Posts Tagged ‘pierson’

Pierson is a Wanton Bunny Killer

April 17, 2014

Dog Pierson Wanted Poster

While I was visiting my mom in the Portland, Oregon area, my husband told me Pierson killed a bunny in our yard. That would have been the 2nd bunny he’s killed (that I am aware of). I’m also pretty sure he’s killed a squirrel when he lived as a stray in Pierson park. And I once watched him amazingly snatch a bird out of midair. Then the same thing again a few months later.

Yesterday was Pierson’s 3rd bunny kill, 6th total kill. I let him outside yesterday evening, and next thing I know is I hear a squealing sound. I look, and Pierson has a full grown bunny in his mouth.

I know it is just his instinct, but it still makes me sad… and grossed out. It also worries me because he has such a high prey drive. I have to really be careful with him around small animals. I can never have a cat. I probably shouldn’t allow him around small dogs. And I can never let him off leash anywhere except in his own fenced yard.

Do you have a dog that’s killed before? How do you handle it?

(Brief update on my mom, her dog Solo, and our move to Iowa: My mom is still doing well. Some symptoms are starting to show up, but nothing drastic. Solo is still in Missouri but the neighbor is still caring for her and will hopefully be able to get her on a plane by next week. We found a great place in Des Moines, but won’t be able to move in until May 10th. My husband is already in Des Moines working his new job while I’m still in Kansas trying to prepare our home for resale.)

 

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday – My Mom and the Dogs

March 26, 2014

My mom is doing well so far with her recent diagnosis. She is tired often but is keeping a positive attitude and living life as best as possible. It’s amazing how happy she is staying despite the adversity. She has been staying with my husband and I for the past couple of days. Here is a photo of her with Maya and Pierson.

Also, while she is here I have been drawing her beloved dog Rocky who passed away in January. This is what I have done so far. I should be finished with it later today. And around 2pm today, I will be taking her to the airport. She is going to Oregon to be with my sisters and brother and her numerous friends.

Before moving to Missouri a few years ago, my mom lived most of her life in Oregon and is excited about going back. After my stepdad is finished taking care of selling their belongings and property in Missouri, him and I are going to drive to Oregon with their dog Solo. I will be in Oregon with my mom for a couple of weeks or so. Don’t worry, I will still be taking care of business for PetAutoSafety.com.

My Mom with Maya and Pierson

My mom with Maya and Pierson. Pierson can sometimes be shy with strangers, but not my mom.

Rocky Small Drawing Almost Done

My mom’s beloved dog Rocky passed away in January. She wanted me to draw him for her so I have been working on this while she’s been visiting me.

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Wordless Wednesday – Pretty Portraits of Maya and Pierson

February 26, 2014

Welcome to the Wordless Wednesday blog hop.

Maya on Dog Bed Looks SadMaya Nose Portrait small Maya Nose and Stuff 007Portrait of My Dog Pierson 1 Portrait of My Dog Pierson 2 Portrait of My Dog Pierson 3
And because I can’t resist a few words:

Maya Brown Nosing

Thank you for stopping by for Wordless Wednesday. More fun pet photos can be found by clicking below:

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How Pierson Did on His Vet Visit

February 25, 2014
Maya and Pierson at Vet Office

Maya and Pierson are sitting in the main room of the vet office, waiting to be called into one of the little rooms for their annual examination.

Pierson went to the vet last week for his annual checkup and for one of his vaccines. He is terrified of the vet, so I wanted to try to make his visit more comfortable this time around. Last week, I talked about some of the things I was going to do. Today, I’m going to tell you whether or not they worked.

Firstly, I was unable to use the Thundershirt to help him because I couldn’t find it anywhere. I looked and looked and the only thing I could think of was that I donated it along with some dog seat belts to our local humane society. Secondly, I forgot that I had been given a K-10 calming product to sample. K-10 is a powder formula you put in your dog’s water. They have different kinds. They have the K-10 multivitamin, K-10 UT support, K-10 Omega-3, and K-10 Calming. So I put this stuff in my dogs’ water bowl for two days prior to Pierson’s vet visit.

