I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.

For me they are the role model for being alive.

~ Gilda Radner

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Berner Report: May 15 - May 22

It's hard to believe, but it's been over 3 months since Mr.B arrived on my doorstep. He's come such a long way. But he still has far to go. That includes finding his happily-ever-after forever home. If you think you might be Alfy's happily ever after, or know of someone that might be, please contact me. I've added my email address to my profile.

It's been a seriously stressful week, both at home and at the food bank. Once again, I haven't kept the camera as handy as usual. Here are our highlights.

Alfy uses his kennel, by choice, frequently. He stays in his closed kennel for up to a half an hour, while I am home. In the video below, Alfy remained in his kennel for about 20 minutes while I was in and out of the room and the house.

He hasn't complained, but pants heavily and does not appear relaxed. Although he enters the kennel for treats, he doesn't eat any of them. (Stumpy has learned, quickly, to check out the Berner's kennel for leftovers as soon as kennel time is over.

This week, I am going to begin leaving him in the kennel while I leave for short periods. As a side note, Stumpy is always kenneled within Alfy's scope of vision when he is kenneled. I hope to begin to remove Stumpy from the equation giving her some much needed and sorely missed alone time. One step at a time, though.

BHD (Big Hairy Dog) is also walking nicely on a leash.You can see the slack in the leash in the picture below.

In the video, he walks nicely at my side, stopping when I stop, all without asking. At first, he was a little confused about where to walk, (i.e. between my legs and on my right side.) Again, with nothing from me but light guidance (no vocals) he has figured out (remembered?) his proper position.

He's good with me restraining him using his collar. When I brush him or attach his leash there is no resistance or discomfort at all.

He's also learning to be tethered.

For the record, I would never leave a dog tied, unsupervised; nor do I condone it. I don't have a fenced yard and often times Stumpy is tied out while I am inside and can easily reach her if necessary. She can also go in and out of the house when tied. They both like to sit out on the deck and watch the world go by. I think tethering is an important life lesson for a dog. As someone who travels and camps my dogs were often tied (again, always under close supervision) and needed to know how to deal with tying. Again, tethering should only be done under close supervision. The Berner really hasn't been tied, yet, but attached to me so I can convince him he wants to stay when he thinks he wants to go.

He's not unhappy so much at being tethered, he's crying because he want's to be on the road, checking out the neighborhood. He's been whining and pacing for a few hours, now. We take a walk, he settles down and a half an hour later he's at it again. Rinse and repeat. A fenced yard would be a wonderful thing right now.

Foxtail? Have you heard of them?

If not, say a prayer of gratitude. The Berner is constantly scratching and digging into his coat and foxtail is the culprit.

It's a multi barbed grass seed. They cling to a dogs coat and work themselves into nasal and ear passages and under the skin, and they continue to travel doing major damage. For Stumpy, thankfully, they are a non issue since she doesn't leave the dirt roads and is short-haired. For the Berner they are a real problem. I'm hoping a solved problem now that the big guy's wandering days are over.

As I brush him I am digging pulling hundreds of them out of his under coat.

As I said at the beginning of the post there has been some major stress at home this week. Part of that stems from my inability to contain the Berner. There was an incident on Saturday involving the Berner and a neighbor. Nobody was hurt, but my already crazy, on-the-edge neighbor* is all pissed off and freaked out. At this point, the Berner could be a liability and I must take responsibility for him. As of now, his wandering days are over. There is one slight problem, though. He doesn't like to potty on the leash. At this writing (Friday, 5:30pm) it's been over 24 hours, at least 6 walks and no sign of relief.

With both his collar and leash issues under control, we can begin some more formal training with basic commands. I'm hoping to be home for the next 6 days, to work with him. the only thing that will be allowed to infringe on this plan is vehicle shopping.

We haven't worked, at all, with getting him in the car this week, for various reasons. His time to reconcile with the car is coming. I'll have no excuse this coming week. That said, I think getting him into the kennel, willingly and on command, will work in our favor. Paula, who blogs at Woof Whinny Whisper has given me some great advice to that end.

Saturday, May 22
Happy birthday, Mum!

Twelve walks, yesterday and Berner boy finally forced himself to relieve himself! Oh! You wanted pictures?

Wait a minute! that's a pile of pooped Berners, not a pile of Berner poop!

