Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's Behind Door Number One?

Well, let me just tell you that we have experienced a lot of new developments here at Casa Crazy Canine.  First, in the past week there has been a noticeable decrease in Alvin's looping/circling behavior.  I would estimate that the looping has decreased by about 70%.  I didn't mention it to my mom and today she said that she noticed that Alvin isn't looping like he used to, and so there is clearly a noticeable difference to someone other than me.  When watching him, it's like his anxiety switch was flipped down a few notches.

With that said, Alvin did partake in his decapitation looping today when out on a walk and poor Stevie was the victim.  While we were walking Alvin suddenly cut right and tried to loop in front of Stevie and while doing so, he managed to nearly clothesline Stevie with his leash.  As I tried to save Stevie from certain decapitation by freeing the leash from her neck, Alvin continued his loop way too tight while circling behind her and she got his leash right under her tail and probably has leash burns in a very sensitive area.  About an hour later when Alvin nearly tripped me in the kitchen, I caught myself saying, "Alvin you really are going to kill somebody some day," which seems to be a daily mantra in this house.  Luckily, Stevie and I remain committed to being patient - physically battered, but patient.

Every time there is a knock at the door, Alvin gets very excited because more often than not, it's my mom and his favorite phrase is, come in, and he clearly knows what it means.  A few times I have yelled it out just to see what how he will respond and in the past, he has always ran straight to the front door.  I say used to, because he has recently started a very perplexing habit of running to the back door to look for her.  My mom never, ever goes through the back door because it   It is the leads into the garage and the only time it is ever used is when I am doing laundry - and so it is virtually never, ever used.....ha!  He now runs to that door and I can hear him circling around looking for her.  She repeatedly calls him and he can't seem to locate her.  Alvin appears to hear and see just fine but when he is looking for something or somebody, he keeps his head down and repeatedly looks at the ground.  I can't even venture a guess as to what that is about but every single time I call him, he hears something interesting, my mom comes over, or anything else, Alvin frantically runs around looking at the ground.  Once we are able to coax him away from that door, my mom repeatedly calls him while waving her hands in the air and sometimes stomping her foot and yet, it always takes Alvin quite a bit of time to find her.  Hopefully at some point he will resort to going back to the right door and staring at the ground there.

A couple of days ago, I decided that I would groom Stevie and I barely got the clippers going before Alvin literally ran into the bedroom and refused to come out.  I was grooming Stevie in increments of 10-20 minutes and then allowing her to take a 30-60 minute break.  This process took much of the day and Alvin did not come out of the bedroom until around 4:00 PM.  I went into the bedroom to visit him and he was very receptive to my visits, while being particularly cuddly but he wouldn't come out except to occasionally peak his head around the corner when the clippers were turned off.  He finally ventured out around 4:00 PM but then went straight outside and stood outside the open glass door, with just his head inside the door.  I had told my mom what he was doing but clearly seeing was believing because she couldn't stop laughing when she came over and watched him.  He wasn't having a thing to do with those clippers.  While grooming Stevie I realized that I hadn't groomed Alvin enough and was disappointed because I had already given him the one remaining sedative.  After having completed Stevie's grooming and after everything had calmed down for a couple of hours, I thought that I would give it a try with Alvin, with the idea of just quickly trying to thin his skirt by doing a few quick, sweeping movements while staying quite far away from his skin.  Well, that may go down as one of the stupidest ideas I have had in a while because he completely freaked out.  I got three swipes and Alvin was leaping, struggling, and pretty much in a blind panic.  He jumped so hard that his front legs came crashing down on Stevie's back and she leaped around, wondering what in the heck could possibly have happened.  He reminded me of when a horse completely panics and uncontrollably leaps in the air.  After the fact, I reflected on what possessed me to come up with such an obviously stupid idea and I realized that I routinely come with some really dumb ideas.  I can't blame my cognitive abilities because I had my IQ tested twice and the first time it came out fairly high.  The second time I got bored with the test and ended up copying off the girl sitting next to me and my IQ dropped by 20 points.  Who cheats on an IQ test?  Yet, another example of a really stupid idea I had.  Luckily there was no common sense test rendered before getting to foster Alvin and between the two of us we routinely defy logic.  I realize now that people may be reading this, not to try to determine Alvin's "issues" but rather to marvel at the fact that the poor dog has to live with me and continues to live to tell about it.

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