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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So we have had some destruction in the house lately when we're not home. Possibly triggered in part by me being away from home more, but even when I've been working from home for days and we're out in the evening for a few hours...things get destroyed. The dogs stay in the master bedroom with a gate - the cats can get in/out. At first, the odd accessible thing on nightstands/shelving. Toby blamed Xerxes, I blamed Agis (who is taller). Then some bedding...we no longer have a grey flat sheet for our bed. Well, we do, it's just a little...ribbon-y. Certain that was mostly Xerxes, but I think despite us getting more toys that was less anxiety and more about Xerxes and Agis playing tug with the bedding...

I have started running regularly again - instead of saying 'I need to run another 50 miler' and getting intimidated and being all over the place and not sticking to a training plan, I decided, let's try to haul my fat butt around a 10k race course a bit faster...so am enjoying runs (well, mostly - speedwork is fun and horrifying) (any Hamilton members want to come and laugh at me in November, I'll be around haha sigh). Xerxes loves running so is getting his energy out that way, and they get walks of course, for whatever good that does (not much, but Neb enjoys them).

Agis is not a big runner. He likes running up north but not in the city. My ankles no longer allow for trail running sadly. He does love to hike. He loves the woods. I sometimes can get him to come out with Xerxes and I but often he disappears. I don't want to force him.

I had a little psychotic episode a few weeks ago - so I've been very caught up in that. Been better for a week or two (just in time to take the nieces backpacking). Agis was destructive when I was up north with Xerxes - apparently he's taken up 'reading' (that or he thought Toby was taking too long with some of his books - what my e-reader ever did I don't know, but it still works, just has a few puncture wounds).

Anyways, obviously the walks I've been scraping by with and random training haven't been cutting it for either of them.

Having got back yesterday and been shown the destruction by Toby (who just left the torn book bits on the floor...am I supposed to clean those up? Surely you could've shown me the books and not left torn page bits around - I mean, we have a broom and in theory he's the one who is supposed to vacuum, though I often do it) I realized today that in addition to the physical I need to get Agis's brain working again. We did a mid-afternoon training walk - not far, but he did lots of heeling - he responds well to a verbal 'uh' if he starts to surge, at least, but clearly he needs a refresher. Sit stays are fine (I mean, what is there to say about those) but downs/down stays are a bit sloppy). Come is very excited poop eating grin coming at you (I didn't bring treats either because I'm not sure where I put my treat bag post-backpacking; I have not unpacked) however on both the sidewalk and the field it sometimes goes past and then turns around and comes back. Not an obedience competition winning come, obviously.

Financially we had to put the in-person stuff with Shield and Agis on hold. Stupid Toby needs a stupid implant because a stupid root canal failed (okay, Toby's not stupid, but we don't have the cash to pay for it - my mom will lend it to us, but obviously we would rather not - we have some time to save up, but we have to save up - and my CPP/EI are FINALLY dropping off, being sick for so long denting my income dents it in more way than one because that takes longer; our aim is $3k in 6 months which I think we can do, but yeah. We took some money out from Toby's RRSP recently to get back in the black or whatever colour is not overdraft, and we can do that for his root canal too, but again, would rather not - luckily his tax hit won't be huge because he doesn't have high income and we were careful to stay at the 10% lump sum range. Also, Neb having his health issues and being too old to insure - 14 and all - we need to have cash on hand for him too). Anyways, Agis had a good reactivity moment this afternoon - we got surprised by a dog walking down to the street from it's house hidden by a hedge - both dogs surprised each other - but Agis barely blinked an eye, just kept going.

And we got complimented in the park on how well-trained he was. I suspect that says more about the dogs around here than it does Agis, I hate to say.

So - I have a plan:

-train the heck out of Agis on my own. He's still panting on his bed from our training walk
-I'd say train Xerxes but man he's got a mind that is all nose...anyone have any squirrel musk?
-keep on running with Xerxes
-get Agis to run with us?
-hike 1 day/weekend with Brat #1 and Brat #2

Any suggestions on how to get Agis jazzed to run? I hate making him do something that causes him distress - he tends to go into flight mode in the city, though he is better if he's with Xerxes - but it's going to be the most bang for my buck physically I think, day in, day out.

The good news is my hybrid work is currently all work from home as commuting is very bad for my crazy (see earlier comment about psychosis) and so I have an accommodation for the next three months, and then we'll reassess. Yay being nuts! Whoo! But it lets me do lots of training with Agis and even Mr. Nose throughout the day.
 

