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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

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

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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!

Monday, April 1, 2019

24 Paws Weekly News Vol. 4 (March wrap-up)

CHANCE HAD A GREAT APPOINTMENT AT THE VET!



If you have a dog who is scared of vet's office, you'll appreciate this story:

Chance was actually calm getting his shots and Heartworm test.  I put on his muzzle and he laid down without any coaxing.  I'd taken him for an hour walk earlier and he sat in the car for an hour, because the doctors were that far behind for the day.  We think the combo of walking and waiting, helped alleviate his fears.  Hubby, Mark said he walked in quite confident and relaxed.  Chance didn't flinch at the two shots in the neck nor when the vet drew blood out of his back leg.

What a huge difference from the screaming, nipping, whining, fighting Chance.  The vet has even given me sedatives before to try on him, that didn't do a darn thing to stop Chance's panic attack.  So this calm, quiet Chance was quite welcomed and well appreciated.  He even took a couple of treats from the vet.  Woo-Hoo!

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CRY WOLF FIONA

Whenever we are on the Front Dogs side of the house, trying to spend quality time with Chance and Blaze, Fiona begins to "cry wolf".  Sometimes she has to go out, but mostly I think she just wants me to come at her call.  I've tried the whole ignoring her and it still doesn't work.  She will not stop barking nor will she stop calling me out there to check on her.  So we continue to play the annoying game  "cry wolf" with Fiona until one of us cracks.

Any one have suggestions??

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THE ROCK

Zappa has steadily become the "rock" out of all the dogs.  Except for his jealousy
with the other pack, Zappa has a solid temperament and disposition.  He is easy to lean on in times of trouble or you need break from your emotions.  Overall he has become "The Dog of the Year" at the 24 Paws of Love!

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BONDING BLAZE

Blaze and I have been bonding more this past winter.  Walking by ourselves has really made a difference in our relationship.  We have a lot more eye contact than we used to and she is always talking to me.  She runs a tight ship with meals and snacks, always letting me know when it is time for them.  Blaze hasn't had recent health issues and is doing great.  We love our little Blaze.



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WEATHER:

It warmed up over the last few weeks and while our snow is half gone, there is still plenty here.  We had a cold spell over the weekend, but it should warm up this week with rain/snow. 



Thursday, March 21, 2019

Chance's pH results!


After three weeks of practicing (with clicker training), I was able to get a sample of Chance's urine to be tested for his pH levels.

See, when we used to try and get Chance's urine, he would just stop peeing.  He wanted to mark, but a glance at hubby, Mark and I behind him would make him clam up.

So I used clicker training when we were walking and would just bend down like I was going to collect.  Click and reward.  Did that for a while and then started doing it while he was going.  Click and reward.  Then I finally added the collection tub.  Bingo!  Piece of cake.

Took in the sample, had it tested and I am proud to say that Chance's pH level is at a 6!!  To compare it was at an 8 about three months ago.  All our hard work paid off.

Now that we are out of the danger zone, we can slowly add items back into his diet to see if they upset the balance of his pH levels.  This also means that Chance's pH levels were high because of the food he was eating and not something more serious.  GOOD NEWS!!

We won't do anything for a while.  I think for safety reason we will keep things as is, but when we feel he's ready we can try a piece of chicken of something.

It may not seem like much, but we have been worrying about this since late fall or so of last year.  It is a relief and a great weight lifted off our minds.

Thanks for cheering us on with Chance's diet and keeping us strong!

Monday, March 18, 2019

mommy's corner-being an animal caregiver

I'm exhausted tonight.  I love everything about pets; especially the bonding relationship that continues to thrive and grow.  Taking you to places of love you never knew existed.  I wouldn't trade them for the world.  For the most part, I do not mind caring for them, but there are times when I really feel like I need some me time. It is during this time I don't want to be touched or nuzzled or rubbed against.  I need some time to myself to recuperate from taking care of everyone.

That's what I'm doing right now.

Getting away from the dogs and cats and taking a much needed break. 

Are there others out there that struggle sometimes with being a caregiver?

I mean, pets are not like children.  They don't eventually leave home and start their own lives.

So caring for them can be kind of exhausting.  And I guess that's where I am tonight. 

It isn't necessary good or bad, it is just part of the love and commitment of caring for animals.

I'll be OK.  Just need a little down time. 

Thanks for listening!
 
Yes, that's how I feel...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Here's Where We Are Now with Chance's Diet

Our dog Chance had a high pH urine reading and has been put on a special dry food, treats and can only have vegetables for anything extra.  We are three months in and it has been a difficult transition for everybody.  Here's where we are at now.


You mean I still can't lick your plate??

It's becoming more routine now dealing with Chance's limited diet.  It is still hard to resist not giving him some goodie I know he loves, but 99% if the time I refrain.

