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view legcramps bio page
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,


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!


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!



legcramps - Wednesday Sep 28, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

Since I have all these carrots just sort of lying around the house because there's not even enough room in the fridge for them, I decided to make something out of them. I ran to the grocery store for supplies, started peeling carrots and threw on the oven. To my dismay, the oven did not heat up. After my boyfriend tried everything he could think of to fix it, we finally peeked inside the oven and realized that the bottom coil had been broken right off. Oi, i'm not sure how that happened, but I was so depressed about not being able to bake, especially since I had gone out of my way to do so. Finding that the top still worked, I decided that since I was halfway through the first batch, I would go ahead and finish it, hoping against hope that it would turn out at least edible. So my carrot muffins went in on low heat and sat there for about an hour before they were finally cooked through. I thought I would get to sleep early last night, maybe even with some extra cuddle time with my boyfriend, and I ended up staying up until almost midnight finishing these muffins. Which, to say the least, are not all that great. Moral of the story? If something is broke, don't use it!

The dog had a taste of the muffin I had brought into the livingroom to try. He smoothly lifted his muzzle onto the tray the muffin was sitting on, cranked his head quickly to the side and snatched it up. I think he must've thought it was good, because he looked at me afterwards as if to say 'more?'. I told him he ate my share too and that neither of us would be having another, and he sauntered away to nibble on the rest of his dog food still sitting in his dish.

I guess i'll have to ask my mother if I can use her oven on the weekend, because I still have another batch of muffins to make, plus a carrot loaf. There are also a couple of bananas I need to use up quickly. Again, I tried making banana-oatmeal cookies but to no avail due to the condition of the oven. They turned out half-burnt, half-soggy. This is why I don't bake or cook every day.

The potatoes are nicely being eaten up - we had a few white ones for dinner yesterday that I managed to boil, then bake with a lot of spices. Of course, they could only bake so much (oven dilemma) until the top was very crispy and golden brown. Ah well, it was still actually quite good, along with boiled carrots and fried onions. I did pull out the quick chicken, which we'll also be having tonight because I have to get my hair cut after work which will take up a lot of cooking time.

I found a recipe at allrecipes.com called carrot loaf. Of course, I was looking for the cake-type loaf but what I found was something made with whole wheat bread, brown rice, onions and carrots. Baked into a loaf. Looks interesting, and I have all of these ingredients which is a wonderful thing because usually I have to run to the store if I want to make something. So I think I might prepare this tonight and make it tomorrow evening. It sounds interesting enough.

borntocry on 09/28/2005:
Hi legcramps,

Your life is beginning to sound a lot like mine. Which I'm not sure is a good thing... but of course, I like it!

I think it's nice that Chewie appreciated the carrot muffin, especially as you didn't. Now that you're experimenting more in the kitchen, it could come in quite handy, having a dog willing to dispose of your mistakes. Maybe he is good for something after all!

geevee on 09/28/2005:
Anything with carrots is good. I got hungry reading your entry! Tsk, tsk. You shouldn't do that to me!

mummypod on 09/29/2005:

Between you, Runner, borntocry and all those other 'chefs' I don't know how you maintain your weights.. or lose!!!! lol

I simply CANNOT bake anything... or if I do it is something that my two kids like and I don't. I just cannot say no to cake, biscuits, muffins, slices, fresh homemade breads etc. So the solution for me is that I simply DON'T MAKE THEM! LOL Plus I figure if it is those sorts of things that made me fat in the first place (plus all the other things lol) then my kids don't need them either.

Allrecipes.com is a great website actually... I have gotten alot of vegetarian recipes off that site for my husband!

Chewie sounds cute.. I could just picture him 'stealing' the muffin! *s*

Take care Kim xxx

legcramps - Tuesday Sep 27, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

A friend that works in the same building as me has started jogging. I was suprised when my boyfriend told me that she had phoned me and wanted to run with me. I'm not sure how I feel about that, as it seems so degrading to let someone else watch me huff and puff around a track. Well, I talked to her myself yesterday afternoon at work, and she's very adamant about joining me. The problem is that she tells me she can jog much longer than I can. I can see it now - me practically killing myself keeping up to her, having to accept defeat, and all that work catching up to me the next day. I won't be able to move, goshdarnit! Oh well, it might be good for me and since I don't know how to say 'no' to anyone, i'll be running with her whenever she wants me to.

When I got back home from visiting family on Saturday, my dog came up to me and wouldn't let me get very far from him at any one time. He would sneak up to me and stuff his head in between my legs, or into my stomach. What an attention grabber! If I was sitting down, he'd come up beside me and stare until I petted him, or he'd rub up against me like a cat would. Well, I say finally he's able to let someone pet him because usually he's nipping at your hands while you're trying to do him the favor. Still no action on the dog house - he must think it's for some other dog, you know, the invisible one.

