Archive for the ‘Hercules The Wonder Poodle’ Category
Just an update on Hercules and his awesome shocky collar. As long as he’s wearing it, and we found out yesterday he does know when he’s got it on and when he doesn’t, he’s a barking angel. Meaning, he only barks once and then no more. He does one bark, and he gets a warning beep from the collar, and then if he were to bark again in the next 5 seconds, he would get shocked. So now he barks once, waits 5 seconds, and then barks again if necessary. 2 beeps, no shock. Little bugger. Additional barks only necessary if someone has not yet entered the house but is still jiggling the door handle (damn kids). I can live with that. I’m a desperate woman. Desperate women cannot demand perfection.
How did he figure out the 5 second thing? I have no idea. And don’t go jumping to the logical conclusion that he’s that smart. If you knew Hercules, you’d absolutely know what I mean here. I think he just can’t help himself – that 5 seconds is his non-barking limit.
Anywho, I’m not complaining. This is a vast improvement on the maniacal barking we’ve lived with in the past. Now I just have to get him to stop when the collar is off. We left it off him yesterday to see how he’d do, and after he did a few test barks, he decided to give it a whirl and let loose a string of barks – and with no corresponding shock he knew he was in business. So now we’re back nearly to square one I think. Sigh. This collar is really not a long term solution seeing as how it has these long tazer-like prongs under it that sit on his neck. Not comfortable Hercules! Figure it out! Like you’re so smart, this one should be easy you big dope!
I haven’t posted in a while because I’m on drugs now. That gets in the way of coherent sentences and the ability to type, I’ve found.
I just had cervical spine surgery, last Wednesday, and in my normal oblivious-of-the-realities-of-the-human-body way have overestimated my ability to bounce back and continue on with life. Hence the delay in posting and the drug usage. Nutshell version: last year I was rear-ended in my car by “distracted teenager” (is there any other type?) who ended up herniating 3 discs in my neck. I’ve been treating with a chiro and PT for 8 months with little to no improvement. Surgeon said artificial discs could help me restore the underlying architecture of my spine and make it possible to heal. So here I am – two artificial discs and a couple good high on pain pills/anesthesia induced funny stories later. Trying to recoup from the worst pain I’ve had since my last (triplet) pregnancy. Yes, triplet pregnancy. Another one of those stories for a different day.
So I have this gnarly incision on my neck, which the surgeon was nice enough to try and “hide” in one of my neck creases. That’s a joke. It’s like hiding an elephant on a sidewalk. Just because he’s gray and the sidewalk’s gray, doesn’t mean you aren’t going to notice a friggin pachyderm standing where it shouldn’t be. So I’m going to be needing to make some adjustments to my wardrobe, starting with some jaunty neck scarves. And maybe some turtlenecks. Even in summer. So anyone with a line on some scarves and/or turtlenecks, let me know.
One bright light in my recovery was the arrival of Herkie’s shocky collar in the mail. Don’t think I’m some kind of monster just because I’m happy to be able to shock my dog now. Live a barking day in my shoes before you judge. Read a previous post here. Oh, and another one here.
First, let me say to Hercules, in case he ever reads this – So. Sorry. Dude. That I didn’t realize that dial on the front was the shock level adjustment button. In my own defense, I saw it and next to it was a red light thingy, and the instructions said nothing about levels of shock, only that the dog would first hear a ‘beep’ before the shocks started, giving him a chance to not bark again before being shocked. The instructions also said the collar would work on a dog from 10 pounds to 150 pounds, so maybe I should have thought a little harder about that adjustment dial thingy. No, it wasn’t all the way up, but it wasn’t all the way down either. If you know what I’m saying.
So Herkie wore his collar for one day. And within 20 minutes had learned that he didn’t like that collar one single bit. Especially when it beeped at him and then tazed the ever-living shit out of him. I’ve never seen him jump so high or yelp so loud in all his little, fuzzy boy life. Apparently the collar cannot distinguish between a bark and a yelp either. Holy crow that dog had a serious crash course in shutting the hell up, I’ll tell you what.
Good news is it only took Herkie that one experience to learn that when he’s wearing the collar, he can bark one, nice little bark, get a beep, shut the hell up, and go on his merry way without any tazing. He’s even discovered that he can give what I like to call “disgruntled mini barks” without getting a taze or even a beep. They’re kind of like woofing under his breath. Or half a woof. Like, “wff”. Missing the “oo”s. The collar doesn’t pick up on disgruntled mini barks, so when Herkie wants to make his point -the one that says, “If I didn’t have this collar on, I’d be barking my ass off right now, saving your stupid asses from the obvious burgular or killer right outside our door,”- he does one of these: “wff…..wff….rff”. Real quiet like.
