Pablo (Harri)

19-5-2008 Happy puppy
Pablo is doing great! He has been having a blast with the nice weather lately. He lays in the sun in the yard and basks all day. His favorite pose is sprawled out on his back with his tongue out. I think he's thinking of the Spanish sun. It's been kind of rainy lately and it's definitly depressed him. He looks out the window with this look on his face like ew, no fair! and then checks out the back door every 20 minutes or so to see if maybe the weather's gotten better. A new smoked bone seems to have taken the edge off the pain but he's still pouty about it.

He got to stay with some friends for a few days while we were out of town. He spent four fun filled days playing with his friend Loki and learning about cats that don't run away when he comes near them. Then when we returned Loki got to come to our house for the day. Pablo is a little more high energy than Loki so he spent much of the time running around him, under him, and over him and generally being very silly.

We are still trying to get him used to a harness and collar! He's gotten better compared to when we first got him but he's still got a long way to go. We have had him since September and he still runs in terror whenever he sees the leash or collar or hears the word walk. Once the front door opens he reverts back to his tail wagging excited self. His favorite walk place is the woods and open pastures near our house. If he hasn't got his walk yet he hangs around looking out the window and then at us and then out the window until we get up but once he sees that harness he bolts. We've tried several different styles, collars, etc and all have the same effect. We've left it on him for the day and he just lays or stands still and stiff and won't move until we take it off. We've tried putting it on him and then giving him loves and treats. We've tried putting the harness on and bringing him on the bed for snuggle time. We've tried giving him the good, gourmet wet dog food. Nothing seems to break his fear of being on a harness yet. I suppose it will just be time. He's also terrified of people carrying sticks, particularly kids swinging sticks. Also yelling men and people who move at him quickly when he's on the harness. We even have to move slowly when we want to give him love for being good. Otherwise he lowers his belly to the ground and cowers and then I have to sit on the ground sweet talking him until he's ok.

I've adopted abused dogs before so I know it takes time. I'm just surprised because of how young he was when the rescue group got him. He's such a lover I can't see how anyone would want to hurt him, and that's coming from a girl who's lost 5 good pairs of shoes to him. No matter how upset I get with him the boy knows if he just puts his ears down and comes and climbs in my lap and gives me kisses I can't stay upset with him.

He's been in absolute heaven lately because Mike had eye surgery and spent several days in bed, meaning Pablo spent several days cuddling with him on the bed while I was at work. When Mike did go back to work he was on mid shift meaning Pablo still was spending the whole day sleeping with him on the bed. We've had opposite work schedules for a while now so he's usually got one of us around keeping him out of mischief but he much prefers having one of us in the bed to snuggle with since he's not allowed to sleep there at night.

He tore his big boy bed to a million pieces while we were out to dinner one night so we just got him a new bed. We got him the same style as we had gotten him as puppy with walls that he can snuggle into. Despite his newfound extra snooze room he still prefers his old tiny bed. He has to squish into it but maybe it makes him feel secure. His favorite sleeping places are our bed and the couch but his beds are cooler so he favors them when it's warm outside.

I got a new camera recently so I'm attaching some pictures of him I took while playing with it. He's a photo hog. He knows the sound of the camera and I swear he poses. He gets jealous if we take pictures of our kitty Poeli and tries to butt in so he gets his picture taken instead or at least as well!

Well it's my bedtime so I should end this. I hope you enjoy the new photos!

9-3-2008 Spoiled rotten
Pablo has completely healed and back to his normal crazy-boy self. He recently had visitors for a few days as we had company from the states. He spent their visit getting as many belly rubs as possible and distributing kisses to everyone. While they were here we took him with us whenever possible so he got to go walk around new towns and new nature trails. This helped him get over his post-operative car phobia to the point where he now jumps in the car on his own! He even got to go to the three country point so he could travel internationally rather quickly. He was very sad when they left and moped all day.

He got to stay with some friends for 4 days while we were on a short holiday. The wife, Brooke, stayed home all day for all four days with him playing ball and letting him snuggle with her on the couch. He came home rather spoiled and pleased with himself. He was really happy to see our cat again when he returned home although I don't know that Poeli neccesarily returned that joy. She does like him and will even nuzzle him when he actually sits still but when he goes crazy she isn't such a fan.

