Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Zucchini: 7 week Progress Report

So Zook has been with me for over 7 weeks now, and he's still the greatest puppy ever! He needs a little training, as he becomes deaf when he's excited and totally tunes you out. But he's sweet and good-natured and the happiest dang puppy I've ever seen! He loves EVERYONE and EVERYTHING, excitedly greeting all people, dogs and cats.

We still head to the dog park once or twice a week. He usually goes in the "Large Dogs" park to play with the Jack Russells and such, but sometimes when there is a good turnout at the "Small Dogs" park, we'll head over there. There are a pair of funny beagles that come there (one of them is named Lily, I forget the name of the other).

This is what happens when someone walks/runs by the pen when the beagles are there...

Crazy, huh?

And here is him playing with Izzy the Jack Russell in the Large Dog park...

There was a bit of squabble at the dog park the other day between a pit bull and a black mouth cur. I'm thinking that maybe Bella (the black mouth cur) just got a little too rambunctious with the smaller pit, and the next thing we knew the two had eachother by the throat and were snarling horribly, their owners unsuccessfully struggling to pull them apart. Finally a third-party ran over with a stick and hit at them and used the stick to get between them. When they were pulled apart, they seemed no worse for the wear. It sounded like a horrible dog fight, and I was really worried about those pit bull jaws, but the two came away unbloodied and even interacted a little later on.

I've had Zook on a special diet since a pet nutritionist suggested his itching was caused by his diet. The main contributors are corn, wheat, beef or chicken. So he is currently on a special Lamb and Rice diet that has no corn or wheat in it. It seems to have helped, and he doesn't scratch as much as he used to, and he doesn't chew his feet as badly as he used to...

And here's my ghost cat Momma. I don't see her too often, but she has begun to visit me when I'm on the sofa. Of course, if I were to go to get up, she'd be gone in a flash!

The other day I had Zook at work for me, and for some reason he was in a very clingy mood. He wanted to be right in my lap all of the time, which makes it difficult to type. So I moved his bed onto my desk next to me...

I also bought him a smaller crate for work.

He took right to it.

We also make regular trips over to Mom's, so that Zook and Katy may play together.

That's Mom's new stray Rusty at the end of the video. He's great with dogs. Very sweet cat. Wish we could get a nice indoor home for him.

And if you ever wondered what the inside of an acorn looked like, here is one that Zook cracked open...

At one point during our last visit Mom wanted to see Zook in the old tree stump hole that her cat Blackie used to lay in. Well, that was a mistake! The second I put him in it, he began to dig...and dig...and dig. He wouldn't have stopped if I didn't finally make him stop. He dug about a foot down, and would have kept on going!

Here's Zook just being cute...

And this is how Zook sits all of the time...

I bought him this new bone, and it absolutely LOVES it! He plays with it all of the time when he's on the bed.

He still loves his carrots!

Zook had his first vet appointment around mid-December. At that time Zook was about 11 pounds, I think, and the vet said he might get around 14 pounds.

Right now Zook is about 12.2 pounds and about 6 1/2 months old. He doesn't have very big feet, so I don't expect him to get too much bigger, but maybe another pound or two.

Zook's personality seems to be rat terrier through and through.
Rat Terrier
Traits of a rat terrier:
  • While they have a definite terrier personality, they also have an "off switch" and love lounging on the sofa in a lap as much as tearing about the yard.
  • They are normally cheerful dogs, and tend to be calm and sensitive to their environment, owner's moods, or unexpected noises, people and activities. This sensitivity makes them very trainable and easier to live with for the average pet owner, but also means they need extensive socialization from an early age. (It is recommended they meet 40-100 people by the time of 4-5 months old.)
  • Many love agility and obedience training and excel at it, as they are eager to please their owners and are very quick.
  • Infusions of both sight-hound (Italian Greyhound/Whippet) and scent-hound/Beagle has provided them with an even and outgoing temperament that sets them apart from many of the other traditional terrier breeds. (I've often thought that Zook looks like an Italian Greyhound in the face, and especially reminds me of them as he tears around the yard as if it were a racetrack! And he has amazing sight and scent and hearing senses, becoming fascinated by vultures flying in the sky, following the scent of something that visited my yard- probably my resident opossum- and constantly zoning in on sounds coming from the TV. So it makes sense that a rat terrier has Italian Greyhound and Beagle in it!)
  • Perfectly content to be near their owners and make great housedogs. 
  • Generally not yappers or barkers, but can be very demanding, using their paws and are somewhat vocal. They're naturally "real talkers", with plenty of grumbling and mumbling. (Zook rarely barks, aside from letting out a single yap or two when playing or when spotting the opossum in the backyard. But he uses his paws on me all of the time to get my attention or plead with me, and he is becoming more and more vocal all of the time, yodeling, whining and grumbling to voice his concerns and desires!)
  • Very good with other dogs. However any small, quick moving animal is fair game and the chase is on. I can attest to this, after Zook took after one of the resident stray cats at work the other day.
  • They don't like wet grass, and will avoid it at all costs. They will even go to the bathroom on the sidewalk in order to avoid putting their paws on wet grass. (Yep. Been there, done that. Luckily I have a spot under the awning in the front bed that can stay pretty dry even when it is raining, so he'll slip in there and go real quick.)
  • I read somewhere that they like to stay warm and to burrow under the covers. He loves warmth, and would live in the hot sun or in front of a heater if I let him, and loves to get under the covers and then push up against me to stay warm at night.
He may have some chihuahua in him, or even something else like dachshund- I don't know. But I have little doubt that he's got rat terrier in him. He's a great little dog!