127. Don't Leave Me!

Saturday 7/22- Oh how I always look forward to my days off. I didn’t have much of a to-do list today, so I was looking forward to a relaxing day. I spent the morning doing a few chores around the house and working on the blog, but by afternoon it was time to truly relax, spend some time in the pool, and get some puppy time. These kinds of days are the best kind of days (and don’t happen nearly often enough)! 

Skye's favorite place to lay

Monday 7/24- Since we have learned that Skye doesn’t particularly like being in her kennel when it’s not bedtime, we have begun to implement “kennel time” for her. We are going to start working with her and training her that being in her kennel is not scary or bad and that it’s just a little home to keep her contained while we aren’t watching her. We’ve started putting her in her kennel for about 10 minutes at a time a few times a day, but she definitely doesn’t like it! We have given her treats, her favorite toys, rawhide bones, CBD oil, and even tried background music but nothing has worked. She works herself up, cries, barks, and whimpers until it’s time to come out. She gets so worked up that she drools and slobbers all over the place and exhausts herself in the process. I guess this is all part of training a puppy. We’ll just keep working with her and hopefully she’ll eventually get used to being in the kennel & take a nap instead.

Tuesday 7/25- Today we had the idea to cover the kennel with a sheet so that Skye can't see out. Remarkably, it seemed to work! To test whether it’s a fluke or if it really does work, we tried it again later and it worked again. Ramie would sneak to the doorway and listen and peek in a little bit. He could tell that she didn't lay down but she also didn't bark or cry, just let out a small whimper every now and then. Well, this has been the best result yet but the downside is that if this is all that works, keeping it covered would probably cause it to get pretty hot inside if she is in there for a while because there won’t be any airflow, we will have to figure out a way to keep it coolish in there for her. We will try it again tomorrow and hopefully have good results.

Wednesday 7/26- Ramie had an early morning turtle walk today and got home around 6am. He informed me he spotted a nest and got to retrieve the eggs, but one of the volunteers took the eggs to the nursery. He grabbed his coffee and began to enjoy his break, but the break didn't last long When he received a message about a problem at the rental house across the street it was time to get up and “start working”. The guests had a problem with the kitchen sink, I guess it was backing up and not draining. Fortunately with all of Ramie’s maintenance skills he managed to get the problem under control.

He was home just about the time that our contractors who would be building our new wall in the backyard showed up to drop off the materials they would need to start working the wall next Monday. 

All of the decisions about the building of the wall had been made, the materials had been purchased and delivered, now the only thing we had left to decide on was what color we were going to have them paint it and to buy the paint. We would have about a week to make this decision.

When Ramie knew he’d have a break in the action and be home for a little while without interruption he decided that he’d do kennel time for Skye again. Since he had luck yesterday when he covered the kennel with the sheet, he tried that trick again. He covered her up, left the room, and Silence!! … Well, for about 2 minutes anyway. Then came the barking, crying and whimpering again. Well, I guess that covering the kennel idea stopped working. We’ve noticed that when we try something new that seems to work, it really only works a few times before she gets used to it and it doesn’t work again after that. The 2nd round of kennel time today was even worse!

We have noticed that Skye likes to be under things. When she’s sitting with us watching TV in the evenings she loves to cuddle up under the “fort” that is made by the sheet we have draped over the couch (when Izzy is here she ends up on the furniture quite often and she sheds a LOT so we keep the furniture covered!). 

When we’re in the shower Skye likes to crawl into the lower shelf cubby of our vanity and hide out there until we’re done. Maybe there’s something to this, if she feels like her kennel is too big, maybe she would be more comfortable in a smaller space? This gave Ramie an idea…. 

I like it here Mom!


He would build a little enclosure inside of her kennel to make it feel like the small cubby or a little dog house. Heck, it would give Ramie something to do and it couldn’t really hurt anything, right!?

Thursday 7/27- I had some work to do this morning for my other jobs, and while I was working hard at that, Ramie got started on his idea for Skye’s little home. Since options are limited here, he decided that he’d make this little hut out of plywood. He wouldn’t need a lot, and he knew that some of our friends here in town might actually have a spare partial piece that they didn’t need. He made some calls and found that Randal had a ½ piece of plywood that he was willing to give up. Ramie went to visit Randall to get the wood, then made a stop at Geoff’s to borrow his skill saw (since Ramie got rid of all of his woodworking tools before we came to Costa Rica) to cut it down to the sizes he needed. After he had the 4 pieces of plywood cut to size he came back home and asked me to help assemble the new piece of doggy furniture. He was all about keeping this simple, so we assembled it by zip-tieing the pieces together and to the wire of the kennel. It worked well enough for what we needed and we hoped that Skye would like her little cubby and would feel more secure and relaxed in it when she had to be in her kennel by herself. 

