Things Henry Barks At

Henry barks for attention. Henry barks when he is scared. Henry barks when he is confused. Henry barks, barks, barks.

Here are some of the things that Henry barks at:

  • vacuum cleaners
  • guitars (amped, not amped, out of the case, in the case)
  • drums (but only when they are being played)
  • Jenn (she lives in our back yard) 
  • cars that park on the street leading to our house
  • people walking past our house (not every person, but I haven't figured out how he decides who he wants to bark at and who he just watches. Although he barks at some people because he likes them and he wants their attention and he barks at some people because he simply doesn't like them) 
  • Birds
  • Jensen (when he is turned away doing something, like cooking)
  • Jensen and I (when we hug or kiss...actually anybody who hugs or kisses in our house...and actually, it's not really a bark it is a weird, whiny scream)
  • any time we clean anything...dusting, mopping, vacuuming
  • bicycles
  • anybody that knocks on our door
  • anybody that works on or around our house (yard work, painting, cable, etc)
  • noises in the basement that come up through the heating vents
  • his dreams (only his mouth stays shut, so it is a really high-pitched, half-squeak, half-bark)
  • power tools
  • And sometimes, he just looks out the window, and barks at what appears to be...nothing

He has gotten better (meaning less barking, not better barking) with age and with positive training methods. So he no longer barks anytime he is awake. Just most times.

Oh, Henry. 

Henry hates cleaning but likes his things in their place!

Henry is weird.

Henry hates it when we clean. He barks at us and gets this look on his face that seems to say, "I'm concerned." But there are things that he insists belong in certain places. He also has preferred locations for some of his different activities.

Henry has three beds. One in the bedroom, one in the living room, and one that does double duty in my office or on the deck (the last two are actually just the remains of two beds he destroyed). He is very specific about his living room bed and has been from day one. He seems to have a preference about the bedroom bed but he could care less about the office bed. I wonder if this is related to the comfort of the bed. The living room and bedroom beds are thicker and more padded but the office bed is quite thin.

When we first adopted him, I was still in grad school and spent most of my free time studying. When I was at my desk (concentrating on something other than him--a sin!) he would keep trying to climb into my lap -- he still does this only he doesn't fit as well anymore. In an attempt to focus more on my studies I tried to move his bed from the living room into my office. We have wood floors and I thought that if he had a more comfortable option my lap would lose some appeal.  After I set the bed down he just stared at me, for a second, as if questioning my sanity. Then he shook his head and dragged his bed back into the living room. I tried this many times, always with the same results. He has relaxed somewhat --he is okay with his living room bed being in the kitchen...but they are connected and are the two rooms he spends most of his time in. He seems to prefer his bedroom bed being in the living room and kitchen as well, and will move it there if we leave the door open.

He prefers his marrow bones and rawhide treats (when he used to get them) buried outside or "buried" in the basement in the dirty laundry or blankets on the spare beds.  Kongs filled with peanut butter are apparently better if eaten in the basement, but he doesn't feel the need to bury them. When we force him to eat his Kong upstairs, he eats it on his living room bed -- although he would prefer to eat it on the sofa, but we have a strict no treats on sofa rule. This may explain the most recent development in the bed/treat preferences of Henry the dog. Last night, he went down to hang out in the basement for a little  alone time. He came upstairs and threw his Kong around a bit (that's how he loosens up the bits he can't reach) then took his bed down the stairs, returning upstairs only briefly to get his Kong.

 There is one other thing Henry is very specific about: humping his bed. I feel I should mention that this doesn't occur very often and is usually reserved for new or freshly washed beds. That being said, he reserves humping for the living room. While anywhere in the living room is fair game, what he likes best is to drag his bed up onto the couch before he starts testing the thread count.

Oh, Henry.


Procrastination = Success!

Henry has many talents. For example, if he suspects there is a pill inside his pill pocket, he can eat the pocket and spit out the pill. And, while he is taking less pills, he still takes powdered supplements from his holistic vet. Therefore, we find it easier to feed him canned food: just mash it all up, mix it all in -- easy. (I would like to apologize at this point for my punctuation skills...grammar has never been my strong point)

For the last few months we have been buying his canned food weekly. But a couple of weeks ago we got lazy and kept putting off the trip to A Dog's Dream (only 2.5 miles away). After I crushed his pills, emptied his capsules, and measured his powders, I opened the cabinet and -- gasp -- no can. Luckily, I remembered that we had some frozen rabbit meat tubes from before he did his trial on prescription food.

This was good news. This gave us more time to procrastinate buying more food. But then a funny thing happened: his consistently loose stool disappeared -- a great development for those that have to try and pick it up with a poop bag! So we decided to keep up this raw rabbit regimen.

