July 11, 2008

Supervising the Move

One of the reasons that Zippy's blog hasn't been getting its due attention is that we have been in the process of finding a new house. Today I'm packing things while Zippy watches:

The Supervisor

It's been stressful for us all, including Zippy, but once he gets comfortable in his new backyard I think that he'll forgive us for the craziness.

March 17, 2008

Working Dog

On Friday, Zippy accompanied me to work for a few hours to share his cuteness with the entire office. And he handled it very well! He had no accidents, charmed everyone. He was so excited to explore everyone and everything - and just hated when I had to keep him keep him in my cubicle when exciting sounds were happening all around the building. Especially because there was construction going on down the hall.

It was almost too much for him to take, but I'm sure he wouldn't mind going to work again! Below are a few photos from the day. Also, while Erik and Zippy were playing on the couch, I broke out my litle camera and got some lo-fi video footage of them. Stay tuned for more video (hopefully better quality when we use a proper videocamera!). Anyways, photos and video below!


Zippy on the Lookout -Zippy scouted for my boss while I surfed the net for fancy doggie clothes... not really.


"Can We Go Home Now?" - I know Zippy, I feel your pain!


Hey! No Sleeping On the Job! - Zippy was totally tuckered out by all the exciting new people & carpet to sniff.


March 07, 2008

The Evaluation

Today I took off of work early to go fetch Zippy from home and drive him over to nearby Issaquah for his very first meeting with a trainer from a place called Riverdog. Zippy has a few issues that we all need to work through to make him even more comfortable in our home and on his walks, and our vet recommended this place highly. Also, I just found out today that two of my co-workers took their doggies to Riverdog, and they both rated the experience as "Awesome".

Zippy not only got a car ride out of the deal, but he also had the chance to freak out while seeing other dogs through a glass door for about an hour :) We didn't get a chance to tour their entire facility, but we chatted with a trainer at length about Zippy and us and the few things we'd like to work on with him (freaking out while out on walks whenever he sees another dog, and then just basic obedience to give him some fun mental stimulation).

The trainer recommended either some private training (Zip MIGHT not be ready for the regular group classes yet), or a special program they have there called Training C.A.M.P. That's where we would drop off Zippy every day while we're at work for a couple of weeks where he would get one-on-one training, a variety of fun activities and stimulation throughout the day, a chance for carefully-supervised play with other doggies (if he plays nice!), and some restful crate time and nourishing food time. It's like a super-fun doggie daycare, but with the added benefit of a professional trainer working with him on conditioning and some very basic obedience (plus, we get training too for an hour every week with him!).

We're giving some serious thought to both options (both C.A.M.P. and private training), and hopefully we can find a way for Zippy to work through some of his "issues". Once we can establish a) what his behaviors are, and b) how to successfully manage those behaviors, Zippy's going to feel a lot more confident with us (we hope!).

Your gift for reading through this post are several fun photos of Zippy on his ride to Riverdog!

March 03, 2008

narcolepsy?!

After dinner Zippy jumped up on Julie's lap and stood snuggling with her. This was cute. Then he started leaning. Aw, how cuddly, right? Then his head dropped onto her arm. At this point, we were nearly overwhelmed by his cuteness. Then he started snoring. Really? Snoring? Indeed. You see, he was standing on all fours, leaning against Julie, sleeping.

We have a weird dog, and it's awesome.

March 02, 2008

Photo Roundup from Week 1

Zippy's had a big first week here at his new home! Here are some photo highlights of his first week.


Zippy settling in comfortably

Zippy has really gotten himself comfortable in our home in what we think is great time. His first few days he was a little shaky and a little stiff with us, but now he's quite relaxed with us.


Poor Baby!

Unfortunately, one of us cannot be with him all day on the weekdays, so Zip's having to get used to being in a crate. The first couple days were hard - heartbreaking for us, actually - but we've setup a private webcam so we can watch how he's progressing while we're at work. Over the course of only a couple days, he's really gotten to be a lot more relaxed... at least until the upstairs neighbors start making a bunch of noise midday! We hope he'll get used to them as we have.


Zippy's First Bath (with us, anyways)


Drying off was pretty fun, too!


Post-Bath Blankie Time


More relaxation

Did I mention Zippy was settling in just fine? Yeah, hee hee.


Can I Come Up???

Zippy loves to sit on our laps when we're sitting at our computers, or on our couches... pretty much anywhere!


The Look of Love

I think the one just above is my favorite picture yet. Zip is just such a loving little doggie. He's loves to snuggle.

One fun little ritual we've found Zippy has is his "morning routine". Zippy sleeps with us at night, curling up between me and Erik all night long. In the morning, when we're first waking him up he rolls onto his back, paws in the air, and wriggles around for us to rub his belly. His mouth opens up (what might be referred to as a "bitey face") and he makes little playful moaning sounds. He does this until we finally get up, and then he races to go out for his morning walk with Erik. It's really the most wonderful thing, having such fun cuddle time with him in the morning. he always seems in such high spirits!

March 01, 2008

baby's first check-up

Today we loaded Zip into the backseat of Julie's MINI and drove down to Bellevue for his first vet check up (first with us, at least). Our appointment was with Dr. Chan at Companion Animal Hospital. Zip was a little antsy from the car ride, but that was nothing compared to a building full of strange cat and dog smells. Rather than risk an 'incident' we picked up him and cradled him until we were called into the examination room. Everyone was oooing and ahhing about how cute Zippy is (not that we were surprised).