Other than the two differences above, everything else I talked about last week was done. We visited the vet daily, I put some Travel Calm on him, and I took Maya with us. Did these things help? I think so.

Pierson was still a little nervous on his visit. But he eagerly ate up the treats that the staff handed him and he let them pet him. He seemed to do okay when we sat in the little room. Other than being agitated at the sounds of other dogs in the hall, he showed no signs of being nervous.

However, all that changed when the vet tried to approach him with a needle. She needed to draw blood to test for heartworms and he wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. Pierson did not snap or growl, but his fear was quite evident so we had him muzzled for just in case. And when he was held and the blood drawn, he both peed and pooped on himself. But amazingly, he did not struggle to get away. And he still didn’t growl or try to bite.

So while he did better on this visit, I don’t think there is a way to help him get over his fear of being stuck with a needle. That is not something you can desensitize a dog to. So for next year, I think we will just continue to make occasional fun visits to the vet. This way when the day comes again, he won’t be nervous except for the needle-sticking part.

I am also considering getting some of his vaccines at the feed store and administering them myself. Pierson lets me brush his teeth and cut his nails so I seriously doubt he would have any trouble with me sticking him with a needle. I think his problem is mostly with strangers getting so close to him. Being petted by strangers is one thing. Being handled by them is quite another.

So what do you think I can do to help Pierson next year?

Pierson is Terrified of the Vet

February 17, 2014
Pierson Head Down Looking Up

Is it time to go to the vet again?

My poor Pierson has a vet appointment tomorrow. Don’t worry, it is nothing bad. It is just time for one of his vaccines and his annual checkup. So why poor Pierson? Because he is absolutely terrified of the vet. At his last appointment, he peed all over the place. Pierson can be skittish at times, but this was the only time he’s been so terrified that he peed. What happened to my poor baby boy to make him so scared?

When I first got Pierson he was nervous at the vet, but not terrified. He did just fine on that very first day I caught him and took him in for a checkup. Three days later I took him to the emergency pet hospital because he had a severe bloody nose. He had to stay overnight. And while I doubt the experience was pleasant for him, he was not terrified when he went to the vet a couple weeks later for booster vaccines. Nor was he when he went another couple weeks later to be neutered.

It was probably a combination of all these vet visits that made last year’s annual checkup visit so terrifying. So I vowed to do some things to make Pierson’s experience more pleasant this year:

Travel Calm, Maya, and Me

Travel Calm helps keep Maya from acting so excitedly on car rides.

Canine Calming Remedy
I have a product called Travel Calm, which I use for Maya when we take long road trips. Maya gets excited in the car and this stuff helps her to relax. Travel Calm is an all-natural product from Earth Heart. It contains bergamot, lavender, tangerine, and other calming ingredients. Earth Heart also makes a product called Canine Calm. It is the same thing as Travel Calm but Travel Calm also contains ginger to help with car sickness. Pierson doesn’t really need the ginger, but it won’t hurt him either and I don’t have any of the Canine Calm.

Pierson Wearing the Thundershirt 003

Doesn’t Pierson look comfortable in his Thundershirt?

Pet Anxiety Shirt
Another product I have is the Thundershirt. I’ve tried it on Pierson before and loved how it fit. But for him, his anxiety about the vet was just too strong. However, with a combination of the Thudershirt, Travel Calm, and the below methods, I believe this shirt will make a positive difference for him.

Visit the Vet Regularly
For the past couple of days I have been taking Pierson to the vet for a visit. He doesn’t go to get a checkup or anything. He just goes so that he can hang out for a bit. Even though Pierson is just stopping by to say hi, the staff has been very helpful. If they have a moment or two, they come and introduce themselves to Pierson while at the same time bribing him with tasty treats.

Take Maya
Sometimes when Pierson is afraid of something but my dog Maya isn’t, Pierson calms down. Maya absolutely loves going to the vet so I will take both her and Pierson at the same time. Perhaps her attitude about the vet will help influence his attitude.