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Glad to hear your work gives accommodations! For some of us we can work from home, why not let us? Your plan to exercise everybody sounds good. I laughed at the book ripping - no, not the books!!! Little monsters. I remember when Zeppelin and Athena ripped up one solitary piece of paper together one night at the cottage (I now bring Athena’s crate to the cottage, she is a bad influence on Zepp) it’s ridiculous what they target sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Glad to hear your work gives accommodations! For some of us we can work from home, why not let us? Your plan to exercise everybody sounds good. I laughed at the book ripping - no, not the books!!! Little monsters. I remember when Zeppelin and Athena ripped up one solitary piece of paper together one night at the cottage (I now bring Athena’s crate to the cottage, she is a bad influence on Zepp) it’s ridiculous what they target sometimes.
Yes I'm lucky with work. I asked for a part time similar accommodation at my previous place of employment (where I was for 13 years before leaving, thank god - what a dysfunctional place it was, I realized when a colleague confided in me that every morning getting off the train she hoped she'd be hit crossing the street so she wouldn't have to come to work and I was like 'Samesies!' that it would perhaps be a good idea to look for another job - she's left too - but I digress - at my old job, they told me it wouldn't be 'fair' if I got to work from home sometimes. Now I know that they were required to give me reasonable accommodations, but oh well. I'm better off to be honest.

Unfortunately my post-backpacking beast of burden for the kids left foot numbness Toby has diagnosed as sciatica (he's had it before - I did some googling and it appears he's probably right) and says I shouldn't run. Ugh. My muscles aren't sore - I'm out of shape enough that carrying a 60lb pack and nigh on 30lbs worth of the dog and his pack for 5.5k (okay I didn't carry Xerxes and his pack the entire time) compresses nerves, but not so out of shape I have sore muscles. My body is a contradiction! Thank goodness it was an easy trip and we didn't go in further. Next time I take the kids I'm insisting they have proper gear and smaller gear so that they can carry more!!!!!!!!!

But yeah, why the books! The e-reader is kinda funny, in a 'thank goodness the dog didn't chew a battery' way.
 

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The only thing I am sure of in this world is that a tired dog is a good dog!

Do you have a nice big hill in the area? I have a 1.5-mile long, pretty steep hill with a hiking path nearby. A fast walk up and down the hill gets the blood flowing if I am too sore to run.
 

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the torn book bits on the floor...am I supposed to clean those up? Surely you could've shown me the books and not left torn page bits around
I guess he thought it wouldn't have had the same impact, lol!

I was without internet for almost 2 weeks so went back to reading in the evening. My 8 month old Frankie did this while I was in the bathroom. Took him less than 10 minutes.
Blue Sleeve Publication Plant Wood

Fortunately most of the severe damage affected pages I had already read. Only had to search for the upper right corner of 3 pages. Found them and taped them back in.

This reminded me of my sweet Gypsy Rose (RIP). When she was around the same age, she took a hardback book from the bookshelf, dragged it out the dog door and had some fun. I didn't realize the book was missing for a few days. I found it in the back yard. I still have that book. It was a book I special ordered from a used book store - The Lost History of the Canine Race by Mary Elizabeth Thurston. It is actually signed by the author and a note written to the original owners of the book. But that's not why I kept it. I kept it to save the memory of Gypsy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess he thought it wouldn't have had the same impact, lol!

I was without internet for almost 2 weeks so went back to reading in the evening. My 8 month old Frankie did this while I was in the bathroom. Took him less than 10 minutes.
View attachment 590519
Fortunately most of the severe damage affected pages I had already read. Only had to search for the upper right corner of 3 pages. Found them and taped them back in.

This reminded me of my sweet Gypsy Rose (RIP). When she was around the same age, she took a hardback book from the bookshelf, dragged it out the dog door and had some fun. I didn't realize the book was missing for a few days. I found it in the back yard. I still have that book. It was a book I special ordered from a used book store - The Lost History of the Canine Race by Mary Elizabeth Thurston. It is actually signed by the author and a note written to the original owners of the book. But that's not why I kept it. I kept it to save the memory of Gypsy.
Well, in fairness to Toby, he brought home a returned sleeping pad (for camping) from his store for the dogs to put on the kuranda bed (which he worries isn't comfortable :rolleyes: )which I thought was a bad idea. The next day I came home to find bits of sleeping bad all over the bedroom (Agis later puked some up grr). I took some pics and left it for him to clean up since I thought it was a bad idea...so people in glass houses and all that, I'm hardly in a position to criticize I suppose!

