Alvin sticks out his tongue when he is nervous

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I Fear Even Putting this Out Into the Universe

for fear I might jinx it.  I think Alvin is learning to hold his urine......and only here would that be a news story.  Quite a few times I have randomly opened the back door and he has gone out and gone potty.  We went through a winter of him refusing to go out in the rain and instead going potty in the house and so this new development is more than welcomed.  We (well, I) have enjoyed a week of no accidents in the house.

I have not updated for quite some time and there have been a lot of developments.  A couple of nights ago Alvin was in a very playful mood when we went to bed and so once again I tried that hand play game we used to enjoy until I wreck it by traumatizing him when I yelled in pain when he bit down on my finger.  After him refusing to play the hand game for nearly six months, he finally did it again.  It was not full force and he did bite down on my finger twice but I was able to keep my mouth shut and not yelp again.  We played for a long time but I got tired and he was not even close to finish playing.  I always try to encourage his playing because it's so darn cute and because he isn't playful very often.  I got one of Gracie's bones but I had to hold it for him because he is unable to figure out how to hold it with his paws and chew.  I kept falling asleep while holding a bone but he finally outlasted me and I had to call it a night.  He then resorted to playing with the down comforter, which was comprised of him lunging his head at the comforter and then mouthing it.

Last night I couldn't sleep and I got bored.  Alvin was sound asleep on the bed and I decided I would try to "spoon" him.  When Alvin finally goes to sleep he is dead to the world and so I thought I would give it a try.  Gracie isn't here right now and so I don't have a dog that will cuddle with me and I miss it.  I gave it a try and it was successful.  He started to jump up a couple of times but I was really nonchalant about it and he was able to settle back down and I got my cuddle fix.  I find it particularly endearing to get to cuddle with Alvin.

Speaking of cuddling, I recently sedated Alvin before shaving his face and he got so doped up that I was able to pick him up, place him on my lap and hold him like a baby for nearly an hour.  I am hoping that when he is sober that he will remember it and not think it was so bad.  It was so nice to get to hold him like a regular dog.

I mentioned Gracie not being here and it's been quite an ordeal.  Gracie had third knee surgery in mid December and all was going well until Christmas Eve.  I went to my car and was gone less than 20 seconds when I heard the most gut-wrenching screaming.  I ran inside to find Gracie screaming and in a frenzy.  She bit me when I tried to pick her up because she was in so much pain.  Eventually I was able to get a sedative and a painkiller down her and then drove her 30 minutes to the vet after it had kicked in.  She had broken her femur.  She was sent home with me for three days until they could operate.  They then operated and she was transported to the founder of the rescue for recovery.  After about a week, a horrible infection set in and she had to have the leg amputated.  Due to how little she is and how built up the muscles in her upper body are, she will get around fine.  She won't live as long as most dogs because eventually arthritis will set in that is too painful to live with.  When she comes back here I am going to take her back to the physical therapy place to learn how to give her nightly massages and she will go for periodic chiropractic sessions.  She will also be placed on a joint supplement.  Due to the curvature of her pelvis, she is not a candidate for a cart but I did buy a doggie stroller so when she gets tired of walking she can ride in the stroller and still see the world.

Now here is where Alvin comes in.  You all know about Alvin's propensity for looping when we are out on walks and I can't leave him behind when I take Gracie out because Alvin needs to walk as often as possible due to his pudginess.  So Alvin and I are going to have to practice walking with the stroller before Gracie comes here so he can get comfortable with it and not run around in circles because I can already picture the scene of Alvin looping, his leash getting underneath the stroller wheels and causing the stroller to fall over with poor Gracie in it.

Speaking of Alvin's pudginess, he has lost two pounds.  It has taken forever but at least we're two pounds down.  He has more to lose but at least the scale is going down and not up. 

And now for the cutest part of this update.  Alvin has learned a new trick, which is to kiss on command.  He really is smart because it only took two, 10 minute sessions for him to get the hang of it and now, even when a week has gone by he is able to do it on command the first time.  The trick requires him to put his nose on my lips every time I say kiss and he's so smart that he knows when he has not made contact to try again.  It was very difficult to come up with a new trick after sit because goodness knows he is never going to lie down or roll over but I finally thought of one that required minimal touch.  You can imagine how cute it looks when Alvin gives kisses!

So, I will leave you with that visualization.