Saturday, June 27, 2009

Finn is helpful, sorta

Today we were working outside. I had indulged at the feed store, and bought 3 pepper plants and a tomato plant, so I was digging the beds and preparing to plant them. My husband was working on the cars in the driveway. The gate was open, so Finn wandered back and forth between us, occasionally going in the house where it was cooler.

I had noticed Finn sniffing the potted plants on the deck, and had told him no. At the time he was looking at the tomato plant, which was a large one with several tomatos already on it. I thought maybe he thought the tomatos were balls, but he left them readily enough. I should have suspected him.

When the bed was ready, I went to get the plants. One large tomato was there, but only one pepper plant sat there, turned over on his side. I knew immediately Finn had taken them, and started searching the yard. I though perhaps he had buried them (trying to be helpful??). My husband came in the back, and I asked him if he has seen Finn. I explained what our four-legged child had been up to, and he went in the house.

He came out with the two plants. Out of their pots, but totally unharmed. Finn had taken them one by one, in the house, on to the cream rug (of course!). He had neatly shredded the cups they were in, took them out, and left them on the carpet. No attempt to chew them, not even a leaf was damaged.

Funny, funny dog!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Finn wants a souvenir

Today as I took Finn for his walk before I left for work, Finn spotted a squirrel in the road. It had just been hit by a car. He wanted to sniff it, of course. I hesitated for a moment, wondering about germs and fleas, but decided it wouldn't hurt for him to sniff it, and maybe it would give him incentive to chase them out of our yard and save my flowers.

Finn sniffed the squirrel very carefully, then walked away. After about two steps, he went back and sniffed the squirrel again. As I watched, he went to pick the squirrel up by a back leg. I stopped him immediately. He was agreeable, but kept looking back. I know he was thinking he just wanted to take it home and chew on it for a while. Seems a waste to just leave it.

I told him if he catches one in the back yard I will let him chew on it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Toys for Wolfhounds

It's hard to play with normal dog toys when you are a wolfhound. None of them seem to be big enough. This stuffed squirrel is one of the larger toys I have found, but as you can see he still had to fold his legs up to hold it.

Finn's favorite toy so far has been a child's stuffed monkey. It has long arms that flail delightfully when Finn shakes it. The monkey is now faceless, and loosing stuffing daily.

Tennis balls last about 15 minutes. He loves them, but he shreds them too quickly for them to be much fun. He doesn't chase the ball if you throw it, but he will pick the ball up, drop it, watch it bounce, then pounce on it. Some kind of hunting play perhaps?

Rope toys are good for chewing, they seem to last for a while. We tried Frisbees, thinking we could get him to chase them. Nope, but he did eat them causing a few days of multicolored poo. Rawhide chews seem to smell good, but Finn wasn't really interested in chewing them. After finding paper and cardboard shreds everywhere, we decided to find something safe he could chew and shred. (we had been warned IW were shredders) The sturdy cardboard tube from a carpet we bought (the same formerly cream one) was cut into Finn-sized pieces, and became a very successful chew toy.

Squeaky toys hold no interest for Finn, nor do toys that mimic prey fur. I have a rabbit toy that feels exactly like a real rabbit, Finn thinks it feels weird and won't chew it. His favorite texture is the fuzz from a tennis ball.

There there are the items we would rather he NOT play and chew on. gloves, slippers, shoes, socks. Fortunately he seems to understand 'No' when applied to a certain object, but it doesn't transfer to other objects. (But this is a DIFFERENT slipper, you didn't say not to chew THIS one!)

He is also showing a rather fun sense of humor, and is not above picking something up he knows he shouldn't chew and tossing it in the air right in front of us. If we stop what we are doing and pay him attention, he wins. If we chase him, Bonus!

Sad, faceless monkey.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Flight of the Fireflies

Today Finn and I were outside just as dusk was falling. Still light enough to see, but getting dim. Finn suddenly started staring intently in front of his face. He then snapped, and jumped forward. He stopped and was again staring. I had seen him act this way trying to catch flies and bumble bees, and I realized Finn had just noticed the fireflies! I think he had never realized the occasional flickers of light were bugs!

He was very focused on his hunt. Watching intently, then snapping at the firefly the minute they lit up. He jumped, whirled, and leaped, snapping at them. He never did catch one, but I was laughing so hard I had to sit on the bench!

I wish I could have video taped it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Morning walk

We had a break though today! Finn lifted his leg a bit when he peed. Not quite enough to truly 'mark territory', but enough to show he was finally starting to feel a bit more self confident. It was a sign I had been looking for.

Finn had squatted to pee since we had gotten him. That is generally a sign of submission in males. I wasn't sure if he was still in his puppy mindset, or if it was that he wasn't confident in his new situation. He also didn't mark any of the usual spots, when other dogs had gone. He peed to go, and that was it.

Gradually over the last month he had been sniffing spots, and going closer to where other dogs had gone. He had been lifting his leg for a second for a few days, like he was testing the waters, but now it shouldn't be too long before he is leaving mail for the other dogs. Since height from the ground is important when you are marking a mailbox or post, he will have a significant advantage.

Silly thing to get excited about, but dog rescue people will understand, LOL!