New Vet?
I don’t know if these few visits are enough to help, but I’m hoping so. I’m also thinking of having the new doctor check on Pierson. The two doctors at this office that Maya and Pierson usually see are males. But they have a new doctor who is female. I’m interested in seeing if this can make a difference. We’re going to the same vet office, but seeing a different doctor. If all this doesn’t make a difference, next year I may have to try a new veterinary office.

Wish us luck! I will try to follow up later this week to tell you how his vet appointment went. Let’s keep our paws crossed and hope for the best.

Challenges of a Leash Reactive Dog

February 13, 2014

Progress
Pierson has made a lot of progress with being better on his leash when he sees another dog. Two things helped. First, we cross the street when we see another dog. I have Pierson sit and I use the “look” command to distract him. He gets rewarded with lots of treats every time he pays attention to me and not the other dog. Second, I was fortunate enough to find a group of people who were willing to get together once a week or so to help work with our dog’s leash reactive behaviors. We walked our dogs at a distance from each other and the distance depended on our dogs’ own individual thresholds. Pierson was always last in line and furthest away. But by the end of fall, he was able to get within a few feet of those other dogs without reacting.

Pierson Group Walk Group Photo

Everyone is proud of Pierson’s progress.

There have been four major challenges in trying to overcome Pierson’s leash reactive behavior:

Challenge – Walking Two Dogs
Pierson’s leash reactive behavior is due to his high prey drive. He could even be called aggressive, although it is difficult to imagine such a cute ball of fuzz with a girly bark as aggressive. But that is what it is. He whines, he barks, and he lunges. Maya’s leash reactive behavior, on the other hand, is due to excitement. She loves other dogs and really wants to go say hi. She barks and lunges too, but only because she is so happy.

Needless to say, I can’t walk Maya and Pierson together. Maya’s happy bark makes Pierson’s aggressive bark more intense, and vice versa. So in order to properly work on their behaviors separately, I need to walk them one at a time. By the way, the “look” command does not work on Maya when she is excited. I need to find a different training technique for her.

Pull No More dog harness

First I walk Pierson, then I walk Maya.

Challenge – Loose Dogs
One day when I was walking with this group down a nature trail, someone coming up from the other direction had two dogs not on a leash. When the dogs saw us, they ran towards us. Their mom called them but they didn’t listen. They ran straight for Pierson. In order to keep something terrible from happening, I quickly picked Pierson up out of the way. Luckily the two dogs were small. That would not have worked if the dogs had been bigger. The lady was apologetic but she didn’t really grasp what had almost happened. Luckily, the group of people I was with explained to her just how close her dogs had come to being injured. Having a good recall is extremely important, and this trail was not an off-leash trail. I think the reality of the situation sunk in and I hope she learned her lesson.

A similar situation happened in my own neighborhood. A Lhasa named Barkley is often allowed off leash in his front yard when his mom is out with him. I have met Barkley a number of times and know that he usually has a great recall. But one day, there was just something about Pierson that he had to investigate head on. I picked Pierson up out of the way. Barkley’s mom kept saying that Barkley was friendly. I told her I knew that, but my Pierson was not. She finally understood. And the next time I met her while we were both walking our dogs, she called Barkley back and put his leash on while I went across the street. She complemented me on being so responsible.

Challenge – Other Leash Reactive Dogs
Pierson is very good about paying attention to me when we cross the street and I use the “look” command. It works most of the time. The only time it doesn’t work is when the other dog is also leash reactive. If the other dog reacts, Pierson does to and no amount of bribing with treats will distract him.

Pierson on a Leash with Look Command

The “look” command helps me to distract Pierson whenever we see someone else walking their dog.

Challenge – Winter, Fewer Dogs
We are getting a little out of practice this winter. Even though I still try to walk Maya and Pierson every day, we seldom see other dogs. In fact, we have gone over an entire week without running into any other dogs. I fear Pierson will be greatly out of practice when spring arrives.

Do you have a leash reactive dog? If so, what are your challenges?

See what other people with leash reactive dogs are doing to manage the behavior in the WOOF blog hop below.

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Wordless Wednesday – More Snow Than We’ve Ever Experienced

February 5, 2014

Yesterday just snowed and snowed. It ended up being well over 12 inches.