Other than being a little nervous, Zip was really good during the exam. He got poked and prodded but was an angel to Dr Chan. Sure, he wanted nothing more than to get out and "play with" some cats, but he was still really good.

By the time we got him home he was super tired and took a long nap on our bed, with the occasional stretch and grunt thrown in, for good measure.

February 29, 2008

only the lonely

Tuesday was Zippy's first day where both Julie and I went to work. Julie left early and I stayed around and tried to get him as crate-comfortable as possible before I left, too, at around 11:40. Julie got home a bit after 2:00 (yeah, so it wasn't a full day of work...) and found him grateful to be rescued from the crate. We didn't set up a video camera this time, so we don't know exactly how it was on him, but he happily went back into his crate several times during the evening, which seems like a good sign.

Then yesterday we set up a webcam so that we could watch (and hear) him in real-time from work. This proved both good and bad. It's good because now we know how he feels about being left alone for work hours; it's bad because now we know that he isn't a big fan. He seems to be pretty good for the first hour, mostly sleeping, and then gets a little mouthy during the second hour. From the third hour onwards he's pretty upset, with a lot of barking and 'talking'.

We haven't determined what it is that is stressing him out. It might be fear of foreign sounds, such as the upstairs neighbors moving about, cars coming and going outside, or lawn mowers and power washers. Or it might be that he isn't crazy about being cooped up. Or it might just be a matter of him missing us.

Because he does get kinda stressed out by being left alone, it breaks our heart every day we close the crate and walk out the door. At the same time, everything that we have read and heard seems to suggest that as he gets more comfortable with the routine and with his surroundings, he'll get less and less stressed out. Eventually it will just be the way things are and he'll learn to amuse himself with chew toys and the ever-popular sleeping, rather than listening intently for any sign of our return. So we push on with the plan.

So far today he's doing a lot better than yesterday. True, he's had some loud spells, but overall he's doing a lot more (alert) sleeping, which is pretty great to see. Now if only he would investigate that Kong toy that I filled with treats and kibble, and topped off with peanut butter...

February 27, 2008

Zippy's on Dogster!

You may notice in the sidebar a new link - I setup a page for Zippy on Dogster. I know, I know - a social networking site for dogs?!? I've gotta be kidding, right?!?

But if we can have Myspace and Facebook pages, I don't want Zippy to feel "left out" of the overblown social networking craze.

February 25, 2008

male bonding

In the interests of increasing Zippy's comfort levels around the house, we're going to be changing up our work schedules for a little while. Julie is going to head into work earlier, and I'm going to stick around the house a couple of hours more. Then Julie or I will come home during lunch. This should minimize the time he's home alone. To kick things off I'm spending today working from home to get in some male bonding time.

To start out the day we had a brisk morning walk. The highlight for me was how good he was being and not pulling on the leash, even when walking by other people on the sidewalk. The highlight for him, I'm sure, was the Miniature Schnauzer who came running out to greet him. Zippy got a little excited and lunged when the other dog got close, scaring the other dog away. I'm not exactly surprised, since most of the dogs that Zip has been around have been Bostons or Judy's other dogs. It will take some careful work to get him to calm down when stranger dogs are near. Luckily the Schnauzer's owner was understanding and wanted to know all about Zippy.

After the walk we both had a big breakfast. Even though he's still a little kibble-shy, Zippy eats his wet food like a champ and drinks lots of water without being asked. It is, obviously, a huge relief when a new dog starts to feel comfortable enough to eat and drink in his new home.

While I was eating he came over and sat at my feet, probably hoping that I would accidentally drop a spoonful of cereal into his mouth. I asked if he wanted to go get on his bed and he immediately ran over and hopped onto our overstuffed chair. I informed him that, no, that wasn't exactly what I had in mind, so he hopped back down and sat staring at me, intently. To show him what I meant I picked him up and set him in his bed in the living room, the blankets of which he immediately set out to rearrange to his liking. He then fell into a deep, snoring sleep.

After breakfast I got up and checked on him. He opened his eyes and snorted a bit and then put his head back down and went to sleep. So I went into the office to try to get a few bits of work done. He stayed in the living room for a surprisingly long time before I heard him trotting into the office. He came over to greet me with a few kisses and then jumped onto the chair that we had set aside for his office 'spot'. Again, he shuffled the blankets around a bit and fell asleep, which is where he is now, a few feet away, snoring contentedly.

In a little while I'll probably get him up and give him some time in the bedroom, in the crate with the door open, and maybe some time alone. It's important that he becomes comfortable in there, since that's where he'll be when we're at work tomorrow. He wasn't a big fan of being left alone when we tried it out yesterday, but he's making such fast strides towards comfort and independence, I'm sure it's only a matter of time until he's totally happy hanging out at home with or without us.

February 24, 2008

What a Couple of Days!

Here are a few photos from our first two days with Zippy!


Zippy catching some Z's before the big ride home


Zippy in his living room bed


"Hey! What's out there?!?"


After a fun session chasing some balls, Zippy conks out on the bed


"Snooooore!" goes The Zipster!


Erik and Zippy Relaxing

It's been a crazy couple of days! I could write a novel about it so far, but suffice it to say that Zippy is the best, most-cuddly doggie out there, but we still have a lot of work to do to make him as totally comfortable as he deserves to be in our home. We're gonna do whatever we can to make his transition as smooth as possible!!!

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