My Six Pound Rottweiler

She thinks she’s a Rottweiler.

DavidAlexanderAuthor@wordpress.com

Well, Okay, she’s not a Rottweiler. She’s a Black-brown Pomeranian that thinks she’s a Rottweiler.

I flew to North Carolina and met the breeder at Charlotte Airport. We had a six-hour layover, and then flew back to Orlando, Florida. She was confused. She didn’t know me, didn’t know what the sounds in the airport were, and didn’t understand why she had to stay in a carrier.

The only good part about the layover was that there was a Mary-Kaye convention, and every waiting makeup queen wanted to pet the puppy. Children also wanted to pet her, and that required a lot more supervision. At the end of the day, we shared a meal at Burger King, and suddenly, I was definitely her human.

Once we got airborne, she slept the rest of the flight on my lap, with occasional visits from the stews. Back in Orlando, I had no luggage, so we headed for the parking garage. She refused to sleep in the passenger seat, and insisted on sleeping on my lap as we rolled east on the Beachline.

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Those are the events that have influenced this puppy to be the most, one-person, dedicated dog I have ever had. Every dog has a few weird quirks, and Athena was no different. She’s on my heels all of the time, complains when I leave the house, and throws a festival when I return. At night, she wants off of the bed as soon as I get settled, and she sleeps under the bed, where she can see down the hallway. Every night about 2am, she wants up in the bed, and sleeps against my heart/chest. She sleeps solid, and I have to wake her up in the morning.

Only recently have I figured out that she’s protecting me. She lays under the bed until she can’t stay awake, and then it’s my shift. She won’t go out to pee at night unless I stand in the glass doors and tell her it’s safe. We do get big owls, racoons, and wild cats here. I have even trained her to look at the power lines for… Big Birds.

Lately I have been angry with her. Every time I get near the back door, she goes ballistic and starts barking, runs through the doggy door, and barks in all directions in the back yard, returning back to me. We had contractors redoing my neighbors pool screen, and that’s when this behavior started. Last night, I realized that she is protecting me from strangers that may be outside of the back door.

A little understanding has turned my anger toward my little six-pound guard dog into a deeper love and understanding. I may just buy her a spiked collar.

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Puppy training, Poms. Author David Alexander trials & errors.

She catches things, and brings them in the house to show me.

I have had a Pomeranian for about fifteen years. She has been a great companion and is trained to my rules, quirks, and hand signals. Her nose has turned from black to grey, her tail often hangs down instead of resting over her hips, and I have to rub her shoulders in the mornings so she doesn’t limp.

I decided to buy a Pom puppy so the training and personality could be passed on. The new puppy, Zenzi, is now nine months old, and has mastered most of Koko’s training. My timing was perfect. I have noticed that Koko would often sit in the floor and stare at me. She watched my face, what I was doing, and my hand gestures. After a few tests, I discovered that Koko is losing her hearing. When Zenzi barks at the door, Koko chimes in with her and doesn’t really know why. Zenzi quits barking when I address the problem, but Koko continues until she makes optical recognition with me.
On the good side, having Zenzi in the house, has encouraged Koko to become more active. She runs and plays now, almost as active as Zenzi. When she becomes tired, she goes to a large piece of pottery, (the toybox), picks out something she thinks I will like, and brings it to me. It’s payment for what we call a butt-lift. I pick her up and she lays against my leg on the couch.

The latest challenge, is a very large hawk. I saw it swoop across Zenzi’s six-pound body and land on a branch, ten feet in front of her. I ran toward it, and threw a piece of wood at it. It just sat and looked at me and then at Zenzi. I grabbed the garden hose and blasted the bird with water. Each time it comes back I squirt it again. Birds don’t fly well with wet feathers. I bought the big plastic owls with the rotating heads, the mylar holographic tape, fishing line, and old CD’s that rotate and reflect the sun. The birds here are just too smart.

My neighbor informed me that the mother had a young one in a nest in their yard, and sure enough, she was teaching the baby how to hunt Pomeranians. They were both in my yard. They both got a shower. I was told that hawks return to the same place to nest each year, and we DO have many other large predatory birds here in Florida, so I went to level two. I traded my driveway Miata for something more useful.

I have been working on, what I call, Trust Exercises. It involves letting her go with me outside of the fenced in yard, and stay with me. I am on a slow road that is lightly traveled and try to do this when everyone is home. She was doing so good that we went farther around the other side of the house. Today, I was working in the back yard and left the garage door open. The overhead was open too, so Zenzi stealthily went through and across my neighbor’s lawn. As I worked in the back yard, I heard a small dog barking. No… Zenzi’s in the house. I saw her run into another fenced in back yard with a woman from the third house trying to catch her and rescue her. Zenzi was scared and had run into a fenced in corner. I started yelling for her, stooped down, and she ran, jumped in the air, and I caught her as usual. We just did Trust, again. This time she was never more then ten feet from me at any time.

Since you are here, scroll down and check out some of my books. Help me pay for dog-food, vet bills, and the new chopper.

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A stubborn Pomeranian with a North Carolina accent.

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Athena & Zenzi testing puppy teeth

Many of you know me from a diversity of social media sites, so you probably know that I lost my 15-year Pomeranian, Koko. I’m over the loss now.

