Everyday Adventures in Havachon Heaven

The Good, Crazy, & Adorable Life of One Havachon Puppy

Bug Season is Back…Are Stink Bugs Poisonous to Dogs?

I’m not a fan of bugs, especially spiders. YUCK. The very word makes my stomach turn.

Image via Wikipedia

And that’s the one thing I dislike most about spring and summer – the bugs emerge, bigger and more resistant to pesticides every year. They get into the house who-knows-how and I swear they laugh as they terrorize me. Why on earth are spiders getting so darned BIG??! I heard last year that because summers here in the northeast are hotter and more humid than ever, bugs are growing bigger, more like tropical bugs.

I need to move to Alaska.

We’ve already gotten four stink bugs in the house, far more than typically come into the house in an entire spring/summer season. Stink bugs are the skunks of the insect world. Then I heard an expert say that our tri-state area is seeing unprecedented numbers of stink bugs already, and they’re trying to figure out what’s causing such a dramatic increase in their population. At least now I know why I’m seeing so many of them.

I’m not going to like the next 4 months, I just know it.

What just buzzed me? Let me at it!

DD doesn’t mind stink bugs; she thinks they’re cute (!), so when we find one in the house, she gently coaxes it onto her hand, then she takes it outside and lets it go. She’s my hero.

I hate the things. I know they don’t bite or sting, but they just freak me out. So when I was home alone and one boldly buzzed by my head, I got out the vacuum. Since I can’t crush them or put the fear of God into them by chasing them because they’ll stink the place up in retaliation, I thought I’d just vacuum it up.

Mistake.

Apparently even dead stink bugs release their noxious fumes. Because a couple of days later, I noticed a most objectionable smell in the house. Naturally I suspected Daisy, but it wasn’t her this time. It took us hours of thinking and nose-pinching before I said, “I vacuumed a stink bug the other day, could that be it?”

It was. I’ll never do that again.

If I eat a stink bug, I might make an even sillier face than this!

So the other night, when another stink bug buzzed us, I immediately grabbed Daisy and held her so she wouldn’t try to eat the thing. It’s small and moves, which makes it a perfect playmate for Daisy that she can also turn into a snack when it no longer gives her something to chase.  DD did her magic and got the stinkin’ creature out of here. But I started wondering – are stink bugs poisonous to dogs if they do eat them?

Apparently not. Thank goodness! BUT – the stink bug’s stench comes right out through the dog. YUCK! Dogs who eat stink bugs throw up several times and get a weird look on their face, probably because of the awful taste. At least this is what I’ve read in a bunch of online forums.

There’s a great article on this in The Anipal Times, which confirms that these yucky bugs are nothing more than irritants to cats and dogs and can cause not only vomiting but also foaming at the mouth.

I really hope we get through the summer without Daisy eating one and turning into a frothy, vomiting stinker!

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Daisy’s Bliss – The Ear Rub

What a frustrating day yesterday was! My ISP was – and still is – down nationally. Major outage. They don’t know when they’ll get their 4G service working again, and they’re a MAJOR provider! I couldn’t be offline a second day – as a freelance journalist, the internet is crucial for me. This morning I called them again and explained my situation, and they gave me a workaround to access the 3G network, which is still functioning. A bit slower and choppier because of the high demand due to the outage, but at least it’s working.

So it’s a short post today, since I have a LOT of catching up to do. But I just had to share this picture of Daisy getting her ears rubbed. She reacts like a person who’s getting a full-body massage after a weekend of hard yard work; she doesn’t move a muscle:

Ahhhhhh....don't break the spell......

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The Birds, The Bees, and Daisy

Ah, spring! The season “when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love”, and a young Havachon’s fancy turn to birds, bees, squirrels, chipmunks, and anything else she can chase or bark at.

Daisy, the Spring Sentinel

Our yard is green and blossoming! (Just wait until the dog days of summer, when I’ll be saying our lawn is scorching to an awful crunchy brown because of water rationing!) And with that, beautifully colored birds from reds to neon yellow to blue are visiting our bird feeder that stands only several feet away from our sliding glass door.

This is Daisy’s daily Disney Land. Once I open the blinds and pull them back, giving her full view of nature and its glories, she parks herself in front of that door like a Sphinx and watches all the little critters scampering, flying, and, sometimes, taunting her.

