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view legcramps bio page
legcramps - Monday Oct 24, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

The weekend flew by it seems....Monday already. What a sad, sad reality.

Friday I ended up having a terrible day at work and when I got home all I did was complain constantly about it. Fortunately, I was extremely tired and fell into bed fairly early. Dinner was chili and then a cup of frozen yogurt for dessert, which I felt I deserved. There's that emotional eating coming into play again. It was too cold to walk tonight - or that's what I told myself anyways.

Saturday was a lot of nothing. We went out for brunch and I had two eggs with rye toast and hashbrowns. Then some friends called us up and decided that we needed to go out for dinner as well. I stuck to a chicken ceasar salad with a few bites of garlic bread. Some walking today, but not the mega-walk i've been meaning to take.

Sunday seems to be the day where I throw all caution to the wind. I went with a friend to a Bridal show. Before going, I warmed up some chili and had two slices of rye toast. On the way to the show a couple hours later, we stopped and I had a snackwich sandwich from KFC. Let's just say my brain wasn't thinking as hard as it should have been. On the way back we stopped for dinner and this time I wasn't going to let that small stone in the middle of my skull plead ignorance. I had a really good stir-fry with crab, shrimp, bean sprouts, mushrooms, celery and sesame seeds. It wasn't too much because I wasn't FULL, but it was just enough. Lots of walking today, and a lot of stair-climbing. A good three hours of it.

Today's Plan is rye toast for breakfast, pb sandwich for lunch, and I think i'll be making steak for dinner, with cooked veggies. And that frozen yogurt is sitting in the freezer, calling out my name. Well it's better than ice cream! It doesn't look nice outside, but i'm going to Aquasize class tonight anyways so I don't think i'll walk.


legcramps - Friday Oct 21, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

It was raining all day yesterday and by the time I got home I was in no mood to go for a walk in the rain, especially since it was also so chilly out there. So the dog went walkless. Which is a good thing because he probably needed the time to recover from the morning's excursions. Excursions, you say? What did he do? Well, i'll tell you.

I was paged at work that I had a phone call, around 11am yesterday. Unfortunately, I was outside of the building and couldn't hear the page. About half an hour later, I got a phone call from the front desk, saying that a strange man with a strong accent had phoned asking for me, saying that my house was in distress. It took me a second to figure it out, but our neighbour is from England and so I figured it had to be him. When the front desk asked if I had a dog, I knew something was up. My neighbour wouldn't phone me at work unless it was a real emergency. I hadn't driven to work yesterday, so had to borrow a co-workers Jeep and bagged it home quickly. It's a good thing it only takes me 5 minutes. Anyways, the house wasn't on fire when I got there, but I couldn't see the dog and my neighbour was no where to be seen. Upon entering the house, I noticed that my boyfriend was home. They had to stop work on account of the rain, and he had gotten home just as our neighbour was calling me. I guess Chewie had strung himself around a tree in the backyard, pulling so hard on the leash that he actually stripped off a large part of our back shed, pulling down pieces of lumber along with the cord he was attached to. He then proceeded to wrap his leash around his back leg approximately 20 times, and had been pulling on his leg to get out of the leash when our neighbour 'heard' him. My boyfriend said he was crying like he's never heard him cry before. And he cries often. They had to physically hold him down and cut the leash from his leg. I imagine if no one had been there, poor Chewie would have either broke his leg trying to pull on it so much, or chewed the darn thing off. *sigh*

So last night I made chili, with meat - since my boyfriend was home and could handle thawing it out for me. We then went for a few drinks before playing volleyball, then a couple more afterwards. I left to go home, and my boyfriend stayed. I guess he thought he wouldn't have to work today because of the weather. Anyways, he got home really late, really sick, and kept me up snoring for most of the morning. Actually, the snoring was coming from both my boyfriend and the dog. Men.

Today's Plan: cheese toast again BTC (did you have some?!) with coffee this morning, pb sandwich for lunch, chili for dinner, trix mix for a snack. I'm sure i'll sneak in some other things as the day goes by....

Mega-walk tonight, and if it's not raining, playing with the pup.

borntocry on 10/22/2005:
Hi legcramps,

Oh gosh, poor you! Who would have thought a dog could be this much trouble? I think you're right - there's something in that Y chromosome which demands constant attention!

