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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!!!

February 22, 2008

last minute preparations

Tomorrow morning we'll be driving down to Brooks Burnt Ridge Boston Terriers to pick up Zippy, so of course tonight we're rushing around putting the last touches on his welcome. The crate is in position in the bedroom, filled with soft, fuzzy blankets. The toys are stacked in a little basket. The food and water bowls gleam, cleaner than they will ever be, again. Now all we need is the dog!

February 19, 2008

We found him!

Erik and I are pleased to announce a new addition to our family! Everybody say hello to Zippy!

We've been looking to add a Boston Terrier to our family for awhile now, and in the last month or so we've been looking seriously at breeders and available dogs. We *thought* we were going to be looking for a puppy. But when a breeder we were keen on mentioned she had a 7-year-old Boston Terrier who was available for adoption, the old wheels started turning. Pictures were sent, and an appointment was made to visit him.

On Saturday we met and fell in love with our new boy, Zip. He is just the sweetest little guy (he will snuggle and kiss us for hours on end if we let him!), and appears active, in good health, and obedient. And just look at how cute he is!

We'll be picking him up to take us home with us this coming Saturday. Needless to say, we're very, very, very excited!