Monday, May 4, 2009

Barking, Hoarding, and Trimming Nails

Usually I can trim Cooper's nails if I have someone holding him. Since I live alone and David's too timid to hold Cooper, I have to resort to tricking him into staying still. I like to ask him to do tricks and reward him and then I trim a nail or two when I say "shake" and he gives me his paw. He freaks out because he finally realizes what happened and will scream and run away for a few minutes before he forgets all about it. Lately I've been teaching him to "relax" (lie on his side) so I can trim away.
I don't have problems with his back paws. I just cradle him in my lap while crooning, "Good boy!" as I clip away. I have more problems with his front paws and especially his dew claws. I knew I should have gotten those removed when we got him neutered...anyway, I tend to give up and trim just 2 of his nails on each paw. It works out ok. I wish he was smart like Sari and even Pickle and just grind his nails on the sidewalks.
Lately he has been barking/screaming/howling whenever I leave the apartment and he's not with me. On work days he seems to be fine and I don't hear him but on the weekends, good god...I already had the neighbors complain twice so I don't know what to do. Whenever I leave him on the weekends or even weeknights, I fill his Kong with kibble and treats and hope that'll suffice. I don't want to buy a bark collar because I don't think they'd work on him and if I got him that citronella spraying crap, I just know it'll get all over my stuff and I hate the smell of citronella. I would get a shock collar but I know Cooper would scream and that'll just shock him with higher voltage. So I'm hoping that the Kong will work long enough for my neighbors to go on with their lives and actually go to work. How the hell do I get that one neighbor that never works or even leave the house for that matter?
Cooper has a tendency to hide things in his house. I remember I had a 6 pack of those snack size yogurt raisins and I couldn't find them for a week. I came home and Cooper drops a box of the raisins at my feet and looks up at me like, "hey, you should open this and give me one..." I was stunned and asked, "Cooper! Where did you get this?!" He gives a guilty look at his house and I knew that's where he was hiding them. He looked so worried when I dug them out. Luckily he didn't open any of the boxes or I would have had to take him to the vet. Apparently raisins are bad for dogs.
Sometimes he hides toys in there. I once found some socks and underwear; both Corey's and mine.

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