Have a good weekend - you deserve it!



legcramps - Thursday Oct 20, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

Monday: After work I took the dog for an hour walk and played fetch with him, then made chicken with carrots and potatoes. Went to Aquasize class for an hour, found my hallowe'en costume, took a bath and fell into bed.

Tuesday: In the morning I had a slice of cheese with a slice of toasted rye bread, and some coffee. Lunch was a peanut butter sandwich and a 30g bag of cheesies. I got home from work late, so only had time to make dinner, which was a 6oz steak with carrots and potatoes. Then I went for another mega-walk. My boyfriend took the dog for a walk for me, but forgot to harness him OR leash him and so my previous efforts in lead training have all gone to.....you know what.

Wednesday: Again I had cheese toast in the morning with coffee. Lunch was a peanut butter sandwich with one of those small O'Henry hallowe'en treats. I was so hungry after work that I had another peanut butter sandwich, then took the dog for an hour walk and played fetch. When I got back I started dinner, which was a buffalo burger patty with carrots and potatoes. Are you getting sick of reading carrots and potatoes? Carrots and potatoes, carrots and potatoes, carrots and potatoes. Just kidding. Anyways, I went for a mega-walk and then we watched part of Batman Begins while munching on low-fat stix mix before falling asleep on the couch.

Today's plan is: cheese toast with coffee this morning, a peanut butter sandwich for lunch (i bet you're getting sick of seeing that, too) with a peanut butter cup hallowe'en treat. I brought stix mix for a snack this afternoon and for dinner is chili! Yay! Something new! Except I forgot to take out hamburger meat this morning, so it might be meatless chili. I plan to take the dog for a walk after work and then tonight is volleyball for an hour and a half.

It's just another manic Thursday...

borntocry on 10/20/2005:
Hi legcramps,

You guys still haven't finished the carrots and potatoes?!

Now I feel like having cheese toast for dinner tonight...



legcramps - Monday Oct 17, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

Didn't do so well over the weekend even though I tried really hard. Win some, lose some and then there's that thing called motivation in between that is still a mystery to me.

Wallyball is much the same as volleyball except you're playing with less team members and you're hitting the ball off the walls. It's much more fast-paced when you have a competitive game going and so is as much of a workout as volleyball.

Weekend recap:

Saturday: woke up feeling sick and ate an egg sandwich for lunch. That unfortunately kept me sick for the rest of the day. Later on I tried chicken and potatoes and that went down alright. We went to see the 40 year old virgin at the theatre. I didn't like it and pouted for the rest of the night. Drank tons of coffee, silly me. Played with the dog outside in the backyard for a bit, and went for a quick half hour walk in the morning.

Sunday: ate toast and cheese for lunch, then chicken and potatoes again for dinner. Went for a mega-walk by myself that lasted well over an hour, and by the time I got back I was so hungry that I had more toast with cheese and some crumbly oatmeal cookies as well. Took the dog to the park and played for a good hour.

Today I woke up early to work out then decided it was too cold to do anything but sit on the couch in front of the electric heater. After work i'm taking the dog for a walk (about an hour), then going to Aquasize class with a friend for an hour. So far i've had a peanut butter sandwich for lunch and a small bag of cheesies as a snack. Coffee, of course, and for dinner i've taken out chicken. I'm just such a creative person, aren't I?


legcramps - Friday Oct 14, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

This morning Chewie didn't want to go outside. He was going to hold his bladder no matter what and was not about to step one paw out there. I think he knew that I was going to leave him there. I forced him out though, poor thing, and there he'll stay until the end of the day. I think he has been missing out on socializing. We used to have a lot of other dogs around us during the summer, but now it's few and far between.

Played volleyball last night and have wallyball tonight for two hours. I can't believe how much I sweated yesterday. At least 5 gallons......

Yesterday was salad, chicken, potatoes, coffee, crispers (30g bag), and a few tacos with cream cheese dip.

Today is chicken, coffee, vegetable medley soup-to-go, potatoes and carrots, and apple crisp with whip cream.

This weekend will be training the dog to stop barking (unfortunately using a muzzle for one-minute intervals) and if it's nice out trying to tire him out with our new game of fetch.

Have a great weekend!

mummypod on 10/14/2005:
Hiyaaa!

Now I know what volleyball is (we play a lot of beach volleyball in Oz!) but I had to laugh at your mention of WALLYBALL!!!! Sorry.. but here a 'wally' is somebody who is a bit of a dag/idiot/does silly things!!!