Verdict is in. Herkie is not as dumb as he looks. Thank goodness. I was trying to figure out how I was going to have a nice relationship with my Frenchie neighbors with him barking like a fool all the time. Problem solved!
Yesterday I did it. I bought the shocky collar for Hercules. I had no choice! He loves the smell and taste of the citronella spray, and while I agree with him, the smell is refreshing, it’s not helping the barking problem. It doesn’t help that he’s somehow figured out how to out-wit the damn thing either. He does this doggy x-games thing where he launches himself off the couch, barking his head off while turning his head to the side, so the spray effectively goes off to the side of him nowhere near his face. It’s like a jet stream of citronella fog that comes out behind his back. I feel like buying him a cape or something with “Super Hercules” embroidered on it.
Sorry to those of you who think I’m a doggy abuser. I did buy him the one that gives a warning beep before it starts gradually shocking at lower levels before going to a bit “firmer” reminder not to bark. Supposedly he’ll only need a couple beeps and shocks before he gets the picture. Here’s where we find out if Herkie is uncannily smart or just plain dumb as a box of rocks. I bought it online, and it should arrive in the next week…
Here’s a picture of Hercules, licking his chops, after he let loose about 15 barks at Grandma Maggie as she came to the door (and this is his favorite person in the world, so he was barking for joy), ssssssssspraying citronella all over the family room. Mmmmm. Tasty. He’s figured out that if he sits sideways and barks with his head turned, the spray goes off over his shoulder and only partially hits his face. Not sure if he actually figured that out or if it was a happy accident. Either way, he’s 8 days from a shock collar shopping trip. Can’t say as I didn’t give him a chance, now can we? I am going to miss the fresh scent though, I must say.
Oh, how the saga of How To Bring A Pet To France continues…
I have been researching like mad on the Net about what I need to do to bring good old Hercules with us to France. If the little bugger wasn’t so damn cute and cuddly we’d be leaving him behind with family, because this is no easy process fo sho. HERE is a link to the EU regulation if you are some kind of masochist who likes reading EU laws in your spare time.
Today I talked to the vet’s office manager who handles this sort of thing. She talked to the USDA, the U.S. entity in charge of moving animals in and out of the country, and this is what we found out:
- Hercules must be current on all his shots. His rabies is good for now, but he needs other shots. He’ll be happy about that. Not.
- He must have a special Microchip implanted in his little neck that can be read by EU scanners. The vet will sell me one for $85, but I can buy one online for $45. Guess what I’ll be doing.
- He has to have an EU form filled out, in French and English, (found it online, you can download it HERE.)
- There’s some other health certificate form the vet has that also must be completed and presented to customs, but I can’t seem to find it online. I think they are only issued in blank form to a vet. My vet says she has them. “International Health Certificate”? Sounds like the same form I included a link to above. We shall see.
- Hercules has to have an endorsement on the forms not only by a USDA certified vet (mine is), but also by the USDA office in Miami itself. The vet says she will FedEx it down there and they will FedEx it back so I have it in time because…
- All this must be done within 10 days of us arriving in France; so that means since we actually arrive July 1, 2010, we must be at the vet’s office by June 22nd to make sure everything gets where it needs to get on time.
- And to top it off, we are actually landing first in Dusseldorf Germany, so we have to comply with any special rules they have as well.
If you find yourself in the same situation as us and want to talk to the USDA, here’s a link to their map of offices around the country. Not that they’re helpful or anything. I called the Tallahassee office in Florida to ask for a list of certified vets in the state and the response was “we cannot recommend any vets in Florida” – (not that I asked her to do anything of the sort, just wanted a list of USDA certified vest for crissake) and “most vets in Florida are certified, yours probably is.” Well. That was ever so helpful. I called my vet and they confirmed they are. Phew.
NO STRESS AT ALL!
Our poodle Hercules (toy poodle) will be coming to Paris with us. Everyone asks us if there is a quarantine, but there isn’t. They do require a vet certificate signed off by a USDA-certified vet (ours is, yay) and rabies shots at least 30 days prior to takeoff. They also require that he have a microchip implanted that can be read by their scanners. Here is the type he needs. I can order it online and bring it to the vet and they will shoot him up with it. Yeah, I was tempted to save the $75 and shoot him up myself, but no, he deserves better than my Internet M.D. degree.
One item on our list of “things to do before we leave for Paris” is getting our little poodle, Hercules, ready for the trip. Stage one has been accomplished. See the before and after pictures below. We now call him “Pinky” because he looks like a little newborn mouse. SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT….TWO BITS!