who are FIVE months old today!
They arrived in our life August 5th and have captured our hearts and allowed us to spoil them rotten. So far, Maggie has managed to chew every door stopper in both houses. But good news!…all of our furniture is in tack. Jake has learned that deer need to be barked at until they leave the yard and the chubby little ground hog isn’t allowed to hang out either! Their favorite meal is boiled chicken with rice; compliments of Bobbi Jo’s kitchen. Maggie loves by-byes in the car and Jake could honestly care less. Jake loves to lay on his dad’s lap and Maggie loves everything Jake loves. They love laying on the couch on clean warm blankets from the dryer and their favorite people besides their owners, of course, is their Aunt Carla!
We celebrated with a trip to Missouri to check on the house and for Thomas to attend his meetings. It was an eventful week for the pups. Jake and Maggie made their first big trip from WV to MO and back and did really well in the car. They got to ride through town looking at all of the new sites, made a trip to their new vet, Dr. Griese, to Schnuk’s Grocery Story, and as always a few trips to Walmart. They were given presents from friends who came to visit which they really enjoyed.
Our dear friend from Missouri bought these toys (see below) from one of my favorite stores…Home Goods! Who doesn’t love Home Goods!! It's like going on a treasure hunt and finding great stuff at reasonable prices! It’s always fun to pick out new dog toys but ones that are cute AND durable are sometimes hard to find. These toys have it all…cuteness, plushness, and durability for teething puppies. I can’t tell you how many toys we have gone through with these little monsters! Well, they aren’t so little anymore. Jake is 46.8 pounds and Maggie is 40.2 pounds to be exact!
Jake loved all of the attention he was getting but did not love our neighbors new dog. None of the dogs showed any aggression towards each other but for some reason, Jake started barking as soon as he saw him. I couldn’t figure out if he was barking out of curiosity, needed attention, he was afraid, or as if to say…kindly stay out of my yard, sir!
This trip has taught us a few things…the puppies can handle long car rides without getting sick…thank goodness!!! They experienced a new house, new sounds, new people, and a new yard which helps to acclimate them more into our life as well as getting them use to new things. Maggie seemed to be a little intimidated at times but had her brother by her side to calm her down. She looks for him first and then me which quickly calms her. We need to continue to work with Maggie in order to get her comfortable with nail trimming. Jake needs to understand the neighbor’s dog is not a threat although this big black dog looks VERY intimidating.
But why do some dogs bark at one particular dog and not another? This got me thinking. It could be many reasons why Jake was barking; talking, staking territory, to name a few. I'm also well aware that animals respond to situations differently at different times. What causes stress for one may not affect another. But I found something interesting in my search for answers and his barking could possibly be due to rising hormone levels known as TRIGGER STACKING. Trigger Stacking is the name given to the heaping up of things that worry your dog, till they become overwhelmed. It could be an approaching dog + a child running by + a bang or scream. Maybe he could cope with these things one at a time, but all at once or in quick succession is too much. When a dog reacts, whether he barks, bites or chases someone away it is because his brain can take no more triggers. A trigger is anything that starts the stress reaction in the dog's body and mind. A stress reaction is physical. Our yard in MO is much smaller and the homes are MUCH closer together than our primary home in WV which provides a large yard for them to run and play. When Jake sees Brie, our neighbors Briard, he is farther away and the environment feels less intrusive which Jake may sense. It was important for me to keep Jake calm and pull him away from the situation that was causing him increased anxiety. It was also important that I didn’t make Jake feel as if he was being closed in or doing something wrong. I let him feel the open space around us and gently pulled him to an area where he felt safer.
I was concerned about throwing so many new things at the puppies in a short period of time but all in all, they did really well. It helped that I never left their sides.
It's all about the puppies today! Stay tuned for more pictures and another birthday celebration. Jake and Maggie get to go to a restaurant! They both got their baths last night, toe nails are already trimmed, and they have their new collars on from Rural King for their birthday excursion!