So could you please put me straight LOL about what it is or point me in the direction to find out!! Ta mate!

Oh good luck with the dog training - I wish my neighbour would do the same... grrrrrr.. she leaves for work at 4.45AM!! and the poor puppy yelps and whines the whole day until 2PM!!!

Take care Kim xxx



legcramps - Wednesday Oct 12, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

Things are really busy. And I don't want them to be.

Yesterday: I had soup for lunch (vegetable medley soup-to-go), a bun with peanut butter after work, five crackers with sour cream dip after canvassing for donors' choice, 3 ribs marinated with tex mex sauce, and a cup of cooked veggies for dinner. Walked a total of half an hour. Whoop-de-do.

Today: sandwich for lunch, leftover ribs and veggies for dinner, and walking.

Boyfriend and I are fighting again, and I do not know why. All I know is that he will not speak to me in a civilized manner. I no longer care as I am simply trying to get through each day.

Chewie is well again, and i'm still working on training him. He is getting better, but our neighbour tells us that he is barking through the whole day and crying as if he's hurt. Well, he probably is hurt because we are not there to play with him. Our neighbour suggested we get another dog. Sure, another dog that I will have to train. No thanks.

kelly2112 on 10/13/2005:
Poor Chewie. Another dog is a great idea. Dogs are pack animals, very social (plus they must be socialized in order to not become DANGEROUS animals). Poor poor Chewie.


borntocry on 10/13/2005:
Hi legcramps,

I'm sorry your boyfriend and you have been fighting. Things haven't been so good between me and my husband lately, either, but I hope it's just due to stress. Could something like that be to blame in your case, too?

Good luck with the continuing training of Chewie. He's still quite young, isn't he? He might grow out of the whole crying-all-day thing. Let's hope so!



legcramps - Friday Oct 07, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

I was off work yesterday because I got a wisdom tooth pulled. It hurts and I don't want to be here today, especially since my co-worker was sick yesterday so nothing got done. I have 10 times the work today, and I was really hoping for peace and quiet.

Because the appointment was in the morning, I did not have breakfast. I took a sip of coffee before getting my tooth pulled, then spent the rest of the day trying to sleep and/or mope around the house feeling sorry for myself. I did not eat until my boyfriend got home from work. Then I made mac 'n cheese and chicken noodle soup. I was to only eat soft foods. Well, there was no way I could possibly eat the mac 'n cheese, so I spent the remainder of the night slurping down soup broth and sucking on an ice cream smoothie. Boy, when I woke up this morning I was sure hungry! But still I can't eat anything because it hurts to chew and because my mouth seems crooked for some reason. I brought soup to work though, so don't worry - I will eat something.

This was great timing to get my tooth pulled, however. It's thanksgiving for us this weekend, so I won't be tempted to eat turkey. I'll be sticking to the soft foods like mashed potatoes, cooked veggies, things like that. And ice cream. Feed me lots of ice cream because i'm just like a kid right now and everyone should feel sorry for me......


legcramps - Wednesday Oct 05, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

Oh wow, thanks for all of the advice ladies! I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner, but i've been quite busy, and away from the computer.

Well, I stuck to my word and started re-training Chewie. Mind you, he is already trained in sitting, shaking-paw, laying down and rolling over. What i'm working on is stay, heel (dog-walking techniques) and crawl. The stay and heel are very important to us. And when he jumps up, I tell him 'off', then sit and good dog. It's taking a lot of time, but he's starting to get the idea of stay and heel. The jumping not-so-much but I think it will simply take time. We've been leaving him outside during the day and he seems better off now, because he at least gets to run around and play in the backyard, as compared to sleeping all day inside. Well, and chewing on things in the house. He finally uses his dog house now (I think because it's getting colder outside) and is generally happier, although he's been sick for the last couple of days. I tell you, if it isn't one thing, it's another!

I am still waiting to start aquasize and have been contemplating a gym routine. However, seeing as I really need to start saving money, I might have to find another way to push myself to work out. I'm doing only so much as walking/jogging right now and playing wallyball, since volleyball hasn't started yet. But it's not going well because my motivation and incentive have sunk really low. I need to work for something, but I can't think of anything to work for.

