Lucy Run! So, so cold – brrrrr

The last week or so has seen some brutally cold weather for this early in the winter season.  Lulu has started every morning optimistic, eagerly awaiting her morning outing at the patio door.

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Let’s move it!  I have to be back in before you start eating!

These have been very short lived excursions.  Lu has walked to the edge of the patio, to monitor the dismal surroundings.

end of patio 2018

Hmmmmm…

Found a spot in the arctic tundra to take care of things.

Waiting to go out 2018

Where are the squirrels?

…and then quickly realized it was still cold as crap!

OMG its cold

OMG!

 

 

It has not been a good two weeks for a dog with very little body fat, and almost no hair, and because of this, my house has turned into a war zone, there being just too much energy to keep cooped up.  There are deer antlers, torn toys and kongs EVERYWHERE.  Thank goodness she is a good dog, and is not interested in anything other than her own toys.

On a positive note, it was a good diet week.  I lost another pound to end at 10.5 pounds, and that was after being tested with my trip to Columbus, OH, where I left a 45 degree day (FINALLY), to end up in another blizzard (Damn).  I also work in operations, with mostly men, so my choice for lunch each day was Tim Horton’s, Wendy’s, and the Waffle House.  It was a tough choice, but I ended up just closely watching calories and picking through all the “stuff.”  I hate salads, so I’m a little challenged.  My downfall was the grits at Waffle House.  They were floating in butter.  I only had two bites, but I think that threw my stomach into a spiral, and after two weeks of cleansing, my stomach made me pay.  I spent most of the afternoon and night nauseous, and hiding in a bathroom with a door that would not lock.

This week’s goal is 2 pounds for me, and less frostbite for Lulu.  We miss our weekend walks, but the asphalt is just too cold, and it will be a cold day in hell (or CT), before Lucy Lulu puts hoity toity boots on her paws!

2018 – A Big Year for Lulu

2017 was a year of milestones for both me and Lulu.  Lulu ate out of a yogurt cup for the first time, and licked off a plate I held out to her – very tentatively, but it was a lick.  She is still terrified of kitchen utensils, such as knives or spoons, but is slowly developing into a phenomenal canine food beggar.  I unfortunately, gained another 20 pounds that pushed my over an unmentionable weight threshold.  Fortunately, in 2018, Lulu and I have begun both our journey back to health, and maybe not so fortunately, our continued development of begging skills.

Lulu by Sofa 010618

“What are you drinking?!!”

I kicked off 2018 with a 7 day cleanse, utilizing “Bosso” chicken and beef  broths.  I had read so many positive things about the broths.  They would heal my stomach (I have the worst digestive tract!), give me glossy locks (not sure this is possible if highlighted, but worth a try), and promote brain health (always a plus!), etc.  These were just a few of the claims all over the internet.  Most importantly though, I would kick start my weight loss program.

I’m on day five of the cleanse, and I’ve lost 7 pounds so far.  Sadly, friends and loved ones can’t just say “That is great!”  It always has to be “That is great, even if it is just water weight right now.”  Really?  Why can’t it just be “That is great!”  Lulu on the other hand has shown nothing but support.  She stays close as I both heat and drink the broths, providing continued support and constant engagement.

Lulu in kitchen 010618

“Really – I’m happy to help taste!”

As Lulu continues to fine tune her abilities to beg, I’m amazed at the intensity and focus she is developing.  I try to emulate this focus as I avoid solid foods, but I will admit I have occasionally relaxed.  I just could not drink only broth all day, and eat nothing solid.  I’ve supplemented lunch with a small salad and about 4 ounces of chicken.  This has satisfied the desire to chew something, and provided a more healthy balance I think.  I also throw in a few nuts, although I just read something about “lectins” that was disturbing, and will have to do a little more research.

I’m on day five (thank god!) and only have two days left.  I’m researching other more normal diets to follow after the cleanse, but they are all so confusing.  Lulu has recommended a high protein diet, claiming that vegetables and fruits are far overrated, but I’m more interested in something a little more balanced.  I also have high cholesterol, similar to Dad, so I have to take that into consideration.

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“I an all protein diet – maybe Atkins or Keto”

Anyway, we are off to a great start!  My goal is a loss of 50 pounds, and Lulu’s is to lick a fork.   I’ll update more regularly, as this Blogs holds me accountable.  It is also a nice outlet for the emotional roller coaster caused by hunger spikes.

Have a GREAT year everyone!

ACL

My powerful little dog has torn her ACL – at least that is what the vet “thinks” is the reason she leans slightly to one side to take her weight off her back leg.  Now, she always looks a little crooked when standing still, unless their is a small living creature in her line of sight.  When movement is sighted, all pain is forgotten.

It has been about a month since we were given her diagnosis, and Lulu is miserable.  She cannot go anywhere without being on a leash, and I honestly don’t understand why.  She has simply transferred her energy releases to the interior of the house, and turning sharp corners as she slides around the dining room table on hard wood floors at 20 MPH has GOT to have a more adverse effect on her ACL than trotting the fence line.

On top of all this, is the relationship stress.

“Are you taking her out?”

“It is raining.”

“It is your turn.”

“It’s raining.”

“She still has to go to the bathroom.”

“It is raining.  Just let her out. She does not run in the rain.”

At this point, the conversation often begins to escalate, because if it is not raining, then it is cold, or it is dark, or now that it is winter, cold, dark and raining.

