Recently in Lily Category

My doggy turned 3 today. Granted, her birthday is approximate, but every dog needs a birthday, so I thought about the dates that would work as a good birthday for her... and then I realized I knew her real birthday. July 7, 2007. 7/7/7... you see, she's a lucky dog, so that had to be it.


To celebrate, we went on our normal afterwork walk. We met up with my mother and walked her to the bus, and then we walked all the way to the Grant Park Dog Bark where we played for a while before walking home. When we got back, both dog and human were thoroughly tired, and just a little wet thanks to a thunderstorm rolling through the city.


For one last something special, Lily is enjoying gravy with her kibble tonight... and she loves gravy!


So - Happy 3rd Birthday Lily!


She's a Wauzer!

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At the dog park today, Lily and I met her twin, Bernard. Lily and Bernard had fun barking at each other, running after each other, and playing king of the hill. Bernard, wearing a sweater, looked just like Lily. So, I asked Bernard's owner what kind of dog Bernard was, and I found out about Wauzers. A Wauzer is a mix between a West Highland Terrier (Westie) and a Schnauzer.

After googling Wauzer, I am 100% content to call Lily a Wauzer... and I can know answer the question, "What kind of dog is that?"

Some pictures from last month:

Lily-portrait.jpg Lily-stretch.jpg Lily-wolf.jpg

Ode to Joy

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I was having a solitary moment of anger/frustration about a topic that caused me a lot of anger and frustration... but Jarrett's Facebook update made me feel all better.

I just had to preserve this for posterity.

Quick update on Lily since I haven't updated this blog in forever:
• Yesterday was my two month anniversary since adopting Lily at Paws.
• We're bonding everyday. She's a great dog, I'm a decent owner.
• We completed basic dog obedience class about two weeks ago. Lily knows her name, Sit, Chill (lie down), up, down, bed, come, stay (sortof), paw (a.k.a. Shake), and get it (where she chases after a thrown treat, eats it, and comes back to me... not quite fetch yet.)
• We're working on "Hurry Up" (go to the bathroom on command), Stay, and not to bark at other dogs when she's on the leash.

In other significant events in Lily's life, she boarded for a weekend when I went to Joe and Leslie's wedding in Pennsylvania. She did well. She also came home for Thanksgiving and loved the house in Valpo/walking off leash around VU's campus.

As for her personality, she has started to come out of her shell. She's more demonstrative around the house and other people, she now wags her tail and will approach some strangers when they try and get her attention. She's also more playful at the dog park, and she shows a lot more interest in treats than she did when I first got her.

All in all, the Dog experiment is going well.

Lily - two weeks

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Two weeks ago, I brought Lily home from PAWS, and things are still going pretty well.

She's still behaving well, and is learning a number of commands. She loves "up" (standing on her hind legs and putting her paws on my thigh) although she's been known to come "up" without a command. I believe she understands "down" (get off), but is decidedly less enthusiastic about it. She's getting very good at "sit" and is pretty good with "come". We haven't worked on lay down yet, or wait, or some of the other commands.

On the food front, she's still a rather picky eater. I am pretty sure she just doesn't like the Science Diet. She really loves cheese, so mixing in some cheese with her kibble works. I've also tried some meaty gravy "mixables" that do the trick. Regardless, she's an uneven eater, but she eats when she's hungry, and she's not going 24 hours without eating like she did last week.

During the work day, she's still staying in the bathroom. She is very excited to see me when I get home, but leaving her one of my shirts during the day has her happy enough to leave the hand towel alone. (As seen in the picture below, she's a USC fan.) Otherwise, no other destruction to report. Also, a good omen is that I left a Kong full of cheese in the bathroom one morning, and when I came home, the Kong was in her dog bed, so she obviously picked it up during the day, which bodes well for me to eventually teach her fetch.

This week, we've taken to meeting my mother after work and walking her to her commuter bus. On Monday, Mom said, "for a dog, she's okay." By Friday, I think there was some genuine affection (on Mom's behalf.)