Today the plan is:

breakfast: 1/2 slice whole wheat bread, 1 tblspn peanut butter, 1/2 glass orange juice

lunch: 1/4 piece mushroom pizza, 2 slices 60% whole wheat bread, 1 tblspn mayonnaise, 2 slices salami, 1 slice cheese

afternoon: 473ml orange juice

dinner: 1/2 cup cooked carrots, 1/4 cup cooked onions, 3/4 slice mushroom pizza

I'm going to the dentist tomorrow, hopefully to extract a wisdom tooth, so it's hurting a lot today and it's hard not to eat because chewing relieves the pain quite a bit (for the moment, anyways). I've tried gum but it's too sweet. And about the pizza - I wasn't feeling good yesterday so that's what my boyfriend bought for dinner since I hadn't made anything!


legcramps - Friday Sep 30, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

It will be very difficult to find a obedience/training school for our dog as we live in a very tiny community without access to commodities such as this. But I will look. I have had enough and I know that we can't do it alone.

Yesterday morning I took the dog outside, gave him food and water and threw a few treats into his dog house. I chained him up and went to work, with the plan in mind of checking on him at lunchtime. And I did. But there was no dog to check on at lunchtime. Somehow he had snapped his chain straight off the hook in the ground and taken off under the fence and down the street. I went inside the house to the phone and checked the messages. Yes, there was one from the city's dog catcher. Yes, she had our dog at the pound. For $60, I could come by and pick him up.

When I showed up at the pound he looked so happy to see me and was crying and barking quite a bit. The catcher let him out and he just would not leave her alone. He kept jumping up on her and getting under her feet. I told her that he doesn't normally act like this (because he IS getting better at jumping up on people). She told me that he was probably looking for treats. 'Treats?' I asked. She said that the whole drive to the pound she had been feeding him treats, and that he had driven shot-gun with her instead of in the back of the truck. I was flabbergasted. 'You gave him treats?' I asked again, confused. 'Oh, yes' she answered, 'I gave him quite a few treats'. My Lord. No wonder he's in such a rush to run away! He knows that the girl with the white truck will stop and give him a car ride and feed him lots of treats! I shook my head, put the leash on the dog and got him into the car, mind you, not without a lot of dragging and pulling as he didn't ever want to leave the girl with the white truck.

He stayed inside for the rest of the day and I made sure to gate everything off and he didn't touch a thing. This morning, he is back outside and I swear he won't get away this time.

I'm saddened because I don't feel that i'm doing as much as I can for him, and we're usually fighting with him to stay here or not do this or that. I feel like all we do is reprimand him. And I don't feel good letting you all know how messed up this situation is. Sure, it's funny and entertaining, but it also shows how little we know about dogs and how much work we have a responsibility to do in order to help Chewie out. And believe me, when we first got him I searched and searched the internet and found out all I could. I asked my father, who has had trained guard dogs for years and years. I've used the hot sauce on the shoe trick, i've gated things off, i've stored our things away, out of his reach. Suprisingly for his size he seems to be able to pull gymnastic-style turns and leaps to get to whatever he wants. Believe me when I say that our house is too small to keep everything away from him. We also don't have the resources available to keep him in a kennel during the day. I'm hoping that keeping him outside during the day will work for him and not make him even more wild. I know this can be done without harm to him. And starting today, he will be spending an hour a day with myself, in the back yard, training. If anyone knows any good websites, please let me know. I appreciate all your feedback.

In other news, I had a bowl of potatoes yesterday for dinner because my boyfriend was out of town. Funny how I seem to not eat quite as much when he's not around.....

kelly2112 on 10/01/2005:
Is your dog still a puppy? I trained 1 of my dogs myself from a book I got at a pet supply store, but I started when he was a pup so I'm sure it will be harder if your dog is older.

Basically you work with them getting them to perform the desired behaviour and reinforce it with a treat and a click on the clicker (came with the book) until they start to associate the treat and click sound together until the clicker alone becomes a reward, but still treats too just not all the time. It takes lots and lots of time. I was lucky because my daughter who was 10 at the time thought this training was fun and helped me quite a bit. We started out with sit, lay, stay, (down if they jump on people followed by sit, good dog). Fetch games are a great way to encourage obedeince too.

I can really sympathize with you. We recently aquired another dog that our friends were going to return to the shelter after they adopted her - they just realized that maybe they were dog people after all and that's okay.

