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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our beautiful TJ (aka Koda)

I was taking pictures of our new home and just looked down to see TJ lying there and took his picture. Every single day we remark on what a treasure he is and how lucky we are to have him. We took TJ and Taylorsue to the vet and had a lot of baseline bloodwork done on them (we lost our beloved Trey (RR and Corgi mix) to a mis-diagnosed thyroid cancer) and the vet said TJs labs were absolutely perfect. Taylor had a couple that were only slightly off.

Getting TJ was such a risk because Don was so early in his very difficult rehab, but somehow Foster Mom, Terri, had the instincts to know this was a perfect fit. TJ is devoted to Don and Don adores him and I feel TJ has been responsible for much of Don's successful rehab (following a brain artery dissection (inner layers of artery). We really aren't sure why Terri put up with our many requests for extra tests for TJ and why she took a chance on such old folks to be the caretakers of this wonderful furkid, but we are so grateful she did. I have even been sort of running with TJ which is a riot because I haven't run in years.

We have stopped his private lessons and do not agree with the trainer that choke and prong collars are the way to go. We even got 2 of Cesar's Illusion collars. TJ was a real 'puller' but for anyone who has this problem I HIGHLY recommend the Clicker and Treats - worked so fast and TJ is so anxious to please. He just needed to get the message. The trainer keeps emailing me as to when to start again and the answer will be, Never. We never got the prong collar--it looked horrible and the choke never released correctly. I hate them. If he were bigger, maybe, but seriously, Clicker and treats were magic. He seemed to know that I did not want to hurt him and even with the choke he tried, but failed and the day we switched it all came together.

TJ and Taylor get a lot of admiration from most folks except for one psycho who hates him. I am sure she thinks his ridge is a show of agressive hackles. She is a nut case, but has made us so uncomfortable that we avoid her and wish we were young enough to get a five acre place instead of a high density retirement community. But most folks compliment their behavior and stop to pet and enjoy them. Also, they love THEIR new golf cart for rides on hot days.

One other thing that has really worked for us. We have two good-sized crates for when we must leave them. Taylor gets upset and nervous. Finally figured that the crates had two doors, so now they are side by side (like a suite) and when we return we always find both in one crate, but the other crate is there to give them room to move around - so cute.

Our best to all, Jackie


At 8/19/2008 9:07 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

OMGosh, that is a wonderful update. I am so glad that TJ found his way to you. He is so lucky to call your house his HOME

Sorry about the grouchy neighbor. I find myself explaining the ridge more than ever. Most saying they have never seen a Ridgeback in person.

Glad to know clicker training is working. I have heard rave reviews about it.

Keep the updates coming. And you've made Roadie jealous- he wants to ride in a golf cart!


At 8/20/2008 10:04 AM, Blogger David said...

I had used prong collars for about two years and both my dogs kept pulling ferociously. I switched last week to harnesses I picked up at Pet'sMart for about $25 each (I mention the price because I forget the brand.) both dogs stopped pulling and haven't, mostly, pulled at all since I started using the harnesses. They were the same price as the prong collars, but are much easier to use, the dogs LIKE them a lot, and they looks great. They also curtail their running if I let them off-leash.

At 8/20/2008 3:42 PM, Blogger Mary Ann said...

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