On really nice days, I open the sliding glass door and just leave the screen closed – that’s when her nose goes into overdrive. All I hear is sniff-sniff-sniff-sniff followed by a hard snort so she can start the process all over again.

The Taunting Squirrel has already come back looking for her, sitting up on its hind legs with its front feet on the glass, making tapping sounds and studying what lies inside, beyond the glass. No doubt looking to start his teasing routine all over again. Fortunately it was a very gray, humid day, and Daisy was napping on the couch. But the day is coming when he’ll find her at the door, and then the chaos that ensues will wake the neighborhood!

A cardinal who always visits our feeder with two females.

Here’s a peek at life in our yard; I’m hoping to get a picture of the red-crested woodpecker who lives in the tree just beyond the feeder – several generations of his family have been raised there!

A devoted couple - this pair of mourning doves is ALWAYS together!

Another guest.

Cute neon goldfinches that always visit us in a group of 5 or 6!

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Daisy’s Easter Treat

Easter was bountiful and fun here in the Daisy household – we hope yours was too!

Our traditional roast lamb and potatoes.

As a rule, we don’t give Daisy any table food. There are plenty of reasons for this, one of which being that she has a sensitive tummy and we never know what might set it off.

As a young puppy, we discovered that she was allergic to chicken – both actual chicken and dog food made with chicken. (Which is kind of weird since she can eat eggs with no problem.)  She got a nasty rash on her belly from chicken dog food, and real chicken made her….shall we say, extremely aromatic, and in such a bad way that it made everyone want to leave the house.

She eats a beefy dog food now with no problem, but the one we use was only at one store locally and is no longer available, so once we reach the end of this bag, we’ll have to switch.

We thought we might want to move to a lamb dog food (no reason in particular), but we wanted to make sure lamb wouldn’t upset that delicate little Daisy tummy. So on Easter Sunday, Daisy got quite a treat – five small pieces of roast lamb from our Easter dinner.

If I say that I couldn’t even get the camera in focus before she vacuumed up those five pieces, I wouldn’t be exaggerating! They disappeared without any chewing at all – zip! – just like that. And no bad after-effects either!

YUM YUM YUM!!

She also got another treat. DD had a strawberry Italian ice and decided to let Daisy lick the inside of the cup afterward. As you can see, she just immersed her face in that cup and didn’t surface until DD pulled the cup away! It was spotless!

This was Daisy’s first Easter, and we felt particularly blessed to have her join our celebration. 🙂

One contentedly pooped Easter puppy.

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Goofiness Personified = Daisy

Goofiness, thy name is Daisy.

Sometimes Daisy is just the silliest pupster she can be, and once in a while we actually manage to capture it on camera. So I leave my blog friends this Friday with a small collection of Daisy at her goofy, silly best. 🙂

Happy Easter (I’m going into partial prep mode today) to my blog buddies who celebrate the holiday, and happy weekend to those who don’t!

Goofy Havachon fashion sense....

....goofy "periscope-head"....

....goofy love for hanging upside-down....

....goofy under-bed-twist....

...one of many goofy nap positions. Happy Friday! 🙂

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Daisy and Her Street Thug Sense of Humor

You can’t tell me that dogs don’t have a sense of humor. You just can’t convince me of that.

The wiseguy Daisy at her street tough best.

Daisy may be small, but she’s got a soul that’s part street tough. She’s lovable, sweet, silly, cuddy and oh so loving in return, but when it comes to acting like a clown, she takes her work very seriously.

And that combination brings out the street tough in her.

One of the things Daisy thinks is just hysterical is to run up behind me and lunge into the back of my knee, sending me crumbling toward the floor. So far I haven’t actually hit the ground, but I’ve come close.

And I could swear she’s laughing at me.

She stands a few feet away from me, panting in a way that looks like she’s laughing. Her eyes are sharply focused, her ears are at their perky best, and she’s just waiting for me to charge at her. Because then her real fun begins – the chase through the house. Which is all in fun.

This dog flies like greased lightning. While I’m running up the hallway, she’s already passing me going in the opposite direction. She’s been down the hall, through the bedroom, under the bed, and is already going back toward the living room before I even reach the halfway mark.

