Sunday, November 29, 2009

Unbridled Excitment

Today Sammy and I went for a walk. We have our normal route where we start at the top of Memorial Park walk down, go over the bridge down the trail on Happy Hollow, into Elmwood park along the crick til we hit South Campus, then walk back along the golf course until we hit the edge of North Campus then back to Happy Hollow, over the bridge and back up the giant hill of Memorial Park. When there isn't anyone (mainly dogs) in the park, I take Sammy off the leash and we race up that hill. It's about a 3, 3 1/2 mile walk. I like to take Sammy there because it's a good uninterrupted walk, and there are lots of other people, kids, and especially dogs.
We had just gotten over the bridge and just started on the little trail when we ran into a nice couple. Some people take exercise very seriously and don't want to be bothered by dogs, so I try to make Sammy remain respectful of others when we walk (a very lofty goal with this one!) and I try to keep him right by my side. Well this couple was taken by Sammy's cuteness. And he was all about getting them to pet him. So the girl was excited and practically exclaimed "is that a corgi?!" to which I responded, "he sure is!" He was his normal self: ears back, smile big, tounge out, on his hind legs dancing for pets! The guy said, "He is cuu..." as he bended over to say hi himself, when at that moment Sammy (without putting his front paws on the ground) hopped from the girl to the guy and jumped and jumped with his nub going full speed. The guy just smiled big and said, "Wow, what unbridled excitment you have" to Sammy. At first I thought, you need to meet more corgis, but I realized that as happy as other corgis seem to get, Sammy hits a new level. That comment of his "unbridled excitment" just stuck with me the rest of our walk, it's a very good way to explain Sammy's hellos.
I'm glad he got that little burst of energy out, because he settled into our routine. After the initial excitment of a walk, Sammy calms down. Sammy is much different when it is just the two of us. When Erik joins us, Sammy kind of goes to his own tune, sniffing and walking from side to side on the sidewalk. When it is just Sammy and I, he stays very close to me. He is either next to me looking up with a big smile on his face or just one corgi-length ahead of my moving feet looking back over his shoulder periodically at me with a big smile on his face, and tounge flopping on the side. We bond on our walks, just the two of us. I know that probably sounds silly, but I firmly believe. I believe it so much that I let myself look like an idiot because I catch myself talking to him every once in a while!!
However, he gets distracted every now and then. Say when there is a person, dog, and especially squirrel, he likes to dart. He usually recovers quite fast and is right back in his position. Along our walk we ran into another lady and her dog. I don't know what it was, it looked like a mutt of a few breeds, but he was adorable. His namy was Lenny, and he was 18 months. Sammy was so excited when he and Lenny were allowed to play for a few minutes. His owner told me that she has seen alot of corgis in the last couple months. I have to say, I felt a little proud! I have really entered the corgi world with a giant bellyflop!
After that, we really didn't have too much else really happen. We avoided a family of three labs, where the two owners had little control. Except this one squirrel waited until we got two feet away from him until he decided to bolt up the tree. Sammy, if he had had his wish, would have sat at the bottom of the tree until he came back down. I know how tricky those little buggers are, and know that that mean squirrel would have hopped to the tree next to it then come half way down and made his little squirrel noises at Sammy until Sammy ran over, then the squirrel would go back up the tree and back to the original tree. On and on. So I had to drag Sammy back along the path, where he took his position.
When we walk and we see those overly exercise savvy people, I moslty watch with part jealousy that they have that ambition, drive and concentration, and part, hmmm...maybe they should smell the roses, boy am I glad I have a puppy to slow me down to watch things. Sammy however has this burning desire within his small nearly 30lb body to give and recieve affection. When we have someone run by us, he tries to run with them. Once he realizes they are not going to stop for him, he immediately goes back to his place next to me. He looks up at me, smile as big as it can be, tounge flopped out and ears back, as to say, "I'm sorrry mom, I still love you more!" To which I reply (hopefully I keep in in my head) "I know, and I love you, too!" with a big smile (no tounge flopped out and my ears remain on the sides of my head).
With that, our walk was great. We got back into our car and Sammy jumped to the passenger seat where I had a water bottled that dropped out of my purse I think. Sammy started by licking the top, and then trying putting his paw down on the middle. I think he is too smart for his own good and figured out how to drink from a water bottle. It was unsucessful because he couldnt get the knob thing up, but he was working on it!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Aches

Thanksgiving has come and gone! As you get older, holidays take more and more responsiblity, almost lose their magic in all the running around. Erik is from a small town in central Nebraska, and I was born and raised here in Omaha, with family scattered all across the midwest. Holidays usually involve travel, meaning car rides!
Sammy knows (and loves) the phrase car ride:
(this was his exact reaction to "ready for a car ride, Sammy?" I finally had the camera ready!)Sammy is wonderful on car rides. He knows its gonna be something exciting, but more importantly he is involved, and that is really all he cares about. The car ride to Axtell takes about 3 hours, which most of it he sleeps...evertime! When we inch near, Sammy wakes up somehow and boy does he let you know he is excited.

