ALFIE’S WEEK TWO AND THREE

Week two brought a second grooming. Ears still filled with wax and dirt build up. As this loosens up it must feel strange to him as he frequently shakes his head and wants his ears rubbed and scratched. We opted for tranquilizers (one for Alfie and one for me) for this grooming since it involved a cut down. Everyone survived, and no dogs or humans were injured during this grooming.

He still will not go outside on his own, but thoroughly enjoys it when we go out with him. We tried to teach him to come. Sharon and I both had pockets full of treats. The idea was that when he was by me she would call him and reward him with a treat when he came. When he was with her, I would call him and when he came reward him with treats. Sounds logical, right? Wrong. Twice he came to her when she called, and twice he came to me when I called. We were so proud, but then he started running from one to the other of us without being called to collect his treats. He figured that game out pretty quickly.
Week three we have been working on “sit”. Alfie does not like to sit. Tried standard approach of bringing treat in front of nose and up while giving command and lightly pressing down on rump. No way! Anytime we touched his rump he bolted. My conclusion is that someone must have held him and hit him on the rump. The new plan was to up the ante with a piece of turkey and offer the reward without reaching for his rump. That worked. Well, almost. He would sit only in the spots we trained with him i.e the back of the SUV and on his bed. Ok, those sound like pretty strange places to try to train a dog, but those were the only two places we could actually catch him sitting. You gotta do, what you gotta do, where you can do it.

 

Alfie seems to understand stay, but can only stay for a short amount of time. Someone has tried to work with him, but it appears the commands were inconsistent. The stay command elicits a wide variety of behavior which so far makes no sense to me. He may come to my side, he may circle to the other side, he may stay momentarily. If I am confused; I am sure he must be too.

 

 

Alfie sleeps in our bedroom on his own bed or on the floor. He alternates between the two places based upon how hot or cold it is. He is just now venturing out of the bedroom and leaving us on his own usually to get a drink of water. The other night though he did hear someone outside, sounded the alarm and ran back into the bedroom. My wife and I are retired. Guess who is not retired and likes to get up at 6:45 in the morning.
We have had three poodles. All three wake us up with this routine. First comes a head shake which makes the ears slap loudly. Then comes the prancing from one side of the bed to the other. Next, comes the whine or poof six inches from the face. Finally, if you open your eye even slightly; you will see a poodle face framed in its big ears staring at you. At which point you have been busted. As far as the poodle is concerned your eye twitched so you must be awake and its time to get up and party with the poodle.

 

The obsession with human females, blondes and white cars seems to be lessening. However, he is still obsessed with and demonstrates separation anxiety whenever my wife is out of sight. The change here has been minimal. But, any change brings hope.

What Would You Call It?

We had two standard poodles, Fletchie and Alfie. Fletchie, our white poodle, we lost a year ago. Alfie, our black poodle, we lost this past July. The loss of Alfie was particularly difficult as all our affection was directed towards him after Fletchie’s death. Also, Alfie was very social and could and did go everywhere with us. He went to, the grocery store, Walmart, the gas station, StarBucks, and Home Depot. (He even had his own orange Home Depot apron.)  This is partially why I haven’t been blogging recently. My wife took his loss even harder.

So, about a month ago, someone posted on our community bulletin board they had three standard poodles they had to get rid of or send to poodle rescue.

They were three years old. We debated and debated and finally decided we would go see these three year old dogs. The owner brought out the three poodles, two males and one female. Immediately the black poodle ran over and started kissing on my wife. He wouldn’t let either of the other dogs near her. Obviously my wife liked the black poodle. It was decided; the black poodle was going home with us. So, I asked the owner what the black dog’s name was. “He’s Alfie.” she said. I think our hearts skipped a beat. The owner could see our response and asked what was the matter. We told her our last black standard poodle’s name was Alfie.

We’ve had Alfie for almost two weeks now, and he already is part of the family. I will relate his continuing story later. Here is his picture.

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