Sunday, February 25, 2007

Friday Doggie Blogging...On Sunday

This photo shows the blue coloring on Saul's muzzle.

Welcome readers to this weeks editon of Friday Doggie Blogging on Sunday. It was a very busy week and exciting here at Casa Nall and blogging was one of the things that got put on the back burner.

The steroids have made Saul fill out to approximately the size of a mammoth. Made him eat like one, too. His ribs and chest are massive and he is just now 6 months old. The rash has cleared up. No more gnawing at his feet and legs and constant scratching of his other furry parts. It has to be pretty miserable to itch like that. He still hasn't had a bath because he is too big for me to bathe in the house and it is still too cold to bathe him outside. He smells like a big bag of corn chips.

Earlier this week I had to load Saul up and take him with me to a meeting in Tuscaloosa. His pen is finished, but I only allow him in it when I am here to look in on him from time to time. He is a great dog to travel with. For now, he has to ride in his crate because he has not learned to check his excitement and stay off of the driver. He just get's too excited. In his crate he is so silent I have to check on him to make sure he is ok. He never makes a sound. The last two times I have taken him riding he has not gotten car sick. He drools a little, but that's it.

I've also noticed that he will not go to the bathroom while traveling. I stopped right outside of Tuscaloosa at a rest area to give him a break and all he did was walk around and sniff every other dog's little packages. Same thing on the way back. By the time we got home his eyes were floating and he spent a few minutes taking one of the longest pee's ever. I know some people who cannot use the bathroom away from home.....I didn't know dogs could be that way too.

This week Saul learned how to catch his ball in his mouth as opposed to fetching it. It came about by me bouncing it on the floor in front of him. At first he would stamp his front feet and woof at the ball. After a few times he caught it in his mouth. I decided to toss it to him and see what happened. He caught it on the first try. What's funny is he will actually bring the ball back and drop it at your feet because he likes to catch it so much. He also gets so excited when it's time to play catch that he jumps backwards and does a little half-turn and hangs his tongue out the side of his mouth....every time. With fetching, he will get the ball but you have to wrest it from his deadly, toothy, grip in order to throw it again.

A couple of nights ago my husband got to witness a game of catch for the first time. This dog has lightning fast reflexes...I mean like greased lightning. He rarely misses the ball, can leap up and catch it, catch it sideways, low, a curve throw it and he can catch it. Watching him leap and snap and his incredible focus on the object makes me realize even more what an amazing animal he is. That mouth and head are just incredible precision machines.

Snoot is my nickname for him. Don't ask me why we name a dog one thing and then call it something else. I thought Saul would look better on the registration papers than Snoot I guess....but Snoot is what I call him. The other night he became "Investigator Snoot" because of his reaction to anyone touching me. My daughter had sat down by my chair to give me a massage and as soon as she put her hands on me here came Snoot checking out the situation. Nose all up in the middle of it. Daddy Nall said, "Damn, he is really on the job investigating who is touching his mommy." When he was sure everything was ok he went and settled back down with his chew toy, which was a milk jug at that particular moment. Then the other day Alex and Bell were horseplaying and Alex thought he would sit on Bell...Snoot had other ideas about that. One 'woof' and they cut out the horseplay.It's almost like he is enforcing discipline, which is just hilarious. I wonder if he would accept a scooby snack to babysit?

We found out today that he does not like the sound of the air conditioner. Since it is warm today we decided to turn ours on just the fan setting. The dog went ape. Barking and snarling and growling. Full attack mode. I touched the air conditioner and turned it off and on to show him that there was nothing to be afraid of. He would have none of it. I don't know if the sound was just strange to him, too loud, or maybe sounded like a big monster about to gobble all of us up, but puppy was ready to eat it up, regardless. Eat first...ask questions later. Since his barking is loud enough to rupture your eardrums he won that particular battle for today. In a few months I suspect he will be parking his big hairy self in front of it, loving every single sound it makes and potentially trying to turn it on himself say around August.


Don said...

I've heard that dogs can hear sounds that humans can't detect. Maybe the A/C makes a sound that is actually irritating to Saul, perhaps even one that cause him pain of some sort.

Loretta Nall said...

Yes it could be that as well. I also thought it might be from a barrage of strange smells suddenly flooding into the room. He continued to bark and growl for a few minutes even after I turned it off and for more than an hour he would go in and rumble at it occasionally to make sure it hadn't come back to life.

He is a total protection machine.

DaveT said...

I used to have a dog that was *great* at catching as well. He missed only like 1 in 100 tosses. The difference is that we were tossing food to him! One day my dad tossed a hard dog treat. It was a slow underhand, he wasn't trying to hurt him or anything, but the treat hit a tooth or his nose or something. After that for the last few years of his life he refused to eat a hard dog treat unless you put it on the ground (he would back away if you approached with one unless you called him very forcefully). I read a great book about animals called "Animals in Translation" written by a woman with autism (she also has a Ph.D.). One of the many interesting things she mentioned is that animals *never* forget a pain association.

By the way, this doesn't have much to do with your post, I just felt like talking about my old dog.