Pierson in 1 inch of Snow

In the morning, Pierson checked out the newly fallen snow. This is about 1 inch.

Maya in 1 inch of Snow

Maya was a little bit interested in the snow yesterday morning, but 1 inch wasn’t enough for her to get excited about.

Pierson in 3+ Inches of Snow

This is early afternoon and Pierson is laying in about 3 inches of snow.

Maya in 3 Inches of Snow

Maya’s having some fun in the snow now. She’s looking for a snowball I threw.

Pierson in Snow Looking for Snowball

Pierson is looking for another snowball I threw.

Pierson Looking at All the Snow

Pierson doesn’t quite know what to do with himself and all this fluffy white snow.

Pierson in Snow over 12 inches 001

By 9:30 pm, we had over 12 inches of snow and are expecting another 1-2 inches. Pierson is loving it.

Maya in Snow over 12 inches 002

Maya was enjoying the snow until she realized she had to go poo. Where to go?

Me in Snow over 12 inches 003

Either I’m very short, or this snow is really deep. This is definitely over a foot of snow.

Me in Snow over 12 inches 005

Here I am at about 9:30pm standing in over a foot of snow. Too bad it is going to be really cold tomorrow. I could make a really cool fort with all this snow.

For more Wordless Wednesday photos, check out the blog hop link below.

 

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The Rest of Pierson’s Gotcha Story – Part 2

January 28, 2014
Pierson Playing with Ball 1

The Wobbly Nobbly dog toy ball was one of Pierson’s favorite toys, until he chewed it to pieces.

In Part 1 of Pierson’s story, I told you how I convinced my husband to let us keep a stray and about how he had to be treated for fleas and ticks at Pawsh Wash. Today, I’m going to tell you about a very expensive mishap that occurred after only three days of having Pierson in our home.

Crate Training Disaster
Pierson did very well on his first night in the crate. The second night was a very different story. Pierson not only cried, he also fought his way out and actually succeeded. I think he did some damage to his nose in the process because the next afternoon he had a terrible bloody nose. I suspect he bruised his nose while trying to escape the crate and the heater on in the house made a blood vessel burst the following day.

Pierson Watching the Rain 1

Pierson is wishing it would stop raining so he can go outside and play. This photo was taken after he lost his thick winter coat.

Second Vet Visit and Emergency Hospital
I took him to our vet in town. They couldn’t do anything so they sent me to the emergency vet, Blue Pearl. Blue pearl is a 45 minute drive. I can’t even begin to tell you how terrible the back seat of my car looked after Pierson sneezed blood all over it! Thank goodness for Oxyclean.

We Can Put Him Down
When I brought Pierson in to Blue Pearl and told the staff I just got this dog and how I got him, they assumed I wouldn’t want to pay for his treatment. I imagine it happens often where people bring in a stray animal that is ill or injured and just want the dog taken care of but don’t want to pay for it. It’s reasonable to want to help a stray animal but not be able to afford emergency medical care. Emergency vets are expensive. But I had made a commitment. When they hinted they could put Pierson to sleep, I made my position clear. No way! Do what you can, I told them.

Pierson with Legs Out

Frog Dog – I’ve had many dogs in my life but I do not ever recall having a dog that could do this with his legs.

Recovery and Reunion
They couldn’t stop the bleeding with a cold compress or by putting gauze up Pierson’s nose so he ended up having to stay overnight. When I went to get him the next day, I paid $800+ and was rewarded with Pierson being very happy to see me. He had been very shy the first three days at our house, so this warm welcome was very heartwarming. Yes, I cried.

Fitting In
Every day brought Pierson closer to me and my husband and to Maya. He learned his name very quickly. His shyness with us slowly wore off and the real dog began to blossom. He learned to play with Maya and he learned to play with us. He came housebroken, which was bonus! As he got more comfortable, though, bad habits became evident. But those are other stories and already told in previous posts.

Maya & Pierson Sleeping on Dog Bed

Maya and Pierson are often found sharing the same dog bed, even though I have one for each.

There you have it, the rest of Pierson’s Gotcha story; told in full detail.

