Friday, December 28, 2012

It's a FACT!

Puppies like snow.
Kona's first snowfall. (Pity it was so meager)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Pics so it did happen (Fetch)

As promised, here is some video of Kona actually fetching a toy. You can't tell because of the lack of audio, but the only thing I said was "Fetch." The rest of the sequence he has learned to do as part of the whole process. Mind you, I have to keep the treat in the bag until he runs after the toy, otherwise it's too distracting, and fetching sans a treat is iffy. Still, he's doing well, I think.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ready for winter

11 months old now. Kona is doing well. He's a champ at fetch (if you have a treat as a reward). I'l try to get some video of him in action. We're trying to get him used to the Dremel so we can trim his toenails (he's scratched up one spot on his ribcage). I'm giving him a bit of vegetable oil on his food to alleviate his dry skin. Hopefully that will reduce the itchiness.

Kona has a very lean build (very little fat) and a thin coat, so we got him a micro-fleece jacket for when winter gets started in earnest. He wasn't really sure about it at first, but once it was on, he was fine -and looking SHARP!

Of course, it was 60ºF today.

I'm really not sure why a doggie jacket has functional pockets, though. 

Monday, November 19, 2012


Kona doesn't like it when I go down to the basement and leave him behind. I don't know what would happen if the cat found the dog's kiester in his way when he wanted to come downstairs.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A corking good time.

Today's post answers the age-old question "What do you do when your dog eats a plastic wine cork?"

I know, right?

Why did Kona eat a cork? Well, apparently it had peanut butter on it, which is reason enough in Dog-Land.

My wife called the vet, who told her to A) not to panic, and B) do the following:
  1. Feed him a LOT of food.
  2. Somehow get a CUP of Hydrogen Peroxide down his throat. (Yeek!)
  3. Check for the cork as he throws up all over the place.
There are times I'm happy that I'm at the office all day.

Needless to say Kona resisted step 2, but my oldest daughter and my wife managed to get some of it in him. Kona proceeded to be very unhappy in the back yard for a while, as my wife checked the results by poking it with a stick. All this while sleet was coming down. 

Fortunately, the cork was red, so it was easy to spot once it appeared. Kona's stomach settled back down eventually and all was well again. When I got home this evening, from his behavior, I'd never would have known he'd had such a rough morning.

I'd LIKE to think he would have learned a lesson about eating things like corks, but I'm afraid the repercussions were too far removed from the act to click inside his fuzzy skull. 

Ah well, the fun of dog ownership.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Just Do It RunRun

Kona & I went jogging this morning. He did well. He lunged at a rabbit but otherwise he kept right with me. I wasn't up for much running, but we jogged/walked/jogged for 10-15 minutes as a start-test. I think not stopping and sniffing EVERYTHING was the most confusing part for him.

Monday, October 15, 2012

All quiet

No real news to report. Kona is still doing his thing. He's ten months old now, and still very much a puppy. He's gained some weight. I need to put him on the scale, but I estimate he's about 50 lbs. now, so that's probably about right for his size. Next time I buy him food, I'll switch him off the puppy "growing" food to active adult.

I'm thinking I need to push his socialization a bit more, he's still a little "growly" when surprised by people or animals.

Here he is wondering what I'm doing with the phone:

Saturday, October 6, 2012

From his watchtower, he keeps vigil.

Kona has really taken to his new "perch." Running up the slide at a moment's notice.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Indefatigable (almost)

Apparently, tug of war is best when your opponent NEVER lets go.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

School Daze

Kona made a trip to my younger daughter's school today, not to stay but just on his way to his first obedience/doggy manners class. My wife reports he did very well. It's clicker-based training. I hope it helps him settle a bit. He's very easily distracted on walks, etc. I'll post pics if my wife or oldest daughter took any during the class.

Learning stuff makes puppies SNOOZY!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

9 months old!

Progress continues. Kona's anxiety levels are pretty much a non-issue now. He is still a lunatic, but that's just puppyhood. His walking on leash is not bad, but there are still "tugging" moments because he gets easily distracted and is not paying attention to me. To be fair, the worst incident this morning was as a grey fox darted across the road in front of us. I think any dog would fixate a bit on that.

E has signed him up for a "Basic Manners" class starting next week. It should be interesting to see how that goes. There are moments when he and I are working on commands where he responds beautifully (and not always when I have a treat ready), but the distractibility is still high and can become frustrating.

