Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 8 of 30DR

I rode my bicycle again this morning.

Last night, as I rode around the lake, I spent the entire hour reciting things I loved about riding my bike around the lake--how it makes my calves feel strong, how it opens my mind and liberates me from the anxieties of my day, . . . I feel certain that the bicycle hour helps me be more calm at home.

But today by the time I returned home it was already too hot to walk the dogs. So I neglected that today but was pretty steady with everything else.

Behavior-wise:

* I crated them twice today. The first time P-dog quietly tackled her kong while B-dog entered his crate. The second time (even though all other conditions were, as far as I could tell, identical, right down to the kong) P-dog barked and growled at B as he entered his crate. He retreated to the bedroom doorway, then obeyed me when I insisted he come to me and enter his crate, with P barking and growling. I spritzed P with the water-filled spray bottle that I now keep there. I haven't yet rotated their crates. I'll do that tomorrow.

* Again today P seems tense when I put her in the living room and B in the dining room. She hides behind a chair to block his view of her. This morning she wouldn't eat her food. She did eat tonight's helping, though. I switch the dogs between those spaces throughout the day, trying to give them equal access to me and to the backyard. My gut tells me I need to get them un-separated soon or else the gates will reinforce the antagonism somehow. It keeps them from playing together. Not that they frolic much, really, but still a little frolicking is important. But they mainly frolic by chasing squirrels and I worry that muzzling them on hot days outside will be too hard on them. So again we hit the early-morning scenario.

Speaking of muzzles. They arrived this afternoon. They're still in the box. I just couldn't bring myself to open the box today. Tomorrow I'll start the business of gently introducing them to the muzzles--putting treats inside them on the floor and so forth. I hate this.

* As for B's behavior, he's still docile but seems a little tense and unhappy. Hard to explain. It's just his demeanor. He seems to believe he's in trouble with me.

I hate this.

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