Long Time No Talk

Ok, so I have been a bad blogger. I got overwhelmed with “real life” and let things slide here. I kept composing new posts in my head and then never writing them and I think I forgot why I want to write this blog, which is to document my experiences with Pearl so I can look back later, and to participate in the pet blogging community, which is pretty awesome. Sorry in advance for the lack of pictures in this post, but baby steps, it feels good just to be posting again!

And so much has happened since I last posted! I figure I will make a list and dump them all on here now, since more things will inevitable happen before I can catch myself up.

1. Pearl and Max finally met face to face! Although instant BFFs they were not, it was pretty cool to watch them interact and for my sister and I to get to know each other’s dogs. Pearl and Max are SO different. Pearl practically vibrates with energy while Max, though he has some puppy playfulness, is very mellow. Pearl is extremely food motivated while Max will walk by his full food bowl ten times before maybe taking a bite. (While we were visiting my family Pearl jumped up on the kitchen counter with all four feet like a cat in order to get at Max’s food bowl. My dad was super impressed with her vertical leap.) Pearl will almost never lie on a hard surface and circles and paws at her blankets forever before slowly settling down in just the perfect spot curled in a tiny little ball. Max seems to decide in a split second to lie down and then will flop down stretched out on his side wherever he happens to be. Pearl has super short hair and shivers even through her coat when it’s cold out, while Max is a big fluffy ball of hair who doesn’t even seem to notice the cold. The most amazing thing was seeing how laid back he was, just a big, floppy, good-natured teddy bear of a puppy. I am not going to lie I was a tad jealous. Still, Max does have some challenges of his own. He has separation anxiety issues and doesn’t do well in his crate and although Pearl is generally high strung/anxious she does awesome in the crate, something that I definitely took for granted before. (By the way Pearl was awesome on the trip east. We played the Through a Dog’s Ear CD the version for the car and it went well. We also gave her dramamine as recommended by our vet. I would like to get her traveling without meds eventually, but we were so afraid with an 18 hour car trip in two days that we were afraid to risk it, especially with all of the other meds she is on for the allergies and everything that if she threw up I would be afraid it would mess up those doses as well.)

2. Pearl and I are doing a “try out” for a Rally class in addition to our Foundation Manners obedience class. We would eventually love to try agility again, but for now, if she can pass and get into the class (fingers crossed- her reactivity is usually not bad in training class but you never know) it will be a new challenge for us and a learning experience.

3. I ordered Pearl a fleece-lined martingale collar (the cozy martingale made by Spindrift) so that we can work on loose leash walking without her rubbing her neck raw. Although the harness helps, I would eventually love to get her walking on a regular leash and collar. She is doing MUCH better with pulling but her skin is so sensitive and she has so little hair that it doesn’t take much to make her neck start to look red.

4. Along with the new collars (she is also getting a new everyday collar in addition to the martingale), we are going to get new ID tags, probably CollarTags from Boomerang. I have been agonizing over what to put on the new ID tag. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I read that I should put her name so that she will be comforted by someone who finds her and can use the name she is familiar with (she is dog reactive but not fearful of people), others say it will make her more likely to be stolen (although who wants to steal a spayed mixed breed I have no idea and her spay scar is pretty obvious). Some say don’t put your address for safety reasons, others say put it. Should I put just my cell number or my husband’s as well? Should I include a line saying she is microchipped? Should I put something that says I have allergies, don’t feed me? So many decisions about what to put in those four lines! Probably I am thinking too much about it, but the idea of losing Pearl is so scary I want to make sure I put the right information on her tag that is most likely to lead to her safe return if she ever did get lost. And don’t get me started on all that I am reading about collar safety! My husband thinks I am a loon, but I have read so much conflicting information, some recommending breakaway collars, some saying that the risk of not having ID on your dog is greater than the risk of them having a collar accident, some saying that hanging tags raise the risk of collar accidents (the boomerang collar tags address that issue, along with getting rid of jingling that is fine during the day but wakes me up at night whenever Pearl moves, but what about her rabies tag?). I am certainly the type to obsess over small things and details, but honestly it seems to me sometimes that there is never a right answer when making decisions about what is best for your dog.