She's just over one yr old and wants to chew on everything, has occasional accidents in the house but she's getting better all the time.

The more time you spend with them the better they will behave. You can't just tell them how not to behave (just reprimanding the dog when they do something you don't like is not training) - they are waiting for you to tell them how to behave believe it or not. Dogs love to do what they're expected to if the result is a reward, love and praise. Now I don't use the clicker and only treats less often - the behaviours are so engrained. Also make sure your dog isn't bored. Lots of toys and excercise (walks) will help. Play fetch games - but NO tug of war, which encourages aggresive behaviour.

Also, you must be consistently in charge. Don't let your dog sometimes get away with bad behaviour. Always Always make them obey you - not you obey them. For instance, when its time to go out my adult dog (135 pounds) will sometimes push me aside to go out first. I pull him back and make him sit and stay when he does this, then I step out and give him permission to step through the door - you must be dominant at all times! I can't stress this enough.

One more thing, when I am at home, I let my dogs hang out with me quite a bit. It just gives me more opportunity to keep reinforcing good behaviour or scolding them for that which is bad. My 1 yr old pup loves to follow me around while I do chores and we are really getting a bond. I know this will make her want to please me and when a dog wants to please you it's easier to train (you didn't mention if you hit your dog or not - but this can cause problems later with biting, the dog will become defensive and protect himself - its instinct) and it's very counter productive. I don't even believe in newspaper swatting. At first it seems harmless but it could encourage aggressive behaviour from your dog.

If you really don't think you have the time to do all this you might want to consider finding another home for your dog - sometimes things just don't work out - no crime in that. You don't deserve to be miserable and neither does Chewie.

Hope this helps,

Kelly


geevee on 10/01/2005:
Kelly wrote such great advice about what to do with Chewie, I'd make a copy of it and post it on your fridge so you can refer to it all the time.

I've been reading your entries that detail all of the problems you've been having but haven't responded sooner because I am not a dog person. They drive me nuts the way they follow you around and need somuch attention. I had so many children there never was time for a dog too.

I think a good part of the problem is that you and your boyfriend are not home all day. The dog is alone and both wants and needs company. He's probably bored too which is why he's done so many unacceptable things. Maybe with training he can learn to be alone all day without going crazy. That means that no matter how tired you are when you come home, you're still going to have to devote a lot of time to Chewie in the evening.

Having such a pet is a big responsibilty. I'd explore the training route. Check with your library to see if they have the series of dog training videos from the BBC series that was so popular. In it a very stern English woman demonstrates exactly what to do to train your dog. You can see her body language, hear her voice and actually see how the dogs respond to her. This program was big hit in England and then here, too.


Penguin_14 on 10/01/2005:
Hi legcramps,

Two of the best authors I have run across are Brian Kilcommons and Pat Miller. Brian's book, "Good Owners, Great Dogs," is excellent. I also have Pat Miller's, "The Power of Positive Dog Training." Both trainers have written quite a few books. You can find them in book stores and on the internet. We've used Brian's training methods on our German Shepherds who are both around 100 lbs. They also went to our local park district's training classes. The classes were just one night a week for 1 1/2 hours for about 8 weeks. Best of all, they weren't expensive, and it was a lot of fun! DH and I would go together. One of us would watch as the other one did the training. I think our class had about 15 dogs total.

Keep in mind that until I had my labrador, Shane, who I adopted from a shelter in 1988, I had never, ever in my 24 years even owned a big dog! My world consisted of miniature dachshunds from the time I was four years old! Most of them were housebroken and could do a few things like sit, stay, etc. The only reason weren't on the counters was because they couldn't reach them! LOL! I lost Shane to cancer in 2000. He was with me through the death of my mom, my sister suffering through a fire, and when I met the love of my life. He was one in a million.

Our shepherds are not perfect (who is! :), but they are incredible pets. We had an emergency at work last Monday, and I had to leave to run home and get Bear. Thanks to his good manners, he was able to sit quietly on the table to donate blood for another dog. (This is very similar to people donating blood, by the way.) He just sat on the table with me standing there speaking quietly to him. It was his first time donating, and he was excellent. Thankfully, the basset hound who was bleeding internally from his spleen is alive and doing well after his splenectomy.

All I can say is give it a try. There is hope.

Big hugs!