My boyfriend and I went to town at grandma's house, picking carrots and potatoes by the bagfuls. I cleaned carrots all night yesterday, and my boyfriend had to finish for me because my hands were raw already. I have carrots to snack on probably for the rest of my life. I haven't looked yet at the potatoes, or at the few tomatoes grandma managed to sneak into the bag even though we told her we're not tomato fans. But there are two bags to go, and that's a lot of potatoes for two people. It's also a lot of starch, but i'm not complaining about free food. God knows we need it. Tonight I will attempt to make spicy baked potato bites, with some cooked carrots (lol). I didn't take any meat out, so I think we'll have to go with the ready-made chicken breasts that I bought for quick meals. I'll have to remember to take out some meat from downstairs tonight.

Okay. See 'ya.

borntocry on 09/27/2005:
Hi legcramps,

I understand your concerns about jogging with this friend of yours. A few months ago, a girl latched on to me at the track and asked if she could run with me. She was in much worse shape than I was, and really looked up to me, but I still felt weirdly embarrassed about running with her and I am sure that had something to do with the fact that I eventually stopped running there altogether. It was crazy of me, I know, but I just felt so much pressure to live up to her standards and didn't think I was quite ready to carry on a conversation while running, which she seemed to expect.

But the good thing in your case is that you needn't worry about maintaining any kind of image in front of this friend - I think you should warn her upfront that you're not used to running as much as her and that you might have trouble keeping up with her. That way she'll know not to expect too much of you and you can just do your best without worrying about what kind of an impression it makes on her. It can be really good to exercise with a friend because it's harder to put it off, especially if you can't say "no" to anyone!

Thanks for the comment you left me. You're right, I get too little sleep - on average about four hours a night, I think, which seems to be enough for some people but it does leave me cranky and irritable. It's only the beginning of the week and I already feel like I'm ready for the weekend! But I am going to try to get a good night's sleep tonight.

I am also hoping for a few days of improved behaviour from my husband as a result of his dream. He's just like your boyfriend - every now and then he'll realise of his own accord how badly he has been treating me, beat himself up about it for a while and then try to be nicer to me for a few days until the mood passes. But hopefully that means I have a few nice days ahead, at least.

Well, good luck with all those carrots and potatoes - if you need recipes, just ask!

legcramps - Monday Sep 26, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

This weekend was spent visiting with family, which is something I don't do often so it was much needed. My boyfriend finally finished building the dog house as well, so I went to work painting it. I painted the whole thing a burgundy color, then went back and painted on green grass, tulips and daisies, and a 'home sweet home' message on the front. I'm also going to paint on a white picket fence and write some poems about dogs with black marker. On one side I painted a large yellow and blue-green sun, and on the other a big green tree with some bluebirds in the air. I did such a crazily good job that I could probably sell the thing! We threw some treats inside for the dog, and he unwillingly went in for them, then came running right back out. Interesting. And Ironic that a house that cost us way too much money to build may not even be used! I also finally finished painting in the living room. Now all that's left is the trim around the windows and my Beatles painting, and to decorate. It would seem that my lazy bum has actually accomplished quite a bit so far!

I'm hoping that we can store our garage sale items and get them out of the house once and for all. That way we'll have much more room in the house. We have a couch, two chairs and a lot of other furniture that can go. When that's done, there will be some swift re-arranging so that the dog cannot rip up our books and other miscellaneous items like cameras and kitchen-ware.

October is upon us, knocking at the front door. I pretend that i'm not home.

borntocry on 09/26/2005:
Hi legcramps,

That dog house sounds SO COOL!! What a pity it's for such an ungrateful and badly-behaved dog! Oh well, I guess you're just going to have to take some digital photos of it and post them here so that we can appreciate it at least! And I want to see the Beatles painting too... you can't deny me that... I'm such a huge fan!

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

To continue with the saga of my life with a dog...