I really want to get Pablo a brother or sister to play with but we cannot do that until we return to the US and know if we will have the time and yard space for a second dog (and cat). He loves to play so much I think he'd enjoy having someone in the house who enjoys ball and wrestling as much as he does. For now he will have to settle with our neighbor's dog as a daily playmate. Poeli could use a second kitty to play with too. We let her play with our neighbor cat right now but her boredom routine is to either torment Pablo or tip over the water cooler. She likes to run in circles around a sleeping Pablo and then disappear so that he wakes up alarmed with no idea why he is alarmed. It's actually really funny to watch but I think they'll both be happier when they have someone their own species to lark about with.

I have started a job recently so I'm not home as much as I was previously. Fortunately Mike and I's work schedules usually don't overlap or if they do it's only by an hour or two so Pablo isn't generally alone for more than he is if we go out to dinner. On the rare occasion our schedules do overlap for more than a couple hours my neighbor comes to get him and brings Pablo over to play with her puppy (& his best friend) Wrinkles. I generally come home to find him stretched out on his back using Mike as a pillow and snoring.

Pablo has discovered that he can see out the window from the couch so now spends half his day on "guard duty" staring out the window and making warning noises at any dogs or humans that stray too close to his yard. He looks really funny when he's doing this though because his behind hangs down outside the curtain onto the couch while his front half is in the window. He's tried to figure out how to lay in the window sill like Poeli but that didn't work too well. He ended up falling out of the window and on the couch where he decided to stay for a while.

I will post pictures once I get them on the computer!

11-2-2008 Healing well
I'm happy to report Pablo is healing really well. His wound is only a little scab now. He's looking like he's going to be able to have his stitches out on Wednesday. We take the dork collar off when we're with him although he acts like we're killing him when we put it back on. I think he'll live to play crazy boy another day.

7-2-2008 He is spoiled but sweet
Pablo is getting so big. I can't believe it's the same puppy we brought home in September! He's been such a pest to his sister, Poeli, that we had to buy her a big tall kitty post to hide out on. She's also discovered that he's too tall to see into her kitty tent easily so that is her preferred place to hide.

We went back home for a visit for 2 weeks during which time Pablo stayed with our neighbor and owner of his best friend, Wrinkles. He had to sleep at our house because the two of them would not stop barking all night, but otherwise he was busy having a blast with Wrinkles and our neighbor's two children.

He's glad to have us home, I think. He's back to long walks, trips to his favorite pet store for bones and pig ears, and snuggling on our bed every morning. He's going to his first carnival celebration this weekend which should be fun. He has a festive scarf to wear for the occasion. He may not be so glad to have us home as of Wednesday as he goes in to be castrated on that day!

7-2-2008 The pathetic patient
Wednesday started out a good day for Pablo. He got to snuggle with us for a solid half hour before we got out of bed. Then we got into the car where he had a nice warm pile of blankets and a loofah dog waiting for him. Usually this means one thing...HIKING TRIP!!!!! So pablo climbed in and fell asleep in a happy pile. When we piled out at the rest stop he got to play a bit in the woods and run and play for a while. He climbed back in the car a happy boy to continue on to Kalmthout.

When we got there he was (as usual) terrified to walk through the strange door. (Does anyone know what happened to this boy as a pre-RDE puppy because he's scared of harnesses and doors...) Once he finally got inside he saw a friendly lab and immediately went into play mode...Only to get a shot, get wobbly, and accepted the offer of Mike's lap to continue into dream land.

When he woke up he was back in the car, with a lampshade collar on, he couldn't stand up yet, and just in case he wasn't already irritated enough, he peed himself. Apparently this was the "castration" word he's been hearing lately.

He's now moping around the house in the lampshade collar and looking pathetic. Keeping him quiet was easy yesterday. Today his energy is back and he really doesn't feel like he needs to be still. He is eating well, toileting fine, and has resumed torturing the cat. I think he will recover. When he catches us looking at him he puts on his best pout face. Also when we scold him for attacking the cat. He is truly pathetic.

I've tried explaining that this was for his own good and even tried blaming the RDE for it but the only thing that seems to stop the moping is bribery. I don't want a chubby dog so he's not going to be getting too much of that. I suppose I will have to ignore his pouting for now. I think we owe him a great hiking trip soon. Luxembourg, land of the leaves rustling with mice might be acceptable.

