Friday, December 26, 2008

Petey's Christmas

Petey's day started out great. He got to open his gifts first. (I tried to upload a video, but couldn't make it work...)

Petey got peanut butter treats, bacon treats, people crackers and a stepping stone kit, where he can leave his paw prints.

John and I then exchanged gifts. Petey dashed back and forth between us, helping as best he could. When we had finished with our gifts there were still quite a few under the tree because we exchange gifts with our extended family the day after Christmas. Petey was quite distressed at this and began running back & forth between us and the tree where all the gifts were showing us that we were by no means finished. In order to distract him we gave him a peanut butter treats he had opened earlier. He was happy with that.

John and I then began to get ready to go to my sister's for the afternoon. Petey puked in the floor sometime during that process. I cleaned it up; mentioned it to John, and didn't think anything else about it. I got home from my sister's at about 4:30. Soon after that I noticed Petey's body language indicating he was going to puke again, so I hurried him outside. He stayed a good, long while and although I did not witness any upchucking, I figured he'd done the deed. John got home a couple of hours later. Very shortly after that, Petey got in his lap and threw up all over him. Gross does not begin to describe it. I'll spare the details, but we decided that the peanut butter treats did not agree with ol' Petey's digestive system. They are in the trash and he seems perfectly fine now.

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Petey & Packages

Petey loves to open packages. You have never seen a preschooler open packages with as much enthusiasm as Petey opening one. I'm not sure how we discovered this little personality trait, probably the first gift giving occasion after he came to live with us. Now, on birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, or any other gift giving occasion Petey is right there in the mix. He loves gifts so much he even knows where the wrapping paper is stored. When I go in to get it, he is right with me, jumping and pawing. He is very good to leave the packages alone when they are under the tree, or otherwise left alone by everyone, but when the opening starts, he is there to lend a hand, or a paw, or tooth. Here are a couple of clips of him helping John open his birthday gifts this year...

At the end of the second clip, Petey picks up his favorite toys and walks away. His work was done - all the gifts were open - time to move on!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Petey and Change

Petey is a very orderly dog. He likes his routine. He likes his routine very much!! He does not like for his routine to be changed. So times when things different around the house can be very upsetting for him. Putting up the Christmas tree is one such change.

We have an artificial Christmas tree. It has a center pole onto which branches of graduated sizes are attached to create a lovely tree. Last night about 9:00 pm, John decided to put the tree together. I was already getting ready for bed since I didn't know that John had started on the tree. Petey came to the bathroom to get me. He trotted into the bathroom with a great deal of concern on his face and in his body language. He ran from the bathroom and then back into the bathroom insisting that I follow him. Get the idea? "Timmy was in the well" as far as Petey was concerned. I followed him into the living room to find John sorting out the branches according to size. Petey trotted through the branches and sat down on the other side and looked at me as if to say "See what's going on here". John & I both chuckled over his concern, and much to Petey's dismay, I started helping put the tree together.

We have a tree with lights and garland on it. We haven't gotten the ornaments down yet. We'll do that tomorrow or the next day. We don't want to put undue stress on the poor dog.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Petey Rule #1

As mentioned in earlier posts, Petey has a lot of rules. John & I tried to list them all recently, we came up with way too many to post and thought we hadn't gotten them all. So, instead of a long boring post of "The Rules", I thought it would be better to list a rule here and there along. It was sort of the way we learned them anyway - one here and there as we went along. So...

Petey's first, foremost, never to be broken rule is do not leave him alone at any time. Petey doesn't even like to be in a room alone. John and I both have full time jobs that require our attendance every day Monday through Friday, so it isn't difficult to see the dilemma. This conflict of interest caused much barking and gnashing of teeth early on in Petey's life with us. He has finally come to understand that we must leave each morning, so he's stopped barking so incessantly in the morning time. The price we pay for this freedom is that once we come home then we cannot under any circumstances leave again. This results in much high pitched, ear splitting barking. He walks us to the back door, barking like mad. When we get in the car, he runs to the couch, where he can get on the back of the couch and look out the window at us as we pull out of the driveway. We can see his head up in the air, as he continues to howl. We don't know how long this lasts, but we've come back home to find him laying across the back of the couch looking out the window, so we know he can stay there for quite some time. On occasion, if say we've left two or three nights in a row, we'll find a little 'gift' on the rug waiting for us.