Sammy knew where we were when we got there, and knew he had doggie friends! That night it was just him and the family dog. (As I said before, I feel bad saying her name, so I refrain using "she," "her," "family dog," "Erik's dog" etc.) She has grown a huge attachment to Sammy, and now likes me by extension (she doesn't like, well about anyone). Sammy can get her to play and play, and she even instigates it now! I am impressed with both of them. After dinner, they got leftovers! We had meat with noodles and potatos...yum yum! They each got a small serving of meat with noodles!
The next morning we were awakened by the family dog busting out closed bedroom door! (Common thing.) It scared us to death! She kept coming back til we got Sammy out of bed! We barely got him out the door to go to the bathroom, they both wanted to play so bad! I got his breakfast ready for him, but he was uninterested. His food was shared by the other animals before he took a stab at it. Really, I think the only reason he ate his quarter of a bowl was because he wanted to take it back from Sneezy, the cat! It was ok though, Erik's mom gave each dog a pumpkin pancake each! And, they were delicious! Mmm mmm.
Then they played outside, then inside, then outside again....nonstop all morning! It was really fun to watch! Then Sammy's cousin, Bella the huge black lab, was coming! Sammy was in doggie heaven! He got to have 2 dogs, 1 cat and like a million people to give him attention! The dogs were to remain outside during the festivites. Sammy is young and impressionable, and has learned some tricks from Bella.
Bella is a very hungry dog, a bottomless pit for food! She can smell food 4 miles away, I believe. Bella knew why she had to be outside. At first Sammy couldn't care less, he had tons of other things to do. He could run wherever he wanted without a leash and collar, be one with nature! He had another dog and cat to play with and tons of people to greet as they came in, he didn't need to be bothered by what Bella was up to. Bella however has an imfamous whine, to match her uber sensitive nose; Sammy's new trick. Bella started to whine at the glass door on the front porch. That caught Sammy's ear (it should have as big as they are!). He decided to check it out. And to his dismay, he saw all the people sitting at tables with plates full of yummy foods bigger than he! Bella had an alliance with the new pup!
They salavated at that door! After we finished dinner, I took a second to go see Sammy and let him know he was not forgotten. When I got out there, there were 2 puddles (one much larger than the other) where those two had been sitting. They were piles of drool from watching the American Holiday at it's finest! Bella's drool puddle was beginning to drip down to the next step! It was disgusting, and amazing. Later I snuck out some pie crust to give to each dog (Sammy got the biggest.) Also Erik's mom brought out a plate (yes plate) of a peice of turkey with gravy for each dog. So they were happy.
Once the extended family left, it was down to Erik's parents, Erik's brother and his wife, Erik's sister and her fiancee, and us. The dogs were allowed back in, and Sammy hadn't had his nap yet so he took refuge on my lap and passed out! After a little bit of time, I got out the dogs' Thanksgiving treat. Turkey and crossiant compressed rawhides! Bella got her crossiant in the kitchen, and the other two got theirs in the living room so Bella wouldn't try to steal anyones!

We then took off, back to Omaha. Sammy passed out before we turned the car on! He slept the WHOLE way and was carried inside. He wouldn't get up for anything but dinner. After dinner it was a struggle to get him outside, and immediately he came in and fell over asleep! I however, needed to put up my Christmas decorations! Sammy gave up very quickly and just went into the bedroom while I continued to work. He slept the whole night, and was upset when it was time to get up at 8am.
Friday morning, it was time to have some Thanksgiving time with my family. We went over to my grandparents where my mom (who lives next door) prepared a Thanksgiving breakfast for us all. Sammy started energized and gave my grandma (Monie) a big hello, but quickly tired out. He just slept while we ate.
After we left, he slept pretty much the rest of the afternoon. I started to wonder if he had too many left overs and snacks through the holiday. Today (Saturday) I was home with him all day, and he just whined and jumped on my lap to sleep and get attention. He definatley had too much for his little tummy. I feel bad for him. We are going to have to be more carful at Christmastime. Sammy's tummy is a little more delicate than most dogs I think, because he seems to have tummy aches alot. Oh well, he needed to be lathargic, it was his Thanksgiving, too! His first, at that! He is already feeling better, and I don't think he regrets a bite!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Leaves Are Vindictive

I don't need words for this post. Well, I could have words, and have before, but they just aren't enough when it comes to this silly puppy! I was up for a few hours this morning trying to study for my Sed. test before going to classes. Sammy was, ...very helpful. As I have said before, Sammy protects the apartment from all moving objects. Our biggest threat: leaves. Today is a crappy, rainy, windy day outside. He does not like not getting walks or getting to play outside, but he uses that energy wisely against the leaves that blow by our door. I have a little 3 minute-ish video to show what I have tried to explain before. (It started longer, but I can't get the darn thing to load. I'm not good at technology!)
This is Sammy trying to get to the leaves through the sliding glass window. This is taken after he had been attempting it for a while, and after getting yelled at for attacking the window for awhile. Anotherwords, this is him not at full speed; but it is a good image of what we deal with when the wind comes up!

On the plus side, it makes him a very tired pup!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Alls Well That Ends with Treats

