Yesterday was very much a "puppy day." By that I mean, we spent a lot of the day doing stuff for and with the dogs. That is not a bad thing. In fact, it's quite enjoyable. We went to the vet to get the process started to get the dogs into Scotland. It took over an hour to draw blood and insert microchips in each one of our four dogs.
We hit a small glitch when the vet Tech scanned Roscoe's microchip and realised that it is not an international chip. This meant that both Glacier and Roscoe had to get outfitted with new chips. We technically could have bought the scanner and took it with us, but it was cheaper just to get new microchips. So, now Glacier and Roscoe have two microchips a piece. There's no way we're going to lose those guys.
Aria and Balloo were also given the shot to put the microchip just under their skin. Neither of them were very happy about the microchips insertion or the blood draw. The vet Tech had to take the blood from a vein in their necks and Glacier's rolled around a lot and he didn't want to hold still for her. He made his little whining noise even before she started. We had joked that Aria would be the big drama queen, but I think the award went to Glacier. Roscoe was cool as a cucumber as usual.
He didn't like being up on the stainless steel table. The surface is really slippery and he kept sliding when she asked him to "sit" so she could draw his blood. At one point she said, "okay Roscoe," without knowing that was his "release" cue and he launched himself off the table that was raised to waist height. We always thought "okay" was a dumb release cue as it is such an easy word to say. Maybe we'll have to change it.
After the vet's visit we came home to find our newest puppy purchase waiting for us. We had ordered a "Flush Potty" for Aria and Balloo because our new house does not have a large backyard. Glacier and Roscoe go on command, but I'm not sure the little guys are that good yet. We thought the "Flush Potty" would be a good alternative to puppy pads and would solve the problem of the Dachshunds refusing to potty outside when it is raining. I had high hopes for this product, but they are quickly sinking.
The Flush Potty does not have synthetic grass, which is why we picked it. It uses a "bark mixture" which is supposed to reduce odor and encourage the dogs to go on it because it is more natural. Really? It's a good sales pitch, but where's the warning that your miniature Dachshund would rather remove the pieces of bark and chew on them, leaving tree crumbs all over the house? I mean seriously. I think Aria saw the bark being spread around and thought
"Yum! My own dessert buffet!"
Balloo isn't much better. He pulls pieces out and brings them up on the couch where he can chew his coveted prize in comfort. We thought about getting some sort of "go here" spray, but I'm not sure those even work. If it doesn't, then we've spent another ten dollars that we won't get back. I put a used Wee pad over the bark pieces in the hopes of encouraging the pups to potty on it, but they just pull the bark chunks out from underneath it. Damn burrowing genes.
We may get the spray anyway and see if it works. I thought about phoning Petsmart and seeing if the Great Dane Guy is back and asking him which product works the best. I also need to talk to him about the Intermediate obedience class for Aria. We probably should have contacted him before buying the stinking Bark Breakfast Buffet, AKA the Flush Potty.
I think it may be a good product if you have a very small puppy and you teach them from a young age that it is for going, not chewing. I am not going to give up yet though because if I do, that was a very expensive "oops."
I also started researching Rally training. It's something that I could do with any of my dogs really. For Glacier it would be a good refresher/reinforcer of basic obedience and a good way to train Balloo and Aria. I talked to our vet Tech yesterday about it and she thinks it's something I can do, but she suggested I contact the AKC. I would need a sighted guide to move me from station to station and the instructions are delivered via a sign posted on the wall. I would need my guide to read the instructions of each station to me. She wasn't sure if the AKC would allow for this sort of thing and thought it would be better to find out before I invested a lot of time and money into it only to find out I couldn't compete.
She has a point and so I sent out two emails last night. I haven't heard back yet, but I'm sure it's not a request they have had before. I am a bit concerned they will say "no," but I'm pretty sure if they do, it won't stop me. I'll find some way around it and change the rules and regulations so that blind and visually impaired handlers have equal opportunity to compete. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I have not heard back yet, as I said, and so I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Who knows, they might surprise me and already have something in place or be willing to establish a rule that would make it possible for me to compete.
I better get back to my vigilant guarding of the Flush Potty to make sure no one is sneaking off with a snack.