The kitchen beggar

As soon as we start cooking dinner, this is where you can find the dog:

The stoic kitchen beggar

Our kitchen is very tiny, and so she’s constantly in our way, but what a cute, fuzzy stumbling block!

She pretends like she’s being a great help to us.

The stoic kitchen beggar

When she doesn’t get scraps, she goes and sits by the back door and pouts. Just look at that mask of stoicism:

The stoic kitchen beggar

In other Pyrrha news:

  • She has been doing really well with Guion lately. Her fear of him continues to diminish and she initiates play with him much more often. He even gets tail wags when he comes home! It’s heartwarming to see her progress in this area.
  • Trick-or-treaters were handled with aplomb, if occasional fear. We kept her at arm’s length from any of the kids, but she was able to see and sniff in their general vicinity and she didn’t growl or display any excessive fear, which I felt was a small victory.
  • Her fear of nail clipping has gotten worse. I haven’t changed tools or tactics, but she is SO panicky now that I can’t even get her to hold still. I’ve been treating her for when I touch her paws and touch her paws in the presence of the clippers, but then she refuses all treats when I actually try to use the nail clippers. Any advice here? I think I just need to start back at square one?
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10 thoughts on “The kitchen beggar

  1. I share your struggles with nail clipping. It’s been a constant battle. At one point I thought we were actually making legitimate progress for the first time in months and then she began anticipating events all over again. The smart ones are always the hardest, haha. I’m actually looking into a dremel now because it’s just so hard to catch that one tiny instance of the noise that scares Elli the most. Dremels are constant and easier to desensitize to because of that.

  2. First on the Dremel, a neighbor uses a Dremel on her four rescue Greyhounds. She warned me that the Dremel gets uncomfortably hot very quickly. If I chose to use it I needed to closely monitor how hot it was getting as I did the nail. She uses a touch and back away technique. Her dogs will pull their paw away if she isn’t careful enough. There are YouTubes with good directions.

    Luna, 20 mo old Ridgeback mix rescue, has huge fear issues with getting her Dew Claws trimmed. Saturday our animal behaviorist/trainer, Crystal Saling (Karen Pryor Academy-Certified Training Partner (CTP), nationally certified professional member of the Association for Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and Handi-Dogs, Inc.) suggested Nicole Wilde’s Help for Your Fearful Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Your Dog Conquer His Fears – Chapter 38: Brushing & Nail Clipping includes Manicure, Please (2 pages) and Clipping Tips (3 pages). http://www.nicolewilde.com/store/help-for-your-fearful-dog/

    I’m ordering it today so I don’t have any experience to share. However, you may want to check among your trusted resources and ask if they have heard about her techniques.

  3. My dog has a great fear of the nail clippers too. Luckily she is very active and her nails wear down enough naturally. But whenever I cut my other dog’s nails, I show her the clippers, rub them on her paws and give her treats. Hopefully, if she some day slows down and needs them, it won’t be so bad:/

  4. My red heeler Charlotte spends a lot of time in our tiny kitchen, too. Your photo of Pyrrha near the stove is spot on for Charlotte’s favorite kitchen pose. 🙂

  5. My sympathies. I truly believe dogs can read our minds and even before you think of reaching for the clippers they KNOW what’s going to happen. However,reality is you are the one who is probably tense even if you don’t know it. Your actions indicate that you EXPECT a problem.
    Tense muscles,pursed lips,a chemical scent,a change in voice tone all are signs of “oh,oh: and Pyrrha reads you like a book so ya gotta change the title! Work on how you feel first.
    also one nail at a time, geeeeezzzzzzzee one nail a week? it’s slow stuff. Good Luck!
    Might you have one really special tantilizing taste of something? for one of my pups I had to use a smoked salmon skin (gross breath after- but very attractive treat!)

  6. We started using a Furminator nail grinder on the dogs’ nails and it’s made life a lot easier for us. You start out slowly, just touching it to the nails a little bit, but our dogs did really well with it. A dremel will work, too, but the battery didn’t last nearly long enough for us to get all the dogs done at once with it.

    I’m glad to hear that Pyrrha’s doing well on other fronts!

  7. For nail clipping, I suggest you give her some Rescue Remedy and possibly spray her bedding with DAP (dog appeasing pheramone) beforehand. Then treat nail clipping as something special with massage, treats and perhaps occupy her with a Kong.

    I do caution dog owners not to allow their dog underfoot when cooking. It’s cute and a natural behaviour but if you spill a boiling pot or hot casserole, your dog can get badly burned.

    She’s lovely!

  8. Sorry to hear about the nail problems. But it sounds like Pyrrha is doing great on every other front. Halloween sounds amazing!

    I wonder if it’s worth taking Pyrrha to a groomer to get her nails trimmed. At the least, It will interrupt the negative feelings she’s started getting.

  9. Another convert to the Dremel here (or Dremel-style grinders). It took several weeks of getting the dogs accustomed to the noise alone before getting them gradually used to the touch, but it totally works now. They come running to the sound of the Dremel because it’s a good sound that signifies treats are forthcoming!

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