1.14.2009

Moyen Chien

Well, hello there. It's been almost, what, 20 minutes since there was a post about Cheyenne?

D's posted a a nice essay about her. And there's been plenty of photos recently, of course, though she is kinda tough to get a picture of. Here's one from Monica's photoblog.



(You do know Monica has a photoblog, don't you? Updates are more infrequent these days, but it's worth checking in on periodically).

So, anyway, enough about Monica and her blog. Our dog's figured out the dog door.

One of the conditions of adopting Cheyenne is that we install a dog door. The regular, off-the-shelf one from Home Depot wasn't working with our sliding doors, so we had to get a fancy custom-ordered one that would work with our setup. We were both kind of ambivalent about the dog door — we can see the use, but are kind of dicey about opening up our bedroom to the rest of the world. And our regular visits home at lunch have supported the idea that Cheyenne doesn't actually need to go out during the day.

But we started training her to use it. Per the instruction we found online, we started using treats to bring her into the house through the door. Early on, we had some success, but had failed to tape the door open, so in our excitement, it fell back on her, kind of spooked her. We set up cinder blocks, and then bought more cinder blocks to build up a big step and continued to try and entice her through the door, using the stinkiest freeze-dried liver treats in our arsenal, but I think the whole idea of ducking down the whole time was eluding her. It wasn't until Ange suggested that we use her dog bowl that we had any success getting her through.

To be honest, once the whole work and real world thing reared its ugly head again, her training kind of dropped off. But we were getting some regular success getting her through the open door with a few bits of (audible) kibble in the bowl.

But then I put out the Forbidden Yard Bread. Sure, I could've thought this through better. But we had all sorts of odd leftover bits of bread and such from the holidays, and in last weekend's big cleanout, I decided to toss them into the yard for the birds (and other critters). In my defense, it's still cold and mostly frozen out in our yard, so it's not like Cheyenne's ventured out much. She discovered it all soon enough.

Last night, Monica discovered that the lure of the Forbidden Yard Bread was strong, even after a few days. Today, at lunch … she decided it use that. Not only was it enough to get Cheyenne outside (something we'd not really tried, what with there being no real attraction to being outside this time of year) — she eventually pushed the dog door open to go outside. ZOMG, in one feel swoop she skipped ahead in the lesson plan.

Tonight, we tried it again a few times. Luring her out and back in a few times. Seems she's mostly overcome her fear of the door, now it's just a question of her figuring out how to use it.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Thanks for the link to your dad's blog. Knew Cheyenne was a great name. Never knew Cheyenne's mom had such a cool name, too!

Monica- fab photo. Love the color of her fur against the blanket.