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.