Time flies, and it has been a week since I filled you all in on Bucky and the kittens.
First, the kittens. They all did fine with the spay/neuter surgeries. Camila had a small hernia as well, which was repaired while she was under. Camila and Sergio are going to their new home Tuesday. Carlos and Julieta have attracted the attention of a young couple with scads of cat experience and they are coming to meet the two on Wednesday, and will adopt them then if all goes well. They want social and active cats, and that’s the perfect definition of Carlos and Julieta, so paws crossed.
On to Bucky.
Don’t tell the surgeon and the PT folks, but I am letting Bucky have the zoonies once or twice a week, with the brace on, and it is doing wonders for his mental health. He soooooo wants to play, and what I have sometimes thought was bad dog meeting habits is as much about his need to play as it is meeting habits. He meets other dogs on walks pretty well, now that we’ve started letting him do that with select dogs we know well. But he continues to pounce on Gracie and Bodhi, and as I watch, it really seems that he wants to play with them. But Bodhi and Gracie have no interest in playing with any dogs…it isn’t personal to Bucky (mostly)…and he can’t engage in dog on dog play yet anyway. Bucky’s just a young dog, doing what young dogs do, so I’ve been trying to find more ways to engage him physically (limited) and mentally (unlimited!).
Here’s one of his favorite new food puzzles. There are little rubber spikes inside the bottom of this toy, making it a challenge to get the food out, and this keeps him busy for a good while.
This was another favorite. Dinner was served in two parts – the canned food on the lick mat, and the kibble on the snuffle mat.
Bucky is being allowed to hang out outside of his crate a bit more, usually with Gracie up on the second floor. They can be together if I’m watching both of them and have treats ready to distract one or another, but I am trying to give Bucky the freedom of the first floor for an hour here and there. He is doing really well with that if the cats don’t show up, which they do occasionally…but they run faster than Bucky and have lots of places he can’t access, thankfully. (There are only so many things I can work on at once!) He gets his chew toys and sometimes comes around for pets. Occasionally he gets demanding and mouthy and grabs my arms or something, but he is learning that mouthiness is the end of any fun. I just get up and walk away, and Bucky is finally figuring this out, and the mouthiness is decreasing He is doing better with barking as well, since he gets nothing in response. If he starts barking while we’re watching TV, we just put on the subtitles and ignore him. He still hates it when I take Gracie for a walk and he’s stuck at home, and will bark for awhile, but he’s learned not to bark for his meals and is quiet most of the time.
When Bucky gets crazy in his crate, which happens sometimes, sometimes he needs to potty- easily solved. If it isn’t that, he’s just bored and crazy sometimes, so we get out some interactive toys, or go outside for a search for Cherrios on the lawn, or very occasionally, I throw a ball for him and let him do his zoomies for a minute or two. He’s been soooo good for three months, and he just needs to run a little bit once in a while.
Bucky and Gracie now walk together every day, usually for 30-40 minutes, and that’s going well. They are often sniffing the same thing with their heads nearly touching, and they always need to check out wherever the other one has peed. Bucky seems to need to pee over Gracie’s pee, but Gracie doesn’t pee over Bucky’s. They walk together without incident, except for one day when Bucky just lost his mind and got mouthy and jumpy…not sure why. But Marley took Gracie on ahead and I just waited with Bucky until he calmed down, and by the time we got home, Marley had Gracie and Bodhi contained elsewhere and Bucky went into his crate, and it was all done. Mostly our walks are uneventful, and it is nice to see the two of them engaged in an activity together without concerns for each other.
Our days are pretty much alike now. Play with the kittens (for a few more days), PT exercises and yard time (searching out Cherrios or watching the world around him) for most of an hour a day for Bucky, walks with both of the dogs, and then clients and life in general. We’re really enjoying being semi-retired with a much less demanding schedule than we’ve had for the last 14 years. It’s nice having a client or two a day, but not 6-8 of them, and the email and phone are much quieter as well. And the fall weather is my favorite…so life is good. Hope it is good for you as well.