Monday, August 11, 2008

Update on André the Chow

Back in January of this year, a small chow found his way into the Berkeley Animal Shelter. We called him André. He must have been through quite an ordeal because he was missing patches of hair and what he had left was badly bleached from too much exposure to the elements.
André was adopted in March by a kind woman with Chow experience. He is now named "Mishka", which means teddy bear in Russian. Under her care, he has blossomed into quite the handsome teddy bear indeed.
Here is his update:

First of all, Mishka is now fully clothed with hair! I haven't had him trimmed yet because I find it quite interesting to see how the hair grows. The slowest growing area seems to be the back of the head. He now weighs 50 lbs and is looking more and more like a Chow.

The training classes helped a lot, but it is I, of course, who really needs the training. We're still working on "Come", which he does fairly well, especially if there are treats to be had. I took him to a dog park,no problems at all. He definitely is not an alpha dog, and will quickly go away if another dog tells him to buzz off. At home, here, he tries to bully Pretzel sometimes, but that doesn't last long.
I had the fencing improved a few weeks ago and he can now roam about freely. The only problem is the doggie door. He seems fearful of the flap and will only go through if I hold up the flap.

Mishka is alert to everything that moves, from birds to squirrels and especially cats, although not with good intentions. He knows Sit, Down, Stay and Leave It and walks nicely on a loose leash. In addition to the commands Mishka shows he knows, I'm sure he knows a lot more that I don't. He also will steal plastic food and drink containers, and open them, if he's hungry. Street smarts, I guess. He absolutely loves to run, loves vigorous body rub downs and certainly enjoys eating. He has gained about 5 pounds since March, now weighing 52 lbs.

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