About a week later, we realized something else. Something big. Something earth-shattering. Ladies and gentleman (all six of you that read this) prepare yourself (and your nostrils) for wonderful news. Henry rarely farts anymore and when he does they don't smell.  In fact, only twice since we started feeding him the rabbit has he had bouts of multiple farts that smelled to high heaven. And you know what occurred right before the nasal onslaught? We gave him dry food.

In the words of his holistic vet, Dr. Rewers: some dogs just can't eat processed foods.

Luckily, for Henry's non-meat-eating humans, there is a company here in Seattle (Darwin's) that makes raw food meals for dogs. These meals have vegetables, including Henry's favorite: romaine lettuce. This way we are not feeding him just raw meat...which seems like a good thing. In addition, they deliver in Seattle for free (and are conveniently located right here in our neighborhood of South Park). So we are just about to start a trial of their meals. I do feel bad getting his food from somewhere other than A Dog's Dream. But at least we still get his treats there (dehydrated duck and dried fish sticks/discs).

I am pretty sure Henry is relieved at this chain of events as well. I don't think anyone likes loose stool -- I don't even like typing that phrase! He seems to eat up the food, medicine and all, with out hesitantly sniffing at it first. I think he is also relieved to not be farting as much. There were times, when he was farting so much (and they smelled so much) that he would look up at me with pained eyes as if to say, "I can't stop, what's wrong with me?"

Oh, Henry.

Henry at Acupuncture

When Dr. Rewers suggested Henry get acupuncture for his skin, knee, and elbow. I thought, 'yeah, right. With this dog?'. But believe it or not he actually calms down during the treatment, will even cuddle the doc. And there is a noticeable difference in regards to his knee...obviously feels less pain.

I never thought I'd have a dog that got acupuncture!

Oh, Henry.


Steroids and Henry's Bladder

It has been a good thing that I haven't been working because of Henry and his Steroids.

Steroids make Henry very thirsty and on "steroid days" he has to pee very, very frequently. It is hard for us to be away from the house for more than a couple of hours because we are likely to return home to a giant puddle or two. And just because he is peeing frequently doesn't mean that they are small in volume. I have timed minute long pees only a half-hour after his last pee. However, as we've been able to decrease the steroids this has gotten a bit better.

You can always tell how badly Henry has to pee when we get home by the speed of which he travels from the stairs to the outside door. And if you were gone for a while he has ways of making you feel guilty....

Yesterday, one of my appointments was delayed by over an hour and I ended up being away from the house for a total of seven hours. Immediately upon arriving home I take Henry outside. He almost falls down the stairs he is taking them so fast and he looks like he is tensing every muscle in the rear half of his body as he sprints to the door. I can barely get the door open because he is blocking it with his body in his urgency to get outside. The spot he chooses is with his body hidden between two of our trees but with his head sticking out.  For the duration of his two minute long pee he just stared at me. A constant, unblinking, pained expression that seemed to say, "you did this to me!"

Oh, Henry.

The Farts

Disclaimer: I apologize if the term fart is offensive. When I was a child saying fart was as bad as cussing. It seems that it has become a generally accepted term. My mom even uses it now. I am going to use it because it is a lot easier than writing flatulence AND not as silly as saying "passing gas" or "breaking wind" (the phrases I was told to use as a child).

Henry has always had bad gas. I figure I jinxed myself when I once said that I didn't think anyone had smellier farts than my husband (I've heard he cleared a subway car once). Henry out stinks Jensen any day.

We had a brief hiatus from Henry's farts while he was on the prescription, anti-allergen diet. They didn't go away completely but they didn't take over the room. We did notice that they started smelling different -- plastic-like, odd, and just plain unnatural. When we started reintroducing foods to Henry's diet his farts got worse. They still smell odd but now they take over the room and assault anyone with nostrils. Sometimes being in the same room with him is eye-watering, tolerance-testing, torture.

The farts aren't noisy. The only warning is a brief, subtle, quiet "poof." They are worse at night. One night they were so insanely stinky and frequent that we started attempting to time them -- like contractions. I sleep better with ear plugs but recently have discovered something that I really don't like about earplugs...when I am wearing them I don't hear the warning "poof"that precedes the nasal assault.

We haven't been able to narrow down the culprit. The odd-smell started around the time he started the prescription diet, the insanely expensive antibiotic, and the new anti-yeast/anti-fungal medicine. He is no longer on the prescription diet nor the antibiotic so they are ruled out. We wonder if it could possibly be canned food - quality or not. Unfortunately we need to use canned food as it is the only way to give Henry his various powders and medicines.

