19 11 2010

Pandora: 18 month, 63 cm, 32 kg.

Long time ago again.
It’s not that nothing happens, it’s just that if I have no new pictures I think there’s too much text to read, but anyway. Here’s some of the things that happened since last time.

Lost I
This is not about Pandora. This is about our cat Odin
Saturday two weeks ago as we came home from Pandora’s training, the cat came jumping from the stairs. As he landed he uttered at meow in pain.
I took a look at him and saw his little foot bend in an awkward way.
We called the vet immediately.
First he thought it was an infected bite. But as the cat had no fever and there was no matter in the swollen paw, we decided to take an x-ray of the paw.
And sadly, three of the four bones in his paw was broken.
Put to sleep, he was wrapped like a spring roll on his front leg.
He woke up to a leg twice the normal size, and he was offended!
Anyway, now we had to nurse the cat indoor for five weeks. He would hate that, and we would feel terrible every time he begged to come out.
This was Saturday.
Sunday morning as we woke up, he had managed to break out of the cat flap. We thought it was sealed but it turned out no to be.
I cannot describe the worries we had.
A three legged cat in the rainy cold. He wouldn’t be able to escape hunting dogs or climb trees.
We spend all Sunday calling, calling and calling.
In the evening he still hadn’t returned.
I hoped he would come back during the night.
He didn’t!
Monday at work I made some flyers with ‘Missing cat’ on it.
As we came home from work, Odin still had not returned.
We went out and put the ‘missing cat’ flyer in all the post boxes in the neighbourhood.
And we called again a million hoping to get his attention.
Late in the evening I had this awful vision of him falling into the stream next to the house. A three legged cat with no chance of getting himself up again.
We went for another walk in the dark. I mean the DARK darkness. Crossing fields of mud, watery meadows following the stream a mile in both directions. Pandora tried to help, but she didn’t look like she had any lead at all.
No Odin, no reaction.
That night I looked over the meadow behind the house, sending all my thoughts to Odin. Begging him  to come home.
I was sure that if he did not return that night, he would never come back home.

In the middle of the night I heard the cat flap.
5.29 in the morning our little cat came back home.
What a relief. It was sooo good to have him back.
Now he’s NOT let out before he is ready and well again.

Odin with broken paw

Well, Monday the at returned.
Monday after, my husband Morten and I was sitting in the kitchen talking when Morten said:
– I think I’ll go look for Pandora.
She had been out for 20 minutes, but she was wearing her leash which is normally enough to make her stay.
Morten came back:
– You better come along. Pandora is not in the garden.

I didn’t worry too much.
Though she had never jumped the fence wearing her leash before, she normally just go to the meadow behind the house or run to the nearest neighbour who has a charming black Labrador.
So I called. Confident that she would show up in seconds.
She didn’t react to our calling. We ran up and down the street in bigger and bigger circles, looking into peoples gardens.
Every time I heard a child talk or cry or a dog bark, I got afraid that it could be Pandora stirring up stuff.
I really didn’t think she would bite anyone, but if a parent saw her ‘I kiss with my tounge’-attitude towards a small child they might misunderstand the situation.
Did I mention it was dark as coal? It’s late spring in Denmark and the sun set around 5 o’clock. Now it was 8.
After half an hour we really started to worry.
Pandora had never been lost this long. And we had no idea of where she could have gone.
The situation was so similar to the week before when we searched for Odin. The only difference was, that we feared that Pandora would bite some one in fear, get run over by a car or … fall into the stream.
If she fell into the stream, she would survive, but she might drift away as there is a lot of water in it right now.
After 45 minutes I called my father and asked him to come along together with his Labrador, Pandora’s daily playmate.
If she saw or heard him, she might return.
In the meantime I started to walk along the bloody stream again. Walking between wet, dark trees, falling in muddy car tracks and looking into the dark.
I just walk. Without my phone and only a small flashlight.
At a certain time I heard dog bark.
I feared perhaps Pandora could be the reason, so I followed the sound. As I came closer, no one barked anymore.
I went down to a small cabin thinking she wouldn’t be there, but if I didn’t search it, I would probably think about it the rest of the night.
Half a mile from home I stood looking down the stream and I suddenly heard a bark that sounded like Pandora.
– Bark, Pandora, I shouted, but as you might know reading this blog, the girl has NO IDEA of what ‘bark’ means.
No reaction.
I wondered if I should go IN THE stream or find another way to follow the sound.
I decided to take the road.
I walked along a wooden fence, turned left at the end of the road and walked a little longer.
Then I heard voices. People talking.
And see: In a driveway my STUPID, AWFULL, TERRIFYING, DAMNED, ASHO… dog was tied to a rail.
I don’t have to tell how worried we’d been and how much I thanked the people who had caught her. They had just called the police to hear if Pandora was missing.
The reason for escaping:
Well these people had an old black Labrador. He had run off earlier in the day and had returned home together with Pandora.
So he might have been at our house and lured Pandora with him.
A nice guy drove us home. Pandora had been  running almost a mile (1,5 km) away from home.
And when Morten saw her he was so happy. All the nervousness we had felt.