Oh Gypsy Rose - that's so sweet. I'd keep it for the same reason. That gives me all the feels.

(I don't know what it is about dogs and books! Neb was quite the 'reader' as a pup too)

The only thing I am sure of in this world is that a tired dog is a good dog!

Do you have a nice big hill in the area? I have a 1.5-mile long, pretty steep hill with a hiking path nearby. A fast walk up and down the hill gets the blood flowing if I am too sore to run.
There is a not that long hill but very steep hill in the big park nearby, and long for Toronto - well, there's a few, but this one is particularly hellish - I should take them over there and do that - and there's trails just off it they like too. But walks up and down the hill are a great idea.

It IS going to be feels like 40C tomorrow so I can get up early to do that with them. I agree, a tired dog IS a good dog. Didn't get much done this morning (what with sciatica apparently my 10k run was 'not a good idea') and it was Xerxes the Attack Beagle's annual (he has a keratosis horn or whatever they're called! I thought it was a skin tag. I'm going to call him Xerxes the Unicorn from now on haha).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Morning walk was blood pumping at moments (skunk city in the big park).

One older gentleman was not complimentary about Xerxes's singing. I mean, yes, it's a park, but it's also an urban park and even before 6am there are runners and roadies doing their workouts and different groups of youths skulking about (one of which scattered when Xerxes started baying - that's right, Xerxes the Attack Beagle coming through! - anyways, my point being, it's not a quiet oasis even at that time of the day. Ah well, we met a few people who liked him and one older woman who chuckled and called Xerxes 'a character'.

The dogs don't seem particularly tired - Agis is hot and Xerxes is Xerxes. Maybe we should've done more but I dunno if long walks are a bad idea with sciatica if runs aren't a good idea. I have the chiro tomorrow at noon at least. Going to an outdoor pool lane swim later this morning for my workout.

@davewis rather than do repeats I did 5 of the steeper road/paved hills as I was wearing sandals and didn't want to go on trails (also, skunks). In the end, we did 7.15k (gotta get an even distance!) with 125m of gain - this all translates to 4.44 miles and 410 feet of gain. So not a lot but not nothing, decent by Toronto standards I think, and we had fun.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Silly question but have you done nosework for Xerxes? Might give you a break let your body heal.
Not a silly question and not really. I've tried hiding kibble in the stairwell (so you can see how structured I am, sigh). I tracked with Luc years ago, I have forgotten most of what I learned. Being in an apartment building the lawns are busy and the park/field across the street is too - probably not at 5am, but a family of coyotes live there and we see them when it's dark - I know that's an unlikely risk, but Xerxes weighs 23.8lbs so I'd really rather not a run in with a coyote.

I should see if there's anything we can do in the apartment. The closest I've come in puzzle games, which the dogs work on cooperatively 😂 :rolleyes: Xerxes runs in and grabs piece of block exposing the kibble, and runs off with his one block prize leaving the food (some beagle!). Neb comes and takes a piece of block, and wanders off to create a pile to sit the other blocks in. Agis eats the kibble, while Neb comes and gets more blocks and Agis keeps eating the kibble Neb exposes (never taking off a block himself) and while Xerxes gloats over his one block prize and I mutter to myself that they're all idiots except possibly Agis haha. But there must be some stuff I can hide throughout the apartment that he'll have to search out! Good idea, thanks!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
AUGH! So I am more and more mobile with the sciatica...but sure, don't run this morning with them or heaven forbid take Xerxes or Agis for a good long walk (me and Neb did a sloooooooooow walk - around 45 minutes to walk 1.1k).

We were gone for - gasp! - 4.5 hours. Came home to more destroyed bedding. We're running out of sheets. We still think they're playing with the bedding but this time it was the fitted sheet (we've no longer been leaving the flat sheet on the bed) and the mattress protector.

So I just came back from purchasing a crate for Agis. He's always freaked out in crates, but hopefully being older and wiser and with an antler keeps him quiet. Sigh. Wish us luck.

And 10k run tomorrow, perhaps we'll trial some out of the house time in the afternoon when hopefully everyone is tired and maybe quiet? Agis can practice in the crate.
 
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