A year, or so, before she died of kidney failure, I bought Zenzi, a wolf-sable Pomeranian. She learned fast, and inherited all of Koko’s tricks and habits. That was a good thing. My wife is a great trainer and has a lot more patience than myself. (She’s married to me.)

Zenzi graduated… and has become the perfect companion. When Koko died, Zenzi became depressed and there was no way to explain death to a dog. I did, but those words were not in her vocabulary. She laid around a lot, and stared at me, wanting to know when I was going to go get Koko, or wondering what Koko did that made me so mad, to get rid of her. No way to explain. Zenzi was about a year old, and no longer in that puppy stage. After much thought, I decided that another puppy was the answer. Pomeranians aren’t happy when they are alone.

In my latest books, Louis Bautista had a Pomeranian in book 1 and 2.

CLICK here, to see my books on AMAZON

I flew to North Carolina to buy a little black and tan Pom. I researched taking a dog on a plane, and… I think I can do it.  (That story is on my blog) but the bottom line is that a weird bonding happened because of the airport experience. Now in Florida, Athena follows me everywhere. I haven’t been to the bathroom alone in months. Normally, my wife is the trainer, and I don’t interfere with her years of experience. Like I said, more patience than me.

Athena says otherwise. I… am her human, and she rejects the authority of my wife. She whines when I go to work, sleeps between my knees at night, and has learned that if she stares at me long enough, I will give her a dog-biscuit. So, I have been doing her training. I am on lockdown with this Corona 19 thing, so the timing is good. She’s a lot smarter than I thought. I have learned that it is not that she can’t learn, she just doesn’t want to learn. She is the most, strong-willed, dog I have ever owned. She is finally surrendering to STAY, DROP, and NO. She learned COME fast enough, but just doesn’t always feel like doing it. I teach my dogs hand signals as they learn the commands. I also teach them that belching and farting, gets rewards. My wife just shakes her head at me.

The leash is my biggest challenge now. She just lies down, like, drag me human! You can’t use a collar like a regular dog. Poms have a trachea issue, so you have to use a harness. She hates the harness as well. I have several different styles, and she prefers the old original nylon straps. Due to the Florida heat, I believe she wants as little body contact as possible. She’s making progress. Wait until she discovers that I bought seat belts for the car.

Once again, my patience is a bit less than a dog trainer, and often she frustrates me, and I feel like she’s beating me. I have failed. She’s going to hate me for all of the abuse I’m inflicting on her. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I consider giving her to someone more qualified.

Then… I finish my latest page for my website, save it for tomorrows posting, and shut down the three 24” monitors in front of me. The cooling fans whine to a stop, I close my schedule book, and roll my chair away from my desk. It stops against something and I look back in the floor. Athena pushed her dog bed across the room, and against my chair. There is a sudden flow of emotion. I reach down, pick up her limp three pound body, and hold her against my chest. “Come on girl, it’s bed time.”

In my latest books, Louis Bautista had a Pomeranian in book 1 and 2.

CLICK here, to see my books on AMAZON

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Three month old Pomeranian, in sunny East Florida

She likes to dig the ice cubes out of her water bowl. Some she eats, and the rest she hides for later, some times, in my shoe.

Athena Veritas Alexander

During the day, I build cabinetry for 70′ luxury yachts here in Florida. Athena waits patiently.

In the morning, 5am, Athena whines in a high-pitched squeel, expressing her objections to my leaving. After a few seconds, the objections stop, and she goes to the master bedroom and sleeps on part of my robe that hangs from the bedpost, onto the floor. I usually return to the house about 3pm, and I apologize for my absence by playing in the back yard.

She takes me around the yard and shows me things that interested her during the day. We have a doggy door. Usually, it’s a branch from a palm tree that fell, a dead lizard in the grass, or strips of flesh that she stripped from the sides of a banana tree. We usually end lying in the grass, with her head propped on my arm, watching a mocking bird, a squirrel, or the kids playing in my neighbors pool.

After checking for leftovers in my lunch box, I go to my home office to work on things like… this. I have a stool under my desk, and that is Athena’s next landing spot. She stays there until I finish, and expects to be carried to the living room. It’s a Pom thing.

She’s only three pounds so far, and it’d funny watching her learn and experience everything for the first time. Today, she learned that she can jump from the back seat in the car, onto the arm rest, and back. Before, she would fall in the floor and stand there with her face between the two front seats. Today we put down the windows at the drive-thru and I watched her listening to the sounds, and smelling all of the flavors of a busy shopping area. She likes to dig the ice cubes out of her water bowl. Some she eats, and the rest she hides for later, some times, in my shoe.

This afternoon, we took a nap on my bed. Her idea of taking care of her human is to lick my ears and eyes. I often travel with sawdust residue from the shop. She did my ears, and moved to my eyes where I still wore my glasses. I saw her coming and removed the glasses, which she chased all over the bed, as if my eyes were in the glasses.

It’s a warm, quiet, Saturday. I think I may open the windows, and go back to bed.

If you’ve read this far, go look at my latest book. Book one, and part of book two, also has a Pomeranian.

Longue Durée I, II, and III

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