Posts Tagged ‘hudson the turkey’

Silly Dog

I thought you guys would appreciate this one.

We’ve had a bit of a mouse problem here for the last several months.  Our house is pretty much spotless on food (everything is now in plastic tubs because the damn critters get into everything).  We’ve plugged mouseholes as we find them, we’ve set traps and killed a number of the little beasts, but still they come back.  We suspect one or both of our neighbors is less…rigorous…in their clean-up attempts.

Anyhow, the mouse problem is background.  It has turned up a funny tendency of Hudson’s – once he hears or sees something somewhere, he continues to expect it to be there, whether he has reason to or not.

Three hours ago, there was a mouse under the far end of the loveseat.  I heard it, and Hudson at least heard it – he may have also seen it.  He has periodically stared at or sniffed that end of the loveseat, and continues to do so, even though there has been no further evidence of mouse.  He’s just convinced that it must somehow still be there.  He does this ALL the time, and he’ll end up staring at places where nothing has happened for hours, as if he’s willing the mouse to return.

For a smart dog, he’s a real dummy sometimes!


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Hudson must be having a good dream – he seems to be chewing on something in his sleep. I keep hearing click-click-click of his teeth tapping together.  Dogs are so funny!

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…yes, my fiance actually said that.  It actually happened.  You see, Hudson has allergies, so he has to take medication to manage them.  Typically, my fiance stands behind Hudson, holding him and opening the dog’s mouth, and I use the piller to shoot the pills into his throat.  This puts Hudson’s head right next to my fiance’s crotch.  Hudson has had itch issues, which make him shake often…and thus, my poor fiance’s crotch was whacked.

Sadly, it’s happened twice.  In his words, “My penis failed its saving throw versus the dog’s ear.”

Other awkward things that happen when you live with a service dog…

Hudson has gone to ‘get’ my fiance (a command that typically involves jumping on him) when said fiance was lying down, and put one of his front paws on my fiance’s groin.

That wasn’t the first time he’s done something…interesting when sent to ‘get’ my fiance.  Very early on, ‘go get <fiance>’ just meant making contact of some kind – usually Hudson nosed my fiance.  My fiance was asleep, and because we’d just moved into the house (and my bedframe had been destroyed by people at my old apartment), we had the mattress on the floor.  I told Hudson to go get my fiance, and he decided to lick my fiance’s armpit.  I, of course, started cracking up.  My fiance was very…confused.

Finding doghair in your crotch (no wonder it was itchy!  Disturbingly frequent discovery, however.)

Getting nosed on the nipple (agh, he does that so often)

Going to step out of bed and finding that your toes are nudging the dog’s crotch (or that you’ve just plopped your feet ON him)

The dog bowing in front of you…with his hind end pointing at you, like he’s presenting his ass to you.  Somehow he always does this one with his tail curled up and towards his back, which just highlights his anus.  (Unfortunately, he rather often farts in that position…)

And speaking of farting, Hudson has this tendency of farting when we’re in the bathroom.  I don’t know how much of my noticing it is confirmation bias, but especially if I’m um on the toilet a while, I’ll hear him passing gas.

Hudson loves standing right in front of me, facing towards my right (where the coffee table is).  Thing is, he stands really, really close, leaning against me, and our height matches up so that his sheath rests against my left knee.

One more quote from my oh-so-amusing fiance: “His tongue is relentless!”  (darn dog makes brushing his teeth difficult by working very hard to lick the toothpaste)

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Oh god, Hudson was making me laugh so hard I was having a bit of trouble breathing.  He just did the goofiest thing I have ever seen him do, and he’s routinely a bit goofy.

You have to understand, first off, that bugs are a relatively recent discovery for Hudson.  I suppose he first started paying attention to them a little before Christmas, because I remember it still being a new thing when we visited my family.  In the past couple weeks, he’s finally figured out flying things – before then, he would emphatically sniff where they had been and not be able to figure out what happened to them.

So I’m sitting here at my computer, and I see Hudson sniffing his belly…and then he got his back leg up and ducked his head under it and was sniffing at the ground.  I’m not sure what happened next, but I THINK he tried to jump after a fly…darting farther under his back leg.  What ended up happening was that his back foot swung down and he kicked himself on the back of the head.  He then very abruptly untangled himself and gave this snort…and started looking for the fly again.

OMG.  It was the most ridiculous looking thing you can imagine.  I was laughing so loudly that my fiance, who was in the next room, poked his head out to see what had me cracking up so badly and I couldn’t finish a phrase to tell him.

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We talk a lot about how service dogs are different from pets, but one of the things I don’t see addressed often is how much more care goes into our service dogs than most people put into their pets.

To give you an example, I know what texture Hudson’s poop is and I pay attention to whether he is straining or uncomfortable while he’s doing his business.  It’s important because it tells me a lot about his mental health – when he’s anxious or stressed, he’s very prone to diarrhea.  It also tells me how his gastrointestinal system is doing with his current food, which has been an issue for us.

Hudson’s food costs over $1.50/lb.  We make his treats ourselves from ground beef (and we are thinking about branching into other things like sweet potato chips).

Hudson gets brushed almost daily.  Even among people with longhaired dogs, I know few people who brush out their pets daily.  He also gets tick-checked almost daily.  I’ll admit that there are occasions where I just don’t have the wherewithal to do it, but even on bad days, I check his head and his paws, as those are the most likely places to find ticks.  Tick checking means I go over his entire body with the pads of my fingers, feeling for lumps, bumps, and anything out of place as well as for little bloodsucking monsters.

