Zappa.  He has always been a sort of enigma and I find it difficult to express what is happening between us.  It is also difficult to understand what is happening and the bond that is forming.  That seems to be the mystery of it and the part that I can't explain in human form.

It seems like I can't even begin to try.

I recognized this a long time ago about Zappa.  He is hard to explain.  He is an old soul, with a wisdom beyond measure and eyes that cover eons of time.

It is so different from my bond with Brut

There has always been a riff between Zappa and me before Brut died.  Brut may have been aggressive with Zappa, but Zappa would never submit to Brut and that would cause Brut to lash out at him.  Zappa is also a tester.  He will test his limits and push them as far as possible.  It was another reason Brut would snap at him.  Not that Brut was innocent, but Zappa is part to blame for the friction that went on between them.   And it didn't help that Zappa was smarter than Brut and used his wits to his advantage.

I witness these taunts from Zappa quite often, but I was always too late to stop anything after Brut would attack.  I had a small, growing resentment towards Zappa because of the way he was and because he would do the same thing with me, pushing my limits and such.  I didn't help that he had a bigger mouth on him than all the dogs put together pending my aggravation of him further.

As Brut's aggression got under some control, Zappa and I developed an "under the table" kind of relationship when we were by ourselves.  And when Brut died,  it was Zappa that took me under his paw and gently guided me through the devastating loss.

I wasn't able to accept Zappa as the new king and I refused to for some time.  I don't know when that all changed, but it did.  Zappa has become my rock.  When I don't know if I can hang on any longer with this life and wishing for the next, he understands and lets me know I'm OK.  Silent and still, he lets me know things are going to be alright.  The same thing Brut used to do but on a simpler level.  Somehow with Zappa he has given me the strength of Brut and the calm of his mother, Silver, to show me everything is going to be fine. 

A blessed friendship that has grown so slowly over time is really beginning to blossom.

I love you Zappa!

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Doggie Dynamics

When you live with 2 packs of dogs, the dynamics are constantly changing.  While in each pack there is an Alpha male and an Alpha female, if they were left to their own devices one pack would take out the other.  Which is why they are divided in the first place.  But there is another dynamic that considers the totality of the 2 packs and makes them a whole unit.  This is where it gets really interesting because it is in this whole unit when all the members are fighting for the position of being next to an Alpha human.  They compete for my attention to be the number two.  This has nothing to do with the other dogs.  Their focus is on me.

Every time I'm with the Front Pack, (Chance and Blaze) Fiona will bark and bark by the sliding glass door.  Not to go out, but she is vying for my attention.  Zappa does the same thing, but is more direct about it.  For example, if treats are involved with the Front Dogs, Zappa demands my attention away from the Front Dogs.  Sure, he wants treats too, but he's also driving for equality or complete control of the situation.

And the Front Dogs are the same way.  When I'm on the Back Dogs side (Zappa and Fiona) Blaze will bark and bark to pull me from the Back Dogs to her side.  Even if it is only for a moment or two.  She wants that reassurance that she is my #2 dog.  Chance who used to hardly bark, has now found his voice after the fight he had with Blaze.  He took the Alpha position from Blaze and is now top dog of the Front Dogs.  He too now uses his voice to draw me in his center for the reassurance of being #2 with me.

If that wasn't complex enough, if the truth was known, the position they are all vying for, that #2 placement, is the one I had with Brut. (their father)  Total equality and a sharing in the Alpha human position.  Brut was as close to an Alpha dog as was possible to me.  Most decisions about the packs we made together, especially with the Back Dogs as they were Brut's pack. 

So of course the dynamics took a fatal blow when Brut died.  Most of the impact was cushioned by Silver(Momma Dog).  So much so that there was very little changed in the hierarchy.  This is until Silver died and the monarchy collapsed and has been in the process of rebuilding, even two years later.

This is where I find myself and the packs today.  One thing I have always strive for is equality among all the dogs.  If someone gets a treat, they all get a treat, time, training, etc.