Sammy is not a fat pup...yet. Sammy has these eyes that tend to get him extra treats. Lots and lots of extra treats. He has these puppy eyes, and I think his lack of white up his nose like his corgi cousins makes him look eternally puppy (even though he really is):I already have trouble not giving in to those eyes and giving him more than he should have, but then he is such a good, mature 7 month old pup when we take him to crazy events, and he windles more out of me....
Yesterday was an interesting day for us, as a family. We had a new experience. Erik's grandpa passed away a while ago and left alot of stuff for us to clean up. I can't really describe it to it's full extent, but we (Erik's parents, brother and wife, then the 2 of us) gathered together yesterday to make a dent. Our mission for the day, clean one shed. It was basically floor to ceiling of mechanical stuff, of which I have no idea what it all was. We brought Sammy with us, and he and Bella (his black lab cousin) where staked out on the lawn with rawhides (they didn't touch because they didn't like not having their people) and a bowl of water. Bella whined and whined and Sammy barked and barked. His barking started as soon as the machinery started. Adam (Erik's brother) used a torch of some kind to take apart things, and we had a mini bulldozer thing to carry the giant loads of heavy things to the dumpsters (no, that is not a typo: dumsterS). Sammy was unhappy by the crazy loud noises, and probably thought the bulldozer thing ate me. Who knows, he is very protective. Then he kept wrapping himself around the tree...the whole time!
Around lunchtime we took him for a little walk around the property. Erik's grandma has the land rented out to a local farmer to farm corn. Everything has been harvested, so looks very brown, dry and bland...but that is decieving. I have never been in a corn field before (and neither had Sammy) so the bumpy and wet land surprised me. It looks so flat! Sammy had a good ole time jumping over the stalk remainders (I'm not a good hick, I don't know what any of these farm terms) and sliding through the mud. He was a good farm dog. After our walk, he did much better relaxing...for a while. We finally finished up and then there was gunfire. He was unpleased about the gunfire. I had to hold him like a baby for him to sorta settle. We left shortly after and headed back for Omaha. The whole time we were there, he didn't sleep a wink, so he passed out in the car all the way back home.
We stopped at our apartment and changed from our muddy clothes and headed for my mom's to watch the Husker game (we don't have tv at our place). He loves going over there and getting extra treats and also getting to run after cats and extra attention. Sammy and my kitty Jordan love to not get along. They like to tease each other, and Jordan is better at teasing Sammy than the reverse. For about the first half of the game, Sammy had no idea Jordan was on the back of the chair. All was quiet and good. Halftime ended that. Then the remaining game was a battle of the Sammy bark vs Erik yell! I think it was a draw. Basically this adventure ended with a Husker win, and other couple hours of Sammy awake. He came home and barely made it in before he passed out. Sammy was out til morning.
Today Erik and I left Sammy to his sleeping while we finished up getting Christmas decor so I can put it out on Friday. After combing stores upon stores, I finally found an ornament for Sammy's first Christmas!
And I got his stocking!

When we got home Sammy was still passed out and when he got up he was limping. This caused me tons of distress. He was not stepping down on his paw. After inspecting it and him walking around, it seems like he might have just stepped on it wrong yesterday in the cornfield, because after walking just a couple of steps he seems just fine. To his dismay, even his hurt paw didn't get him out of a bath. He did not smell good from the farm. But after his bath, he came out and had some supper yummy doggie ice cream and then lounged on our laps. Erik netflixed blue planet, and then Sammy got his real, thank you for being the best dog ever bone:
He was a VERY happy puppy!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Early Bird Gets the Worm, Lazy Dog Gets the Pillow

Sammy is a good sleeper. He is lazy for a seven month old puppy. He has lots of energy, but also lounges....alot! We have a nightly routine. When it is time for bed, we let him out, give him a potty treat, take him into the bedroom and put him in bed with a bone. We watch an episode of whatever tv show we are into at that time. (We have been watching Dexter, but we just finished season 2, and don't have season 3. So we have been making do with Friends.) Sammy begins by chewing his bone for a while at the foot of the bed. Once he is suffiently tired, he makes his way up the bed and takes one of my pillows (I happily share) and sleeps above my head, body stretched out on the pillow. Most days Erik works at 7 or 8am and will get up about 6am and lets (makes) Sammy out real fast, then Sammy comes back and takes his spot. I get up 8 or 830am and tell Sammy "Good Morning." He tries to ignore me and go back to sleep. I get up and drag him out of bed. Pick him up, give him a kiss and set him on the floor. He usually gets about one step before lowering his front paws to stretch them, and then you can watch was his body lowers every muscle down his body stretch until his back legs fall. He stands on his front paws and drags his frog-dogged legs to stretch his butt. Once he stands up, he arches his back (like the scaredy cat images at Halloween time) and yawns. He repeats two or three times before he is "with" it. Then I let him out, he quickly goes and runs back in for breakfast! He is so excited for it. I pour his kibble in a bowl for him, he sits and eats. I turn on the light for Obsidian and Pyrite and give them some fish food; then I get to begin my day. Lol.

Lately, to conserve energy and money Erik and I have been turning off the heater at night and bringing in extra blankets. This has made is so Sammy is no longer doing alright at the head of the bed by himself. He starts with his bone on the foot of the bed, then ascending to the pillow. However, then he begins to feel a draft so he slowly moves on top of the pillow my head is on and curls up with my head. We have to battle it out and find a compromise. This doesn't last long because the draft becomes stronger. Sometimes he goes for Erik's pillow (always a losing battle) and other times he just starts making his way down between us. We are beginning to have more of the latter.

Last night was one of those nights where he just kept crawling getting comfortable between us. It really is quite cute! I think it is anyway. I love curling up with my little cuddle bug! Anyway, between his late sleeping and cold nights, this is how we woke up this morning:

Well, basically that is how we woke up. He fidgetted a little before I could get my camera phone working. Every time I see him like this, I just have to think, it must be tough to be a puppy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My Chew Toy!

