Wednesday, June 20, 2012

For Love of a Fur Child

Happy Wednesday!
Just when you think life is about to get boring Wham-o! Here comes a curve ball. Our curve ball this week comes in the form of an eight lb, fluffy, black shi-tzu. Meet Bailey:  She likes coffee. Especially when the mug coordinates with her outfit. 
     She is the smallest and by far the furriest member of the Geisendorfer household. Technically she is a Wills, just because I married into that big ole' German last name doesn't mean she did too! :) Bailey is 10 years old, she has been my little black shadow since I was 12 years old and I love her dearly. She was seriously the BEST Christmas present ever.
Recently however we have not been on the same wave length, she and I. For some time now she has been VERY vocal. 
     Bailey never was an overly loud or rambunctious dog. She has always been rather laid back and mellow. However she has found her voice, and she is not afraid to use it. "I am pup, hear me bark!" It really is only when she is in her crate, but she has been crate trained her whole life and nothing has really changed about that. 
     However when we are coming home as soon as she hears the door she starts to make a ruckus, as if we aren't coming to get her fast enough. Then lately the little miss has been waking up in the middle of the night demanding attention. Honestly she is a grown dog, who can "hold it" all night so it's not like she needs out to do her business... All I can figure is I have a tiny insomniac on my hand, who is bored and lonely and feels the need to let us know. 
     I'm normally pretty laid back about her behavior but we live in a duplex with some lovely neighbors that have a baby. We are on very good terms with our neighbors (I bake them cupcakes/they love us) and I would like it to remain that way. Plus I have a hubby who is a VERY light sleeper! Needless to say we are desperately seeking a solution. We have tried what seems like everything! A squirt bottle, swats, grounding (during which time she was referred to as 'the prisoner') we even broke down and bought a shock collar (which I was morally against for the longest time) What can I say we were/are desperate! We love Bailey and we really don't want to hurt her but we seriously need to curb this behavior! 
     Last night I feel like we may have made a break through. The whole family went on a rousing walk around the neighborhood to try and wear us all out in hopes that we would all sleep harder. The truth is it was closer to a leisurely stroll for E and I, her tiny little legs don't go very far very fast. Either way we all got our exercise.    

     Also I am not ashamed to say that I gave Bailey a 'treat' some peanut butter spiked with half of a Benadryl... Both of these efforts combined, plus no food or water after 9, resulted in a solid nights sleep for all!! WOO HOO... I'm still holding my breath though. We shall see if this lasts, but for now I hope we are all sleeping a little better!

     So are any of you out there veteran dog owners/trainers? Is there something that we should be doing differently? Anything we should be adding to our routine that might help in continuing our bark free night? Seriously Ethan and I are just about at our wits end with her! Any tips or tricks for curbing the bark?


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