Thursday, March 22, 2012

Relaxing in the Front Yard

Today was the first day that Jonah actually seemed relaxed and somewhat comfortable in the front yard.  I started training him to relax and not bark at everything in the back yard because it isn't as busy back there as it is out front.  This week we have been focusing on the front yard most of the time.  Today he climbed the steps when he was finished doing his business and laid down on the step behind me until we went inside.  He did have a few episodes where he barked at people passing by but for the most part, he remained calm and quiet.  As long as I take the treats outside with us he does well.  The few times that I forget to grab them from the refrigerator before we go outside he seems to decide to not listen to me as much and goes ahead and barks at people.  The training videos discuss how this method of training is changing his emotional response to stimuli and I can see it working because he always looks at me to see if I have the treats.  In some ways it is like a child who thinks he can get away with whatever he wants to do if I am not watching him.  But it is also like that same child having his favorite blankie or toy with him before he can relax and settle down properly.  I can't wait until Jonah can graduate away from the treats totally while going outside.  Soon we will be dealing with training him to feel comfortable and safe at the park and other locations.






Saturday, March 17, 2012

Introducing Jonah The Rescue Dog

Jonah came to me as an early Christmas present from my daughter and grandson in December, 2011.  He is a Shih Tsu, at least mostly.  Jonah is what is known as a rescue dog, and as such, he has had to deal with some medical issues that my daughter is also taking care of for me as part of this amazing gift.  Jonah is not only being rescued, but in many ways, he is rescuing me as well.  This blog is his story.  It is also hopefully a way to pay back my daughter and maybe even contribute to help other rescue dogs and cats in my area.  Jonah also has what is known as a Squidoo Lens which you can visit as well.  More about that later.  For now, let me tell you what a wonderful dog Jonah is...and what a wonderful daughter I have for providing a furever home for Jonah and a furever friend for me.


This is Jonah and my daughter right after she presented him to me.  He had just been groomed that day and had his Christmas bow around his neck.  You can tell he is a bit nervous.  But he's so very cute!  He had to be shaved almost completely because he was so matted when she got him.  


This is my daughter and Jonah with the Rottweiler that she rescued for herself a few weeks earlier.  This dog is Rosie and you will see her together with Jonah in other pictures.  Rosie is three years old.  The vet thinks Jonah is approximately eight years old and calls him a "Senior Dog" which works out well for me since I am getting up there in years myself and am disabled.  You can see the adoration Jonah has for my daughter in this picture.  He simply loves her and gets so excited when she comes to visit.  They have a special bond and my daughter says it is because Jonah knows she rescued him.  



Coming to his new home was an exhausting adventure and he fell asleep next to my daughter after awhile.  In these pictures he is wearing his Christmas jingle bells neck scrunchie that my daughter bought him that night.  She not only gave me Jonah, she also brought along with him a lot of supplies, toys, food, dishes, and a doggie bed.  Jonah was already on his way to becoming spoiled.  No wonder he loves her so much.  The picture below shows only a few of the things that came with him.


Jonah has two beds now plus he gets his pick of any of the chairs or couch or bed.  He sleeps with me when he wants to or in any other location he wants to.  His usual choice is his very own blanket that is on the floor next to my recliner.  

So far Jonah has had several visits to the vet because of the medical issues he came to us with.  He had bad ear infections in both ears, skin infection, infected tooth (which is actually more than one tooth we found out later), intestinal infection, whip worms, and a cyst on his back that was later removed.  My daughter also had him neutered once his other health conditions were taken care of.  He still has to have quite a few teeth removed due to infection and age.  He also gets regular grooming.  He's had four visits to the groomer since he was rescued.  My daughter has paid for all of these herself.  What a wonderful Christmas present!  I'd like to be able to give back to her at least part of what she has done for Jonah and me.  I've only seen some of the bills and I know it has been expensive.  That's why I am making this blog and why I created the Squidoo Lens.

Okay, I promised to tell you about the Squidoo Lens.  Squidoo is a website where you can create single page websites on any subject you choose.  Squidoo places ads on those pages you create and you have the option of adding various modules yourself to offer items for sale that pertain to the topic of your page.  On Jonah's page, there are pet supplies, dog training supplies, Etsy craft items pertaining to Shih Tsu's, and more.  Anyone who chooses to click on the ads on Jonah's site and purchases something from those clicks, I will get a portion of the profits.  All the profits I get from Jonah's site will go to my daughter to help defray the costs she has had to rescue Jonah.  If there is extra, I would like to donate it to the local rescue organizations in our area for what they do to help save animals from being put down.  The profits from ads that show up on this blog will also go to the same purpose.

Now back to Jonah's story.  Actually I don't have a lot of information about Jonah's past.  For us, Jonah's story started when my daughter found him and got him for me.  Since then Jonah has been getting used to his new home including very slowly getting to know all eight of my grandchildren.  I have two adult children and my daughter has one son who will be five years old next month.  The other seven grandchildren belong to my son and his wife.  They have a big blended family.  Jonah is a nervous dog around children but he has gotten used to my daughter's son being here.  He will even sit with us in my recliner now.  Getting used to the other seven children is a challenge for him, however.  They range in age from almost eleven years old to a one year old.  When they visit it's not always the same number of kids or the same kids.  I think it confuses Jonah.  But he's slowly getting more used to the noise and activity that multiple children can create in a small apartment like ours.  It is going to take time to adjust.  With spring here I am hoping that we can spend time outside instead of inside which will help him get used to them easier and give everyone more room to play.

Speaking of being outside, Jonah has been learning how to get comfortable outside without barking at everyone and everything he sees.  There was no mention of abuse in his past situation, but it was said that he lived with a farmer.  I live in town where there are always a lot of people walking past the house.  He has a lot to get used to.  Jonah and I have been working on this following training tips found on the kikopup channel on YouTube and he is doing great as long as we stay in the back yard away from where most of the noise is.  He appears to be afraid more of men than women, and boys more than girls, but we are working on that as well.  The kikopup channel has lots of great training videos for puppies and rescue dogs.  I really love watching the videos and learning how to train Jonah.  If you are training your dog, I highly recommend these videos.  The trainer also has her own website you can visit, called Dogmantics as well.

Here are some more pictures of Jonah taken over the past few months since he came to live with me.  For awhile I let his coat grow out just to see what colors might be there.  He has some charcoal behind each ear that only shows up when his coat is longer, but I went back to the short coat because it is much easier to care for and cooler for spring and summer.

Jonah's ears were all waxy for weeks and weeks from ear infection medicine (above).  Glad that's done with now.  (Below) Jonah and Rosie relaxing together.