And now I'm beginning to question myself in this strategy and wonder if it fits with these two packs of dogs with such dynamics?  Maybe being equal with them is hindering some of their placement questions that they are fighting for?  Does it take a little more to realize that Chance (my heart dog) is the next second Alpha to me?  He already has Zappa's attention.

Or am I to be the Alpha to them on an individual basis?  Striving for all their unique qualities?  Must I change with the dynamics?  Or stay the solid rock they need as they twist and turn into their new positions of beings?

Time will only tell.

See, Zappa ad Fiona are equal Alphas to each other.  They take turns being the boss.  Whereas Chance doesn't.  He broke away from being equal to Blaze when he challenged her in that last fight.  I wonder if he is trying to be my equal?

This has been happening slowly for the past couple of years.  I swore I would never have another equal like Brut.  I still don't know that I'd ever be ready or want it, yet here it is happening all along.  Once I accept that, everything is going to change again.

And the cycle of life continues...


Monday, April 15, 2019

Chance plays

So I'm doing the daily cleaning up of the yard.  While not exactly exciting for the Front Dogs,  I notice Chance trying to rile up Blaze in a game of play.  I watch the two of them while finishing with my duties and while Blaze doesn't engage with Chance, she is being pretty frisky with him.  Which just eggs Chance on.  Spinning this way and that, back and forth and around in circles all with a big grin on his face.  It is the most energetic I've seen him since the snow has been melting.

Blaze has given all she is going to give in the form of play with Chance and so I jostle with him and next thing I know we are both running all around the yard chasing each other.  It was such a blast!

Ahhh...puppy days again!  How I miss playing with the dogs.  I mean really engaging and watching them have so much fun.  Chance is my jokester when he's really having fun and we give to each other just as good as we get.  He can be so carefree and he makes me laugh.  What's even better is that Chance initiate the play, so you know he was really in the mood to do so.  He isn't always so willing when  I try to get something going.  It's better when it's his idea.  :)  And I love that in-the-moment thinking.  We just did it.

What a great moment!


Friday, April 12, 2019

untitled

The other morning I was doing some writing about Silver and her hip dysplasia, when I noticed Fiona, who also has hip dysplasia, lying on the floor.  I was flooded with emotions.  I give a lot of credit to the puppies acting like Brut, while sometimes forgetting that Silver is part of them too.

Going ahead with Silver's pregnancy, knowing she had hip dysplasia, was a tough decision.  A good breeder wouldn't have done it, but neither Mark nor I could quench that gut feeling that Silver was suppose have that litter.  We knew it was a risk, but our gut told us to go with it.  So much so that when found out that Fiona had it, having her outweighed that detail.  We have done everything we can to keep her fit, healthy and pain-free and she is worth it.  We don't know what we would do without her.

Looking at Fiona, that rush of the feelings carried me off the chair and laying down next to her.  I couldn't imagine not having Fiona here in our life.  She let me hold her for a few minutes as sudden tears busted loose.  I grieved for Silver and I cried with gratitude for Fiona, for being there and for the Silver inside of her.  It was an emotional moment and it wasn't long before Fiona gently moved over, scooting herself from the situation.  She's never been one for handling tears.

We know many wouldn't have made the move forward with the pregnancy, but something kept telling us to follow through.  We have been nothing but blessed ever since we did.
Our "little" Fiona


The Power of Ten with Momma Dog Silver

*********************
What have you done with your dog that you felt in your heart and soul was the right thing to do even though it went against the grain?

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Peace of Mind

You know that saying, I'm alright, you're alright?  Well, that's how it feels with the dogs.  If the dogs are alright, then I am alright.  All of their health scares we that started last fall and carried through winter are being taken care of and everyone is doing well.  It is so nice to have peace of mind. 

Peace of mind is everything when it comes to the dogs.  I'm sure you all understand what I mean. 

Have a Happy Wednesday!