Jujube, the babysitter

What a sweet girl! She's watching over the baby. She's a mama to a bunch of pups. I bet she still has some maternal instincts for our baby.

(Okay, not really. She's just around to get attention and be pet.)

Not dog people

I tend to classify people as "dog people" and "not dog people." Although well-intentioned, those who are not dog people can sometimes say things that make me cock my head to the side and think, "Are you crazy?"

For instance, when I was pregnant, one of my not dog people friends said, "Oh, now that you are expecting, what are you going to do about your dogs?"

"Huh? What do you mean?"

"Well, are you going to get rid of them?"

"Uh, no, why would I get rid of my dogs?"

"Well, two dogs is awfully hard to manage, especially with a baby. You might have to get rid of at least one of them. You know, so-and-so had two dogs. And she had to get rid of one of them when she had her baby."

Here would be where I cock my head to the side, scrunch my face in puzzlement, and think to myself, "Are you crazy?"

This past weekend, this same friend came over to visit the baby. She very quickly shooed Loki away from the baby when he was simply being curious and sniffing. She reminded me of Aunt Sarah from Lady and the Tramp. Even if the dog wasn't doing anything wrong, it's mere presence demanded that it be shooed away.

I think you shouldn't shoo away a dog especially when it's exhibiting curious behavior. If you always shoo the dog away when it's near the baby, then it'll just develop negative associations with the baby. Both Loki and Jujube have adjusted wonderfully to the baby. For the most part, they ignore the baby. Sometimes they are curious and will approach to sniff. One time Loki came to sniff when the baby was making lots of jerky movements. And the baby ended up punching Loki in the nose, but Loki didn't seem to care at all. He was a bit startled, but continued on sniffing. The baby is simply non-threatening to him.

We'll have to see how things progress as the baby becomes more mobile over time, but so far, introducing the baby into our pack has been possibly our easiest integration. Introducing Jujube was much harder. As I mentioned in my last post, full integration took 9 months. When Loki first met my father, Loki barked at him through his entire week's visit. Also, Loki never fully accepted my in-laws when they came for almost two months to help out with the baby. He understood that they spoiled him with more food, but he was never fully comfortable with them. In contrast, he only barked for a couple days when the baby first arrived, and seemed to very quickly adjust to our little bundle of joy. We offer ample opportunity for the dogs to be curious, to sniff, and to explore on their own terms. From time to time, we use treats and affection to positively reinforce them while they are near the baby, but we don't do it too much. Frankly, I don't have the time and energy to think about dog training when I'm caring for the baby. And well, so far, so good.

Sharing Space

The top of the stairs is prime real estate when it comes to dogs. Whoever has this perch is king of the mountain. He or she can look down of the kingdom below. Loki used to guard this place fiercely from Jujube. But just the other day, I caught the two of them sharing this space together! We've come a long way from the day we first introduced Jujube into our home. From dog fights to the dog behaviorist, Jujube has finally fully integrated into our household. I'd say it took a good 9 months. It used to be the case that we'd have to carefully manage the two of them to ensure that they didn't fight. Nowadays, I don't think twice about them. They co-exist quite peacefully. They still aren't the best of friends, and perhaps they never will be, but they have accepted each other, play with each other, and have grown closer over time.

Lazy Growl

Grrrr! Loki's irritated! But also quite lazy. He can't be bothered to move an inch from his lazy sunbathing position. In this photo he was growling at Jujube for some unknown reason.

One thing that we learned the hard way is to respect a dog's warning signs. When Loki was a puppy, we tried to correct his growls and his shows of teeth. We just couldn't imagine not doing anything. How can you not reprimand such bad behavior? It didn't make any sense to us to not do anything. But unfortunately, the problem became worse as Loki's aggression would escalate much quicker. If no one was going to listen to his growl, then he had to increase his aggressive intensity to get his point across. I think the problem was that I wanted Loki to be a dog that never showed any signs of aggression. No growl, no teeth, nothing. I wanted to correct away all of it. But that wasn't Loki. He just was never going to be that type of dog. Some dogs definitely are capable of never showing any aggression, but that wasn't going to be Loki. I guess it's like asking a human to never be angry -- ever. You might find some humans who are truly never angry. But asking your average human to never show any signs of anger ever is pretty impossible and simply against human nature.

Nowadays, when he shows signs of aggression like growling or teeth, we now simply leave him alone. We know to just give him space and time. We respect the fact that he can be moody. He's allowed to be moody. We leave him alone, and no one gets hurt. This is truly the best way to deal with the early signs of aggression. We wouldn't have believed this advice if we didn't see firsthand the consequences of dealing with it otherwise.

