Category Archives: michga

Strange Dog Behaviors

Oh my goodness everyone, I must apologize for not posting in so long. I was at home for winter break, where I didn’t get many chances to blog, and classes just started again. I’m a pretty busy girl lately. But Michga’s been doing good; still enjoying her new toys and her new coat.

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So, getting to the subject of the post – there’s something I wanted to share to see if any of you had a similar story.

Michga’s got a weird little behavior. When she gets excited or angry or happy, she kicks her legs back in strange way. I got a short video of it:

Do I find this hilarious? Yes. Do I understand it? Not at all.

My dad’s dog, Sophie, does something like this but not nearly as often or as intensely. Do any of your dogs do this? And do you know why?

She’s not the only dog I know with a bemusing behavior I don’t understand. This is my grandparents dog, Eddie:

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Whenever he gets a bone or an especially large treat, he buries it in the yard. But this isn’t the weird part. Before he can bury it, he walks around the edge of the pool several times – three or four or ten times – before going out into the yard to bury it. And if he can’t find a good spot to bury it? He comes back to the pool and walks around it again.

It’s very amusing, but I’m at a loss to understand why. Wouldn’t it make more sense to walk around the yard to look for a spot? Perhaps he’s trying to throw enemies off his trail.

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Michga’s Christmas

Hi everyone! It’s been a hectic holiday week, but it’s the day after Christmas so I can finally stand still for a minute. I just wanted to tell you all that Michga and I had a good Christmas. She didn’t get everything she wanted, but she did get several new toys and an adorable new outfit.

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She also got a lot of treats and table scraps, and she got to play with my grandparent’s dog, so she had a pretty happy holiday. I hope you and your dogs had a good one too!

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Wordless Wednesday – Peek-A-Boo

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Wordless Wednesday – Pillow Snuggles

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Wordless Wednesday – I’m All Ears

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Michga’s Blanket Fort

I have nothing of substance to say for this post. I just wanted to show you guys this picture of Michga in her blanket fort. She likes to get as many blankets (or blanket like objects) as she can and roll up in them. This picture is when I pulled the blankets apart to disturb her slumber.

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You can only see three blankets in this one, but she’s also on top of one of my jackets. The pink one by her paws is actually my robe.

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Wordless Wednesday – I’m Ready For My Close-Up

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Wordless Wednesday – Favorite Toy

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Car Anxiety in Dogs

So, Michga is not exactly the calmest dog in the world. My mom says she’s neurotic; my aunt says she’s just mean (she calls her “Bitchga”); my brother says she’s a “schizoid.” I say she may not be exactly perfect, but we do not need to go putting labels on her, okay? She’s just got a couple of nervous habits.

One such habit, as we’ll call it, is her tendency to be a bit… overdramatic… when it comes to car rides.

THE PROBLEM

Okay, let’s be honest – she’s got a serious case of car anxiety.

The weird thing is that Michga seems to forget how much she absolutely does not like car rides until the actual moment we get into the car. If I say “time to go for a ride” or “who wants to go for a ride,” she is up and running around and barking to get in the car and acting like she has literally never been as excited in her entire life as she is in this exact moment.

CAR RIDE CAR RIDE CAR RIDE

CAR RIDE CAR RIDE CAR RIDE

This good mood, sadly, only lasts until we get in the car. Almost the second I shut the door and buckle up, she’s shaking or panting or both. I don’t know how she works herself up so quickly, but all the sudden she’s gone from a kid in a candy store to a kid at the dentist.

Then, after a couple of seconds or minutes, the noise starts – the tragic, pitiful, high pitched whines; the little yips and howls she throws in here and there. Perhaps she’s singing the song of her people as a cry for help, or trying to burst my eardrums as punishment for putting her in this position.

Possibly both.

don't worry, I wasn't the one driving

don’t worry, I wasn’t the one driving

Michga usually does calm down, but only after half an hour or so (she’s mostly only in the car for long drives). She stops with the whining, but the shaking or panting typically persists a bit longer.

And it’s not that this annoys me. It only concerns me for her, and how distressed she must be by this anxiety. I want her to be able to ride in the car without working herself up into a state of pointless panic.

THE SOLUTION (?)

In my attempts to solve this anxiety, I have tried a couple of simple solutions, such as giving her treats in the car, rolling the windows down, or wrapping her in a jacket that smells like me to calm her.

Unfortunately, she refuses to eat the treats. Having the windows down helps sometimes, but not always. And the jacket thing only worked for about 30 seconds.

I don’t want to medicate her just to calm her down. I’ve seen dogs on calming pills, and it’s a pretty depressing thing to watch. I have a friend whose dog is afraid of fireworks. They have to give him drugs so he doesn’t go insane on the Fourth of July. He walks around in a half-awake state, his legs collapsing underneath him; unable, sometimes, to even stand properly. You can tell how confused and distressed he is by the condition he finds himself in.

So unless it’s absolutely the only way to solve the problem, I would really rather use some other technique.

The best solution I found when I researched the problem (read: Googled “car anxiety in dogs”) was to drive your dogs to fun places, like the park, so that they associate the car ride with happy times. This is a bit of a challenge. Michga’s anxiety extends to more than the car – she is wary of strangers, other dogs, sudden noises, suspicious-looking trees; all of which she would most likely encounter at a park.

hmm... this plant smells suspicious

hmm… this plant smells suspicious

Another piece of advice I found was to put them in a crate or some sort of restraint in the car, so that they are held still in the moving vehicle. But Michga is not crate trained – I let her be free in my room when I’m gone.  So she would not see the crate as a safe place. Plus, when she’s scared she would much rather be in my lap than anywhere else. I’m afraid separating her from me to put her in some sort of doggy car seat would only make the problem worse.

I’m stumped. Anyone got any better ideas? Or have you had a dog with car anxiety? I’m sure Michga would appreciate any help.

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I WON A THING

Grace over at While Walking My Dogs has been doing this give away of Christmas ornaments, and about a week ago I won a surprise mini give away! And today, I received my (beautiful, amazing) hand-made ornaments!!

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Isn’t this gorgeous???

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Michga certainly thinks so! And there was a surprise ornament included for Michga as well, because Grace is awesome.

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I’m holding it so far away from her because she tried to eat it, which is actually the highest honor she can bestow upon an object. Still going to have to keep it away from her. She can admire it from afar.

Thank you again to Grace (and her pooches, Woody, Ellie, and Mindy)!

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