Friday, November 21, 2008

Horrible Neighbors

I guess I have a new neighbor who moved in directly below us. He's an older guy, maybe mid-30s and has complained about the dogs twice in less than a week. And he called the cops as well but that's a different story.
Here's the thing: Corey and I both work in downtown which is 45 minutes away by light rail. That means I get up at 5:50 in the morning to walk the dogs and get ready for work with enough time for Corey to shower and all that good stuff before catching the light rail. That means the dogs are up by the time I get up. We keep Pickle in his kennel at night because he makes too much noise and Cooper steals his food. Cooper get free rein of the house because he doesn't do much but sleep; occasionally walking around. We get the dogs ready for bed around 10:30 every weekday night and later on the weekends. The neighbor complained at 6:20 in the morning that the dogs were running around. Um...if you're already up, then aren't you getting ready for work too so why does it matter if they're running around?
He came over last Saturday night at 10 to say that the sound of the dogs running around was too loud. WTF? It's 10! On a Saturday! Granted I am assuming he has a normal 9-5 M-F job, but seriously, 10? Most of the people who live in my apartment complex are young professionals around Corey's and my age. We're used to the noise! People have parties, listen to loud music, have raucous get togethers in the common area by the pool and people just deal with it. After 12 though, then we start asking people to keep it down.
The thing that bothers me is that the guy knowingly moved into an apartment complex that allows animals. Not everyone is going to keep a cat or a 5 pound dog. My dogs are super quiet; they rarely bark and yeah, they kind of run around. But so do kids and kids are a thousand times louder than a dog and I don't fucking complain when someone's asshole kid is screaming for hours. I deal with it. The dogs only run around for 15 minutes at the most and calm down. I keep them quiet during the night, they don't bark, and they don't really do anything but sleep and eat. I can't justify keeping them in their kennels all day and night just because some asshole downstairs can't put up with a bit of noise. I don't know his work schedule, but I think it's fair to assume that during the day, anything really goes since the apartment complex is EMPTY. As my dogs aren't barking their heads off but rather chasing each other BECAUSE THEY ARE BORED for less than 20 minutes, I think he should be able to deal with that. I don't mind putting them in their kennels during the night because hell, they keep me up too. On the weekends, however, I think I can leave them out longer than normal since most people can sleep in on the weekends. I can't keep them in the kennels during the day because that is just not fair; they have every right (as I am paying rent in our apartment) to walk around and be able to lay on the couch and stretch their legs.
I'm going to go down this weekend to talk with the new neighbors and try to figure out a compromise. I hate passive-aggresiveness and they have shown that side by banging on their ceiling when the dogs are too loud. Fucking A, get your lazy ass out and TALK with us. I hate the people who complain about something and never do anything to try and work it out.
The dogs are not at fault. They have their own minds and semi-free will and yes, if they feel like running for whatever reason, they are. I can't always make them stop and unless they are being destructive or super loud, I'm going to let them do it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Sometimes I wonder if dogs take after their owners. You know, personality, likes and dislikes, habits, etc. Cooper uses his paws a lot more than any dog I know and I think he learned that behavior from humans. For instance, he will actually slap Pickle or anything else that annoys him in a friendly manner. Ok, sometimes in a violent manner. My ex had a cat that would chase Cooper and Cooper will chase it back. They got along really well considering Cooper used to be terrified of cats and could be trusted in the same room together. Cooper would sit next to it as it groomed itself and would slap it and knock her over to get the cat to chase him. It was very amusing to me. Luckily she was declawed or else she totally would have made Cooper regret it.

Corey says that Cooper's a lot like me. Corey only recently got back with Cooper; we lived apart for over a year in which Cooper stayed with me. He says Cooper's behavior's changed a lot, both good and bad. At least now we can trust him to be alone outside of his kennel while we're at work. Cooper had a horrible marking problem when he was a puppy. I don't know if Cooper learned some weird, quirky things from me or not but here are some things he does that I definitely do:

