Tansy Updates, Great And Small, Part I

Um, hello there. It’s September. I haven’t written in a long time and it’s getting so all the beginnings of my posts look the same. But I’ve been compiling a lot of notes, to the point that even looking at the notes file makes me want to run away. Let’s start with the easy stuff, the Tansy stuff.

Tansy is one unpredictable pooper. With Trix, I pretty much knew when she was going to go, and other times I would sometimes gamble, be bad and not bring a bag and I wouldn’t need one. I can’t ever do that with Tansy. She’ll poop 2 or 3 times a day, but you never, ever, ever know when they’re going to be. And, sometimes when she gets excited, she poops more, and sometimes she poops less. Very very odd.

Also, when she pees, it’s super loud. Like, I can hear her peeing even if we’re on grass. That’s weird to me, since I could only hear Trix at the end when we were running out to pee all the time. I’m way too fascinated with her peeing and pooping. I can hear it now. “Come on, you haven’t written in months, and the first thing we have to sit through is talk about doggie bathroom habits? Really?”

It’s funny what she thinks she’s figured out. She thinks that her evening food will always come from my backpack. Why? Because I feed her at work before we leave, just so she doesn’t have to wait a long time if I have a bunch of errands to do after work. I figure if she’s fed and contented, then we’re free to keep movin’ if we have to. So I bring her evening meal with me to work, and feed her when it’s time. So, some weekends, I’ve seen her taking longing glances at my backpack, as if it holds the holy grail.

She’s still testing, mainly trying to sneak sniffs. This drives me a little crazy, since she didn’t sniff much at all when we came home. Now it’s like every chance she gets, she tries. Ug. I’m sure this is partially due to people responding to her sniffs with pets and love. I tell them to stop, but already the damage is done.

She has occasionally tried to scarf things, but still, for the most part, she’s good at not diving…which is good since we pass through the mall food court pretty regularly.

We’re still working on her jumping problem, which is proving to be quite pesky. I did setups at work, getting people to greet her, turning their backs and ignoring or pushing her away when she jumps and giving her love when she calms down, but all that’s done is given her a list of people not to jump on…so she still tries to jump on random strangers, which are the ones I’m least prepared for. And every so often, she’ll decide to try and jump in harness! Thankfully that’s not a daily occurrence, but it happens more regularly than I’d like. Grrr dog. What else can I try?

As I get to know Tansy, I start to notice a ton of similarities between Tansy and Babs. It’s kind of scary. I know most people would say “How can you say that, Babs was yellow and Tansy is black?” But their personalities and behaviours have a lot of weird similarities. For one, Babs was a super confident and strong dog. If she knew a route, you could feel it. On the less good side, if she wanted something, she was going for it. Tansy is too, and I feel that confidence as she weaves through complicated things and doesn’t get phased if we have to turn around and try again a few times. But the difference is she has learned that she can’t just push me around to do the bad behaviours. She tries to sneak, but she doesn’t just waltz over to a garbage can or piece of trash on the ground and go for it, paying me no mind.

Babs played like Tansy too. She was a jumper at the beginning, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. In play, I think she felt she pretty much ruled, and that carried over to work. At least Tansy knows bunches of things I don’t like, and she takes it to heart if I tell her something isn’t good. Sometimes she gets my message all confused and thinks, for example, that I suddenly don’t want her playing tug anymore, rather than don’t jump on me for the tug toy, but I think she’ll figure it out with time.

Babs was also very obvious about who she liked and who she didn’t, and made up her mind quickly. If she didn’t like somebody, she would just ignore them. It didn’t matter how much they talked sweet to her, she would act as if they didn’t exist. I see Tansy do similar things.

Then there are the smaller things. For example, Tansy snaps at bugs a lot. I don’t look forward to the day she snaps and catches a bee. I remember Babs had already learned that lesson when I got her. Also, when she’s playing, her jaws are always moving. She doesn’t mean any harm, but we’re always telling her to stop nipping. She also used to try and move her jaws when I would go in her mouth to see if she had gotten something. I put a stop to that real quick, since Babs chomped down on my hand once and did some pretty significant damage. Those memories don’t go away, so Tansy got the message that when I go in there, you stop moving those chompers, got it?

One thing Tansy is not that Babs was, is a dog-humper. Tansy has met Rosamae, and Rosamae tried her little dog-humping trick, to which Tansy responded with some pretty awesome evasive manoeuvres. I didn’t see it, but Steve said she went way down, then popped up and kicked Rosamae in the head. But never once did Tansy try to return the favour, nor has she ever tried to hump Trix or any other dog she’s played with.

I think Tansy and Rosamae had a pretty fun weekend, but I think Rosamae, an 8-year-old dog, eventually wore out my energizer bunny. It took a while, and they seemed a better match for each other, but eventually Tansy would screw off to a bed and go to sleep.

This is going to sound really weird, but I’ll say it anyway. It’s getting way easier to say Tansy is my third dog. I never really liked saying Trixie was my second dog, even though she was, and not acknowledging Babs also seemed wrong. But Trix felt like my first dog that worked out. Now that I’ve had a dog that had a long career, I guess I feel like I can acknowledge even the one that didn’t. Yup, weird I know. Probably I wouldn’t have even thought about it if my first dog had worked out and the second one was Babs. Anyone else agree?