Today, we went back to the vet for Lily's second round of shots. (It was expensive!) The vet checked her anal glands and had to "manually express" them, which is a fancy way of saying that she's still having some problems. So, I will need to do some research on the issue. From my initial reading, it sounds like I can "manually express" her glands myself when necessary.

After the vet, Lily had her second bath today. (She will need a bath again next Saturday, and then we can start on the normal bathing pattern.) I also remembered to rub in the moisturizing lotion. Again, she was very well behaved, and shook much less than she did last week. Anyhow, after the bath, she curled up in her dog bed to sleep off the bath, and I snapped a picture.


Life with Lily is going well. She's adjusting well to the Keep, is starting to misbehave on occasion, and still loves going on long walks.

I'm happy to report that she's misbehaving some. I take it as a sign that she's comfortable enough to take a risk and see if something she wants to do is acceptable. Granted, that means that I'll probably end up with a chewed shoe at some point, but the alternative is a dog that's afraid of her owner, and that wouldn't be fun.

Anyhow, for good behavior, I took yesterday (Columbus day had me off work) as an attempt to see if she could behave on her own in the apartment, rather than just the bathroom. My first test was leaving around lunch time. When I came back an hour and a half later, she'd knocked a stack of mail off a table, and decided that my bed was more comfortable than the couch she's allowed on. I walked in the apartment and told her to get off the bed, and then picked up the mail.

Thinking that wasn't too bad of an outcome, I later put up the Murphy bed and left for dinner. This time, I came back to find even more mail on the floor... and a shredded plastic bag in the middle of the room. I thought it was weird that she would go for the empty bag until I saw another shredded bag with 1.5 hot dog buns remaining in it on the couch. Lily had the good sense to be away from the scene of the crime... but her lethargy the rest of the evening was almost as good an indictment as catching her red-pawed.

So, while I'm at work today, Lily's chilling in the bathroom. I need to re-think my pantry decisions as I keep a lot of food within reach of a hungry-determined pup. Once that's done, and my massive stack of mail is cleaned up, we'll try leaving her out again. But for now, her home is in the bathroom.

Lily notes: On Saturday, Lily got her first bath (with the special medicated shampoo the vet gave me). She did not like it and trembled throughout, but she stood still as I lathered her up and washed her off. I was supposed to use some medicated cream to help her dry skin, but I forgot. She's supposed to have another bath for each of the next two weeks, so we'll get it then. Her general bravery was thoroughly appreciated as I don't want to get in the habit of employing a dog groomer if I can help it.

Lily doesn't really like the dried Science Diet. She ignored her food for about 24 hours on Sunday and Monday. I want her to eat the kibble, so I didn't give her any cheese, as she has given in and eaten the Science Diet before, but I finally got tired of her not eating and mixed in some cheese with her kibble. The last time I did that, she picked all the cheese out of the bowl and only ate two pieces of kibble. This time, she picked the cheese out, but then ate about half a bowl of food. I was feeling pretty good about getting her to eat. Then I left for dinner, then she ate half a package of hot dog buns. Oh well. I emailed the PAWS people and we're going to try a mixture of wet food and kibble.

For Catherine (of Boston): On feeding Lily a natural diet - Terrierman is my new dog mentor. He seems very knowledgeable about dogs, and his post here (Are you killing your dog with salt?) is a perfect summary of why I feel like I should go with a bagged diet for Lily.

Lily - day five

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I cannot get the Chicago dog parks license fast enough! I really need to get the application in before my feet fall off.

More accurately, I need to set some limits for myself, or just get in better shape. I've been "dog" walking since May. I only missed a few days during my initial test, except I exempted myself from the morning walks on the grounds that it would be ridiculous to walk myself all around town at some early hour sans dog. Well, what I didn't figure on was getting carried away in the mornings, walking to work, walking back at lunch, taking a 20 minute stroll, walking back to work, walking home, taking a long walk after work, and then another stroll before bed.