My boyfriend took the dog for a walk one night. The dog and my boyfriend's shoes both came back, into the carpeted house, with a mysterious odour and a caked on substance. Thinking it must be mud, I made an effort to clean what I could and then went to sleep. Upon waking in the morning, I found the dog again blocked off into the back porch. Judging by the strong stench and floating mist through the house, I realized this was not mud. Not wanting to deal with it before work, I set off. When I got home afterwards, what greeted me was something I hope to never come across again. The dog had gotten out of his pen. The smell was everywhere, and up my nostrils within seconds of entering the house. This was poop! Oh my God! Open the windows! All the doors! Get that dog outside NOW! I grabbed the doggie shampoo, filled a 5 gallon container with warm water, and went to work. I scrubbed and cleaned that boy from top to bottom, him chained to a tree so as not to run away from me and whining under his breath and me covered in water and poop and God knows what else. What perfect timing for my mother to plan a visit, bringing with her a bag of lilies for the front yard. After the much cleaner dog had his fun jumping all over her work clothes, I dried him off best I could and threw him back into the house. After my mother left, I went to work killing all the flies and bugs that with the doors being open had gotten into the house. Already discouraged and extremely worn out, I showered, made a quick dinner, washed some clothes and called it a night. After a couple hours of sleep, I remembered the lilies out in the backyard on top of the dog house. Thinking I couldn't leave them outside overnight for fear of freezing, I ran downstairs and outside in my bare feet. The bag? Was on the ground, ripped apart, torn and withered. Where were the flowers? Laying askew on the cement pad, seemingly drawn up and curled into tight little balls - in fear i'm sure. I went ballistic on the pup, cleaned up what I could, threw out what I couldn't save and took my turn whining through the night.

If I didn't have him, what stories could I tell?

borntocry on 09/21/2005:
Hi legcramps,

What a horrible story! Looks like things are just getting worse and worse. I wish I had some advice for you but my family hasn't had much luck with dogs so unfortunately I can't help.

Thanks for your comment. Believe me, my stomach was in knots wondering what everyone would think of the food I'd made. Luckily most people are quite polite and probably wouldn't say anything too negative even if they thought it!

And yes, of course I have noticed the similarities between your boyfriend and my husband. They're very childish at times, it's true. And my husband also criticises the way I do things around the house, which is really ironic since he never does anything around the house. All he does is the laundry. I do everything else. And then he has the cheek to complain about how I do things.

I think they're just egocentric. They can't see things from another person's point of view. Or accept that it might be just as valid as theirs. I know I should probably talk to my husband more about the problems I have with him. I just can't help but feel that if he hasn't grown up by now, he never will. So it's just a question of training him.

Hmmm, I guess men and dogs do have a lot in common, after all...

Umpqua on 09/22/2005:
I'm so sorry to hear about your dob problems! All I can do is offer some advice based on what I've learned over the past 4 years of dog ownership. Our guy was around 2 when we got him and had some "behavioral issues" after being abandoned by his previous owners. He used to poop in the house when we were at work as well as get into the garbage, and chew on one of our recliners. Two things that have worked: if you actually witness the bad behavior, a "time out" is sometimes helpful. We would lock him in the bathroom for 5 or 10 minutes. The other thing is the water squirt bottle. If he starts chewing or digging, that might be a good deterrant.

I also had some power struggle issues with our dog during the first month we had him. He instantly obeyed and respected my husband, but apparently thought he was "2nd alpha" and didn't have to listen to me. He's a 60 pound muscular dog, and I actually had to grab him and pin him down with all my strength a couple of times when he was being growly with me to show him who was boss. He's never pulled that stuff with me since!

blacksheep on 09/25/2005:
Well....on the plus side that seems like a great exercise

legcramps - Monday Sep 19, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

That dog. That lovely, sweet, compassionate, masquerading, manipulative, violent, ill-mannered, adorable dog. Chewed my camera up to bits. Found out how to place his front paws on the kitchen counter and has had an absolute BALL chewing up all my kitchen utensils, bags of bread, and other miscellaneous items he so happily and joyfully found. Everything. Was. In. Bits and Pieces when I came home yesterday. Train him you say? Discipline him? I'd like to know how to discipline a 70lb dog that is nothing but muscle and sinewe. And has a hard enough skull to be able to run smack into trees and not feel a thing. What on earth are we doing with a dog THIS big, THIS utterly bad? That dog house had better be built within the next couple of days. He's not allowed anywhere right now but the back porch and boy he sure doesn't like that. He kept me up all night with his silly whining. Want to hear a 70lb full-grown dog whine? It's loud.

Since i'm so upset, you can imagine what's happened. I didn't even bother bringing water to work with me. I keep buying diet pops from the cafeteria. The best part about being angry though is knowing that when I get home that house is going to be spotless within two hours. I power-clean when things get like this.

Have a better one than I.

gigi43 on 09/19/2005:
Don't know if this makes you feel any better, but I found your entry hilarious! Good luck with that dog!

legcramps - Friday Sep 16, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

The chocolate lab has found it's home. I'm glad to hear it, as i'd been thinking about her all day long yesterday and told everyone at work about her.