Sammy knows what is not his and more importantly, what IS his! He is not one of those dogs that has chewed on shoes, furniture, remotes, or anything that wasn't given to him. We were really lucky. Not that I wouldn't like to have a reason to remove the couch for a new one, but A: it's not in our budget and B: it's a habit he most definately does not need. Sammy creates his own bill in toys and bones that he can quickly demolish. Even then, however, he doesn't demolish his toys. He just cuts to it's squeaker. He will still play with the toy (be it rabbit, fox, devil dog, bone, etc.) without it's heart, just not with as much of his heart. Sammy sees getting the squeaker the way we see getting the toy from the cereal box, it just doesn't taste as good without the future prize. Anyway, this tiny little difference in excitement has filled our toy box with every imaginable color, animal, texture, size, etc. Then the fact that he really does enjoy chewing on things, habit started from the painful (for him and us) teething experience, has filled our apartment with chewy treats. We also have a wide variety of different bones and rawhides: footballs, curly sticks, corn on the cob (he chews the nylabone corn kernals off the cob, cutest thing I've ever seen), tons of rawhides (pork, beef, chicken. compressed, the other thing. rolled. frosted. EVERYTHING) and his favorite peanut butter filled. (Man if you didn't know Sammy or see his pictures, you would think he is chubby!) Anyway, he has stacked up our bill with new toys and chewy bones, but no new couch!
I should mention that he has gotten in some trouble by getting into my overnight bag on the couch while we were gone, and grabbed my razor out. He proceeded to chew it up. We came home to find Sammy staring at us through the window looking like he had a fat lip! His ears were down and he was not bouncing to see us. Yet, he did not look like he was in pain either. In hind sight, I believe he thought he looked normal and wanted to play it off to see if we would notice so he wouldn't get in trouble. Well, the thing is, he got a plastic chucked wedged between his teeth so hard I couldn't pull it out. Erik was barely able to pull it out. After the gig was up, he jumped up on my leg so I would pick him up and hold him like a baby and pat him on the back while he rested his head and paws on my shoulder. At first we had no clue what this lilac purple plastic wedge in his teeth could be. It could be a pen, but it didn't look like it. Then we saw the bag looked sifted through. Just after on the floor, Erik saw 2 blades, practically untouched on the ground. I don't know how he did it without hurting himself. I checked in his mouth, "lips" and paws. Not one scratch. I didn't discipline him thinking that having plastic stuck in his mouth where he couldn't close it would be enough of a lesson. I think it worked, no more problems on that front.
Other than that, Sammy has stuck to his belongings to chew on. One of his belongings is his leash and collar. I spent many, many trips to many stores and hours deciding which leash and collar would be his for his adolescent years once he was too big for his puppy harness. I found a winner from Petsmart. It is a brown leather with a golden yellow inside. Really beautiful, in a boy dog kind of way. Looks great with his fur! Semi-expensive. He must like it, too; he takes ownership quite well. In fact one day he took ownership enough to bite out the middle prong of the clip. That meant the next time we had to take him out, he was able to tug and pull apart the clip and be free. That meant back to Petsmart for collar number two. I got the same exact one so it would continue to match his leash thinking it was such a great one, looked good, stretched as he finished to grow, firm, easy to wash if needed, unique for doggie daycare, on and on.
Sammy didn't even notice his new one, to be honest. Sunday night I got home from work first. I found the new collar on the ground. Upon closer inspection, it had been chewed on in the exact same place. Erik came home, told us to get in the car and lets go get him a new collar. Back to Petsmart for collar number three! We go to our favorite Petsmart at the Shadow Lake mall (that new-ish outdoor mall in Papillion). It's a long drive, but maybe that long drive would be some good excitement for Sammy after being alone alot of the day. Plus with it getting dark by 530, it was too late for a walk. We arrived at Petsmart, and we park a little towards the back because Sammy is still too small and too timid to jump in the car, so I have to pick him up. He can however jump out now! Sammy jumps out and Erik comes around asks if I need anything. I told him I was good, I was just going to grab my debit card out of my wallet so I didn't need to carry my purse around the store on top of the Sammy duty. He said he would hold Sammy's leash 'til I got up. Just as this exchange occcurs, Sammy sees another dog. With all of his might he takes off. I don't think any of us are sure of all of his growing strength and muscle because he broke the whole freaken clip like it was a plastic necklace! That minor reverse tug didn't even slow Sammy's strut. He ran full speed towards Petsmart through the mall's parking lot. Let me tell you, those legs may be short, but they aren't slow. Erik yells Sammy repeatedly and runs for him. I jump out of my seat and close the door in one move and yell Sammy while running at the same time. I don't know about Erik, but I had visions of car accidents flashing in my mind. Alongside Erik running with the leash and collar dragging on the ground behind him I hear a couple of explicitives, so maybe he had the same images. This nice couple walking bent over and Sammy went running for them. They petted him until we were able to catch up. Man Sammy is fast.
Now the collar clip is beyond broken. It wouldn't make it through the store for a second. Instead, we were forced to carry him through the store, past other dogs, people, and toys. Unless you have done it, you can't imagine his 27 lbs of pure muscle with energy that built up all day, while you were running up and down the stairs for stupid customers, phone calls, and fellow employees at Borders, fighting you! Not to mention, that little guy isn't so little compared to me. Erik had to take him. I grabbed another identical collar and we headed for the checkout. Bought it, clipped it on and the nice checkout lady gave our bad dog (she didn't know what happened) a treat to reward him for being stuck in our arms through the store. I feel jipped, I needed a treat for my near heart attack.
Now every time we leave the apartment, we have to scan the floor for razors, pens, his collar and anything else that looks strangely inviting.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Lucky Friday the Thirteenth?

