Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More Tales about Pico

Don’t want to bore you to tears about Pico, but he is an important part of my life - so here goes…

Since we don’t want to crate him the whole time we are at work and cant trust him as yet to have the run of the house, we cleared out the tiny shed at the side of our house that leads into a fenced in backyard. We left his open crate with comfortable bedding inside it, his favorite toys (a shredded rope toy, a long, rectangular stuffed toy with a dog face that we call "baby" and a big, juicy bone), and food and water bowls in the shed. We hoped he would be all right - after all he could play, eat, sleep, run around the garden if he wanted to, and come into the shed when he wanted warmth and rest, when we were away at work.

Instead we came home last evening to an absolute scene of disaster. The moment Pico saw us, he started barking angrily and indignantly it seemed. The shed looked like a slum. Pico had overturned the food and water bowls. Dog food lay scattered all over the shed and the water was everywhere. He had dragged all the bedding from his crate and left it on the mud outside. The crate itself seemed slightly lop sided. Worst of all, there were big, long chip marks on the door, where he had scratched furiously. Nanu and I groaned in horror.

It took us a while to clean up the shed and retrieve things he had merrily thrown all over the backyard. We figured that was the end of it. But it had only begun.

About an hour later, Pico started making strange sounds and puking all over the carpet. He had apparently tried to eat the dog food he'd thrown all over the shed and since he had chipped the door, he had eaten the wooden chips as well. So out came mushy, smelly vomit with wooden chips and dog food he’d just swallowed whole. He even threw up a wooden twig.

Gosh! We were worried and wondered if we should take him to the hospital. But he seemed all right after that and started acting normally, when he began to chase the cats! So we heaved a sigh of relief.

Today we locked him up in his crate, inside the house when we went to work. He was fine when we got back home to check on him at lunchtime and seemed okay when we put him back in and released him after 5pm. Looks like the crate may be the solution after all, even though I personally feel it’s a bit cruel. A lot of people use a doggy gate and cordon off the kitchen area – so that their dogs can be confined to a space. But the design of our house does not allow us that liberty.

And right now Pico seems to prefer being crated than to being left alone in the shed and fenced in yard. So that’s how its going to be for a while I guess. Thankfully his crate is way big – so he has all the room he needs to stretch out comfortably and move a bit if he needs to.


abbyladybug said...

Oh baby Pico!! Poor little guy. Crates kinda confuse me, but people who know dogs seems to think they work. Is there a doggy day care he could go to a day or two a week to break up the monotony?

poornima said...

There is one place out here - but the only problem is it opens at 9am and both of us have to be at work by 8am. So that is kinda sucky.
But we're still kinda figuring out what we can do. Nanu's schedule is more flexible, since he's home when he doesnt have to teach. So I guess thats when Pico will have more time out.
The crate is actually a fantastic idea and Pico actually goes in all by himself when he wants to sleep. We've never had to force him into it. Touchwood.

Brian said...

As incredulous as you may be, it seems you have learned Pico actually likes the crate as opposed to the larger, roomier shed. Not that I'm a dog psychologist, but seems to him the crate is a comfortable, familiar place but the shed was banishment. To the dog, being placed in the shed is more cruel than being put in the crate.

We tend to ascribe animals human characteristics, but sometimes they demostrate with odd choices how unlike us they are.

poornima said...

Exactly! Well Said, Brian. Its strange huh, he does prefer the crate to the shed and the garden.

Shree said...

Hi there! I suggest you read this book, it really covers a lot of things about animal care. "Kindred Spirit, Kindred Care: Making Health Decisions on Behalf of Our Animal Companions" by Shannon Fujimoto Nakaya, DVM.
Since Truffle was our first dog and we went through a number of similar problems with him and a lot of learning took place.
One time, Truffle was in the kitchen he was 9 months old it was around 7.30 am. He was done with his morning walk and was just playing around with his toys. I was busy in the living room with my work, after 15 minutes I went to check on him, he had chewed a large plastic bottle of painkillers’ and had consumed 5 of them. My husband had the sense to count the tablets which were lying on the floor since the seal of the bottle was not opened yet. Here we go, had to take him to the ER, the Dr cleaned his stomach up and then he was admitted for a few days. Not to forget the fat bill we got after that. Well, Truffle would not have survived that blow if we hadn’t taken him to the vet within half an hour. And we had many more chewing problems, we finally decided to crate him thought-out the day when we were out and no bedding inside since he tore most of them and started eating the cotton inside the beddings . I try and take him for long walks in the evening to expend his enegry. Dogs, are like little kids who never grow --- Oh I love them!!!
Take care and hang in there 

Shree said...

Hi- this is a good product if your dog has problems chewing things. Try it. Not sure if you knew about it.

Grannick's Bitter Apple® Spray

Product Information:
Invented by a pharmacist in 1960, Bitter Apple spray leaves an unpleasant yet harmless taste on your dog's fur to discourage licking, chewing and biting. Keeps dogs from licking wounds and hot-spots, so they have a chance to heal properly.

poornima said...

Oh my God. That is so awful. You guys must have just died when you saw Truffle eating painkillers. And the thing with pups is that no matter how much you puppy proof the house, they always manage to move things/overturn stuff/reach for things on tables with their paws and find something they shouldnt be putting in their mouths. I'm so glad he made it though.
Yeah we'll be doing lots of walks and puppy training classes with Pico. There's no other way out of this.

poornima said...

Guess what? Pico likes the taste of bittr apple! He is such a brat! :)

Brian said...

RYC: I am not sure if you're in a warmer temperature band than I am or not. Assuming southern Illinois is like western Pennsylvania, you can get started if you plant in the first week of May. You can get a jump on things by planting indoors or by buying plants started in a nursery. I wouldn't wait any later than Memorial Day to plant seeds.

You can stagger your harvests from late June into late September by timing when you plant different varieties.

Good luck!