Saturday, October 20, 2012

Downtown Berkeley, and still battling fleas

Chimera is 12 weeks old today!

He accompanied me to a bank in downtown Berkeley this morning. I kept him in my arms because I was afraid that he might pee or poop on their floor. He was calmer than I expected about being held for so long.

We walked down Shattuck Ave, a busy street, for a couple of blocks. We passed by a group of homeless people sitting on benches, and Cai got weirded out by a backpack underneath a bench. I stopped and crouched down, offering him a sense of security, along with praise and treats for bravely moving closer toward it. After a moment one of the homeless men, who had been singing and playing a guitar, moved closer to us and Cai started barking at him, too. Again I encouraged him to investigate and offered lots of treats without forcing him closer than he could handle. Cai didn't quite cross over to being comfortable but he was less alarmed by the end. I gave the man a tip for letting us hang out with him.

Multiple buses drove by, and Chimera handled it well except when he was already on edge because of something else, like the guitar man. A few motorcycles drove by and he got scared of the noise. He bolted and hit the end of the leash. Thank goodness for the security of a leash and well-fitted harness! I would kneel down and call him over, and he would put his front paws on my lap and calm down somewhat.

On the way home I stopped by a picture opportunity I'd been eyeing for months now:
Chimera is HERE!!
At work again, he got two afternoon play sessions which quite wore him out, and he was a good boy until about 7 pm. At that point he started barking out of boredom/frustration. I think that until he learns to handle the quiet time better, I will have to move him to the "quiet area" of the center in the evenings.

I had to give him yet another bath because he was once again covered with fleas after work. They must be in the offices, but none of the other office dogs have been getting them. I had planned to hold off on giving Chimera any toxic insecticides until he was older, but it looks like I have no choice.

Once home, he zoomed around and then peed on the rug. 30 minutes later, he started to sniff around and squatted to poop without alerting at the gate. Phooey! At least I saw him squatting and was able to pick him up and rush him to the potty box outside.

Jasper the cat has been extremely tolerant of Cai's rude antics. He completely ignores Cai when he's walking across the apartment and Cai jumps on his back. Today, for the first time, Jasper flopped over in Cai's vicinity and batted at him when Cai approached. It's the same "is he defending himself or playing?" behavior that had started off Jasper and Dragon's friendship.

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