This past Friday was a scary day for me and Sammy. Erik was not accepted into UNMC nursing here in Omaha, but was accepted into UNMC Kearny. Last Monday we went to Clarkson College here in Omaha to check it out and although it was great, it wasn't as great as the webpage and brouchers made it sound. That meant we had a trip to Kearny to make. So we made an appointment for Friday afternoon since that was the first day we could make it. Since we had just been there a week before, we knew that Sammy would do fine while we were busy and we didn't need to try to find a doggy sitter.
I had geomorph which ended at 11am and that was it for classes on Friday. Erik and Sammy picked me up from campus, we hit up Petco on the way out to pick up a couple chewy treats to entertain him. Then we hit the road! Sammy is so happy with car rides, boy was he excited when we hit the road. He didn't know where we were going, what we were doing, who he would get to meet, but he knew it would be a fun adventure. For a while, to our surprise, he sat on my lap looking out the window and the wonderful Nebraska corn landscape. Even a dog has to be bored by hours of that, but he didn't want to miss any part of the adventure, so he sat there trying to keep his eyes open, watching the scenery not change. Eventually he gave in and curled up on my lap, but if I moved a muscle he went back to attention staring out the window!
We made it to Axtel, and to Erik's parents house. We found his mom and pup outside. Sammy remembered the fun he had just one week ago at this place. He remembered all the running and his new friends, but more importantly he did NOT remember a leash and collar! He bounded out with so much excitement! He remembered his new doggy friend, and she remembered him! In fact, I think she was excited to see him. Erik's mom made us chili to have a nice little lunch before we went up to Kearny. During which Sammy had the run of the yard. He just ran and ran and played and played! Both the dogs came inside and played. They played so hard that Sammy lost his breakfast! He vomited on the nice white carpeting. The last time he vomited was when he ate his bone...whole. I can only imagine how much fun they must have been having in order for him to lose his breakfast he had over six hours before! And it came out in looking like little kibbles in a thick, brown gravy!
At the same time Erik and I needed to go to Kearny, his parents were going to York to have dinner with his older brother Adam and Adam's wife Rachel. They were going to bring back Rachel and their dog Bella while Adam went on a hunting trip. Sammy was going to be in his crate on the front porch, to keep him out of trouble and mischief. It had the added bonus of calming him down and letting his food resettle. We put in a rawhide for him, his pillow to get comfortable, and then we left for our tour.
After our tour, we headed back down to grab Sammy and head back to Omaha. Sammy had heard us walking up to the house, and we could hear him barking. Not a mean, protective bark, but his playful bark, so he must have known it was us. However, the door was looked and we could not enter. Erik did not have his key, the spare key was not in the garage, all the doors were locked. We were locked out......and Sammy knew it.
Erik's parents hadn't even made it to York yet so we drove into Kearny to find something to do since it was way too cold to sit outside. Pus we would have driven Sammy even more nuts. We went into town and found him a "I'm very, very, very sorry" bone that is huge (he hasn't gotten it yet though). After spending some time at target, hallmark and famous footwear, we went back down to Axtell to grab the pup.
When we arrived Sammy was unsuccessfully dividing his time among 3 people, 2 dogs and 1 cat. He was a very happy puppy. It might have made up for leaving him in there much longer than intended. Plus, I got to meet Bella. Bella is a very happy and sweet black lab. A large black lab. So large that she is up to my hips, and I know I am not very tall (5'2") and I have a dog that might stand a foot off the ground, but that is still a tall dog! It was weird not having to bend down to pet her. Sammy came to say hi to us when we got there, but then went back to his new friends. It was so cute seeing Sammy and Bella play. Sammy couldn't reach Bella's head, even from standing on his hind legs! As Bella walked, Sammy ran alongside her jumping up and each of Bella's steps, licking her on the face. Sammy still feels that is the proper hello, licking another dog on the face. Doggie daycare has helped him realize that other dogs like to sniff, so he isn't as weirded out by other dogs sniffing his rear end, but he doesn't usually say hello that way. (That's my dog!)
Sammy and Bella had hit it off, however his older friend, the family dog, well she was happy to see them get along and have another dog to take Sammy's energy, but she was a little jealous. She was feeling left out, and she even instigated Sammy playing with her. They play mostly by going in circles! Bella felt left out and then joined in by going in the circle behind them. All three dogs were having a ball, and all five people were having fun watching them play! It was quite the moment. See, who needs TV when you have a puppy (especially when that puppy is Sammy). At one point Sammy sat down, and he had one dog on each side sniffing him. He just stared up in the air like "it's good to be king!"
When we are sitting at home, I can easily see how big Sammy is getting. I can see how tall those little legs are getting! We have a smaller apartment and not alot of things cluttering it up, so he looks like the perfect size for our place. Plus he is bigger than some of our neighbor dogs. Then when you see Sammy take down treats meant for dogs much bigger than he, he begins to look larger than he really is. Reality snapped right in place when I watched him play with the other two dogs, especially Bella. Reality also snapped in showing how special of a pup he is to be able to play with dogs probably 3 times his size and who are much older not of puppy playing age. In the car, he quickly fell to sleep from all the playing. Then he slept the whole night. Probably dreaming of more playdates with his new friends.
He doesn't know it, but he is looking forward to Thanksgiving. Sammy and I have this trip on the typically unlucky day, to be thankful for. We get to keep our little family unit in Omaha, and Sammy gets to go where he can play with both dogs and the cat, lots of people, and NO leash or stake and rope!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Dog in the Speaker

Last night after I got off work, Sammy and Erik were relaxing watching Futurama. When I came in Sammy was on the ground next to his bone on the ground looking very drowsy. I always like when he looks tired when I get home from work, maybe I can relax. Usually that is not the case. Even when he looks tired, my sweet little Sam will wake up and be full of energy and want a play session. It is almost more scary when he is just fine sleeping when I get home.

Anyway, so I come home to a tired looking puppy. He was tired! Sammy didn't want to dissappoint though. He jumped right up, ears up, smile big, tounge hanging out and eyes sparkling! It really is the best way to come home, to a puppy at the door waiting for you. Sammy wanted to want to play, but he really was just too tired. Erik was on the couch, so after giving Sammy a proper hello, taking off my coat and dropping my bag down, I decided to join him. Sammy just laid down on the middle of the floor. I'm not the biggest fan of Futurama, not a bad show, enjoyable, but not something I miss when I don't see it. But it was particularly enjoyable considering the lucky circumstances where Sammy was comfortable without a game of hide and go seek.