This morning as I was taking a quick jog with the dog we passed through one of the parks near our home. It seems that when Chewie gets near a park or ball diamond, he goes nuts. He started barking furiously and nipped at the bottom of my sweats, inadvertently undoing the shoelace on my runner. So I bent down to tie it up and he attacked my gloves! I quickly pulled them off so that he wasn't biting my hands, and he proceeded to then nip at my shirtsleeve! Oi! I was so angry with him that I picked up my gloves, stood up and continued walking, leaving him with a dragging leash and an angled cocking of his head, wondering where I was going without him. Eventually he calmed down and I was able to continue jogging with him. What a snotty thing! I complained to my boyfriend that our dog was attacking me, and he just laughed and said that I needed to discipline the dog so that he knew who was boss. I guess i'm not trainer material!

Food yesterday was awesome. I had a sandwich for lunch, a few bites of ravioli after work while cooking dinner, and chicken and broccoli for dinner. Still sticking with tea instead of coffee and that's going very well as it's helping me drink water every day.

Tonight we were supposed to go golfing, but since it's rainy out i'm not sure what will happen. We're going out for dinner with friends to a wing place. I hate wings. I hate anything with bones. Oh well, I guess that means I won't be gorging on it!

Liza36 on 09/16/2005:
I'm so glad to hear the dog found its home. I admired your compassion yesterday and I was very happy to know that the dog had someone like you to help find her way back home.

Have a good weekend, and you're right about the dinner tonight. At least you won't overeat if you don't like what's being served. Have a good one!

borntocry on 09/16/2005:
Hi legcramps,

Chewie is just getting so naughty. Why doesn't your boyfriend help train him since he seems to know so much about it?!

legcramps - Thursday Sep 15, 2005
(It's called Reality Bites)
Weight: 136.0

I'm glad it's Thursday.

I went to wallyball last night for two hours. It was good, but I didn't get as much of a workout as I usually did in the past. I think maybe it's because of the jogging i've been doing. I could keep up to everyone, and hardly even had a sweat going on. Although, my arms and legs sure hurt today!

Food has been good - sticking to my plan! Today I brought a sandwich for lunch, as well as ravioli in case i'm still hungry. I'm hungry right now. I was hungry when I woke up. It's going to be a long day!

Still walking the dog in the mornings, but this morning he pulled the cord for the alarm out of the outlet, so I woke up too late to take him.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store to get something for dinner, totally off the cuff because I had a lot of food at home that I could have made. As I was walking into the building, what I thought was a stray dog was weaving in and out of traffic. I felt bad and called her over to the safety of the sidewalk. She didn't have a collar on, and it looked to me like she had just had a litter of pups. I told her to stay and she seemed well-trained, which kind of got me a little worried. What if she couldn't find her way back home? What if those little puppies needed her? She was a chocolate lab, and seemed well taken care of. Were her owners looking for her? Did she sneak out of her collar and chain and take off? I quickly went in for my groceries and mentally decided (within 5 seconds of seeing her) that I would take her home and try to find her owners. When I got back out, there she was, right by my vehicle. It's like she knew I was there to take care of her! She hopped right in and I took her home. I gave her food and water, and she sort of played/sort of ignored my dog. My boyfriend and I had to call all over the place, and finally got a hold of the dog-catcher. He met us at the dog pound to take a look at her. I didn't want her to stay in the dog pound, so beforehand my boyfriend told him that we would keep her until they could find the owners. But once the catcher saw her, he figured he knew who she belonged to. We trusted him because it's a small town and pretty much everyone knows everyone, so we left her with him. I hope she didn't have to stay in the pound overnight. I think i'll phone and check with him today after work.

borntocry on 09/15/2005:
Hi legcramps,

Oh, wallyball! I remember that! I also remember I used to think you were totally sports crazy at one time. I guess most of your chosen activities seem to be winter ones.

As I was reading your entry I thought you were going to say that you'd adopted that chocolate lab. She would have made a nice playmate for Chewie! (It sounds like he's getting totally out of control, by the way - he actually pulled out the plug of the alarm?!) But it was so nice of you to take care of her and try to track down her owners. I'm sure they'll be very happy and grateful to have her back.

Oh and thanks for your comment. It's funny that you should leave me a comment today as I was just thinking of you while I was out running. Hey, we runners have to stick together - there aren't many of us out there! I hope you get to keep it up at the gym you are joining. I just recently ran on a treadmill for the first time ever and I was surprised at how much I liked it! I had always thought it would be so boring, but it was nice to be able to cut off entirely from the outside world.

Umpqua on 09/15/2005:
That's so sweet of you to look after that dog, what a nice thing to do! I love how your dog sabotaged his own walk by unplugging your alarm clock. It sounds like you've got the exercise all planned out - nice job. I need to incorporate some kind of exercise routine into my life right now. I walk every day but don't tone consistently, and it's just not enough. Good luck with the new food and exercise schedule!

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