I stand absolutely still; she keeps racing. Around and around she flies as if the devil himself were at her heels.  She finally stops on a dime and gives me that challenging look that says, “Go ahead, I dare you, try to catch me.”

Waiting for the optimal moment to take us out at the knees...

This is Daisy at her street thug best – a “hit and run” artist, a master of escape. A sugar-coated pup masquerading as a vinegar-and-spice ruffian. Or maybe it’s the other way around.

And after the knee attack, when I’m doubled over with debilitating laughter, she takes advantage of the situation by jumping on me, knowing I’m helpless to defend myself.

Sweet puppy or street thug? You decide. 😉

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Daisy’s Disgusting New Habit….Yuck….

What’s with dogs and bathroom trash pails?

The Stare.

Years ago, I used to dog-sit my friend’s terrier mix, a sweet dog who was a rescue. She had some weird habits from who-knows-what in her past, but one thing she always did was pull every single tissue out of the bathroom garbage, pull them apart, and spread them out all over the house.

Yuck. Really gross. So I started making sure the bathroom doors were shut tight when she stayed with us.

I couldn’t figure out what made those tissues so appealing, and I still can’t. But now Daisy has started showing an interest in the bathroom trash too. She doesn’t take everything out and spread tissues all over the place, but she does pull out a single tissue, which I find somewhere in the house. Unchewed, just sitting there. Could be anywhere.

Could be embarrassing when someone drops in and there’s a bit of trash on the hall carpet. 😦

But almost all canine antics have a funny side – I always know when Daisy’s done the deed because she stands stock still in one specific spot in the middle of the dining room. She doesn’t move when I walk by, she doesn’t respond when I talk to her, she just stares at me. It’s like she’s saying, “You’re not going to be very happy with me in a couple of seconds….”

Let's see if you can figure out what I did and where I did it....

She’s not scared or worried, it’s almost like she’s anticipating the moment I find the tissue and wants to see what I’ll do.

So now I know her new “tell”, and when I see her standing there staring at me, I say, “What did you do!” And still she doesn’t flinch. I hunt around and inevitably find the displaced tissue, waving it at her and saying, “Naughty! NO NO!” and still she stands there staring at me, ears up, tail up, just waiting for me to throw the tissue away. As soon as I emerge from the bathroom, she goes on her merry way.

I think we should rename her “SillyPuppy”. 🙂

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A Havachon Remembers Her Puppy Travel Crate

I’ve read in a few places that experts – the big unnamed “THEY” – believe that dogs don’t have long-term memory. I’ve never subscribed to that belief.

Daisy in her puppy travel crate last summer

If that was true, how is it that they remember people they haven’t seen in more than a year? Scent, yes, but they associate that scent with something – kindness, cruelty, whatever. They remember.

Our vet and books by trainers recommended that we use a loud, sharp whistle to help train Daisy. She doesn’t like loud noises, so this was a humane way to get her attention when she was acting up. We kept forgetting to buy one, so we made a loud noise by hitting a spoon against a pot lid. It worked like a charm.

We haven’t used that pot lid in months, but the other day Daisy was NOT listening and her incessant “jump-and-spin” excitement that caused her an injury previously was non-stop. So I took out the pot lid – no spoon – and showed it to her. Immediately she stopped jumping and obeyed our “no jump” command. She stayed calm even after I put the lid away. Even after months of not seeing it, she still remembered that she didn’t like it and that she needed to listen.

This weekend, I passed Daisy’s puppy travel crate along to my friend who just got an 8-week old Westie. Daisy outgrew it months ago, but it sat in a corner of our family room all this time. Naturally, Daisy still associates the pink crate with car travel, which she loves. I took the crate out of its place late last week, leaving it by the door so I wouldn’t forget it  Saturday morning. She saw me move it and new that the space where it stood was empty. She sniffed it out many times.

Daisy in her "ready to go" stance last summer

Yesterday, I decided to pack Daisy’s two winter coats away. One was a hand-me-down from a friend; Daisy only wore it once, back in November. Five months ago. When I brought it out, she got all excited and started dancing around, expecting to go out.

But then she ran over to where her travel crate used to be and just stood there like she always did before we’d take her out in the car. She stood there in position as if a phantom travel crate was still in its place . She could clearly see that it was gone, but still, that was her spot all those months ago.