A new episode starts and it has something or another to do with whats-his-name (the main character who is in the future but from our "time") somehow got his dog. Well, something with they found a dog remains and it was just right so they could get the DNA and clone him, so he could have his dog with him in the future. Honestly, for my intents and purposes it doesn't matter. It was funny, but as you can probably gather, I was distracted from the show and didn't quite get the full story (I should probably rewatch it and figure it out). This dog, like all dogs, liked to bark. Sammy was all sorts of distraught about this barking! We were watching from the boxset dvd that was in the game system in the living room (not sure which, its all the same to me) where the sound is wired through our stereo. I promise I am half explaining this for a reason, this means the dog sound is good and is coming from the speaker on the floor alongside the tv. Sammy was in the middle of the room asleep.

This sudden dog barking during Sammy's slumber woke him up, and startled him! When he jumps awake suddenly, like humans it's not so graceful. He was all stretched out and so when he jumped his front end (head neck and front paws) bounced up, and his rear end (butt and back paws) was also lifted up. As for that long middle corgis are so well known for...still on the ground! It's really funny and cute to see. Not so cute is the alarm written on his eyes. Corgis are little (very little) protectors. For a while he barked at Erik for touching me (boy did that make things happy around here). No hugs allowed, according to Sammy, unless it was Sammy! Sammy wanted to make sure there wasn't another dog in his apartment without him knowing. He didn't see anything, so I think he thought he dreamed it, and relaxed back on the floor. Then the dog barked again, and Sammy jumped right to attention, looked around the apartment. Nothing. Went to the door looked into our "yard." Nothing. He was baffled. As if on cue, the dog on tv didn't just bark twice like before, but a more constant bark. Sammy knew it was here, here somewhere. He looked at the speaker. BINGO! No dog though, so he stood up and walked towards it. No dog. Walked to the back side, sniffed the back. No dog. Looked behind the tv. No dog.

Bark, bark bark! He ran back around and stared at the front side of the speaker. Then he did the thing where he cocks his head back and forth trying to understand. Finally the dog barking subsided. Temporarily.

A few minutes later, the dog barked again. He jumped right to the speaker and stared at it! Then like a sudden ephinany, he looked up at the tv screen. Sammy was watching Futurama with us! He was cocking his head back and forth and watching the screen. When a dog (either that dog or the robot dog (Bender's dog)) would bark, his attention would divert to the speaker, but right back to the tv. Soon, he was a dog again, and was not at all interested in the images on the tv and laid down again. But any time that dog would bark, he watched the speaker just in case a dog jumped out!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cuddle Bug

