Robert Gentel’s Blog » Harry

Posts Tagged ‘Harry’

Mr Brooks and Shoes for Dogs

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

The girl and I went to the mall today and saw Mr. Brooks. It was only marginally interesting in that it is a decidedly different moral perspective on serial killers than usual Hollywood fare. They usually don’t portray a nuanced serial killer and it’s the first film I recall in which the serial killer’s struggle to control his urges are center stage. But enough about that, I have something more interesting: dog shoes.

My girlfriend bought shoes for Harry. They are little blue sneakers that lace up and I was sure he’d kill himself if he had to wear them. But he didn’t mind them much and ran around sounding like a horse. I’ll post a video of him and his new kicks when I get around to it but he’s more comfortable than I imagined he would be.

But as I expected, he’s too boisterous to keep them on, if he’s energetic he’ll run till one falls off and if not he’ll untie them all and knaw on them. My girlfriend says they are for his weekly outings to the park but I think I’d be mortified to walk a dog with shoes on in public, even if I think it’s very funny in private.

Pet Hotel

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Damn, I left Harry and Fiona at a pet hotel today, as we are leaving tomorrow to Nicaragua for a few days. I didn’t think I’d miss them but I’ve grown accustomed to Harry’s furry little face and have come to look forward to greeting him when I get home.

Coming home after dropping him off, I caught myself calling for him as I walked through the door. He looked so damned sad as I left him, probably more to do with having vomited from motion sickness than knowing that we were leaving him but that’s still the last I remember of the cute lil’ bastard.

I’m off to Nicaragua tomorrow, but can’t wait till it’s all over and we are all back home.

My kitten beats up my dog… more funny pet videos.

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Ok, so I became the doting pet owner/parent who can’t help but rant and rave about their kids/pets. So sue me, it’s my damn blog and here are more funny pet videos courtesy of the two lil’ furry bastards we feed: Harry and Fiona.

They are fighting again, and as per usual Fiona wins. This time Harry fell off the bed.

Harry is a selfish little bastard!

Friday, December 14th, 2007

We bought our puppy Harry first, and lavished him with more toys and gifts than we bought for ourselves and as can be expected, all that did is spoil him and convince him that the world revolves around him.

So when we bought a kitten, Fiona, he decided what was hers was now his and what was his she had frankly better not touch. So he began eating her food (you should have seen the poor cat eating the dog food after he polished off her dish) till we bought a cat house to put it out of his reach and he began to take anything she played with away from her and hide it in his house.

In this video you can see that he’ll take anything she plays with away from her and try to hide it in one of his play spots.

The pet store

Saturday, December 8th, 2007

Pet stores to me are like a candy store to a kid. And like a lot of kids a lot of my money goes toward the friendly pet store owners, who must love me like their own children given how much I spend with them.

Anywho, today I went to the pet store and bought (among all the other junk):

- A new collar and engraved name tag for our dog Harry. No other collar had fit him well since he’s so small but this simple black nylon collar fit him perfectly and he’s not getting his paw stuck in it when he scratches his neck. The collar also has our phone numbers on it, which is important since he runs out the wrought iron garage gate whenever we open the door to see if he can befriend any strangers. He’s so friendly with strangers that we worry about him being stolen or lost and the engraved dog tag with our phone numbers is a small comfort.

- A cat house for our kitten Fiona. It’s an adorable house with two levels, the inside is carpeted and there is a nice cushioned balcony on the second level where her food bowl will now reside, thusly solving the problem of Harry eating her food, leaving her to eat his dog food. Harry has already made it abundantly clear that he’s moving into the first floor, which is fine since she likes being with him (she sleeps wherever he does) but the second story is nice, since there’s a built-in cat toy that is the first toy she has played with without Harry taking it from her and destroying. Our cat’s almost as excited as I am about her cat house!

- Last but not least, I bought a special fish hatchery with a built in fish nursery. I’ve now used every fish hatchery design I’ve seen. They are usually simple products that come in a few varieties, one is a net that basically just serves as a nursery, as if you put an adult fish in it will eat the fry. There are also plastic hatchery/nursery products that float in your tank separating the fry from your adult fish, they come with an internal separator(s) to separate the fry from the mother and the best designs comprise a V-shaped separator with a slot in the middle and the fry fall down through the V into the lower portion of the chamber. There are others with a grid-like separator but in my experience the fry swim up through those and get eaten more often.

The one I bought today has two separate chambers, and uses a standard air pump to draw water from one into the other, so the new fry are sucked into a separate compartment that can be easily separated to remove the fry.  I’ve only tested it briefly but it looks pretty good.

Another stupid pet video

Monday, November 19th, 2007

Ok, I can’t resist. These furry bastards are funny.

This time they are having a fight, and I get to be the ref to make sure they don’t bite each other’s eyes.

My puppy learns to “paw”. Give me 5!

Monday, November 12th, 2007

Harry shows his prowess at giving a wicked cool high-five.

Harry and Fiona found a frog

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Harry and Fiona found a frog and chased it into the kitchen. I told them to take it back outside.

I’m not sure if I want them to eat it or not…

My puppy is humping my kitten!

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Harry, the 3-month-old Maltese is trying to hump the cat Fiona, a 2-month-old kitten. I’m too surprised to know what to do. My girlfriend is still trying to get over the shock of her pure little puppy being a perv.

We’re discussing it here: My dog is trying to hump my cat and it’s not funny!

Potty training my puppy. How can a little dog just about make you cry?

