Sunday, July 6, 2014

Last Day of Quarantine!

After today, this blue beast is finally allowed to leave the house again! First stop: the dog beach! Second stop: the grooming station at work. I cannot believe how much this dog sheds.
Photo by Erin Koski

Uly has been handling his ten-day quarantine period well, aside from shredding my fourth edition Van Norstrand's Scientific Encyclopedia/doorstop. This evening I gave him a rawhide chew and was pleased to see that he spent longer than Brizzy devouring it and didn't try to swallow any really big pieces. He has also successfully enjoyed Nylabones, the Urban Stick filled with peanut butter, and a variety of other toys without destroying them, so he's probably not going to be a serious chewer.

I am very pleased that Ulysses has become significantly more food-motivated since escaping the Orange County municipal shelter. This makes him much easier to train. He wants to sit and wait politely while I prepare his dinner, but he's so excited that he just has to dance. And Sit. At the same time.

A couple of days ago Uly picked up the plush Eiffel Tower from our latest BarkBox. Once he had the toy, he began to worry when Brisbane, Ru, or the cats were nearby. He has been gradually relaxing while staying here with us, but the other animals near his toy brought back the still posture, laid back ears, and wide eyes had had all the time when he was fresh out of the shelter. This kind of concern could turn into resource guarding if handled poorly, so we immediately started telling him what a good boy he was when the other pets were nearby. Right away he started relaxing and enjoying nibbling on the stuffy instead of focusing on the other animals.

Uly also doesn't like being led by his collar. At first I thought maybe he was unused to wearing it, but his shelter paperwork says he was wearing a collar when he was picked up as a stray. If I try to coax him up onto the couch or bed by pulling his collar, he drops to the floor and looks scared. I suspect he has been punished by being grabbed and shaken by the collar, so now he is afraid. We will be working on making collar touching a positive experience for him.

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