New Dog, Copper

Copper with his technicolor rope (it looks brown to him).
Copper with his technicolor rope (it looks brown to him).

I got a new dog three weeks ago named Copper.

He’s a Jack Russel/Yorkshire Terrier mix as you can see.

Before we adopted him he was found on the street when he was about one year old. His first shelter gave him all his shots, but he was apparently too shy for adoption. They were going to put him down.

A different shelter adopted him to prevent his death. They neutered him and about a month after that we got him.

He’s been quite a hand full. The shelter my wife and I adopted him from assured us that he was house trained, leash trained, and got along with cats.

I can assure you that none of those things were true when we got him.

He’s pooped in pretty much every room in the house. We’ve been working solidly on house training him, but its still frustrating.

He’s somewhat leash trained, but he doesn’t like going on walks for some reason. Copper doesn’t run when I tell him I’m taking him on a walk, but he doesn’t get very excited either.

Once the walk starts he spends the first two blocks trying to go back home until he realizes that I won’t let him do that. Then he starts enjoying his time outside.

And the cat thing. He actually does get along with the cats now that he knows them, but at first it was just a bunch of fights between them. Their relationship still isn’t perfect, but at least they aren’t trying to murder each other 24/7 anymore.

He certainly isn’t shy around us, but he’s proven to be very territorial and aggressive towards other people. The best way to fix that is to take him to a dog park and socialize him with other dogs.

I’d like to do the dog park thing, but unfortunately, Copper doesn’t know any basic commands yet. If he went wild for some reason at the park there’d be no way to control him besides force.

I’ve been teaching him basic commands (sit, down, stay, come, off, drop) and he’s made some improvements. Hopefully he’ll master those within the next few weeks and then we can take him to the dog park.

He’s shown promise for learning a few other commands as well. He loves to jump up and down on his hind legs. He can close drawers by jumping up and pushing on them. He knows how to do rolls and how to fetch. He just isn’t trained to do any of those things on command yet.

The fortunate thing is that if he does tricks like those on his own, then he can be trained to do them on command fairly easily. I’ll work on that after he reliably does the basic commands.

Sitting on my lap while I write the blog.
Sitting on my lap while I write the blog.

Copper is a great dog. I’d wanted a dog for a long time and I’d built up this ideal dog in my head that I would get when the time is right. Copper is not that dog, but he’s showing that he can be if we help him to learn how.

-GoCorral

Good and Bad

I had a strange amount of ups and downs today.

I started off by trying to install some child locks on our bathroom cabinets. Our new cat has been trying to sneak in and we think it’d be best if she doesn’t have access to all the toilet paper at once or all the chemicals that could hurt her under the sink.

Child locks come in two parts, the part you have to push to open it and the part the pushy part inserts into to keep the door locks. I’d glued the holdy part onto the cabinets on Monday.

I checked the glue today and was a bit rough in handling one of the holdy parts. It popped off in my hand. I sighed and reglued it on.

I glued on the pushy part and found it was very difficult to align it correctly with the holdy part. Fearing that I did it wrong, I only glued in one of the pushy parts today to see how it looks tomorrow.

After that frustration I went out to fix the flat in my bike. The flat had happened on Friday and I got new tubes on Monday.

I put the first tube in and it immediately popped. Figuring they can occasionally be duds, I pulled it out and put a second one in. It seemed fine and I biked off to work. It popped just before I got onto campus. I sighed and walked the rest of the way to my job.

I figured I was too pissed off to immediately get to work at lab, so I decided to make a quick appointment with an optometrist in town.

The optometrist informed me that I needed to know the exact amount of coverage my health insurance gave me for vision before I could get an appointment. On to calling the health insurance company then!

I called my health insurance and was put on hold (typical). I waited and zoned out not listening to the recorded message. Then the message said, “Goodbye,” and it hung up. I have no clue what led up to it saying goodbye, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the usual hold music.

I called again and avoided the previous menu options that had resulted in the robot disconnecting me. I ended up waiting an hour on hold before I got to talk to a human person.

The whole time it faked me out by switching up which robot voices were telling me about the health insurance website. Each time the voice changed I thought I had finally reached a real person only to have my hopes destroyed.

I eventually got the health insurance and the optometrist appointment set up.

After that my day improved. I stained some worms to see if they turn blue over the next two days. I checked some injected worms to see if the DNA I injected into them had successfully integrated into their genomes. IT HAD! WOOHOO!

I called my wife to come pick up my bike during the afternoon so I wouldn’t have to walk it home. She came by and put it in the car and reminded me why I love her.

At the end of the day my wife came home with two cupcakes for me.

A good day in the end despite the rocky start! 🙂

-Mister Ed