Rube Goldberg

Ruby’s doing so much better. She was quite sick after her spay last Tuesday & refused to eat for a couple of days. She had a lot of accidents in the house, a runny nose & eyes, & lots of sneezes. I took her to the vet last Friday & got her some antibiotics for her runny nose (the vet where she was spayed said it could be the onset of bordetella), & the vet said her scar was healing really well.

We took her off the pain meds after the first night because they upset her stomach (she couldn’t even keep water down) & because she was already more active than she should have been with the recent surgery. Pain helps dogs (& humans) know their limits, so with the pain meds she could have accidentally reopened the wound, making her healing time longer. She didn’t cry out of pain past the first night, so we knew it was a good decision to let her work through it & to let her gain some strength by being able to keep food & water down.

She’s a ball of energy now. She’s gained a couple of pounds so she doesn’t look sickly anymore. We’ve got her about 95% house trained now because she’s very food motivated. We use Wellness treats, torn into small pieces because she often swallows them whole. We’re feeding her the Wellness brand large breed puppy food, which she seems to love.

This girl can jump. She has long legs for a pit but who knew she’d be flying through the air at chest level? She stole a block of parmesiano reggiano off the counter the other day. She didn’t make it too far. Yesterday she thought an orange was a ball & grabbed it off the counter. My coworker’s dog, George, sent her some Kong Squeaker Tennis Balls that she absolutely adores.

We started the dominance training this week. Right now we’re focusing on:

  • she never walks out of the house in front of us, always after, & the same for coming back in the house (alphas always lead the pack)
  • we don’t acknowledge her when we’re leaving & coming in (the alphas come & go as they please which doesn’t worry the pack; showing her we “missed her” shows her that she needs to worry about us)
  • she has to walk next to or behind us when on walks (we’re her pack leaders so we try to exude calm dominance & confidence)
  • she isn’t allowed to jump up on us (she has trouble remembering that)
  • she isn’t allowed on beds or couches (we got her a super comfy $60 bed that she took to right away)
  • we make sure she lets us flip her on her back (most vulnerable position for a dog) & that we can “pin” her using our hands as our mouths, our fingers as teeth – Cesar Milan style)
We’re using a mixture of Cesar Milan videos & The London Dog Listener videos to teach us what to do. She needs to learn this stuff because any large breed with a mouth full of teeth (not just pits…) needs to be submissive to their pack leaders (owners) so that their behavior can be controlled.

The most important, & the hardest one to teach her, is walking next to or behind us on walks. The walks reinforce everything she knows about her pack. She’s learning but she has a ways to go. This morning she didn’t pull quite as hard.

We need to start working with her to not play with her teeth out because she likes play bite (never breaking the skin or even bruising it) & that could get a little dangerous or scary for visitors who don’t know she’s just needs them to calm down for her to calm down.

Over all she’s super affectionate & has acclimated well to our house. She’s got lots of room to run around inside & we (Andrés mostly) take her on long walks to burn energy. She isn’t afraid of loud noises like banging pots or the vacuum; she’s just curious then goes back to her own thing. She absolutely hates my hair dryer. Like, hackles (her hair standing up), growling, getting ready to fight it.

For some reason, I call her all sorts of things: Ruby, Rube, Rube Goldberg, Mrs. Goldberg, Rupert, Rupert Murdoch (only when I’m mad at her). She responds to most of these.

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