Unfortunately yesterdays morning as we should go to work, the Labrador stood in our entrance. We took him in the car and drove him home.
But as long as he is out there, Pandora will not be able to be alone in our garden. Not even with her leash on. She has to be tied to something.

A little Pandora art

A little Pandora art

The Saturday before the ‘big escape’ Pandora went to her first obedience test ever.
This was just a test-test to try it. More for the humans than for the dogs.
At our course we haven’t yet learned all the exercises so in three of the test she didn’t get a very high score.
But she did her sit, lay down, find and forward rehearsals very well. And to my big surprise she did come when I called her in. That surprised us all.
She got 70 points out of 100. That brought her in the middle (11 of 22) which is actually very fine for her stubborn breed.
Her good friend Bandit got 85 point but he is so easy to teach things and he is 3 years old, cool calm and collected.
So all in all I think Pandora did well.


Pandora and her BEST friend ever, Bandit

Pandora and her BEST friend ever, Bandit

Is there a human inside?

23 10 2009

The temperature in Denmark is dropping.
It’s autumn now, the leaves are turning into yellow-brownish and the days are short.

We can no longer let the door be open all day, it’s too cold.
Yesterday Pandora barked for the first time because she wanted to go out and pee. Great!

Our two cats are now coming into the house again although Pandora is there. She still chases Shiva the female cat occasionally, but the other cat Odin has figured out that if he lies still (superciliously on the dinner chair) Pandora simply do not know what to do with him so she leaves him alone.

Dominant brute
These days I am studying a lot of wolf background to get to know my dog better. I see the ‘light’ over and over again as the books describe the almost exact way I have trained my dogs so far. Not being a dominant brute seems to be the main keywords which suits me fine as it was never my style.
I have always trained my dogs by playing with them. I feared in the beginning that Pandora would need a tougher way of training, but it’s not the case. All the things the ‘old psychology’ dictated to show your domination, turns out to be rubbish. Such as:
Eat before your dog – well we don’t and we never did. It makes no sense anyway.
Make forbidden areas/furniture in the house – Pandora can be where she wishes to be except on the tables. Just like any other ‘animal’ in the family.
Walk through the door before your dog – Why? I couldn’t wrap my mind around that and remember it even if my life depended on it.

And I could go on. In my life with animals mutual respect has always been the issue. I don’t do things TO my dog I do things TOGETHER WITH my dog. To get her respect I have to be exciting and inspirational, just as other people have to be exciting and inspirational to get my attention. It’s quite logical.

The ‘difficulties’ with Pandora is her individuality. She’s not stupid but she can ignore things totally if she’s on to something else. Certain things are easy to teach her, other things seams to be so not interesting that she plays deaf. But with ‘tricks and treats’ I can lure her into the game.
I would never ever punish her physically and I discovered that starring into her eyes is enough punishment.
Another important thing is the way we socialized her from day one. She has met more than 30 dogs she could ‘talk’ to and she has at least 3 regular play pals. She has also been socialized with as many people as possible, and she meets other people every day and has at least 10 people who’s not afraid of her and can handle her – also playing a little roughly.

The human in the dog
Let me point this out: THERE IS NONE!
As mammals we have similar behaviour in many ways. This gives us a good base for understanding each other. But we have different bodies and therefore different body languages and visual appearance. Showing my teeth means smiling, when the dog shows its teeth it’s almost never a ‘smile’ etc.

Your dog never gets in the ‘assertive age’ or does things to provoke you; your dog is maturing and trying to stand on its own four feet just as any other teenager.
(See the sub site: Chronological Stages)

Your dog doesn’t need cakes, ice cream, chocolate, candy or any of those things it would never find in nature.
Confession: My old dog loved pizza, but Pandora has never tasted it and she never will.