Often when I sit down to write, my inspriation comes from the silly things Sammy does that makes me laugh. The stuff I want to tell everyone that helps show Sammy's happy, energetic, cute and unique personality. Many times I just don't want to forget that moment, that silly and strange, never to happen again (probably) time; I want it available to me at any moment. (It doesn't hurt he has so much, I don't want to forget it.) The best part about talking about those times is reviewing that moment again and again trying to write it out to the best of my ability, I can think of how lucky and blessed I am to have those times, and Sammy. I can really think about those funny times and replay it, take the time to smell the roses, and catalog it in my memory. It adds new light to those special times.
When I sat down with a little bit of extra time to talk about my latest adventures with Sammy, the first thing that came to my mind was not that silly moment. Although there was no shortage of those funny times, it is not those I want to reflect upon. This past week was a very difficult week for my small little bubble, for many reasons. Mainly work and school dominated the week portion. Overnight on Monday, World Civ 2 test on Thursday and my big scary paper rough draft due Friday. Erik also had two papers to work on and changed departments at work. In anticipation of this week and the stresses it held, we put Sammy into a day of doggie day care on Wednesday. We got up bright and early, 6am. Ok, it wasn't bright and Sammy was unhappy about the time of day, but it was early. We got up, threw some clothes on and fed the Samster. We were off to Bone Jour. We could drop him off as early as 630am, so we aimed for 7am. We were right on time. We made it to the door before we had someone estatic to see Sammy. He knew right where he was, and he was excited! We went to the small dog room and found the Sammy "yard." (I choose to call it a yard because it makes me feel better. They have the pens set up with a picket fence as the perimeter of each crate. The floor is astroturf like material, the base is painted with grass. Then there is a sky painted with clouds and a plane.) The picket fence had his name and the "yard" had a bed for him. I brought a blanket, his bunny stuffed animal and a couple of rawhides for him. We put him in and had to walk away. I cried. Yep, I imagine it was like leaving your kid at daycare. I know that is probably offensive to people with kids who have done this, but I'm sure the feeling was similar. I just wanted to let him know I was coming back and see what he did, how he responded to the other dogs and what dogs would be his BFF's. I just couldn't voice it to him, well I could and he would try to understand and he might even, but you never know.
All day I looked at the clock wondering what he was doing. Between school and work, I couldn't brave going home to an empty apartment, so I went to work an hour and a half early. I watched and watched the clock at work just waiting for 6 to roll around so I could go get Sammy. Boy did I speed down 72nd! I got in and the lady called for Sammy. He stumbled out of the door about half asleep, I called his name and his ears perked up and he put as much energy as he could into running to see me. It was a beautiful moment! I grabbed his report card and we went home. He passed out in the car and the only way I could get him out was asking him if he wanted dinner. We went in he had dinner and slept for the next 14 hours! It was a pain to make him potty! His report card said he played with all the dogs and "wasn't shy at all" (underlined twice). It said he played ball and enjoyed playing outside. His best friends from the day were Charlie and Chloe. I am unsure of who Charlie is, but Chloe was the retriever/lab mix puppy from the previous time. I was so happy for him, and that he got to play with his old BFF.
Thursday was a sleepy day for him but he went on a 3 mile walk with us, so it was good. I came home from work that night and I had to get going on my paper. He wanted attention, so I couldn't get much done til after Erik got home. We had taco bell and came back and they were both so sweet and stayed up with me while I panicked about my paper and how crappy it was. Erik went to bed and Sammy stayed with me. He stayed with me ALL night through my all nighter. He was so sweet. He stayed next to my leg or climbed up on my lap! He curled up in the blanket next to me, anything to stay with me. I put him in bed with Erik, and he went to the corner and whined to come out. I couldn't believe it. It was one of the cutest things I had ever seen. He was exhausted and uncomfortable, but it didn't matter. I went to class and came back and he bounded to see me. After all the staying awake and dissappointment and stress from the paper, it was wonderful to have him so excited to see me. I had our whole day planned to. We were planning on heading back to Axtell, Erik's home, for the weekend after Erik got off work. I was gonna come home, take a nap, get up hit petco for travel rawhides, get him a bath and brushing, pack all three of us up and ready for Sammy's first road trip!
Unfortunately that isn't quite how it worked. It proved to be a very difficult day for Erik and I and Sammy was not comfortable with it. I felt bad for him, he saw alot of emotions he hadn't seen before. He wasn't sure of what to do, but he was quick to curl up next to me. It was very comforting to have him right there. After everything worked out, we quickly assembled our stuff and hit the road early. Off for Sammy's first big road trip!
We barely made it out of town before he was passed out. He slept the whole way! We drove into the sun, so it was probably good, hard to see anything. As soon as we got there, Erik had to say hello to his pup there. They have a shar-pei mix with lab or chow or both. Very pretty dog. She has a sad story, and for that she has a unique, stubborn personality. With her personality, as the story goes, she gained the same Shithead. Over time the name had to soften, so as it is spelled the same it is pronounced shith-eed. Allow it is quite a funny and witty story, I always feel bad using her name so I usually refer to her as Erik's pup. She is very sweet and very loyal to the family. She is not easily persuaded to allowing strangers, or acquaintance, or even friends to allow petting her. We were unsure of how she would feel about a bounding, little (respectively), playful puppy running around. Also, just how Sammy would react to all the room he could want. We knew he would not run away, or if he did, come back quickly, I was just curious to how much room he would use, how far away from people he would be comfortable, what he would find the most interesting, all of those things. The dogs got along, actually quite well. We knew they would be fine since they were both good natured dogs, but we didn't expect her to want play with Sammy. He got her to run a little! It was so much fun to see.
Upon arrival, they were introduced. They were allowed to run around and do what they need to do to meet. Us, people, went in and had some pizza. We fed Sammy, watched them play a little, and then we sat to watch a movie, "Changeling." Sammy did very well until about 1 hr, 45 min. Then he had to go to the bathroom. Erik and I kept thinking the end is just a couple of minutes away, but it wasn't. Not until 2 hrs, 15 min was the end complete. I made it until 2 hrs, 10 min before I took him out. After the movie, the real challenge came. Bedtime.
Although we have moved, Sammy has always had us and out sheets and smells for bed. This time, we had us, but a new enviornment, new bed, smaller bed, new sheets. It took a few before Sammy figured out it was time to calm down. Then he and Erik had to figure out how to get comfortable. The next morning we got up and had breakfast and went to our day. Sammy had no idea what he was in for! Erik's mom, Sue, wanted to take us into town (Kearny). We were there to do some Christmas shopping and furniture shopping. I was able to finally see the infamous Herbergers (or as I call it The Huntzbergers). We went to many Christmas decoration stores after that. It was alot of fun. As for Sammy, he got to stay at home with Tom, Erik's dad. He was at home finishing up a project. This entailed going back and forth from workshed to workshed. Nothing could have made Sammy happier. He got to follow and watch what people do. He got to do it without a collar and leash! What a lucky pup he was. Sammy is very inquisitve. He wants to know what people do and why they do it. So he just followed, I assume being diverted every now and then by a leaf or animal or smell. We came back and he looked like those photos you see of older corgis that are doing their purpose of herding and such around the farm. It was amazing to see! I made him come play with me. He found Sneezy, the cat. Sammy hasn't had much luck with cats, and Sneezy isn't much of an exception. Sneezy has back up with Erik's pup, and Sammy frequently gets outnumbered. He found Sneezy alone and chased him! Chased him right up a tree! (I had never actually seen a cat run up a tree before, that was cool!) But Sammy was quite content yet, he stood at the bottom guarding it in case Sneezy was going to make a fast one! I was so proud of him! Probably a silly thing to be proud of, but he was playing with the cat and was being a good farm/ranch dog. He didn't just let Sneezy get the best of him, but also wasn't a mean dog about it either.
Later we had dinner and watched the Nebraska game. In that time Sammy also stood up to Erik's pup then also. Although it isn't necessarily smart to act bigger than you are to a dog much bigger than you, I was proud not to see him just roll on his back or cower at all. It was good for Sammy to get pushed around a little, so he doesn't just think he is my baby, but it was also good to him not just take big dogs either. I think both dogs grew from it, gained a respect for each other. I think both were a little sad to split later that night. We hit the road after the game. We, all three of us, were very tired. I would have preferred to wait til the morning and just leave extra early, but Erik preferred to just go now, and he was the driver. We hit the road. I tried to stay awake, I really did, but I was just too tired. I got comfortable and drifted away. Originally Sammy had had enough of the commotion in the front seat and jumped to the back on his pillow before we even made it to the highway. Erik later told me that after I curled up on the pillow, Sammy curled up with me. He tried his best to sleep with me. All day today I kept thinking about how lucky I was to have my little cuddle pup. A puppy that is perfectly happy to sleep by himself, but also curls up with me when he senses I need it. A puppy, who just shy of 7 months, can win over older dogs, little pups at doggie day care, petstore employees who see tons of dogs, open "dog people," skeptical "dog people," and who always amazes me in a new way.
This a moment, a weekend, a feeling that I don't want to forget. This is a special dog and a special week, I just want to remember all of it!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