Henry's dermatologist, Dr. Mundell, suggested we give Henry activated charcoal. The back of the bottle is heartening, it says: Activated Charcoal is one of the finest natural absorbent agents. Each particle contains many small chambers, and cavities that "capture" or bind-up unwanted materials and gas, which are safely carried out of the digestive system. And thank you Dr Mundell! The farts are now a bit less...pungent. Meaning: they still smell unbelievably bad and take over the room BUT they don't clear the room and one can still manage to breathe.

Henry's response to his farts is really funny as well. When he farts his normal "poof" fart, he will twist around and smell his rear. Occasionally, when he has been sitting/laying on the couch and he "poofs" he will stand up, smell the spot his rear was and then lick the spot (sometimes Henry is really gross). But my favorite is when Henry has the surprising noisy fart. He has two responses to these. If he is sleeping it will startle him awake. When he is awake he will jump up and off the couch (or away from where he was) and across the room and stare back at where the fart occurred. Sometimes he will return to what he was doing right away. Other times he will look offended,  look back and forth between the spot and me, then, keeping his distance, turn his back and settle down.

For a long time it hasn't been easy to have people come over and hang out because of Henry's behavior. Constantly barking and always wanting to be the center of attention -- even if it means climbing on top of people to ensure it. Although, I do have to say that Henry has the magical ability to endear himself to people even when he is bad. I can't tell you how many times people have left our house and I have thought, "they must think that Henry is an annoying, terrible dog and hate being around him. But when I see them next they always ask about Henry and they always respond to my updates and stories with an affectionate "Oh, Henry." His behavior has been improving as he grows up and especially as we have become better at training him. But now we have this new problem...

Would you choose to relax in an environment where you were repeatedly exposed to one of the worst smells ever? If you have the choice of where you can spend time with one of your friends, would you choose the location that contained 'odeur de Henry'?

Oh, Henry!

Henry Update

I don't know how well any body ever reads this blog or pays attention to the changes I make but perhaps, you've noticed the changes under the now accepting donations heading?

Thanks to Dr. Rewers at Ancient Arts holistic vet, Dr. Mundell (animal dermatologist), Lien Animal Clinic and, last but certainly not least, A Dog's Dream Natural Pet Supply, Henry is doing better!

So please knock on wood, cross your fingers, thank lucky stars, or do any other thing designed to keep the luck going and to avoid tempting fate.

I kid you not:

  •  Henry is back to being a white dog. The color pink only makes it's appearance when he is sleepy. In honor of this I am changing the background color to white!
  • He is no longer on the insanely expensive antibiotic. 
  • He takes only 1/4 steroid every other day (occasionally 1/2--when he seems itchier or when he's been exposed to anything that he's sensitive to) 
  • Decreased the hydroxyzine to 1 3x/day (unless he is itchier and then we will give him 2 at the next time)
  • His staph vaccine has decreased to 0.5cc from 1.0cc
  • He only needs 1/2 pain pill every few days (which means he is only limping every few days)
  • We have slowly been successfully reintroducing different foods
  • Henry is less crazy (decreased 'roid rage) and is sometimes downright calm -- although this is so foreign to me that I start worrying that he is sad or depressed
He might actually be a normal dog someday!

Oh, Henry.

Henry & the Kids

Sometimes walking Henry feels like walking a celebrity. I don't know if it is the one eyebrow or the big ears that bounce when he walks but people tend to love Henry. If Henry is behaving well on his walk then we let people pet him when they ask -- with a few rules. The first rule is that Henry has to be sitting and the second is that the person cannot approach on any wheeled devices (skateboards, scooters, bikes, etc). 

Henry has always been very gentle with kids when they pet him. One time a young girl was gently petting his head and telling me a story. As she got excited her hand stopped petting and started patting. As she got even more excited she stopped patting and started hitting Henry on the head. Henry simply looked at me as if to say, "Do you see this? Do you see what I am putting up with? Are you going to do anything to stop this?"

A couple of days ago, Henry was especially popular on our walk. A gentleman asked to pet Henry and he kept saying, "Oh, you are a good boy. I can tell you are such a good boy." We received several more smiles, comments and waves. But don't think that this walk was just heavenly, we did have a small obstacle course of horse poop, barking dogs, and one leash-less, human-less chihuahua that did not like Henry. I did not want to see how Henry felt about this chihuahua so we swung wide and quickly escaped the situation--despite the chihuahua chasing us. But the obstacle course was quickly forgotten.

Two very darling children asked to pet Henry. I had Henry sit and the pet fest commenced. I noticed the children doing some no-nos: pulling on his tail and ears, putting their arms around Henry's neck, teasing him with treats. Henry is pretty tolerant of all of these things but I know that with another dog this could cause a bite. So, I turn into "annoying adult" and give them a little lesson on when it is ok to pet a dog (only with owners permission, no petting stray dogs) and what not to do with a dog (tail pulling, ear tugging, etc). They listen very well and repeat everything back to me after I am done. 

