Busy life, busy pups


Life has been so busy around here (lots of travel, house guests, events, etc., just beyond our normal work/life madness) that I haven’t had much time for blogging. I hope to write some more thoughtful posts soon, but in the meantime, I’m afraid all I have are some cute pictures and mini-anecdotes.

Recent dog/life lessons:

Cherries Are Toxic to Dogs

Our neighbor has two mature cherry trees that branch into our yard, and so we had this abundant harvest of red cherries for about a month. Guion made wonderful cherry cobblers, and we were thrilled with this unexpected boon. The dogs, unfortunately, were also thrilled, and loved to go harvesting for fallen cherries themselves. Cherries, as with most stone fruits, are toxic to dogs (the pits contain cyanide!). Eden was gobbling them up before we could stop her, so we had to erect a temporary fence situation in the yard. (She was experiencing lots of diarrhea and some mild vomiting. Lots of pits found in her crate…) Now, she’s fine, and we’re all relieved. But I can see she’s still scheming how to get in there and get her forbidden fruits.

If you’re curious if you have any toxic plants in your yard, the ASPCA has a wonderful and very comprehensive resource on this: Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants.

Walks Are Therapeutic for Dogs and Humans

I’ve been away from home for some time, for family travel and business, and coming back to see the girls is especially sweet. Pyrrha, in particular, acts like I’ve been resurrected from the dead after I return from a few days’ absence. Such unbridled joy! Such wonderment! Such mauling of the legs and face! We take walks as often as we can now, to release my stress and to channel their energies. Nothing I enjoy so much as walking the dogs — even if the walks are short (to avoid other dogs), even if the weather is bad, even if they have to stop every second to smell every sixth leaf. The walks are always good.

Pyrrha Is Better with New People, According to New People

It’s hard to observe behavioral progress sometimes, which is why house guests can be such helpful barometers. We’ve recently had a lot of guests, and almost all of them have said one thing: “Wow, Pyrrha is so much calmer and happier — and less scared of me. What’s changed?” And I’m still surprised to hear them say it, because many days, I just see a dog who is ruled by her fears. But she IS doing so much better, and it’s so heartening to hear this confirmation from external sources.

I think Eden — wild, demon-possessed Eden — deserves the credit here. Her love of Guion, her exuberance toward strangers, and her overall playful attitude have influenced Pyrrha in a seriously positive way. No, Pyr will never love Guion like she loves me, or think that strange men are super-duper fun, but she may continue moving in a positive, confident direction. And that thrills me to think about. Maybe we’ll keep Eden after all… 😉

As summer marches on, what’s new in your lives?

8 thoughts on “Busy life, busy pups

  1. How nice to have outside confirmation that Pyrrha is relaxing. It can be hard to see progress when you’re working every day on a dog’s fears.

    I’ve never thought about the danger of cherry pits. Honey loves cherries. Luckily for her, I usually pit them before giving them to her. Spoiled rotten doggie.

  2. I’m glad to hear that other people think she’s doing better. When you live with it all the time, it’s hard to see it.

    I’ve never heard that cherry pits were toxic. We grew up on farm with a cherry tree and my sister once won a bet with our dad that she could get the dog to eat a cherry pit. Fortunately, he never suffered any ill effects, but he always did have a cast iron stomach!

  3. Just got back from holidays ourselves!
    I agree that walks are always good – very therapeutic, even in a blizzard. Good to hear some good feedback on Pyr! Sometimes an outside perspective can really highlight improvements made.

  4. It is really so hard to see their progress, especially because it’s never linear. Silas gets better, then a little worse, then better. It’s hard to see that the “little worse” is still an improvement over the starting point.

    Good luck with settling back down. I deeply dislike life chaos; I hope you handle it better than I do.

  5. Sounds like everything is going well with the dogs. I know how crazy life can get… hey, I went on a hiatus too 🙂 I also really think you’re right about Eden influencing Pyrhha to be less fearful. We commonly foster shy dogs and I don’t do a thing to help them – it’s the other dogs that help them overcome their anxieties.

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