Chilling under the apple tree.

Friday, August 31, 2012



My wife had gotten several cut logs and stumps to make a sort of "camp circle" for the kids to play around/jump on and piled them up near the porch, pending actually placement in the yard. Kona decided this was his own forest primeval and "hid" there for several minutes sniffing EVERYTHING!

Speaking of kids, RC is doing very well with Kona, working on things like "Stay" and "Sit" with him. She's the only one who can get him to go to his crate ("Place") without tossing a treat in first. (She gives him a treat afterward.)

PS- I should note that Kona's timidity issues are WAY better. On this morning's walk (5AM) he barked at a jogger wearing a head lamp, but that was an unusual enough sight that I wasn't too worried about it. I still made him sit and stop barking, though. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Housebreaking & Training

Kona is still having the occasional accident in the house. It's very frustrating, because it means I need to keep him in the crate more and limit his play time in the yard until he learns that's where he's supposed to go. All part of a young dog, I suppose.

We're considering having a trainer to come in and work with my wife and oldest daughter. Kona could use the stimulation and it might help him bond a bit more with family members besides me.

Absurdly pleased with himself after killing a vicious stick!

FDiT (Frisbee Dawg in Training)

He seems to have the jumping and running/chasing skills. That leap in the vid puts his face even with mine (I'm 6'). We'll need to polish the "catch in air" and "fetch" aspects a bit, though. He LOVES his soft flying disc, so I think I can motivate him OK with that.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Blast from the Past

Just because, here's a pic from the rescue group of Kona when he was MUCH smaller.

Cats & Crates

Now that he's been home a few days, we're settling into a sort of routine. One thing I'm trying to do more consistently is crating him. He's been really good "in the box" the last couple nights, so I think we're OK there.

Another issue that I had been concerned about was our cat, Moose. He's over 18 years old and, while healthy, not exactly a bundle of energy any more. I was worried about Kona being too rough or aggressive with him, they seemed to avoid incident for the first few days. Until Sunday evening.

Kona was finishing his dinner when the cat got too close to the bowl. Then, well...

...he shoved the dog out of the way to see if he wanted any and Kona slunk off.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Settling in

Kona has some timidity/defensiveness issues. Things that startle or confuse can make him raise his hackles and bark or growl. He has done this in several different situations now: if one of my daughters is swinging on the swingset or playing in an excited way (high, loud voices), people on bicycles, people in hats (?), another dog on the park path. I believe most of this is familiarity issues and getting settled in.

I was able to extinguish most of his swingset barking with the help of my 9 yo. I held Kona on lead as she would sit still on the swing, then walk over to pet him. Back and forth until he figured out she was the same person whether she was on the swing or not. Then she swung gently a few times between "visits." Eventually she could swing several times and he would ignore her, lying in the grass and just looking around.

I take this as a good sign that this could be overcome so easily, but I can't do this for every  contingency. He needs to develop more confidence. Hopefully as he grows more accustomed to his new home, that confidence will build.

A wubba is a Good Thing!

Thursday, August 23, 2012


We adopted Kona from an adoption/rescue group this wek. He came home Tuesday, 8/21/12. As near as we and our vet can tell, he is a German Shepherd/Blackmouth Cur mix (probably with a few others thrown in as well). He's a neutered 8-1/2 month old pup and very sweet (We're using New Years Day 2012 as an estimated birthday). He's about 20" at the withers and 35 lbs. now. I don't think he'll get a lot taller, but we hope to beef him up a little over the next few months (to ≈ 45 I expect). This is him at the adoption show a couple weeks ago.

It was the ears really, that landed me this gig. I know I'm gorgeous, but it was the ears that closed the deal. I mean LOOK at them!

He's been home for two days now and things are going well. He's getting the hang of his new name and some basic commands. He's had a few bumpy spots, like the noise from the kids startling him a bit, and a couple minor bathroom issues, but things are calming down. Right now he's sleeping at my feet as I type. I still miss Zeke a lot. We had him for over 13 years and he was over 14 when he passed away two months ago. Kona is a lot different from Zeke despite several surface similarities. They are of a size, both mutts, both bright and curious. Kona is a bit more excitable than Zeke was, but I may be remembering "old" Zeke more than the younger version.

Right now I'm trying to get Kona into fetch and (hopefully) frisbee. He needs a way to burn off his energy, and anything where the dog does the bulk of the running around is a plus in my book.

Here are a couple more pics since he came home.