Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

There's a New Top Dog in Town

If I had bet my entire bank account (which isn't impressive) on what just occurred, I would be bankrupt because I could have never predicted this one.  I am sitting here still stunned and yet, thrilled. 

I took Alvin and Stevie on their walk and we came across Moses at the park near my house.  Moses is a large, male, black lab who is dog and person friendly.  Moses and Alvin have had many interactions, with Moses getting quickly bored and Alvin and Stevie trying desperately to get his attention.  Tonight, Alvin tried harder than usual to interact with him and chased after him.  This in itself was remarkable and I was thrilled.  I keep both dogs on leashes and ended up dragging poor Stevie along so we could keep up with Alvin's advances.  I didn't want to discourage Alvin from trying to play.  Like many things for Alvin, it kind of backfired because Moses then kept trying to hump Alvin.  It became a scene with a lot of leash tangles.  Alvin looked a bit afraid a couple of times because Moses just kept chasing and chasing him, but I didn't intervene because it's good for Alvin to run around and he seemed okay.  But then the jaw dropping event occurred.  Alvin turned and made a deep growl.  You could have knocked me over.  I crouched down to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing and sure enough, it was Alvin because he made several, very convincing growls and even some snarls.  It was convincing enough that Moses kind of backed off.  I was so proud of Alvin that I praised and praised him, but kept looking at him because I still couldn't comprehend what I just heard.  Meanwhile, here came Stevie who LOVES Moses and promptly tried to hump him, and so we had a humping train going on. 

We then walked home and I ran into some neighbors and I promptly told them all about it.  The entire neighborhood is stunned.  We are home now and Alvin and Stevie are revved up.  It was terribly exciting for all three of us.  Alvin needed a lot of reassurance from me.  I am not sure if it was due to him being proud of himself or insecure, but I have been praising and petting him.  I am like the mother of the child that gets beat up on the playground and finally wallops and knocks the bully flat.  Moses isn't much of a bully but it still was quite a feat by Alvin.  He is still huffing and puffing and should be very proud of himself.  Who knew?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Alvin's New Toy Closet

I recently discovered that Alvin has found many new toys and there is a whole closet of them.  While wearing my little Barbie heel type shoes, I looked down to discover several little Alvin teeth marks in them.  I then discovered two other pairs that had his little calling card all over them.  His main chew toy (the odd belt thing) wasn't exactly where it should be and so he resorted to finding new chew toys.  Lovely!

Alvin finally barked for the first time.  I was putting Stevie's pill in the hot dog and apparently I was taking too long and Alvin became worried he wouldn't get his share.  My back was to him when I heard the oddest, high pitched yelp and turned around to realize that Alvin had "barked".  It sounded like the yelp a woman makes if you were to jump out and scare her.  I don't know who was more shocked by the noise, him and me.  After all this waiting, I was not disappointed because it sounded very much like I would expect a bark from Alvin to sound like.  It in no way resembled any noise from a dog and certainly wasn't masculine.  I was so excited that I instantly praised him and gave him some hot dog, in hopes that he would grace me with the sound again.

Yesterday I had to take Stevie to the eye doctor and I thought I could put the leash on her and scurry out of the house, without causing Alvin distress that he wasn't going too.  That instantly backfired when Alvin tried twice to go out with us and it was clear that he didn't understand that he wouldn't be included.  I put a leash on him and planned to take him to grandma's, but grandma ended up being right outside my door.  I handed her his leash and asked her to walk Alvin around until we could leave.  Poor little Alvin got so worried about me leaving without him that he put his bottom on the ground and refused to leave with her.  Alvin is terribly fearful of riding in the car but when he saw me putting Stevie in, he tried to get in too.  It is often difficult to assess how much Alvin has bonded with me, but yesterday it was very clear that he has indeed bonded, to the point that he was willing to risk life and limb to be with me.  Grandma called later to inform me that Alvin was at her house, eating a cheese burger patty and so I think he forgot all about me.

A few nights ago Alvin was in bed with me doing that odd mouthing thing he does with my fingers.  I willingly gave him my fingers because it distracted him from partaking in his new hobby, which is to lick the sheets.  Lovely!  While mouthing my fingers, he ended up biting down with his back teeth and it hurt!  I jerked my finger back and yelled, ouch!  Alvin responded by trying to sniff my finger and clearly realized he had hurt me, and he then laid down with his head resting between his paws and was very sad.  He is now back to chewing on this gait belt.

Alvin managed to scare another dog but sadly, he wasn't aware that his presence had been intimidating.  It was his one chance at being scary and he missed it.  A little Chihuahua ran out and was immediately frightened by the big dog, Alvin.  Because Alvin can't locate the direction of sound, he never spotted the dog and he missed his big chance to feel big.

Alvin is doing well.  He is improving on allowing me to pet him.  It is clear that being pet on his back, causes some type of irritation because he has to do a full body shake after each petting session. 

We're gearing up for another bath and grooming session.  I tend to sit and think about it for a couple of weeks because it just isn't a bit of fun for either of us.

I apologize for the lack of posts.  I don't have an excuse and just got distracted by the sun and fun.