“You are so lazy.  I’ll take her out!”

(silence)

“I can feel you staring at me.”

“Are you taking her out?”

“You just said you were taking her out.”

“OMG!”

“Fine, I’ll take her out.”

“Good, and hurry back.  I don’t want to leave the show on pause for 15 minutes.”

As we stand at the door staring out in to the yard, I lean over and clip on the leash.  I stand and look down at her as she looks up, a mild look of disgust on her face.

“This is what happens when a Republican dog is raised by a democrat,” I say, raising my eyebrows at her in a dog smile.”

“I HEARD THAT!”

 

 

 

Who is in Charge?!

Did you say something?

Did you say something?

I am a bit impulsive and certainly not structured, so it comes as no real surprise that my decision to train Lu had mixed results.  I was taken aback when a friend had told me that Lulu was the dominant one in our relationship, so I decided obedience training was in order.  We had dabbled in it when I first rescued Lu, and had gone to a few classes – working with a few trainers.  Ultimately, Lulu had ended up doing what Lulu wanted to do most of the time.

In my typical disciplined approach, I googled obedience training, read a few articles, and began the lessons.  First, I needed to teach her that I was to go through doors first, as she waited.  I also needed her to look at me when I spoke to her.  I remember reading the last article, and stepping to the back door to call her,  yelling to her as she ignored me – intentionally ignored me.  Let the games begin!

The first door attempt at establishing who was who in the pecking order, resulted in both of us wedging ourselves into the door at the same time, with her insisting she push through first.  She is pretty good at sitting, so I told her to sit, and as I turned to go through the door, she bolted forward, slamming me to the side as she triumphantly led the way.  After our 83rd attempt, I stood staring down at her –  her tongue lolling out as she grinned up at me.  Let’s see, what did she value over anything else – easy – her walks.

I took Lulu into the mud room to head out front for a walk, and as I opened the door she attempted to shove 40 pounds of solid muscle between my legs and out the door.  I closed the door gently on her head (maybe not as gently as I should have) until she backed into the mud room and sat to stare at the door.  Again, I opened the door, and again she leapt forward.  I closed the door again.  This went on for about a half hour, until she finally figured out that as long as she sat quietly, the door stayed open.  The next step was to have her look at me for instruction.

We stood with the door open and the storm door closed.  She sat hunched, staring at the door, trembling as adrenaline coursed through her bunched up muscle.  I reached to open the storm door and she crouched, so I let the door go and waited as the trembling stopped and she slowly calmed down.  I continued the exercise, reaching for the door, as she crouched in anticipation, letting the door go, and waiting repeatedly for her to calm down.

Finally, we reached a point where I could step back and forth through the door as she sat bunched, staring straight ahead – eagerly waiting for me to call her.  Now it was time for the second step.  I stood and waited, softly asking her to “look at me.”  She knew what “look at me meant.”  We had practiced this with one of her trainers.  Stubbornly, she stared straight forward as I repeated the command, refusing to even glance in my direction.  She looked so angry and frustrated – so I waited, and waited, and waited.

I stood there for about 10 minutes, until with slitted eyes and taught facial muscles, she looked up at me – or rather she glared up at me.  I called her and she came through the door, slinging her body to the side as she flew past me.  I was tempted to try one more time, but we were both exhausted from our battle of wills.  We headed out on our walk, her pulling at the end of her leash – leading our small pack down the street.   She looked proud and defiant – head lifted high, turning like a radar as she searched for prey.  Small steps I thought as I pulled her back.  She seemed to pull slightly less as we continued, but that may have just been wishful thinking on my part at the time.

Over the last few months we have continued our lessons.  She now waits patiently until I go through the door.  She watches me the whole time – maintaining eye contact for as long as I ask her to sit in front of the door.  She also now walks at my side, and instead of bolting after anything that moves, she does a little dance of anticipation.  She has come a long way in a year.

She is an incredibly athletic dog – having Staffordshire terrier, American Bull terrier, and Viesla in her lineage.  She has an incredible prey drive and is high energy.  I would like to teach her agility after we have our obedience conquered, but first I have to get her past her dog aggression.  I don’t know what happened to her before I found her, but she was in bad shape when we met.  I’ve used three trainers.  I have not had good experiences with any of them, so for now, I will keep reading articles, and we will keep battling until I find the right trainer for my fiercly stubborn little bully dog.

DNA

Lulu

Lulu

Yesterday I read through Lu’s DNA. There is a lot of controversy about the accuracy of canine DNA results, but her’s seem to be accurate.

Yesterday Lu found a rabbit nest. She killed all four baby rabbits in less than a minute. Then my dog that eats only the best food that money can buy, just as quickly ate them. I did not have time to save the babies. She was just too fast.

I had a hard time looking at my savage dog without feeling sadness for the babies, and the mama that returned later that evening. I could not love her for a few hours, and turned my back.

Last night Lu climbed up on the sofa and pushed her flat, block head up under my arm. She laid her head on my lap and tilted it to the side, her soft brown, pink ringed eye gazing up at me. I laid my hand on her head gently, and she sighed deeply as her warm eyes slowly closed.

Vies-la + Bull Terrier + Stafford-shire Terrier – this is my dog that loves hard, kills hard, and explodes both with life and onto life. It is hard to believe an animal so gentle and loving can also be so feral and brutal.