Spirit Of The Pack, And Other Tales Of The Pika Daemon Ninja Weasel In Her Natural Environment

Love is… picking up Pika and smelling her wee bum to see if it’s her that stinks. Which of course, being a dog, she completely understands butt sniffs. Tis not her, but in the air, so I get on my hands and knees and go on the hunt.

Ah, the joys of puppies. Cute and cuddly buggers, goofy and vicious all wrapped up in such a tiny package.

One does forget a few things, like I forgot that doggo’s do not generally like to poop where they pee, unlike humans. And Chihuahuas, as I’ve learned, as a breed don’t always take to house breaking, and as such one must adapt their strategy.

My strategy is that with this in mind, and given the cold weather, and how she shivers and has never once gone pee or poo outside, I figured it made more sense all round if I use this time to teach her WHERE she can go, and were not, here in this domain for which we shall share space… seemed more prudent, practical at the very least.

Basically, I just praise her when she pees or poos on the pad, and ignore it when she does it anywhere else. Well, not ignore, I clean it up, but I don’t praise her. Eventually she’ll get it, she’s almost 100% there, but not quite.

I am thinking of some kind of kitty litter type solution going forward, maybe. But, pee pads for now, bought a whole thing of them for Irish’s last days and have a bunch left.

So, today Ms Pika is 4 month and 9 days old, and it’s been a month this last weekend since she came, and I’ve noticed certain changes; one is her dependence on me has changed.

“Happiness is a warm puppy.”

Charles M. Schulz

Its important that pups don’t depend on their owners for all their entertainment, and I watch that independent nature of hers beginning to shine.

One thing is I’ve created a couple cozy caves for her, and she goes off on her own more and more, or jumps up and quietly plays merrily away on her own on the settee across from me, quite content.

Or snuggled up in this little space here in my nook I created. I curled up the larger bed of the two like a taco and stuffed it under a low coffee table that sits about 5 inches away from this old antique register that’s pumping out heat. LOVES it.

A co-worker gave me a whole bag of stuff from her old dog she put down a couple months ago. Hand-me-downs.

She LOVES these snugly soft beds. The one here in my nook is where she is snuggled up in right now.

Now, because she’s destroyed the zipper on her nylon crate, it is really no longer really a crate, more of a nylon cave, so that is where I put the smaller bed from the same co-worker. All decked out just the way pup’s like it, a cozy cave.

Come to think of it, you know, alot of her stuff comes from doggies that have passed on, which I think is kinda cool.

Plus, it does make a certain amount of sense, and you know, waste not want not. Doggies do like the smell of things, and having stuff with such great smells already, with the spirit of some great and good doggies to smell, and know that she is a part of something.

Well, not to mention I did pee on the velvet settee when I was 3 years old, so there’s that.

These things she loves have the spirit of the pack about them.

Oh, and I do notice that with her crate cave, that certain toys, for reasons only she knows, get placed in there – such as both of Irish’s stinky squeaky toys.

Tis to the nylon cave she will go when its time for bed, and the space has truly become hers, her own space, right there beside mine.

Well, with a secret side exit now that she completely destroyed the zipper, and it gives her a ninja way out, under cover of my bed.

Wee weasel be stylin’.

This sort of arrangement, actually, is very pro Chihuahua, and she loves it, as they really have a strong burrowing nature, as their size does make them easy prey. Like most dogs, she is drawn to cave like shelters, with easy escapes, as her size makes it a breeze for her to go dodging under furniture with my Lemon Tart, for instance.

Now when I go to work I just pick up the whole crate cave thing and place it in the shower stall in the bathroom, make it her kennel. I freshen up her water, and make sure she has a fresh pee pad. I puppy proof the room, put the towels up, the shower curtain gets swung over the rail, and a rubber band is put round the cabinet door handles. Door closed and off to work I go. Nary a peep as I leave.

One little secret is that about 1/2 hour before I leave I prepare her small dog puppy KONG, putting little treats in the crevices, and taking out a larger treat and placing it all next to the bathroom door, then continue to get ready.

Drives her nuts.

Lots of interest, and once I eventually do put her in the bathroom she is super excited for her treat and totally distracted, and so sees the whole thing in a positive light.

This technique helps to curb separation anxiety, as I’m creating a good vibe around the whole thing.

“The more boys I meet the more I love my dog.”

Carrie Underwood

The other technique I learned from when I first moved here with Irish, is that upon letting her out after I’m home from work, I don’t make a big deal, I just let her out and go on with getting changed.

This dovetails with how I leave, kinda dog psychology 101. What I’m doing is basically making the whole thing no big deal, you know? The coming home thing is no big whoop.

The key is that she gets a treat that keeps her busy for the first bit after I’m gone. By not engaging with her when I get home I’m downplaying my return, meaning she doesn’t get a high off my return.

She’s plenty excited when I get home, a real pain in the arse trying to get my pants off with her hanging off the cuffs, but I scoot her away.

But I know she’ll learn, Irish did.

Eventually Irish learned that it was no good getting in my way after I just got home because I would just ignore her, so she would greet me and then slink off back to her bed to wait till I signalled it was ok.

And, well, quite frankly I’m not sure what that signal was, but Irish knew and would just wait it out till eventually she came over to do her dance and head shake to get a couple treats, as she had trained me to do. {rolling eyes}

And you know, Pika is different for me, a new experience. I’ve had dogs before, and I’ve had a puppy before, but, I’ve never had a puppy to raise all on my own before, with no one else, just her and I. Its kinda cool, cause I just realized that the other day, eh? She’s all mine – not my ex-husbands, not Tim’s, not the family dog, just her and I.

Well, not to mention, I’ve only had a puppy that grew in to a big dog, and by big dog, I mean BIG dog.

Mogan was huge, 130 lbs huge, and probably almost 6 feet (1.83 m) or so standing on her hind legs, to give you an idea of what I mean by BIG.

To be honest, Pika full-grown will be just a smidgen bigger than Mogans head.

And that is exactly her appeal, all the benefits of a dog, loving, loyal, fun, goofy, and I can carry her around with me. I can take her on long hikes, just pick her up for a bit when she gets tired, set her down again when she gets squirmy and wants down. She can go for bike rides with me, wind blowing through those giant fruit bat ears, off on adventures, together.

Or, watching her loving Irish’s old stinky squeaky toys, or cuddled up in her doggy beds, dreaming of the old doggo who once lay there before her, perhaps.

“I am his Highness’ dog at Kew;

Pray tell me, sir, whose dog are you?”

 Alexander Pope

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