In retrospect it's a good thing that I was internet-less. It saved me from writing many posts about how I hated our new dog and was considering sending her nippy, bratty, cute little ass to the pound. Instead, I hired a dog trainer to come for a consult (official diagnosis: Fogo is a nippy, bratty, cute asshole with zero bite inhibition) and sobbed on the phone to my friends (thanks, Megan and MaryLUE for being so patient).
Things are much improved now.
The nipping is mostly under control. We're using clicker training with treats for compliance as we teach Fogo voice commands. She's spending more time in her kennel so she doesn't get over tired. She gets four walks a day. We downgraded her food to one with less protein. The trainer made the analogy that a companion dog should not get the same food as a working dog, much like a horse at a petting zoo doesn't eat the same feed as a race horse.
But just when I was beginning to think that I was not completely incompetent as a pet owner, I learned our cats are "amazingly obese." When the vet made this pronouncement I pointed at my skinny human children and said "Do I get partial points for not fattening up these two?" In my defense, it's really hard to know how much to feed a cat and what is a cat's ideal weight. For one thing, Ezri and Osiris won't stay on the bathroom scale long enough to get a reading. And secondly, sometimes it's hard to tell where the fluffy fur ends and the fat begins. Thirdly: Osiris is nicer when he is too fat to bite.
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While I was in the doldrums on the weekend, Mr Wrath had me watch this clip on his Blackberry. Tom Jones -- he makes the world a better place with his hip shaking, dance moves. The whole thing is fantastic, but if you're pressed for time start watching at the 1:12 mark.