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11 July 2005

We're settling into the "sleep" thing around here, but we have some work to do on mealtimes.

Eddie has taken over Sheila's new bed, and was so comfortable looking last night that I decided to try leaving him there all night rather than putting him in the crate.  He probably would have slept all night except I got up at 3 to go to the bathroom.  When I got back to the recliner, he first settled back onto the bed, but then I made the mistake of reaching down to the floor to pick up my blanket.   Instantly he was flying through the air and landing smack dab on my stomach.   I tried to ignore him and he curled up and eventually went to sleep.  It must have been uncomfortable enough for him, that soon he went back to the bed and slept there the rest of the night.

But mealtimes are a real challenge.

Ashley was "free feeding" her dogs, meaning leaving food out all day and letting them eat when they felt like it.  That would work great for Sheila and Eddie, who eat like Walt does--to live.  Kimba, however, is my dog.   She lives to eat.  If there is food to be had, Kimba will eat until she explodes, so we must have "mealtimes."

Before Eddie came, I feld Kimba in the kitchen and Sheila in the family room.  Kimba would scarf up her food and then sit patiently waiting until Sheila was full, when she would check to see if Sheila had left any crumbs for her.  I always took the way she so thoroughly licked all sides of the bowl as doggie sarcasm ("Thanks for nothing, Sheila.")

Adding Eddie to the mix has been interesting.  Eddie is a social eater.  He takes a few bites and then goes to see what everybody else is eating.    I pick Eddie up and take him back to his bowl.  He eats a few more bites and then goes back to check Sheila out.  By this time Kimba is finished and is checking Eddie's bowl, so that means it's time for Eddie's food to go away.  Sheila is also usually finished, so her bowl gets put up too.

This morning I slipped Sheila a leftover bone from last night's dinner, so she was on her bed eating that.  I had to laugh, because Eddie was sitting off at a respectful distance watching Sheila, hoping for a bite....

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...and at the same time, Sheila was standing at my feet, looking hopeful as I munched my toast, hoping that  I would toss her a crust of bread or something.

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Eddie and Kimba have taken to regularly chasing each other around the family room, up and down the stairs,  on and off the guest bed, and around the yard.

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Eddie has also learned how to deal with Sheila.  Sheila's dominance move is to back up to a small dog and then back over him/her.  At first Eddie tried wiggling out from under and climbing on Sheila's back...

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But now he's figured out how to fight with Sheila.  He immediately attacks her legs, or he attacks from underneath up to Sheila's tummy.  That will get Sheila down on her back with Eddie on top in no time.  This is one smart little puppy.

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(note that his teeth are wrapped around her leg)

Of course, Sheila's a smart dog too, and I discovered that today, she initiates play by getting down on her stomach so she can attack Eddie on his stomach, which is really pretty silly to watch, since she's so tall!

The biggest progress we've made is that Eddie now uses the dog door without problem.  It has been no problem leaving the back door open the past couple of days because the weather has been OK, but it's going to creep up to the 100 mark this week, and I don't want to leave the door open and let the heat in!


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