Granted, it's the first week and I'm overdoing things, but I've been tuckered every night since bringing Lily home. I think I might lose some weight in the near future.

OK, complaining aside, it's not actually that bad... and Lily's not exactly bouncing off the walls either. I think she's as tired as I am. Today was day five and I tried to move to a more "normal" routine. I meant to get up with the first alarm ring and take her on a longer walk this morning (~2 miles) with the idea of skipping the lunch time trip. The PAWS people said she would be fine alone for 8-10 hours (this was a requirement of mine. I don't want to pay a dog walker, and I don't want to come home every day over lunch), so I don't want to get her in the mindset that I will be coming home for lunch everyday. Anyhow, I hit snooze a couple of times and so we took a quicker walk. I tried to map it on Google at work and it was approximately 3/4 mile this morning.

Anyhow, I thought about going home for lunch and taking her out, but I decided a crash course in reality was alright. (I'm especially nervous about the freezing winter when 3/4 mile will feel like a marathon.) So, I didn't go home during the day to take her out.

I left work immediately at 5 and bustled on home. She started whining a little when she heard me come in the apartment, but she was more excited to see me than manic to get outside. We went out and she probably made it 5 blocks before needing a #2, and we were at least a mile out by the time she decided to urinate... so I feel especially okay leaving her home for a full work day - although I'll keep an anxious eye on her energy levels for the next several work days.

Knowing she'd been cooped up all day, we went for a fairly long (2.5 mile) walk over to the lake and down the lake shore. But the wind was blowing off the lake and the sun was setting, so the exposed lake shore was considerably less pleasant than the wind-shielded river walk. Rather than looping around Millennium park, we just headed back the way we came.

After a short evening of watching a few sit-coms (one thumb up for Modern family, two thumbs up for Cougar town and Glee), I decided to get in a short evening constitutional and turn in early. Well, remember where I said I mapped my morning route on Google maps? Well, I also mapped a few larger loops and then forgot which was the one mile loop. I ended up walking 2.3 miles (so says Google). So, add in the .8 miles to work and back and I walked about 5.5 6.3 miles today... so my feet are sore.

In other news, she ate her food and drank her water today. She did not appear interested in the peanut-butter stuffed kong. I'm curious what she's doing all day while I'm out. Probably sleeping, but all the dog books say they need mental stimulation or they'll turn destructive. But, she hasn't destroyed anything yet, so I'm still waiting for the toys to show some wear, or for at least a toilet paper roll to be shredded. We'll see.

I also got a message from the vet's office that said her poo test was clean... so my pooch is healthy. We need to get back to the vet next week for another round of shots, but otherwise the medical things will be done.

So, aside from me being out of shape, with sore feet, the dog experiment is going quite well. (She barked for the first time just now. Gotta re-read that part of the dog book now.) I still have another ten days as a "foster parent," but it looks like I'm headed toward being a "failed foster." Yippee!

Lily - day four

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So, we're four days into life with Lily... and things are looking good.

Previously, I reported that she wasn't eating. Well, she got hungry enough and started to eat a little on Sunday. By Monday, she ate half of her daily food budget, and today she ate about 75% of her allotment. She also wolfed down a couple of liver treats, which I wasn't sure if she liked.

Also, I had mentioned that she was rather fearful, but she's rapidly working on her "personality pop." On Monday at lunch, we ran down my condo hallway after our walk and she liked that enough to wag her tail. When I got home from work on Monday, she came out of the bathroom (I leave her in the bathroom when I'm gone) tail wagging and happy to see me. I also think she got into my bathroom garbage can, so she wasn't too afraid to play a little while I was gone. Today, I'm trying to introduce a peanut butter stuffed kong (chew toy). Also, she started to get up on her hind legs a few times today. I'm pleased to see her loosen up, but we're working extra hard on "down" as a result.