His teeth get brushed daily.  I’ll admit this is one I fall down on when my fiance isn’t around, because Hudson wants to get the toothpaste so badly that brushing his teeth without someone holding his head still is about as difficult as feeding an uncooperative baby (except that he struggles against me with 65 pounds of strength!) – things go everywhere but where they’re supposed to, I get frustrated, and his teeth don’t get done well.

His nails get cut weekly.  Most people let their pets’ nails get long enough to tick on tile or cement, but this is actually too long.  It makes dogs shift the way they carry their weight and will wear out their hip joints faster.

Hudson’s ears get cleaned weekly.  I know there are a variety of thoughts on how often ears should be cleaned, but that’s what our school taught and he gets frequent enough ear infections that it seems like a good idea with him.

He gets his paws and ahem personal areas trimmed twice a month.  As a longhaired dog, Hudson is prone to getting mats between his toes, around his groin, and around his anus, so I have to get in between his pads and around areas he’d rather I left alone and trim away fur.  He gets trims to his beard and moustache about every 6 weeks because otherwise he makes an enormous mess when he drinks.

Hudson sees the vet much more often than your average pet does.  My dog sees his doc any time he seems to be significantly under the weather, and he has gotten the canine flu vaccine because I can’t afford for him to be sick.  He takes medication to take care of his allergies and gets his monthly flea, tick, and heartworm meds.

Hudson also gets washed every 4 weeks plus any time he goes in the ocean.  He has to be clean and not smell too strongly of dog for public work, not to mention it’s probably good for him.  He also periodically gets a steroid conditioner as he has itchy skin when his allergies flare.

Hudson doesn’t care for a lot of the things that are done on his behalf.  He’s quite sure that his paws and nails are fine without any interference, thankyouverymuch.  He believes that his groin and his hind end don’t need to be touched.  The bath is entirely unnecessary.  Toothbrushing is a waste of time and I really should just give him the toothpaste to lick up.  Ear-cleaning is enough to get him fighting with most of his strength to get away from me pouring cleaner in and scrubbing his ear.  Tick-checking is annoying, and I really should just pet him instead.  Giving him pills is an annoying habit of mine that I really ought to stop (and trying to get him to take them via something like Pill Pockets is just silly).  Bathing is cruel and unpleasant, especially when it involves washing his head and his beard.  Brushing is unkind and I should stick to scratching and petting instead.

In short, Hudson isn’t fond of most of the care he recieves that keep him in tip-top shape.  He makes a lot of his care mildly difficult – in general he is very polite about the fact that he doesn’t like it, but it’s clear he’d rather we didn’t do it.  The most pitiful is probably the hangdog body language while he’s being bathed, while the strongest attempt to escape what he needs done is when his ears get cleaned.  For the most part, he makes it clear that he’s tolerating what we do.  He hates being clipped and has to be held in position by someone else while I clip him – usually my fiance, as no one else is willing to hold onto the dog quite firmly enough.

For a little bit of amusement, let me tell you what happens when we’re done doing pretty much any of Hudson’s necessary care.  Once we’re finished, I announce ‘All done!’  Hudson starts running around and frolicking, followed by a spate of doggy breakdancing.  His favorite move we call ‘the moustache’, where he uses both of his front paws to smooth over his snout like a man grooming his moustache, except that Hudson tends to make an even bigger mess of it.

So there’s my bit of difference: the difference in healthcare and grooming that a service dog recieves from his partner.  I had a lot of other topics I wanted to write about, including the difference in how people respond to you, but I decided that I didn’t want to write yet another post about how normal folks treat us in uncomfortable ways.

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I’m training Hudson to do my dirty work.

When the boyfriend teases me, I used to poke him or tickle him.  I’ve had increasing problems with my hands for longer than we’ve known each other, though, so there are often times when I can’t do that.  Particularly recently, with the maybe-it’s-auto-immune thing I’ve been dealing with.

So my solution is to find something Hudson can do.  I’ve invented the command ‘toes’, at which Hudson is supposed to nose or lick the boyfriend’s toes.

The boyfriend is amusingly tolerant of the whole affair.

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Every spring, my service dog organization does a ‘dogs day off’ fundraiser.  Unfortunately, I’m really not up for it right now – I’m in too much pain, and too sick.  So I was thinking about it, and I had an idea for a fundraiser of my own, but I wasn’t sure if there would be much interest.

So here’s what I’m offering: for a $5 donation, you would get a picture of Hudson that no one but me has ever seen.  It could be him working, performing a service task, just chilling, at dog park,  at the lake or the beach.  For a $10 donation, you can specify what kind of picture you like – even a pose you want (or at least, I’ll TRY for requested poses).  No one else would get the picture you get.  It’d be a special thing just for you.

Would anyone be interested in that?  If I could sell 200 of the ‘basic’ pictures or 100 of the requested pictures, or some mix of the two that totaled $1,000, we could sponsor a puppy and name it!  If we get that far, the boyfriend and I have a list of names and everyone who donated, even if they didn’t donate enough to get a picture, would get to vote on the names.  The names, for reference, range from tremendously silly to respectable, most of them nicknames I used at one point or another for my dear Hudson.

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