A dog has fur!
Which is smart, it’ll make the dog resist cold wind, snow and rain. Your dog DOES NOT NEED clothes!
(Except for few breeds that needs a little help in the winter). Your dog DOES NOT see itself as cute in at pink pyjamas or a laced skirt.

Your dog doesn’t need to be carried around in a bag. It has four super designed legs to walk on. Let it!

Conclusion: There is just as much human in a dog as there is dog in a human. We are individual beings, behaving differently. Respect that!

We’re all in a box
A funny thing about humans is that we are just as predictable as any dog or breed.
Looking at which people chooses which dog breeds, tells us a lot of things.
It seams like those who chooses the ‘natural’-looking dogs (with long snouts, upright ears and long tales) almost never buy pink collars with rhinestones, fluffy footwear or velvet leaches to their dog.
On the other hand a lot of moloss owners buy a huge leather collar with spikes, call their dog Tyson and cut their bleached hair short. It’s really funny. Just go to dog exhibitions and see for yourself.

This was a bit different blog and I might have offended some people with my opinions, but I’ve seen so many pictures of dogs dressed up to amuse people and it disgusts me. Sorry.

Link: http://www.moloss.com

Pandora watching washing machine

Pandora watching washing machine

Pandora watching a stuffed wild boar

Pandora watching a stuffed wild boar

Pandora hiding – tired of people!

Pandora hiding – tired of people!

Locked up! Latest news from Pandora the Wolfdog

17 09 2009

Sunday morning my friend and I went tog the bakery for bread. With us was of course Pandora, as she’s beginning to really like driving with us in the car.

Parking next to the bakery, leaving the key in the car, shutting the door. When we came out Pandora had obviously jumped around a little as she always do, and by accident (?) she had hit the locking pin in the door and thereby locked the entire car. And the key was inside.

Luckily my friend had her cell phone and as we only live 3 kilometres from the bakery my boyfriend took the bike and met us after 20 minutes. But Pandora was utterly confused. Why did we stay outside the car looking and did NOT open up for her?

Maturing and learning
No no no, she is not at all mature or anything like it yet, but she doesn’t bite our hands anymore. Her small teeth in the front are all new both upper and lower mouth.
She last one of her canine teeth but no new ones are in sight yet. And I guess the teeth ain’t itching that much any more as she’s stopping the biting thing.

She is also beginning to have more faith in the ‘cursed’ words: COME HERE.
If she’s playing and freaking out, she doesn’t hear it, but if we are relaxed and ‘laid back’ as we call, she is beginning to obey.
Now she can run around the entire house without running into the street. Of course she is not 100 % strict but its getting MUCH better.
One day I was doing some gardening as a terrier passed by and Pandora stood next to me in the garden. She didn’t move a hair. No running after the other dog, no body language signalling that here was ‘a new best friend’. She was so cool.
Later that day she also went to the garden entrance, but didn’t cross the invisible line.

In the evening she ran into the street twice! Arrgh!

But it’s like that, almost every day. She starts the day with ’10 golden stars in the book’.
10 minutes before we go to bed she looses more then half of them by running after the cats or peeing on the floor etc.
But we moving forward in the teaching/learning process and it’s great.

Crazy Dog, Funny Dog
If we shout too much at her or stop her from doing something she really would like to do, she growls. It’s so cute and the reaction is like a disappointed child. She’s got many different sounds.

Long uncut grass is equal to HAPPINESS. She can run around totally freaking out when we walk or play in long grass. It’s hilarious.

Last week, my boyfriend and one of our friends was sword fighting. Pandora didn’t like it. People fighting are normally upsetting dogs so the reaction was fine.

Watching TV is a new hobby. We haven’t seen much TV during the summer and Pandora haven’t paid much attention to it.
Now it’s like she can focus on other dogs on the screen and is curious.
Sounds are of course easier, and watching dogs barking makes her tip her head first to one side, then to the other. It’s so sweet, but everyone with a dog knows that.

Wolf howls makes no sense to her. No reaction.

The not so good dog
Last week she peed in my bed, next night in my boyfriends’ bed. Last night she peed in the bed again.
It seems to be either at dominance problem or a ‘fear of being alone’ problem.
Never the less we have to look into it.

Physical facts:

Height: 52 cm

Weight: 19 kg

She is 4 month or 19 weeks old and changing teeth.
Her head is quite small but her paws are fully grown.

She is now very looong in her body as you can see in the picture below.

There are small groups of black hair just abowe her two middle nails on all four paws. I have no clue why. Looking more dangerous?

I also think that she’s got more skin between the toes (webbed feet) than other dogs (except for the New Foundlander). Is she made for swimming?

