29 May 2009


I bought a puppy on 23 May 2009. His name is Jupiter and he is a saluki.

I bought him from Windrush Salukis. Kathy and Jeff were great to meet at Clinton Lake. They already had planned to come for a lure coursing trial and it was perfect timing: Jupiter was born 8 March, so he was the right age to hand off.

Yesterday was a really good day. I had been (and still am) getting really frustrated with his separation anxiety. If he can't see me, he starts whimpering and barking and he pees. This happens whenever I put him in his crate (even if I am right in front of him) or leave the room. What bothers me the most is that I can't interact with him in any way when he's whining or else I'll be rewarding that behavior. But letting a dog whine for too long (I've let it go for up to an hour and a half before) can lead to behavior problems down the road. There are tons of conflicting opinions out there about what to do. But my vet and my breeder say just let him wear himself out on it and then let him out when he's been quiet for a while. At night, I have no place to let him whine that doesn't keep up the roommates. It's been nerve-racking.

But: yesterday was a really good day. First, I took him on a walk and he did a great job! We had been practicing on the lead in the backyard with the commands "easy" and "let's go" and he responded to them very well on the actual walk. He stays at my side or a bit behind, not in front – just as I'd like. It was good to have a really positive experience like that after being mostly frustrated for a few days. Then, I made a strong effort to keep him from napping, and it payed off! He did not whine in his crate last night. A further stroke of genius: I woke him up to let him out at 2am (since he last drank at 10:30pm) and then waited for him to get tired (3am) before I put him back in the crate. He again made no complaint. I kept repeating "Good boy", "Good settle", and "I'm right here" and left my hand hanging over the bed in front of the crate until I passed out. It was so encouraging to get a good night's sleep with him in the right place and not bothering the roommies!

We'll do another walk today, for sure. House-training is going well. I'm using close tether training and a shaker-box to interrupt him. I've been praising/treating for eliminating outside – I use "void" as my command instead of "pee" or "potty" because I feel silly saying those words. (And I think "Void" is the name of some Final Fantasy boss, which is always a happy reference in my book.) I take him out every 90 minutes – as he catches on and becomes more comfortable alone the crate, I'll ween that to a schedule I can actually keep. His poop is really predictable in the morning (about 12 hours after dinner), but he only goes occasionally in the afternoon and sometimes waits until evening. He's only pooped inside once at my house (day one) and once in each of two other houses, but I think that's sort of expected with new places. It's the urination that he's not doing so well with.

See photos at my Flickr page. You can see his father, a lure coursing beast named Marquis, here. I met him this weekend, too, and he's gorgeous in person. Kathy says her dogs are usually 55 pounds, so I'm inferring Jupiter will be about the same size as his father, which is exactly what I want.

12 May 2009

two times to remember

I am now (subject to a double-check with the department) finished with my Ph.D. class work.
  • 2009 May 7th 3:20pm – I finished my last class ever. Appropriately, Perry was teaching it.

  • 2009 May 12th 11:41am – I finished my last final ever. Andy Gill proctored the exam, which covered functional programming (using Haskell). That might very well remain the last time I sat in a classroom as someone taking a class.