I’ve also noticed some more differences between Trix and Tans. For one, Tansy plays with squeaky toys totally differently. You’d think, because of her maniacal style of playing, she would just rip that sumbitch open and murderize the squeaker. But no. She sort of treats them like there is something alive in there, and she must extricate it, but do it gently. It’s kind of adorable.

We know that she doesn’t care about fireworks or thunder or hail. We have also learned that she doesn’t care about alarm bells or dark, narrow stairways! Score! We had a fire alarm go off, and Tansy, Steve and I had to go down 16 floors by the stairwell. Tansy just went down in a calm, methodical manner. Awesome. No headlamp for you.

But she hates grates. She’ll deal with them, but she’s not happy about it. I have discovered that there’s one at the entrance to the bus terminal. I couldn’t figure out why she would sort of avoid the door, then do this hop, skip and a jump over the entrance. ThenI stepped on it. Ok then!

When Steve and I would hug or sit together, Trix would always come up to us and sit in front of us, or snuggle up with us, as if she would like to be part of the group hug. We used to call it our little family. But with Tansy, when we hug, she acts like a little home-wrecker. Queue the song.
So now, because this song is a Gretchen Wilson song, I would say “Hello Gretchen” when Tans would charge between us as if wanting to break us up. Predictably, Tansy responds to the name Gretchen now!

Unlike Trix, Tansy will tolerate a gentle leader, but needs it somewhat less. She usually needs it at the ends of long days when she might be a bit tired and her focus just isn’t there. But I don’t find myself peeling her nose off my legs, or more embarrassingly, other people’s legs, nearly as much as I did with the Trixter.

Also, she hasn’t had a single ear infection, and hasn’t exhibited any signs that she needs her anal glands expressed. Awesome. But her toenails grow like gangbusters! I know I don’t walk maybe as much, but jeebers I tend to think I get a fair bit in. Not according to cap’n hyper growing nails over there.

Another thing she does is when she’s waiting for me to bring her food, she droooools! I mean there’s a string of it hanging from her chin, and coworkers joke about it. Trix was never a drooler like that.

And this is almost frightening, but there is no need to pill Tansy, i.e. shove the pill in ye old gob and make sure she swallows. Nope, just put it in her food, and it will be no more. She will eat so fast that she won’t even notice.

And this is just the beginning of what I’ve been able to write down. I have more, and more, and more. So if you’re not bored out of your skull wishing for some story about some dude hucking food at some other dude or some other funny joke, stay tuned. There is much more to come.

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  1. Sooo much about what you’ve written here reminds me of Jayden! Especially the nails thing. Holy hell do they grow fast. I just thought that was all dogs. It’s not? I have to have the groomer out every month. I wish I had done this right from the start, but GDB had told me the work would keep the length down and I believed them. Well, I believed my instructor, not GDB as a whole. Unfortunately his nails got way long once we stopped seeing Dave who cut them for me and I didn’t realize it and now they can’t get cut very short. How do you keep them trimmed? 20 bucks a month is a lot for nails.

    Jayden’s pooping has become incredibly unpredictable. He used to go like clockwork. Now though, especially if he’s nervous in an unfamiliar place, like baseball stadiums, look out. At least he didn’t poop inside Chase Field like he did in Colorado.

    Jayden has also become very picky about surfaces. If he doesn’t like the surface, I practically have to drag him across. Thought it was cute at the San Diego Zoo, not so cute when walking through downtown Phoenix.

    Luckily Jayden doesn’t jump on anyone but I think that’s because of a painful lesson he learned from B’s dad, who grabbed his paws once to keep him from scratching. It hurt and Jayden has never jumped on anyone sense.

    Ok this was rambbly but so much of what you wrote about Tansy reminds me of Jayden.

  2. I got told that to, and with Trix it wasn’t quite as often but they did need a snippity snip.

    I just take her to the vet and get ’em done, but yeah 20 bucks is a lot. You know what you could do but this would take some training? Get a rough board and teach Jayden to scratch on it. Clicker FTW! A friend with a special skills dog does that and she says it works to file them down.

    Oh no about the poooop! That’s stressful. Eek!

    Some day, Tanseroo and Jaybay need to meet.

  3. Yeah, I saw a few of her hump avoiding moves and some of them were pretty cool. Lots of twists and turns and ducks, totally outquicking her. But my favourite was the one you mentioned, where she actually did a tuck and flip out from under Rosamae as she was climbing on top of her, then popped back up and pretty much round kicked her right in the head. That was the end of the attempted violatings for the day as far as I could tell.

  4. I feel similar to you regarding the ability to say that (in my case) Cessna is my third dog. when I had Gryphon, we didn’t truly bond and he only worked a year, so when people would ask me if Phoenix was my first, I’d often say yes or uncomfortably say no. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t like talking about Gryphon, it’s not like I did anything to cause his early retirement, he became traffic shy after an altercation with a car in Toronto, but I still felt awkward.

    Tansy sounds adorable. if you’re ever up for a doggie date, let me know and we can drive your way.

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