Penguin



legcramps - Thursday Sep 29, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

What an interesting time i'm having in my life right now.

When I got home from work yesterday, Chewie was there to greet me with open.....mouth. I smelled something fishy when I noticed a lonely knife sitting on the floor, and after picking it up and telling the dog 'no play with this' I noticed the living room floor. Not even having gone one step into the house, I saw that he had dragged a kitchen pot into the room, a sneaker, an empty ice cream pail and other odds and ends to keep him busy and interested. When I turned my attention back to the kitchen, I noticed a bread bag laying torn and tattered near the counter. Walking up to it and picking it up, I was mentally going through in my mind where he might have gotten this from. Ruling out the cupboard where we keep empty bags, the only other explanation would be from the top of the counter, where there used to be a full bag of whole wheat bread. Yes. That was the bag. Sweet history. What I still can't understand is why he chose my whole wheat bread when my boyfriend's plain white bread was sitting on the counter right beside it, totally untouched. I guess he's health-conscious just like me! And of course, his dish of dog food is still sitting in the back porch - why would he be hungry?!

I gave him heck and threw him outside, passing the stairs along the way. And that's when panic set in. I had forgotten to gate the stairs before I left for work that morning! Running up the stairs, I was close to having a stroke when I saw what he'd done. Yes, of course he would do this! Rip up my collection of Flinstone's videos, some from the very beginning episode where they don't even talk. Almost in tears, I quickly picked up the mess, gated off the stairs (too late now you loser), let the dog in and left the house. I had to get my hair cut, and left a note for my boyfriend in case he got home before I:

I have to get my hair cut, DO NOT give the dog food nor treats, put him outside as soon as you get home and don't let him back in.

Him and I, we're not finished.

P.S. - you can start boiling carrots for dinner too. Thanks.

Afterwards upon getting home and finding that he had not yet returned, before even saying a word to the dog I walked into the living room. Well holy heck. There was my mother's tripod, lumbering fearfully in the middle of the floor, the box it was in ripped up and strewn all over. And there, yes, there on top, where you could just see the start of the tripod, yes, chew marks. 'Oh my goodness, she's going to kill me' was all I could think of. I snatched it up and disciplined the dog, making him cower in the corner of the dining room, underneath a chair. Yeah, AS IF that's going to hide you from me! Again, I dragged him outside, screaming and cursing the whole time. Of course, when I get mad I clean, but I was so angry my hands were shaking like leaves. So I peeled potatoes and carrots. Even smarter. So today my hands are a little raw and a bit scratched up. *sigh*

He is outside today. He will be staying there.

borntocry on 09/30/2005:
Hi legcramps,

Chewie is out of control. You need to send him to dog school! Or do some research on the Internet and find out how to train him - I'm sure there are techniques out there which might help!


Penguin_14 on 09/30/2005:
Hi Legcramps!

May I make a suggestion? :) Run, don't walk to your vet's office and ask them for help! Also ask them if can recommend a good obedience school and/or literature. Chewie is an awesome dog! He is just a typical labrador puppy who needs guidance. He hasn't a clue as to why you are punishing him. Sure, he looks really guilty when you start to reprimand him. It's from the tone of your voice and your actions. He can't distinguish between a DVD or a chew toy. At this point, to him they're ALL chew toys because he has access to chew on them.

You need some direction so that you can guide him to be the great dog he is destined to be! :) I know it can be discouraging, but don't give up. In my 17 years at the animal hospital, I have seen and heard the same things. We see the other side of the coin when the dogs come in for emergency surgery because they've eaten something they shouldn't have eaten. Labradors are wonderful dogs, and he's lucky to have you as a good, responsible owner who only wants the best for him. I used to have a lab, too. Be patient, ask for help, and confine him to a crate when you're not home. It isn't cruel. You wouldn't leave a toddler alone to run around the house and possibly climb on the counter to get a knife. It's the same thing with a puppy. Some people think that having them live in a dog house outside in a dog run or tied to a tree or stake is the answer. They end up with a wild dog with no manners. (I'm by no means saying that that's what you are/will do! :)

Going to obedience school gives you control over him, not just to sit, stay or lie down. A lot of schools can give you pointers on just living with your dog. If the school doesn't, then, as BTC suggested, check out the internet for help. It will be worth it in the long run. There are safe, humane ways to teach Chewie what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Good luck!

XOXO

Penguin



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