This afternoon, we went to the vet to get her checked out. No Surprises! The vet gave me a special shampoo that we can use beginning Saturday to help with her dry skin. (Side effect of flea infection.) The vet also gave me some pointers on how to tell if her anal glands become infected again (butt dragging and excessive licking). He also said the discoloration on her hindquarters from the flea infection might go away over the next several months. Otherwise, she seems to be healthy, and the vet was impressed with her disposition (she stood perfectly still for the exam, and then laid down on the exam table once the vet was done).

So, with the vet exam done, we just need to get a clean result on her "poo exam" tomorrow, and I'll be satisfied that she's a relatively healthy pooch. And that's great news.

And now, it's my bed-time. She's wearing me out!

Short aside: We went for an evening walk tonight and the wind was unbelievable! It was probably like 30 MPH. I was getting blown all over, and poor Lily was about to fly out of Kansas. Since the dog park was empty (all the smart owners had their dogs safely indoors), we went in and she actually ran around a little.


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I went to PAWS yesterday and brought home a pooch. This is Lily. She's a terrier, perhaps a West Highland terrier (PAWS guess), or maybe a Jack Russell Terrier of the broken coat variety (my guess after looking through my dog breed book.

Technically, for now, Lily is a foster dog. We need to make it to the vet as she has some medical issues to look into. As long as they aren't overwhelming, it's likely that I'll finalize the adoption.

About Lily: She came to PAWS from Chicago's Animal Care & Control (the pound). She is estimated to be two years old, 25 pounds, and 16 inches tall. I am almost positive she was a family dog at some point as she is very well behaved indoors, has tremendous leash etiquette, and hasn't barked once in 36 hours. However, she is a very timid pup. She's more at ease with other dogs than people... and the use of the word pup or puppy is completely fallacious. Its almost heartbreaking to see how uninterested in play she is. Her first response to most new things is fear or disinterest.

As bad as that may sound, there's a ton of extenuating circumstances that I think are contributing to her incredible mellow temperament. First, she was spayed last week, and I'm guessing that has her feeling worn down. Additionally, I'm guessing she was on the streets for a few weeks as she had fleas, had an allergic reaction to those fleas, which cost her a bunch of fur, and may have caused some fur on her hindquarters to turn colors. (PAWS blames her "stained" fur on a flea allergy, but she also had an anal gland problem, and I think the stain pattern could be tied to that.

So, to review: On the street, fleas galore, anal gland infection, dog catcher, the pound, PAWS adoption, transport to PAWS medical clinic, no bath before being spayed (I have no idea why not... and now she's supposed to wait 10 days after her surgery before a bath), transport to PAWS adoption center, in with three other strange dogs, including an annoying daschund, then out the door with the strange man, then stuffed into a crate to be carried off balance up to the El platform, then a harrowing ride on the El with no idea where we're going, then off the El, out of the crate, into a strange building, into an elevator (she really doesn't like the elevator), and into a warm comfortable condo with the strange man. So yeah, I can see the stress... but since we've gotten home, she's been terriffic. Very quiet, very mellow, low energy, but well behaved.

So, tomorrow, we'll schedule a vet appointment and get her checked out. Provided the medical issues aren't overwhelming, we seem to be a great match.

Point of concern: Lily refuses to eat her food. She likes cheese, has eaten one or two liver treats, but seems confused by the dry food. I'm hoping she'll get hungry and eat soon.

Reason for optimism: The PAWS counselor said a couple of times that she'll have a "personality pop" once she gets acclimated to her new living situation.

Regarding the mini-Schnauzer / Chihuahua: (Link) After thinking about it for a few days, I decided not to get Farrah because she was too small. The top two reasons I want a dog are to accompany me on long walks, and to play fetch with at the park. Despite the fact that I really liked Farrah's temperament, I decided to hold out for a larger dog. On that note, Lily is the perfect size, is a terrific walking companion... but so far has not shown any aptitude for fetch.

Lily - Harry Potter's mother.