John and I are kindhearted people and don't wish to cause our pet undue distress, but we often have to leave after work. We've tried several things to alleviate Petey's distress when we leave. We've left the TV on for company, given him treats, and when we can taken him with us. (That is another post!) Petey is just too smart. He recognizes the signs of exit and won't be dissuaded from his distress. The thing we have done that seems to help some is explain to Petey where we are going, and how long we'll be gone. He seems to have a concept of time. If I say less than an hour he'll trot back to his perch on the couch as if he understands. If I say several hours, he'll start barking. Really!!

It is so bad that at times we've gotten in the car to leave and realized we left something in the house, and not gone back in to get it!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Petey Power

When Petey came to live with us he clearly preferred John to anyone. I was a very distant second at best. Petey demonstrated this preference in many ways, but the most easily explained way is being next to you at all times. Petey likes to sit close to his number one, and by close I mean so close that not even air or light could come between the two. So, Petey followed John every where, and I do mean every where. If John went to the kitchen, Petey went. If John went to the bedroom , so did Petey. If John went to the get the idea? When John would try to relax in the recliner, he had a seat mate jammed in right next to him.

As time passed, however, we began to notice a power shift in the house. Petey began to sit with me on the couch. I thought it was simply because the weather turned cold and I often sat under a blanket while watching TV. Petey loves to be under covers. I assured John that Petey would be back in the recliner just as soon as the weather warmed up. That didn't happen. It was then I began to understand the phrase "love hurts"!! Petey was my constant companion. There was no getting away. Petey is a very persistent little fellow. You just can't hide from him.

Through the years there have been several power shifts in the house. We aren't sure what causes a power shift, but we are each a little relieved when the power has shifted away. Right now, John is in the lofty position of being the favored one.

This is one way we can tell...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Petey Moves In

When Petey came to live with us he had a lot of bad habits.
1. He got on the furniture whenever he wanted
2. He barked a lot - at every thing - a vicious rip your head off kind of bark
3. He shook like he had swallowed a vibrator
4. He licked his paws constantly
5. He pooped & peed in the house, mostly when he was mad at us. He had what we began to call The Petey Rules and when we broke a rule the house became his personal toilet.

These bad habits were a little embarrassing to us, particularly when we had company. The shaking thing was just annoying. Being good pet owners, we set out to break some of these habits and explained to our guests that he had recently come to live with us and we were working on the problems. We also discussed changing his name, but Petey just seemed to fit. His previous owners, however spelled his name "Peetie". We went with a more traditional spelling.

Petey has been with us seven years now, and I'm happy to report that:
1. Petey gets on the furniture whenever he wants, plus he has 'beds' in every room of the house.
2. Petey painstakingly patrols the house and lawn and reports to us immediately if there is any danger perceived or real by lots of loud, vicious barking.
3. Petey shakes only when he is cold or upset, which is anytime the temperature falls below 75, or there is loud noise, one of us is out of the room...stuff like that
4. Petey only licks his paws when he is excited or upset - see above
5. Petey only poops or pees in the house when he's mad at us, or when we break a Petey Rule, or he just can't hold it anymore. I'll have to do another post on the rules. There are a lot of them and often we are unaware of a rule until it is broken.

Overall Petey's behavior is much improved, wouldn't you agree? I think changing the spelling of his name and the time we painstakingly devoted to training him has really paid off!! BTW, Petey can spell - that too is another post!!

Thanks for reading!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Petey's Beginning's

I love blogs. I have several blogs I check every day. I have wanted to join the fun for sometime, but most of the blogs I read are families with young children. They have lots of cute stuff to put on their blogs. I felt like I didn't have what it took to participate in this cyber-world until yesterday when I saw a blog about some one's pet. Then I remembered I have a pet and he is unique to say the least. People at work ask what he's been up to just like they ask about other people's children. So my blog is all about Pete.

The first few posts will have to be background. It takes a good bit of background to truly understand a petey-dog. He's very complex and one post would be too long for anyone to want to read.

For now we'll start with a few basics and how Petey came in to our lives. Petey is a rat terrier. If you know anything about dog breeds, you know that rat terriers are very nervous dogs. As a result Petey shakes a lot. But, John's first encounter with Petey was when he was a puppy, even before John & I met. John was working in his back yard and Petey came from his back yard through the neighbor's back yard and into John's yard in order to bark at him properly. Rat terriers are small dogs; but Petey doesn't seem to realize this. John tried to make friends with Petey, but he didn't want to be friends, so it became a personal challenge for John. Needless to say, John prevailed.

Fast forward until Petey was about 4 1/2 years old. John & I were married and both friends with Petey. His owner was moving and unable to take him to her new place, so she asked if we would be willing to adopt Petey. We agreed. That is how it all began.

I'll pick up the next post there.