It's not all 'Boring Lecture by Christina.' I show them Henry's bag of tricks (sit, down, bang, up, say hi, speak, ask nice, shake, spin, and twirl). The kids get very excited and start giving the commands and treats. We all end up sitting on the sidewalk. After a couple of minutes sitting, Henry lays down and rests his head on the boy's lap. All three (Henry, the boy and the girl) are very fond of "kisses," which I am trying to discourage because of the run in with the horse poop earlier. After 15 or 20 minutes, I say goodbye. The kids tell me that they love Henry and that they are going to miss him. Henry pulls at the leash, he would rather stay with the kids then continue the walk home, but I insist we go. As we walk away, I hear the little boy say the sweetest thing to his sister:

"I'll never forget Henry!"

Oh, Henry.


Henry takes lots of medicine.

Jensen and I usually have pretty different schedules.

There was this one time, early on, when we almost had Henry's allergies under control. He was getting his shots regularly and had no flare ups or skin infections. Then for two weeks he didn't get any shots because Jensen thought I had given them to Henry and I thought he'd given them to Henry. That was well over a year ago & we are just now sort of  getting a bit of control over his allergies.

Needless to say, we learned our lesson and now we keep vigilant track of what Henry needs, when he needs it and if it has been given to him.

Henry's Theme Song

I love this song. I listen to it and pretend it was written for Henry. I pretend it's about a dog and not a boy. Today, I looked it up on youtube to post it and found a video for it. Turns out it might be about a dog!!! So until I hear a song about the world's most expensive, high maintenance, crazy lemon of a dog..... 


Henry & the Bee.

Our house came with a really wonderful yard. Wonderfully full of lavender bushes. Wonderfully full of bees that are attracted to blooming lavender. Henry thinks this is wonderful. Henry likes to try and chase the bees, to try and see if he can catch them with his mouth. The End.

Did you really think a Henry story would be so simple? Of course you didn't, this is Henry after all.

When I first saw him out in the yard chasing bees, I thought it was pretty dang cute but that I should bring him inside before he got stung.  I went downstairs to open the basement door and arrived just in time to see him shake his head as if he'd eaten something sour...or gotten stung by a bee. He came in the house right away, moping like he'd just lost his best friend. I examined him but couldn't find any evidence of a sting.

I returned to my chores in our kitchen. Henry hopped up onto the couch with our friend August (who, by the way, Henry adores).

"What's that face Henry is making?" August asked after a few minutes. "He looks really weird."

Henry looked like his cheeks were being pulled down and back in an eerie, grimace-like way. Every muscle on his head seemed tensed.

"Does he seem really red to you too?" August asked. We both stood and stared at him. Right before our eyes, hives started to appear all over his body. After about, oh 30 seconds, of watching as a grimacing, red, bumpy Henry rolled on his back and wiggled, wiggled, wiggled.

I finally snapped out of my confusion and started to panic.

It had started to rain and I am sure we made a silly picture to Jensen as he came home. I had run out of the house carrying Henry and August followed me carrying his shoes and socks.

"Henry tried to eat a bee. He's having some sort of reaction. We need to get him to the vet!" I exclaimed. Jensen turned the Malibu around as quick as he could and sped towards the emergency vet. Henry sat on my lap and after a minute or so, rested his head on my shoulder. Jensen glanced over and a look of panic appeared. Henry resting his head on my shoulder? In the car? This was not typical Henry behavior.

Henry and I were rushed right into a room at the vet hospital. I sat on the floor next to where Henry had flopped down and watched as he continued to get worse. He started to get puffy. His tongue no longer fit in his mouth. He started to wheeze.

The doctor finally came in. He listened to Henry's lungs. He pulled up one of his lips and pressed on his gums with his finger. Where he pressed stayed white for a while before the blood returned.

The doctor knelt there and repeated, "Wow, he's in very bad shock. I've never seen a dog in this bad of shock before."

He pressed on Henry's gums some more and then finally seemed to get over his shock. He called in his assistant and told me that Henry would be fine but that he would keep him overnight.

Jensen and August were sitting outside of the hospital on a bench. I stood in front of them and just as I was about to tell them Henry's status -- I burst into tears. Judging by their faces, they probably assumed the worst -- who wouldn't? Luckily, I was able to force out, a barely understandable: "He's ok."

When I picked Henry up, I asked the vet if we should have an epipen on hand. He told me that if it happened again to just give him some Benadryl and bring him in.

He has since been stung by one other bee (same circumstances, except this time I was chasing him yelling "nooooooooooo!") but without the anaphylactic shock. So, apparently he is allergic to one kind of stinging bee-type thing but unaffected by another.

Oh, Henry.