Aaanyway, now that I have rambled on about collars for long enough, I am going to end with a new year’s resolution to not let other things in my life keep me from enjoying my time with Pearl and giving her the attention and energy she deserves, whether or not I end up blogging about it. A belated happy new year!

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About Pearl the Puppy

Pearl is just over 40 lbs of energy mixed with a pinch of crazy. We adopted her in March 2011 from a St. Louis rescue organization called Impact for Animals (now Pet Rescue Network). We are unsure about her age, but we are guessing she was born in Fall 2010. Her background is anybody's guess, but we are pretty sure that she has at least some sighthound in her. She's a whole lot of trouble but a whole lot of fun.

6 thoughts on “Long Time No Talk

  1. Yay! You’re back! I missed reading about Pearl!

    1) Exciting about rally! I have heard it’s one of the best classes to take with a dog you want more manners with at home – lots of the things you learn apply in-house. 🙂 It also gives you all the right tools for working on heeling, something Pearl could benefit from greatly it sounds.

    2) That’s interesting that Max isn’t food motivated. Is he free-fed? number one reason I don’t free feed – Elli would be too stuffed to be willing to train at all.

    3) As for collars and ID tags, I have only Elli’s rabies, county license, microchip number tag and a light on her collar. I definitely believe the reason she was caught as a stray at such a young age is because she’s so trusting of people. I don’t want to lose her because of that, so I don’t have a name/address/phone tag on her at all. If someone does find her, they either totally restart her life and steal her or they get her scanned for her microchip, which is up to date with all my contact info. There are also those tags that are scannable by smart phones and ones that register your dog on an online profile. There are also, if you can believe it, ones that can gps track your dog if they get lost. another option is to list an alternate number on an ID tag — my old boss had her workplace’s number on all her dogs’ tags.

    I definitely recommend microchipping, if Pearl isn’t, at the very least. 🙂

    Again, glad you’re back in the blogosphere! 🙂

    • Pearl is microchipped, it is one of the first things we did after we got her, but I haven’t heard about microchips that can be scanned with your smart phone, that is pretty cool.

      I can’t imagine someone wanting to keep Pearl, she is such a high maintenance princess that I envision a sort of Ransom of Red Chief scenario where they would be begging me to take her back. Although, she has been ridiculously calm since returning from our trip- it’s strange I am almost starting to get worried about her.

  2. Yay! Glad to hear things are going well!

    Re: the ID tag… I recently found a dog wandering on the road who wouldn’t hold still for me to read the phone number on the tag, but I COULD read the address (and her name), which was only a few blocks away, so I just took her home. I like the idea of a name on a tag because then someone can call and say, “Is this Pearl’s owner?” instead of, “Uh, I think I found your dog.” But honestly if someone is close enough to read her name, they don’t really need to use it, right? Good luck with your decision!

    For the record, we just have our dogs’ names on one side (in huge letters) and both of our phone numbers on the other. We have been moving every year or so, so the address is always out of date.

  3. Happy New Year! My resolution this year was to post a blog entry at least every couple days, so far I haven’t posted anything in January, so I guess that was a bust. I know what you mean about agonizing over the little things; I have started to order id tags many times and couldn’t decide what to put. I think I might just put a cell phone number on the back of one the tags they already have to wear.

  4. welcome back!

    we’re also very concerned about the collar & ID situation, so this is how we solved it: we have two separate key rings on desmond’s collar. one is on a removable nylon strap, so we can move it from collar to collar to harness to whatever. that one includes his ID tag that has his name and our home phone number, his rabies tag, and his HomeAgain microchip tag. one the other key ring, which is attached directly to the same ring you hook the leash onto, we have our blanketID (http://blanketid.com/) tag. this is small and makes no noise and can’t fall off as easily as the removable ring could. we have all of desmond’s info registered at both the blanketID site and the HomeAgain site. i highly recommend blanketID.

  5. Pearl definitely could have Greyhound in her by the way she won’t lie on a hard surface. Beryl won’t even lie on grass, she’ll stand for hours rather than lie on anything less than a duvet! My kids both need new ID tags as my mobile number is different now, but I can’t decide which way to go. At least we don’t have as many options as you do. I hate having lots of choices.

    I’m way behind with blogging and reading blogs too. Glad you’re finding time to blog again:)

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