We haven’t used the puppy travel crate in six months, but the association and memory was still there, even though the crate wasn’t.

I think dogs do have long-term memory, at least a certain amount. Maybe some don’t – my last dog was a big Shepherd-Collie-Husky mix with a wonderful temperament, but she was just happy to be pet, played with, and fed every day. A happy-go-lucky sort of dog. Everything other than love, play, and food was just white noise to her. She wasn’t a dumb dog, but she didn’t have the desire to out-smart us like Daisy and other dogs I know have. Whether or not she had long-term memory, I couldn’t tell. I was also too busy raising a baby to notice a lot!

What do you think? Do you believe that dogs have long-term memories?

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From Havachon Heaven to Westie Heaven!

No, we didn’t trade Daisy in for a West Highland White!

Westie puppies!

But on Saturday, I had the thrill of accompanying a friend of mine to a breeder’s home to help her pick out an 8-week old Westie from a litter of 3 that just  became available that day. It was so much fun playing with these little puppies! Once I sat on the floor, I was covered in puppies! It was like a dream! If the memory of housebreaking wasn’t still so fresh in my mind, I’m sure one of them would have come home with me.

How cute are they?! Of course, it was impossible to get a non-blurry picture of them, they were in continual motion!

They’re all of 3 pounds and so small they could have walked underneath Daisy without any army-crawling effort at all.

BUT – about an hour into our puppy-fest, someone in the house shouted, “Who let Diesel out?!!” A moment later, a

Meet Oliver, my new puppy nephew! 🙂

GIANT Rottweiler came into the room. When I say giant, I mean he was almost up to my shoulders just standing there (I’m only 5’3″, but STILL) – he was the “extra large” giant type of Rottweiler that only lives to about 9 years old because they’re so huge. I didn’t even know they bred Rotts to be so big! Rearing up, he’d have been eye-to-eye with my 6’3″ husband.

I totally freaked out. I went out the back door until ol’ Diesel was secured again. I wish I hadn’t, though, because just before I left, there was the greatest photo op – Diesel standing there with 3 little white puppies nipping at his ankles! What a sight!

Of course, when I got home, Daisy gave me the BIG sniff-over. Her bouncy exuberance ended within a second, and she practically attached her nose to my pant legs, sniffing carefully as if able to determine the exact breed and age of the “other dog” I’d cheated on her with. LOL  None of our friends have dogs anymore, so she’s not used to having us bring new canine scents into the house.

Hey! Whats this scent on your pants?! Have you been seeing another puppy behind my back??

So without further ado, heeeeeere’s Oliver!

Hes just TOO cute!!

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Breakfast in Bed for Daisy? I Think NOT!!

What am I, a maid? A servant? I think Daisy’s trying to be Queen Bee again.

You can serve my dinner to me here, my good man.

Lately she’s been acting very strangely at mealtimes, especially at dinner. Our routine is that once we put her filled bowl down, she has to sit and wait until we say “okay”, indicating that she can go eat (maybe 5-10 seconds, no longer). That worked fine for months.

All of a sudden, she’d just keep sitting there after we’d tell her “okay”. Just sitting there, staring at us. We knew she was hungry because she did her little excited prancing routine while we served up her food, ears high, eyes wide, tail wagging. But when we said “okay”, she just sat there, as if it had to be her decision when she’d eat, not ours. A very “Daisy” thing to do.

She wouldn’t go to her bowl until we left the room. Then the crunching began.

Oh, water boy! I need a fill-up here, please!

Now she’s escalated that to a new level. I think she wants to be served meals on the couch! When we’re getting her food, she gets excited, but then she goes onto the couch, lies down, and waits. Expectantly. Watching our every move. Daisy the hawk.

We say “okay”, she just sits there. We leave the room….no crunching….she’s still sitting there. Looking at us expectantly. Waiting. The Queen Bee. Bring me my food, there’s a good chap. And exit backwards, please, bowing as you go.

What’s next? Breakfast in bed? Dinner by candlelight? Supper by the fire? I think this little Havachon is going to have to “ruff it” and keep eating her meals on the floor from her pretty little silvery bowl on the pretty little silvery mat. Life is tough sometimes….LOL!

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