The Rest of Pierson’s Gotcha Story – Part I

January 27, 2014
Pierson at Pierson Park 1

Stray dog living at Pierson Park in Kansas City, Kansas in December-January 2012.

On January 10th, Pierson’s official Gotcha Day, I told you about how he was finally caught after living in a park as a stray for nearly a month. But his adventure didn’t stop there. Coming into a strange new home took some adjustment. So let me tell you the rest of Pierson’s story.

Take Him to the Shelter?
When we first started trying to catch this stray dog, my husband didn’t think it would be a good idea to take in a stray. He was worried about bringing in a dog with unknown behaviors and unknown diseases. He suggested that if we catch this dog, we should take him to the humane society, let him go through the adoption process, and then adopt him. There are some no-kill shelters in the Kansas City area, so it was not an unreasonable request. Also, considering he was a stray, it would give his previous owners a chance to claim him.

Pierson Playing with Toy 001

The day Pierson first felt comfortable enough to play in his new home.

No, I want to Keep Him
But when I finally got Pierson in the car, I did not want to take him to the shelter. So on the 40 minute drive home, I began to think of reasons why we should just keep him. For one, it was unlikely he would be claimed. He had no collar and already been living in the park for three weeks. And an officer who had also been trying to catch him said she called local shelters and no one had reported a dog of his description as missing.

Prepared to Beg
When I got him home, I introduced Pierson to Maya. He didn’t like her, but at least he didn’t outright attack her. There was hope. So I called my husband at work, prepared to present my argument about why we should keep him rather than let him go to the shelter first. To my surprise, it didn’t take much to convince him. All I had to do was give Pierson a bath and take him to the vet.

Maya and Pierson 006

Pierson loves to chase and Maya loves to be chased.

Fleas and Ticks
I took Pierson to Pawsh Wash, a doggie boutique with half of the store dedicated to grooming. I could pay someone to bathe Pierson, or I could pay a smaller fee and use their facilities to bathe him myself. I opted for the later. Pierson was so well behaved during his bath! I must have been there for an hour-and-a-half combing him, bathing him, and pulling out all the ticks. One of the staff at Pawsh Wash helped me even though I had opted to not to pay for the full grooming service. I believe it was Chelsea who helped me. One of the other staff members helped me pick out a good nutritious food for Pierson. Chelsea and all the Pawsh Wash staff are PAWSOME!

Vet
Next stop was the vet’s office. It was an easy visit. Except for the fact you could feel his ribs, there were no visible signs of illness. Blood work was done and vaccines were given.

Maya & Pierson 005

Pierson warmed up to Maya rather quickly.

Smart Dog?
Remember the post on the 10th of this month where I told you we got Pierson because my husband said he wanted a smart dog? Someone asked if my husband was satisfied with Pierson’s intelligence. My husband has very little experience with dogs, so he didn’t really know what he meant by a smart dog. But he is very happy with Pierson, despite a few mishaps. What mishaps, you ask? Come back for Part 2 tomorrow where I tell you about Pierson’s emergency room visit three days after we brought him home.

Wordless Wednesday – Great Stuff from The Petter & Loving Pets

January 22, 2014

Welcome to the Wordless Wednesday blog hop! I’ve got a couple of cute photos of Maya and Pierson showing off some new stuff they got. Sorry Pierson is so hard to see. I should have taken the photos with the light behind me rather than behind him. Oh well, I hope you like them anyway:

Maya Pierson Canister Planner

We’re two lucky dogs to get all this great stuff.

Pierson and The Petter Planner 2

Pierson’s new planner.

Pierson and the Petter Planner 1

Inside The Petter planner.

Bella Canister from Loving Pets

The lid seals in freshness so well that I can pick up the canister by the lid and it won’t open. It is still easy to open, though, when I want to pull out some treats.

Any of you doing the K9 Camp challenge? The Petter is 2014 pet planner for dogs. It’s a great way to keep track of and document your pet’s activities.  The Bella Canister is from Loving Pets. It’s great for storing treats. The lid automatically creates an air tight seal in order to keep treats fresh.

Thanks for stopping by our nearly Wordless Wednesday post. Be sure to check out these other great pet bloggers who have joined the blog hop:

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