In fact, Loki and Jujube's relationship has greatly improved over the past year. They no longer get into fights precisely because Jujube now respects Loki's warnings. She stays away when he growls and shows teeth. She doesn't always let him get his way, but she gives him his space.

Still infected

Unfortunately, the culture results came back and E. Coli was detected in Jujube's urine. Now, we need to give her stronger antibiotics for three weeks. Apparently, she needs to be on human drugs, because the E. Coli is resistant to all the vet drugs. So off to the human pharmacy for us with a prescription from our vet.

The vet recommended a urinalysis and culture after the end of 1 week, 2 weeks, and 3 weeks. I'm not sure we're going to do all of that, as these tests are really expensive. The most important one is the test after the end of 3 weeks to make sure it's all cleared up. We might do one at the end of 1 week just to make sure the treatment is working and then at the end of 3 weeks. The vet gave us a urine cup and a collecting tray. It looks like a tray that you get french fries in. We'll also need to get some blood work done to make sure that it's not a kidney infection.

Poor Jujube.


The results have come in. Bacteria detected. Jujube had a UTI. So I forgive her for all the accidents that she's been leaving us.

When I went to the vet on Thursday, I didn't have to follow her around to catch a urine sample, like last time. Haha! I got the vet tech to do it for me instead! When I got her out of the car at the vet's, Jujube started doing her potty dance. Instead of letting her go, I quickly took her to the vet's front desk and said that she was about to go and this was the perfect opportunity to catch a urine sample. Yay for getting a vet tech to follow her instead of me.

We started her on antibiotics that day and she's already doing better. Almost too much better! Now she's like Loki, she doesn't always go immediately when we let her out into the backyard. Now, she sometimes goes out just for fun and will just sit there and enjoy the nice weather instead of pee. Well, at least she's feeling better.

Jujube in the Driver's Seat

Today, I took Jujube to the vet. Afterward, I ran a couple errands while I was out. I was afraid that she might have separation anxiety while in the car all alone, but I was completely wrong about that. No anxiety. Not one bit. She settled very comfortably in the driver's seat.

I took the picture with my phone, so the quality isn't very good, especially with the reflection on this cloudy day.

Wet presents

My in-laws left a couple weeks ago, and I'm now caring for the baby and the dogs by myself during the daytime. I guess the pups must have been feeling neglected. They left me some wet presents to remind me of their presence. Jujube left one in the living room. Loki left a really extravagant present in the dining room. He dribbled it 3/4 of the way all around the dining room table. Extra special just for me.

The picture above is a naked Jujube.

Thought you had a friend

Loki was my first borne and as such, I spoil him a little almost every dinner. I tend to keep the amount of scraps he gets to a bare minimum, but it's consistent and he's learned to be on his very best behavior when I'm eating.

One evening last week, Vi and I were having dinner and for one reason or another I stuck out my hand to her for a high five, but rescinded with the phrase "thought you had a friend." (Hey! Don't judge!! ;))

Vi, acting playfully agitated, said "Fine! I'll play with Loki." "Loki, high five."

What Vi didn't realize is that as it's dinner time, Loki's attention is 100% focus on me. When she stuck her hand out for a high five with Loki, he looked her in the eyes and ignored her, thus giving me the perfect opportunity for a follow up "THOUGHT YOU HAD A FRIEND!"

Just to rub a little more salt in her wound, I raised my hand and Loki promptly high-fived me.

Loki, we make a great team! <3

Babies and dogs

Newborn babies eat, sleep, poop, and pee. That's about all they do. They can't tell the difference between light and day. And they don't seem to be too disturbed by noises. When we brought our son home from the hospital, we were surprised to find out that he didn't notice Loki's barking at all. It wasn't a hearing problem, as he still responded to other types of sounds. But Loki's barking didn't wake him up and didn't scare him. He just didn't respond to it at all. Great! We didn't have to worry about trying to shush the dog.

But that has now changed. Our son is about 8 weeks old, almost two months, and we have hit a new stage in his development. He is now sensitive to Loki's barking. It startles him and wakes him up. I knew that this was going to happen sooner or later, I was just hoping for later.

Jujube, the scavenger

Yun left half a sandwich and some fries on the coffee table. He turned his back for a few moments, and it was all gone. The sandwich was gone. The fries were gone. Even the sauce was licked clean. But interestingly, the pickle was still there. I guess Jujube doesn't like pickles.

A human salt lick

Sometimes Loki likes to obsessively lick Yun, as if Yun were a human salt lick. I find it really amusing, mostly because Loki almost never does this to me. So I an laugh at Yun for being Loki's salt lick. Haha! The interesting thing is that Loki typically doesn't lick people much. Jujube is the one that tends to lick people when she greets them, but she doesn't lick obsessively.
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