Monday, November 1, 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A rant about pitbulls

Today we didn't get Alfie out until the early afternoon. We didn't have time to take him to a nice open space to run, so we took him to the neighborhood dog park for his exercise. Alfie does great at the dog park. He loves all dogs and always has a great time.

Today, as we headed into the dog park, we noted how few dogs there were. Most people, who aren't students, have already exercised their pooches, and so those who are there mid-day are usually retirees, students, and dog walkers (and as we found, under-socialized dogs).

As we entered the gate, Alfie did his usual "survey the scene" prance into the park, and promptly romped over to the small gaggle of dogs. One, a young pitbull named Madeline took a "liking" to Alfie, and tackled him to the ground almost immediately. They wrestled for a couple of minutes, before Madeline couldn't resist chomping down (as pitbulls do) on Alfie's sweet flopping ear.

At first glance, it looked like play, but after several minutes we realized that Madeline wasn't going to let go, and Alfie couldn't get away.

I rushed over to the altercation to find that Alfie was bleeding, laying on the ground and looking up at me as if to say, "Would you help me, please?"

A rush of adrenaline hit me and I fell to the ground to attempt to pry Madeline's jaws open. This is when I realized why pitbulls are so dangerous. With all my might, I could not pry this dog's jaws open. The owner of the dog simply kept screaming the dog's name, " Madeline! Stop that!" All to no avail.

After several minutes on the ground, we were somehow able to pry Madeline off of Alfie's ear. He was bleeding pretty badly, so we promptly got his leash to leave the park.

The owner came over to us and sheepishly muttered, "It's Ok, we should leave anyway."

My adrenaline still running, I stopped her. "Excuse me. Are you planning to bring this dog back to the park?"

"We won't come at this time of day anymore," she said. "The SPCA told me she was not aggressive when I adopted her. She's in classes to teach her to stop doing that. She does better at Point Isabel." (a local off-leash dog park)

At that point, I should have gotten her information and called Animal Control. Or at least told her that if I ever saw her dog off-leash again, I would call Animal Control. But I didn't. We promptly took Alfie to go wash out his still bleeding ear.

Even hours after the incident, I am still angry. Let me tell you why:

First, I am angry at this woman for having no control over her dog in a public place. Even after this incident she plans to continue to bring her dog to public dog parks and to places she has even less control (off-leash parks). What if Alfie were a small child? What is she thinking??

Second, I am pissed at the SPCA for telling people that the Pitbulls they adopt out are "non-aggressive." Fine if the dog has never displayed aggression, but prospective owners need serious education about the potential for dangerous situations, before adopting a pitbull. Pitbulls have a bad rap for a reason. They can do serious damage to whatever they sink their teeth into. That is a big responsibility for a prospective owner, and not one for someone who has never owned a dog before.

And finally, I am just plain mad that my baby was hurt. It was awful to watch, and I would hate for this to happen to someone else's baby. It really bothers me that all of the work we did socializing Alfie could have been for naught, had this attack been more serious. All of the time and energy could have all gone down the tubes because of this one pitbull and her owner.

Oh, and Alfie's ear is OK. I don't think he will need stitches. But you can be sure we're staying away from the dog park for a while.

Rant over.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Just relaxing

Just to show you how much he loves his chair, here is a video we took a few weeks ago. No one propped him up for this shot--it's just how he likes to relax.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The many positions of sleep

Alfie likes to sleep. A lot. When he is not tearing around the dog park (or our house for that matter) you will likely find him in this chair.

Most recently, we found him like this.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Sunday, June 20, 2010

10 weeks

They say time flies when you're having fun, but what about the opposite sentiment? Not that we're not having fun, but I can't believe it has only been 3 weeks since we brought this guy home. We honestly feel like real parents now--our whole life revolves around this thing. "When did Alfie eat last? When did he pee? Do you think we should put him down for a nap? Will you watch him while I go to the store? Sorry, we can't come unless we find someone to watch Alfie." Amazing how that happened so fast.

Last night after some much needed time out of the house with friends, we were secretly excited to pull Alfie out of his crate for a pee, and some snuggle time. I know, I know, it's probably sending mixed messages to bring him up on the couch to sleep while we watched TV, but we couldn't help it. He is our little angel (or demon seed depending on his energy level). The good news is he wasn't able to get comfortable on the couch--he just couldn't find the sweet spot. He just grunted and groaned, repositioning himself, to no avail. We decided he would be more comfortable in his crate, so we put him back to bed.

On another note, we had our first Puppy Social and Puppy Class this week! The Social was great--they separated the "mellow pups" and the "rough pups" so that everyone was comfortable. We were surprised to find our Sir Alferton in the "mellow group!" He was very nervous to start, and hid next to us for a little while. Then he warmed up and had a great time getting to know about 6-7 other dogs. It was a roaring success!

On Saturday, we took him to his first Puppy Class, where we did some socializing and the beginnings of "Down" which I am VERY excited for him to learn. It will make things so much easier to tell him to "Down" if he is jumping or being a pain in the butt. The instructor of BravoPup used Alfie as an example for teaching "Down" and Sean captured it on video. Enjoy!

On another note, Alfie has just learned to bark. I heard it for the first time this morning and I was in disbelief. I guess I thought he'd just whine forever. Dear lord in heaven let him not be a barker.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

9 weeks

Lord have mercy, this pup likes to bite! Bite, chew, eat, sleep, pee, poop. That is it folks! Though he is a ton of work, and terribly frustrating when he's tearing holes in our clothes, we can't help but be truly smitten with him.

Alfie turned 9 weeks yesterday and we celebrated by buying him an old-fashioned kiddie pool. I say "old-fashioned" because they are so hard to find nowadays! Everything is inflatable, which just isn't compatible with puppy teeth and nails. But, after much searching, we were able to find a cheap, hard plastic one at Toys-R-Us.

Yesterday was super hot here. Sean filled the pool all the way up so that Alfie could actually try his hand (paw) at swimming, but the water was cold and deep, and it was a little too scary for his introduction to swimming. So today we tried filling it up just up to his "ankles" and had the sun warm it up for a couple hours. As you will see in the videos, (I will upload them soon) he did great. Now he jumps in there just to explore during his romps in the yard.

We had 2 big milestones this week. The first was sleeping a whole 6 hours without having to get up to pee! This means Mommy and Daddy get to sleep in the same room again! The second is being able to stay in his exercise pen without going berserk! The whining has decreased significantly and Sean and I have been able to leave the house without crating him. Hooray! He also grew out of his tiny red puppy collar, and into his big boy green puppy collar, which he looks very handsome in. :)

This upcoming Saturday he will start puppy school! We are very happy that he will be able to start socializing with other pups and get some good exercise!