Pandora watching friends in fight

Pandora watching friends in fight

Pandoras body is looong these days

Pandoras body is looong these days

Black hair above the nails. Is it a trick?

Black hair above the nails. Is it a trick?

Dog silence

2 09 2009

Not much to report this week. Every thing has been going fine. No problems, no accidents, no trouble. Nice, right?

49 cm is her height now and using the cat flap is now completely out of the question.

Alone with daddy

I went away last Saturday so only my boyfriend was at home to cuddle Pandora and they did fine of course. Though it missed her like crazy I also thing they needed a little time together without me.

And thanks to my dear boyfriend I had pictures of the beautiful dog coming in via the iPhone during the day. You can see them here.

We also bought a cage to her, a cheep one to bring with us as we go on tours. She now has two weeks to get used to it before she has to be locked in it for 30 minutes or so. It might be very handy to have sometimes, but it’s interesting to see if she can cope with it at all.

She went into it last night without any fear and we have started to feed her inside it.

It is app. 1 x 0,6 x 0,8 metres with two doors and is collapsible into ‘nothing’ within 30 seconds.

By the way …

Pandora has her own Facebook profile, and she is now getting friend invitations form people I don’t even know. That is really funny.

You can become Pandoras Facebook friend if you search for Pandora Van Goverwelle

Loved and missed

These days at work I really miss her. I feel like I need a long holiday to have enough time to spend with her. It must be the same feelings as a mother/father have for their newborn baby.

I just miss her when I can’t reach out and caress her.

Alone with 'daddy' at the lake. Watching!

Alone with 'daddy' at the lake. Watching!

Hiding upstairs

Hiding upstairs

Use your doggy language

17 08 2009

Second week with Pandora alone at home wasn’t too successful either, but also not worse. She still hates it, but as she is picked up after two hours alone by my parents she isn’t alone for very long.
I’ll give it two months to normalize and there are indications that it is possible.

First: Now she can relax in the car as we go shopping and leave her for half an hour or even an hour. When we return, she’s laying on the back seat resting. That’s a good sign. It means that she is ok with being alone in the car even though (or because of?) people are passing by all the time.
Two: Her stomach seems to have become a lot better this last week, my parents noticed. Could indicate that her stress level is falling.
Three: She finds it easier and easier to be alone in another room than us. Or laying in the garden while we are indoor or vise versa.
We haven’t given up yet.

Tooth broke
Pandora had an accident the other day. As she was jumping out of the car, my parents dog tumbled over her by accident and Pandoras snout hit the door frame and one of her baby canine teeth broke. She hardly made a sound. Only the tinniest ‘eerv’ left her mouth. I’m so happy it was a milk tooth that broke. She has no problem chewing anything after this. But Wednesday we are going to the vet to get a rabies vaccination and the vet can look at the tooth then.

Pandora has begun to bark a lot. It’s not completely at dog bark, but she makes us smile because her bark is very deep for such a small dog.
She is always barking in protest.
If I tell her NO to something that she really wants, she barks in frustration. Like I am very unfair. It’s very funny but we also try to teach not to bark at us as she may look or sound frightening as she gets older.
This is also a quite funny situation as I have started to bark back, growl and show my teeth. And she respects that!
She actually got terrified the first time.
Doggy language is a good language to know.

Yesterday she went into some really nasty stinking water at the lake. At home she had to have her feet washed. This doesn’t any longer cause a lot of sounds, only an urge to escape.

The girl is growing
Now 11 kg and 43 cm.
She is charming everybody. Even my mother in law.
“I just love that dog” one of my friends said the other day. And our neighbour likes her and always greet her with hugs and smiles and she likes him and greets him with smiles. She smiles with her ears (laying them flat down) and her black lipped mouth always looks like smiling. He seams to be a ‘real’ friend to her.

This week I’ll spend a lot of quality time with her. As she grows she needs to learn more stuff and I need to be more strict.
Barking on command is about to become possible. (But not needed – just for fun).
She needs to learn “lay”, “get down” and “here”. Especially coming by command is extremely hard as she is sniffing to everything on her way. I don’t know if she hears my but she sometimes look like I am the least interesting thing on her way.
Staying at our ground is also essential and will not be a problem to learn as long as no other dogs passes by.

Wednesday it’s rabies vaccination day, and that’s only to make it possible to travel to Sweden.
More about that next time.

Enjoying the sun in grandma's chair

Enjoying the sun in grandma's chair