  • When he sleeps in the bed with me and jumps on my legs, I always groaned or made a noise. He does this whenever he lies down or when someone nudges him while he's lying down.
  • His eyes glaze over when I've been lecturing him too long. Or make him repeat tricks. My friends and family have told me numerous times (and professors) that my eyes glaze over when something is very boring to me.
  • He's more of a homebody than he looks. Sure he enjoys his walks more than words can describe but at the end of it, he is eager to go home and do nothing.
  • Cooper sniffs flowers because he sees me doing it in the spring and summer. If I stop to sniff the roses, he'll stop, turn to look at me, realize I'm sniffing flowers, and happily sniffs the ones in his reach.
  • He gives up easily. Yeah, no need to desribe that for myself.
  • He's a picky eater. He won't eat "cheap" treats and seems to be able to tell the difference between organic and non-organic foods. While I can't distinguish that, I am a picky eater and will only eat certain foods.
  • Cooper is a bitch. I've been told I'm one as well by my own father. Actually, that's how my dad likes to preface a conversation with boyfriends. True story.
  • Cooper hates getting up in the mornings. I have to drag myself out of bed and he groans when he hears the alarm going off and curls into a tighter ball; just like I do. Eventually we both give in and finally get up. Mornings are inevitable.
  • Cooper's really easy going, he likes everyone and everything until they wrong him. He can hold a grudge longer than any dog should.
  • And last but not least, we're both Asian.

Corey thinks I've been too easy on Cooper and that's why Cooper thinks he can get away with murder. Maybe that's true but honestly, how can anyone say No to his cute little face? He knows what's right and wrong, but his strong shiba personality let's him believe that he is above that law. I can discipline him when he needs it and he does submit to me. Deep down he knows I'm pack leader but likes to pretend otherwise.

This is a picture of Cooper and me at CU Boulder. See how happy he is?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Two Shibas

Cooper and Pickle still do not get along. We have had them in our new apartment for about 3 months now, and Pickle for 4 months. Cooper still hates Pickle and will not stop trying to "dominate" him. Pickle makes the situation worse by not ever leaving Cooper alone. He has that annoying little brother personality that really pisses Cooper off.

Cooper's fine when they're both outside on walks. He doesn't really mind when Pickle shoves him out of the way to sniff whatever Cooper was sniffing first. He doesn't really care if he's the "pack leader" or not; Cooper likes to either be in the front or dawdle behind everyone (Pickle and Cooper never fight over who gets to be leader). Cooper also could care less where Pickle pees or poops and doesn't feel the need to over mark the area.

It's in the house that gets really bad, annoying, and frustrating. Cooper will bully Pickle and scare him so badly Pickle doesn't leave his kennel. When he does venture out, Cooper stresses him out by growling every time Pickle moves. When Cooper's lying down having a nap or just relaxing, Pickle comes out of nowhere and jumps on Cooper and tries to make Cooper chase him. I know Pickle's still a puppy but he should really learn to tone down when everyone's relaxing. Usually I yell at Cooper because he's the one that gets loud. Pickle never makes a sound when he's playing with Cooper and I don't think he can even growl. I feel bad for always yelling and disciplining Cooper because it really isn't his fault all the time. Corey gets on my case when I yell at Pickle because he feels sorry for Pickle. He can't help that he's undersocialized; that'll be the fault of the breeder.

Because Pickle has socialization issues, I think this is made harder because of Cooper's constant bullying. Pickle isn't able to relax because he's wary of Cooper being mean to him. When Corey and i watch TV too loudly Pickle freaks out and hides or he paces. And you know what happens every time Pickle moves; Cooper growls. I think it might almost be best if we gave Pickle up to a family that has the time to socialize Pickle and bring him out of his shell. Maybe Cooper was meant to be an only child but I still want him to have Pickle around. Granted Pickle enjoys Cooper's company way more than Cooper enjoys Pickle. I just feel like I'm taking the easy way out but at what point do you say enough is enough. I don't feel like this is healthy for either dogs because Cooper's getting more and more stressed and I'm sure Pickle's stressed more than we could imagine as he isn't as vocal as Cooper. But I'm afraid of Pickle going to the wrong home; I'm afraid someone might abuse him or drop him off at the pound when they realize that he is a lot of work. It's not that I'm afraid about the work, we are making slow progress, but it's just the fact that I can't stand listening to the damn dogs fighting all the damn time. I put Cooper in his kennel when he's being a dick but as soon as I let him out he's all over Pickle again. And Pickle doesn't know when to just give Cooper space and leave him alone.

I just don't know what to do and I feel like a horrible dog owner. I do get frustrated with Pickle because he is so terrified of everything and has too many issues but I feel like he's my responsibility now. I seriously want to call Cesar Milan and have him help me with my anti-social pup and jealous Cooper.