12-12-2007 Merry Christmas
We've been busy lately. Pablo got to go to his first Christmas Market the other day. Poeli is finally starting to fight back when he tries to play with her. She doesn't use her claws, just whacks him on the head repeatedly until he goes away. Pablo's learning to catch a tennis ball. We have to bounce it still but it's about his favorite game now, besides chasing Poeli.

He thinks he's a mighty hunter. We took him to the park and he dug up his first prey item...a big fat juicy earthworm. He's also discovered the joy of chasing bunnies, while we're on the other end of the leash. He thinks he's really tough. I don't think he'd know what to do if he actually caught one though. I'm guessing he'd probably try to play with it.

6-11-2007 Pablo's first hiking trip
Pablo went on his first hiking trip this week. We went to Eifel National Park and Vogelhang. He did so well. The only problem he had was getting marooned in the middle of the creek. He got over across a few big stepping stones but the got scared and had to be carried the rest of the way across the creek. We stopped for a break every hour or so so he could take a nap. He did really well. He loved running through the tall grass and meeting new people and puppies.

29-10-2007 Growing up big and strong
Pablo is growing like crazy. He has doubled in weight since we got him and is much taller and longer. He had another growth spurt over the last two weeks. His legs grew first so he looked like he was walking on stilts. He then grew a bunch of extra skin, particularly at his leg joints. Then his body grew to match his skin and legs. His energy is incredible. We walk for about an hour and a half every afternoon and for another 30-60 minutes every night. He loves walking in the woods near our house and attacking the leaves as they fall around him. He also loves the dog park near our house where he can meet and play with new puppies. He also loves the game tug and fetching soft squeaky balls. He is starting to lose his teeth and is chewing on natural rawhide chews and nylabones almost frantically.

He loves to wag his tail and kiss everyone he meets including children, people in wheelchairs, and anyone else who smiles at him. He is starting to sit instead of jump on some people. Children are still great jump targets though. He has mastered the command "kisses" and is very happy to give kisses to anyone who might ask for them. It's very cute.

He is sleeping well in his crate at night. He usually wakes up about 15 minutes before the alarm goes off and whines a bit. We let him come snuggle with us for those last 15 minutes, which are quite possibly his favorite 15 minutes of the day. He is allowed on the couch whenever we are in the living room and he loves to snuggle and watch tv from there with us. He's sleeping with his head on my lap as I write this.

He is finally catching up in size with his best friend and neighbor, Wrinkles so they can play without much danger. He still gets sat on once in a while but he can hold his own now. He picks on our cat but she picks on him right back so there's no harm. He'll chase her and she stops suddenly and flattens out so he has to leap over her and frequently ends up running into the couch or something. He gets her back by putting a paw on her so she can't get away as easily and sniffing her. She then stalks off to give herself a bath and remove the stinky dog smell.

He is getting much better at bath time. He hates it, but he doesn't try to run for it anymore so it's an easier job now. He has also completely conquered his fear of the local pet store. Now that he knows going there means a new toy or bone he tries to go there on walks when that is not our destination. He has also learned how to use the doggie doorbell we got him so we haven't had any accidents in the past month. I'm so proud of him! His new favorite game in the house is find the treat. We set out 3 cups and hide a treat under one and he picks the one he smells it under and attacks the cup to get the treat. He's pretty good.

We don't know anything about his past but certain fears he has makes us wonder. He is terrified of his harness and runs away when we bring it out. The only thing he does with the harness on is go for a walk (which he loves) or go for a carride to a park or some other fun place. We never tie him up by it and he's never even been to the vet while wearing it so I can't see any reason why he'd be scared of it from us. I don't know if he had a bad experience with one in the past or what. I've checked the fit and everything and it fits well. I would rather use the harness than the collar because he still pulls sometimes and I don't like how a collar pushes on his throat when he pulls. He is also terrified of big parking lots and walking through some doorways. The most puzzling doorway he's afraid of is our front door. When we return from anywhere whether in the car or from a walk, he runs terrified from our front door. If we open the garage and garage door he'll happily go in that door so it's not just that he doesn't want to come home yet. He's never been squished in the door or hit by it or anything so we don't know what it is about that particular door. Sometimes we get him in by bribery but then he stands in the front hall shaking as if he is afraid until the harness and leash are off. Then he's ready to bound around the house and settle down with a bone again. My family has always rescued abused dogs so I'm used to strange behaviours and phobias. Pablo is so young though it seems odd he would have such fears. We're hoping through time he will overcome them well.