All dogs do silly, unexpected, cute things. It makes every dog different, gives them character. Sammy has more character than most.

Some dogs watch TV. Sammy does.

Some dogs like to lick the sweat from pop bottles and cups. Sammy does.

Some dogs like to slide on slides on swing sets. Sammy does.

Some dogs like to make forts behind couches and chairs to hide rawhides. Sammy does.

Some dogs beg for ice cubes. Sammy does.

Some dogs like to sleep on top of pillows above your head. Sammy does.

Some dogs like to eat the squeakers out of every toy. Sammy does.

Some dogs fall asleep like babies on car rides (even just down the block). Sammy does.

Some dogs play hide and go seek or BOO! Smmy does.

Some dogs can drink out of cups and eat off forks like people. Sammy does.

Some dogs know cell phone ringers. Sammy does.

Some dogs don't want to be destructive when you leave and they miss you, they just want to pull out every piece of gum from the gum package from your purse, and leave it in a circle around the living room without a torn wrapper or bite mark to be seen. Sammy does.

Sammy has alot of character.

Sammy likes to look at himself in the mirror. Yep. I can just hear his little head going...."WOW is that a dog! I wish I could play with him! Look at that smile and ears. Why can't I run into more dogs like you? Your perfect!" Then his moment is ruined when something moves, like I appear behind him in the mirror. Then he realizes, "Oh man, it's not a new dog friend, it's me!" Poor guy. It just ruins his new friend idea. Erik thinks he looks at himself because he is a vain dog; because I call him the cutest, most beautiful dog in the whole world. (In my defense, have you seen him?) I don't believe it. I just see his eyes and smile drop when he sees that movement....I can almost hear that big heart of his crack, beginning to break.

This morning was one of those days. He was having a conversation with himself. Just 2 minutes before my alarm went off, I was laying in bed with Sammy on my side. Off the side of the bed on the wall is our closet. Our closet doors are mirrors. (Very nice! And it helps to lighten up the small room and makes it look so much bigger! Kodos Kensington!) Sammy was laying down with his rear end (frog dogged) on my arm and head looking straight forward toward the mirror. He was not barking, persay, more raar-rrer-aa-r-aa-rre, weird unique Sammy sound. It's so weird. I swear he is trying to talk like a human. I'm not sure if he does this because he is learning not to bark from the bark collar, because he wants to talk like a person, or because he disn't want to wake me up. Anyway, there is was making this weird, not doggie voices to himself in the mirror. The best part, his ears perk up as he's making noises, and he was cocking his head, like he does when he tries to figure out what people are saying .....or when timers beep.

It was all ruined when I pulled my hand up to cover my mouth so he wouldn't hear me laugh. But with that little movement, ears went back down, noises stopped, smile fell. I had ruined his PBFF (pretend BFF).

He often sees his reflection in the window that looks out on our "yard." He doesn't make noise since some vindictive squirrel walks by or leaf has to fly by. It quickly ruins his fictious world. Speaking of leaves flying. Sammy feels it is his duty to capture every flying leaf! It's fall, so that is no small task. When we talk little walks or potty breaks, Sammy is on the job running after every leaf that moves! He runs, captures it and carries it til the next one moves, then drops it and goes for the next one. This is all fine and good, and actually quite cute .....that is until one of two things happen. First, very self explanatory, if he is in the process of doing his "business." Or second, if we are inside.

Friday evening, Sammy and I were enjoying our end of the week by chilling inside away from the sparatic rain showers. I enjoyed some Gilmore Girls (season 5 marathon) while Sammy felt he was not fulfilling his sole purpose of chase the leaves. Mind you, if he was outside, he would feel the rain and sad-eye his way back to the door to seek refuge. Thus, he sat in front of the sliding glass window to watch the chaos. When a leaf would run by he would attack! Attack the window! He clawed, licked, even tried to bite the window to the leaves! Very funny for the first ten minutes. I let him out, he came back in. Attacked the window some more. I let him out. He begged to come back in and attacked the window yet again. I thought I could be smart, but him on his rope and opened the door just enough that he could go in and out. It didn't work, he sat inside and still clawed at the door. I resorted to closing the door so I wouldn't have to freeze, and thought he could attack the window until his little heart was content or claws tired. How long could that take anyway? Half hour? A half hour later, he was growling at the window. Ok, how about an hour? An hour later he was on his back trying to push the door up. Two hours? Two hours later he had his nose smashed in the corner trying to re-open the door. I let him out again. He went to the bathroom and ran right back in to his post.

Now the wind has come up and he is frantic to get to those leaves. I really did feel bad for him. I especially felt bad that he felt it was his obligation to get all of the leaves. I'll cut to the chase, he attacked that window until dusk, probably because he could no longer see all the leaves. It had exhausted him and he was ready to sleep all night long.

That was until he saw his PBFF in the window. Now he had his friend back.