My husband, Mark has been doing much better than me since this diet started 3 months ago.  He has stuck to Chance's diet and given him the approved foods he can have.  It took some time for me to come around and I think it was more of a challenge for me because it was about the sharing and bonding Chance and I were doing when we ate together.

And how has Chance been handling it?

Once Chance learned he wasn't getting any food, he goes to his bed and hangs out there while we eat.  Which is great.  Takes the pressure off of everybody.  He's allowed vegetables for treats and we always share some with him after we are done eating.

Chance is a counter surfer and always has been, but now he is doing it all the time.  He even picks up odd ball stuff off the counters and table that are not edible, just to hoard. It is really starting to bother me because he's never touched any of these things before and is getting a bit obnoxious about it.  We have a camera in the kitchen to keep an eye on him, which has helped out greatly catching him in the act.

Hopefully this phase of his diet will be over soon.  In the meantime we are doing the best we can with Chance and hoping to get some answers with his next urine test, that in itself is a whole different ballgame.  More later!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Brut Thursday- My Brut for a Walk


I miss walking Brut.  I miss the connection we had while we were walking.  Brut always knew what time walk time was.  He would get excited and dance around barking.  The joy he had about walks would wash away any negative thoughts I had about taking that walk, especially in the winter.  We have harsh winters here in Northern Lower Michigan and we walked through them all.  In his eight years, I can only think of a handful of times that I actually missed a walk with him.  He was my motivator.  Brut kept me disciplined.  He kept me going.  I never thought twice about taking him for a walk.  We just did it.

Over the last four years that Brut has been gone, I have lost a lot of that motivation.  It seems to be getting worse with each passing year.  Most days I have a mental battle over walking the dogs, especially in the winter.  What was once so easy with Brut, has become a difficult choice every day.  The loss of Brut isn't the only factor at play.  We are all getting older with aging bodies and arthritis that hinder our walk times, but it is the days when we can all take walks that the war inside rages on.

Brut was my heart and my heart isn't in it as much anymore.  I feel like I'm burnt out when it comes to walking the dogs.  When we do go for a walk, despite not having that Brut connection with our four, I still have a connection with each one on our walks.  It's just so different than it was when Brut was here.  I am having a hard time transferring that Brut love, that pure love of walking with the dogs, with the kids.

Our winter isn't helping either, but really that is just an excuse.  It is just me, still hurting four years later for my Bruter Boy, who always made my day and our walks just a little brighter.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Change in the Hierarchy

You wouldn't think that a change in status could cause so much disruption between two dogs.  But it does.

It's been about three and a half months since that significant fight (read: here) between Chance and Blaze.  The fight that started when I started to fix their dinner.  All the dogs were over anxious and quite hyped up when Chance and Blaze got into it.  I called their names.  They didn't stop.  I believe it escalated into a challenge from that point, because they kept at it.  I also believe that is when everything changed.  Nothing between Chance and Blaze has been the same since.

Blaze has always been the Alpha girl and Chance has been the Alpha boy, but it was always Blaze that had the final decision about anything.  And now it is just the opposite, except Chance is a bit more aggressive than Blaze was as head boss. It changes the whole mood and character of the Front Dog's headquarters and I don't know that I like it.

It is really hard to describe what I'm seeing, but what has really changed is Chance's demeanor.  The way he carries himself.  The way he looks and acts like a primitive being.  Like he's gone back to some deep root in his ancestry and this new creature has emerged.  Something like what I saw with Brut when he would pull rank, yet it was more natural for Brut.  He was a born leader, but Chance acts like this skin is too big for him.  Chance's demeanor isn't flowing as a natural course of action.  He is struggling with it.  Is it because I can not accept it or know how to?  Or is he just trying to find his way into this new skin he's obtained?  I don't know but I'm sure there are plenty more questions that will follow.

And as for Blaze, she has developed a fear of Chance that seems neither of us humans are able to soothe.  She just stays out of Chance's way.  Chance and Blaze's relationship has always reminded me more of a husband and wife than brother and sister.  And now even more so, they remind me of Brut and Silver, with Chance getting all the attention and Blaze in the shadows. It is like a repeat of history, although with less aggression than Brut had.  I make a point to spend quality time with Blaze, but she always seems so leery, like she's always watching her back.  I can't believe my confident little girl needs to regain her confidence all over again.

I don't know how I feel about this change of power.  It makes me uncomfortable and is unsettling to say the least.  I am trying to understand to the best of my ability, but it is a bit daunting.  I probably sound over dramatic.  He hasn't grown horns and started stalking Blaze or anything drastic like that.  lol  It is just different.  Like when you run into someone you know and they got a new haircut.  You notice something is different, but you can't quite place your finger on it.  And the more you study them, the more you notice that something is definitely different.  I'd say that is how it feels for me.  This is me flushing it out to get a feel for what has happened between Chance and Blaze.

If you read this far thanks for reading.  Have you ever  experienced a change of hierarchy in your dog packs?