3-10-2007 Mr. Personality
Pablo's personality is really starting to shine. He is a very social dog that loves people and other animals. His exuberance is easy to see as his tail wags so hard it makes his whole rear end wag with it. He is very smart and learns very quickly things like the sit, stay, come, fetch, and no potty in the house. He loves his nylabones, rope toys, and loofa dog. He has also become very attached to a stuffed animal we have nicknamed fred and likes to have it in his crate at night so he has something to chew and snuggle with when he wakes up. He also finally mastered the stairs this week! He is so proud of himself. He likes to run up and down them for practice although down still scares him slightly. He barks at them and then makes a mad dash for the bottom.

He loves sitting on our laps while we watch TV or read. He loves watching animal planet with us. Especially shows with dogs or people praising an animal. He sits in front of the TV wagging his tail because he thinks they are praising him!

He officially met our veterinarian when he got his puppy shots. He shook like a baby and leaned into Mike for safety but didn't whimper when he got his shots and accepted the treat as a peace offering.

He hasn't gotten to go anywhere other than the vet this week unfortunately. He has come down with a mild case of kennel cough. The vet says his lungs are clear and he's doing fine but he still is on some cough medicine and cannot go out until he is well. He should be over this by Friday but we will not be attending the RDE reunion as he may still be contagious and we wouldn't want to infect any other dogs!
24-9-2007 The First Week!
We have decided to give Harri a new name for his new life. We're calling him Pablo in honor of Pablo Picasso, one of our favorite Spanish artists.

He might have been terrified at the airport but that didn't last long. By the time we got home he was full of energy, ready to play, and was doing laps around the yard. His sister, Poeli the cat, is really not too sure about him still. She doesn't hiss or growl at him but she is very wary. We are teaching him to sit when he sees her which seems to be working rather well. Poeli will even let him sniff her if he doesn't try to tackle her like she is another puppy. He has learned sit, stay and come already. We use clickers and treats to train him and a squirt bottle with water in it to tell him no, particularly when he's trying to dig in the yard. He hates water so it's been pretty effective.

He has taken well to sleeping in a crate in our bedroom at night. He goes right in and falls asleep. He's still waking us up once during the night to go potty but overall he's been really good about sleeping in the cage. We keep him in the laundry room when we have to leave during the day so he can have room to play with his toys and have acess to his water bowl and a potty pad if we're going to be gone more than an hour. He whines for a minute, then settles down with a chewie in his bed and pouts. During the day he follows one of us around the house and naps in his beds or on our laps. His favorite place to sleep is definitly snuggled up on our laps. Whenever he's awake we take time to play tug, fetch, or find the squeaky toy. His favorite toys are his squeaky soft dog, his loofa dog, and his nylabone. He keeps at least one of these near him at all times.

The older neighbor dogs are teaching him puppy manners. They let him play with them but growl and push him away when he's getting out of hand or bites too hard. They've been really good teachers as his manners with other dogs have definitly improved in the last week. We watch them carefully and keep everyone leashed in case one of the older dogs loses their temper but they seem to understand that he is a puppy and needs some patience. We have one other full time puppy and one frequently visiting puppy right next door. Both are much bigger so we let they play between the fence mostly for now. Pablo especially loves Wrinkles, his full time neighbor. He goes outside and waits for her to come out and play. It's really cute.

He's doing very well with house breaking and has it mastered when he's on the first floor. He's still having trouble letting us know to let him out when he's upstairs but we're working on that. The problem is he is still is having trouble with our stairs as he's a little short and uncoordinated for how steep and narrow they are. He can do two or three but then he slips so we have to supervise him very closely when he's trying them out. We're' teaching him to ring a bell at the top of the stairs to let us know it's potty time.

He seems to know he's in a good place now. We feel really lucky to have brought home such a smart, adorable puppy. He gets his last round of puppy shots next week so we'll see if he still loves us then!