Sunday, October 28th, 2007


Harry is a lil’ Maltese bastard that my girlfriend and I bought a few weeks ago. She saw him in a mall and fell in love with him. I’ve never been a small dog guy but Harry isn’t guilty of the many dog crimes I’d generalized to all small dogs. He isn’t “yappy” and annoying and doesn’t bark much at all. He’s a very smart dog (Maltese are an intelligent breed) and most of all he has a great personality, which is what I care about the most in a dog. Dogs with bad temperament are unpleasant and though I had really wanted to get a medium-sized dog I have to admit that Harry is the perfect dog for us. He doesn’t shed, he doesn’t need much outside exercise (he runs around the house and yard) and is playful as hell while learning to obey quickly (usually on the third try). Plus he makes a mean chili and he’s my first dog dammit!

I’d been around dogs many times in my life but they were never my dog and I never got to see them as puppies. So I was wholly unprepared for puppy potty training and didn’t even know it. I’d been relatively successful teaching easy dog tricks like “sit”, “stay” and most of all (especially with playful dogs) “paw” but I had never needed to train the dogs insofar as what not to do. So I figured that what I thought I knew about potty training a dog, which was to put his nose in his mess and scold/swat him, was the right way to go about it.

The first day he pissed and pooped everywhere as he scurried about the house. He wasn’t marking territory or anything, he’s too young for that. He simply scurried about the house relieving himself wherever he pleased, which ended up being wherever he happened to be when it occurred to him.

So I dutifully did what I thought I was supposed to upon finding his scattered “presents” and brought him to face his ugly deed and scolded him. He either thought it was wicked good fun or didn’t pay much attention so I added light swats on his butt to which he screamed bloody murder! His pitiful yelps to such light corporal punishment would almost be comical if it weren’t so visibly disturbing to him to be spanked.

I was more than a bit relieved to learn that my concept of potty training was misguided and that punishing a dog for pooping after-the-fact is not helpful since the dog likely doesn’t remember enough about what he did to understand just what part of relieving his bowels was wrong. I learned about “kennel training” or “crate training”, the basics of which is that if the dog urinates or poops somewhere he isn’t supposed to it’s our fault, not his. It’s up to us to make sure he’s always in a place he can go potty if he wants to. Now that’d be damned hard to do but there was a silver lining: he won’t want to soil his bed as he won’t want to rest in his poop or urine. So if you place him in a small enclosure where he has room to sleep and not much else he will learn to “hold it”.

I only wished I had gone about informing myself as to the proper way to go about potty training a puppy a day before buying Harry instead of a day afterwards. So I set newspaper out in the back patio and bought a padded dog carrying case which fit him and a little square dog bed (which was actually for a fake toy dog) perfectly. We’d zip him up in there for a few hours and let him out on the newspaper and praise him as he relieved himself on the newspaper. He soon learned to see it as his doggy bathroom and began to prefer to be on a newspaper surface to relieve himself. He’ll have his occasional lapses till he gets a bit older but I won’t discipline him unless I happen to catch him in the act.

And things had been going damn well. After only a week of crate training he’d go days without lapsing in the house. And it would often be when he found a rug or paper on the floor, which I’m not sure is something he’s legitimately confused about or whether it’s a convenient pretext since he’s so darn lazy. He likes getting in the bed and after a week of him being in the little padded carrying case whenever he was therehe learned to treat the whole bed as his own sleeping area. We began to let him out and he’d spend the night with us on one of our pillows above our heads and just hold it till the morning, at which point he would lick one of our faces until we lowered him off the bed and walked him outside to his newspaper.

He didn’t like being far from us so it was important to take him out there and wait for him to do his business. Thankfully crate training works like a charm and he’s learned to hold it and goes immediately when he’s on his newspaper toilet. But today I caught him pooping on the bed. He had no excuse, he’d been outside for a few hours as we were at the cinema and had no reason to go on the bed. I gave him two light swats and he yelped ever so pitifully. I took him outside and told him what a rat-bastard he was. He ran away into the corner and seeing fear of me in his eyes was doubly difficult since he would tentatively approach me with a forgiving forgetfulness till he realized I was still mad at him for something.

I closed the door and left him outside to think about what he did and then went to remove the bedding when I realized he’d urinated when I spanked him and that it traumatized him so just broke my heart and made me want to cry. That he was desperate for my affection just moments later when I went to apologize to him just about did.

But more than anything else I wanted to cry early this morning when he walked over to me on my bed while I was working on the computer and gave me repeated “hi five’s” (a recent trick he learned). I told him he was a damned good boy and all but he kept insisting till I thought he was trying to tell me something and since we disagree fundamentally on religion and politics and have mutually agreed not to talk about those subjects it could only be one thing: he needed to go to the bathroom! I didn’t want him to soil my workplace so I was happy to oblige and hastily put him down and got up to walk him out back. He apparently needed to go quite badly because he didn’t wait for me as usual and scurried out the room, through the living room, the kitchen and into the back yard.

I got there about 4 seconds after he did but he was already at it hunched over on his hind legs with what I can’t help but describe as a smugly satisfied grin. He knew my praise was coming and had his tongue hanging out of a wide open smile.

I have no problem crying, I’m not that kind of guy. But I didn’t think a dog taking a dump on a newspaper could make me so damn happy that I’d almost cry before realizing I’m watching a puppy going to the bathroom while effusively praising him in baby-talk.

He’s learning quickly and really wants to please me. I can tell we’re going to have a damn good dog and that this potty training phase will soon pass since he has shown me he understands what we want him to do. And since nobody would abide a roommate who poops on the bed or in the living room that thought made me more than a bit happy. But happier still was knowing that I won’t have to spank my dog soon, and I won’t have to see the big fat teary eyes he gets afterward as he cocks his head to the side and questioningly looks to see if he can come over and say he’s sorry.