Today, it's 9:30, we've had 4 walks since 5am and nothing. Fortunately, it's alittle cooler today. I thought about starting at the beginning, much like I would house train a puppy, but I don't think using the kennel in that way would be the best thing for him right now. And he's already house trained. I've had other male dogs that weren't fond of doing their business when leashed, but they knew when I said "Hurry up!" that meant go if you have to and did, as does Stumpy.

And he's sulking. He won't look at me

won't take treats from me and hides in the bathroom.

He doesn't love me any more :( Unless I have turkey and I DO have turkey! :)

If you are interested in adopting this handsome boy please refer to my sidebar and check out Petfinder's "New Dog Adopter's" Pledge. This is the home Alfy deserves. He will come to you vet checked, neutered, up to date on his vaccinations and micro-chipped. Vet references will be required. A home-check is a possibility. Because of his wander lust a fenced yard is probably necessary. Distance may not be a problem. I'll be traveling east in the not too distant future. I have also had offers for transport help, when the time comes.

The Berner (now known as Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner)is/was a semi-feral dog trying to survive in the Mohave Desert. If you're a new visitor to our blog, the Berner's story can be read in the posts listed, in chronological order, below. Updates are posted on Saturday.
#1 Who's been sitting in my chair?
#2 Runnin' with the big dawgs
#3 There's a Berner in my living room!
#4 He's everywhere!
#5 He's gone
#6 The Berner: coming and going
#7 Berner News
#8 The Weekly Berner Report (March 28 - April 3)
#9 The Weekly Berner Report (April 3 - April 10)
#10 The Weekly Berner Report (April 10 - April 17);
#11 The Weekly Berner Report (April 17 - April 24)
#12 The Weekly Berner Report (April 24 - May 1)
#13 The Berner (aka Alphonso Bernard Jacob Scout Billy Bob Berner) Report: May 1 - May 8
#14 The Weekly Berner Report: May 8 - May 15

*Yes, the animal hoarding, trash collecting neighbors moved and now I have another crazy over there. It could be me, I suppose. You know, the ol' "I'm not crazy it's the rest of the world" syndrome.


NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Thanks fur another exciting edition of As The Berner Turns!

Sorry 'bout the khraziness - it is the way of the world any mor -

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

You are doing a great job with Mr. B.. Keep up the great work..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Pat Wahler said...

I'm consistently amazed at how far the Berner has come, and all thanks to your patience and persistence.


Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Khrya, Hopefully next week's version will be even more exciting, with me being home.

Heelers! thanks! Seriously, I couldn't do it without all the help, advice and support I am getting from our bloggie pals (and Stumpy, of course!)!

Pat, he amazes me, too. Like I said in my comment to the Heelers, our bloggin' pals, like yourself are a huge part of Alfy's rehab.

tula monstah said...

Isn't funny that when you get a dog like this.. so much needs to be done in baby steps. You're doing a wroo wroo job! & Alfy's made mucho progress!

back to that foxtail thing.. ooch! sending big monstah vibes to finding a forever home:)


Sunny,Scooter, (sometimes Jamie) said...

My grandmother used to say, "everybody is crazy but me and thee and I'm not real sure about thee" She was a hoot. Worst part of getting older>? Your family dies and leaves you!
Jamie and the Texas Sundogs
pee ess email forthcoming

An English Shepherd said...

Berner is coming along great you should be really proud :-)


Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Tula, wroo wroo is a good thing, right? I hope... Monstah vibes is a powerful thing! Thanks!

Jamie, it's always been the people claiming to be normal that scare me...

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Wizz, he's easy to bring along so he ges all the credit

Sandra said...

Amazing how far in 3 months. I know so many crazy people that I am always amazed I'm so sane. : D

I have been absent from blogland, so I've missed a lot. I'm glad I caught up on his report though.

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

Sandra, I have noticed your absence and hoped you were enjoying some wonderfully warm and sunny weather!

T said...

How absolutely amazing! I am in awe, just so darn proud of you and how far The Berner has come!!

You have done so well with him, and it shows in all the photos.

Keep up the fantastic work and dedication that you have put in for this special soul. It shows, and he thanks you for it:)

Cyndi and Stumpy said...

T, I think the Berner deserves a HUUUUUUGE amount of credit. The whole journey really says a lot about what kind of dog he is with regard to his personallity and disposition.