I'm not Convinced She Can Hear

Our dog, Daisy, is an adorable snuggle bear. See?

She's the one with the fur and paws.

Every night, after Julie and Greg are all tucked in, Daisy and I have a brief training session. For at least a year, I've been trying to teach her sit, down, and up (my favorite). I'd like her to do it when I say "sit" -- not with hand signals.

Depending on how you look at it, she's either (a) had it all figured out since day three or (b) just doesn't get it. When I'm saying the commands I have to very carefully maintain a neutral posture. Any tell (think poker) on my part and she'll instantly do the command I'm about to say.

For the last couple weeks, I thought I was making some progress, but I realized tonight that I was holding her treat in slightly different positions for up vs sit and down. She was making it look like she had up all figured out and I think she was using some sort of predictive statistical model to choose between sit and down. As soon as I returned to neutrality, she just started oscillating through the three options. She's probably super frustrated.

She's obviously committed to the exercise. I think she can predict what I want her to do with 80% confidence based on what I ate for dinner, if I finished dinner, and whether or not I'm wearing shoes. If she wasn't so terrified of the Fourth of July (yet oddly okay with artillery practice from Ft. Riley), I'd think she might be deaf. It's like my different words just all sound like people woofs to her. She also clearly knows the score when we say "walk" or "puppy ear medicine".

I dunno. Any dog experts out there? What's going on?

Four Month Check-up

Today was Greg's four month check-up. Remember Greg?

Monkey feet!

The appointments cause me some anxiety because:
  • A disproportionate number of germy people go to the doctor's office and I suspect they cough and touch things.
  • He gets his vaccinations and, because I believe everything I read on the internet, I vaguely fear that vaccinations will cause Greg to rapidly mutate into a space lizard (my reading comprehension is sometimes poor). The shots also look like they hurt.
  • What if the doctor thinks something is wrong with my perfect little dude!?
Well, it turns out he's still got all his feet and hands and stuff, so no big worries. Unfortunately, he hasn't gained enough weight to stay in the 15'th percentile (or whichever) and the doctor wants him to eat more calories. That line of conversation quickly led to the most dreaded baby poison...


I'm not too excited about cereals. I think (again, because of the internet) that they are the metabolic equivalent of a handful of sugar and a multivitamin. According to an actual printed book, they even feed evil intestinal flora which can develop unhelpful mind control powers.

So, shrouded in a visible nimbus of fury, I roared, "We're more enthusiastic about some of the non-cereal baby food options, like avocado and sweet potato. Is that something we can do?"

"Well," he said, "we worry about allergies. Usually, we go cereals, yellow vegetables, vegetables, fruits, and then much later meats and eggs."

Clearly he hadn't read the internet as thoroughly as me. Every paleo lifestyle web site ever clearly shows that grains are totally irredeemable.

"We have a huge reserve of breast milk," I offered.

"Oh. Great. That would be much better. Do that."

Crisis averted.

Later, in non-crazy land, we tried to supplement Greg's diet with a bottle. He happily drank about an ounce, then yacked it right back out. We'll try feeding him again in the morning. I don't actually think he's hungry.


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