It's not pretty but it'll do the job.

Unfortunately, even with her new little “dog house”, both rounds of kennel time today were no different than prior ones. When Ramie checked on her (he can still peek in from the door, she hasn't figured out yet that he can see her) he saw that she would sniff it and was curious but wouldn’t sit near it. The whole time she was in there she chose to hang out as far away as she could get and bark. Dang it! I wonder what she will do with it overnight.

Friday 7/28- Skye doesn't have issues sleeping in her kennel at night and the couple times either one of us woke up we checked to see if she was sleeping in the little cubby part of her kennel. Unfortunately she was sleeping out in the open instead of under her new cubby. That's ok though because new things do spook her and maybe she just needs to get used to this object inside her space.

Ramie had a turtle walk this morning at 5am and Skye actually let us sleep until 4:30 when he had to get up, this is great since the last few days she has been waking up at 3:30 and refusing to go back to bed. If Ramie didn't have to get up that early it would have been interesting to see how long she would have stayed quiet. The walk was very productive, Ramie’s group is on a hot streak this past week and today they found 2 nests but sadly have not come across a turtle in the laying process yet.

When he got home he told me that Skye was awake and was sitting up in the kennel looking around when his alarm went off, but was in no hurry to get out of her kennel and wasn't making any noise. That is good progress for her. It would be perfect if she felt comfortable just hanging out in there while we continued sleep even if she is awake! 

This is a walking stick that Ramie found by the pool this morning.

Since I had a quite – intense – work week, we planned an evening get-together with Geoff and Tracy for dinner and a couple of drinks. We picked up food from the chicken truck (fried chicken KFC style with the best fried rice we’ve found down here), grabbed the bottle of something similar to Bailey’s (not the homemade stuff from the coffee plantation, this was from the store) and a couple of other beverages and headed up to their house for a few hours. We brought Skye with us so we wouldn’t have to worry about her going crazy at home by herself, plus Geoff & Tracy like seeing her too! 

Where we going?

Wait don't tell me, I'll just sit back and enjoy the ride

Skye did remarkably well being in a new place, she wandered around and checked things out but didn’t go too far. She was super curious about Geoff & Tracy’s pets but none of them were interested in playing with her. She hung out with us, and as the evening got later and later her batteries wore out. This was the latest that she’s been up at night since she’s been with us and she fell asleep cuddling in Ramie’s arms. Since she was up late with us tonight, hopefully she’ll sleep in later tomorrow morning!

Cuddle time!
Home and waiting for a bed time treat!

Let’s end again on a positive puppy note! Skye is getting better with learning her commands. After an additional week of training she is showing improvement.

  • Sit (Was 10 still 10), She was naturally good at this and continues to sit on command, but we are still constantly reinforcing it
  • Lay Down (Was 3 now 5), We have to touch the ground with our hand but she lays down almost immediately
  • Stay (Was 2 still 2), Same rating, she doesn't understand and is too excited so wants to follow you if you step away. Definitely doesn’t work at all with “Lay Down”!
  • Up [to stand on her hind legs] (Was 4 now 8), She can now stand on her hind legs for a longer time and has pretty good balance.
  • Shake (Was 5 now 7), This seems to be one of her favorites because if you’re holding a treat, she will automatically want to shake without even being given a command. She will also alternate paws when you tell her “other paw”.
  • Ring the Bell [to let us know she has to go outside] (Was 6 still 6), She knows to ring it but I think she is not sure why she’s supposed to ring it.
  • Come (Was 5 still 5), It really depends on what else she is doing and how interested she is in that thing she’s focused on, she is 50/50 on listening.
  • Off [off the furniture] (Was 2 now 4), It takes a couple times but she will get down.
  • Follow (3, this is new), We’ve added this one to teach her to walk directly next to us when we command, essentially “heel” but we didn’t like that word. She sometimes runs in circles or wanders away.
She’s still always excited to do everything, but sometimes getting her to focus on anything is difficult. 

Pura Vida!