HomeTurtle Gardens DiaryUpdate: Dashiell Bowie AND Demitasse Solidum-Smith

Mr. Big watches over 3 year old Dash

A wonderful update from Two TG Alumni!! How cool is that! Yvette

Hello Mama Yvette, Papa Dave and Turtle Gardens Community,

As I write this, Dash is wandering around the house looking for a very special place for his squeaky, Demi is pretending not to see where he’s chosen, and Bijoux (Dash’s Lady) is passed out. We spent the morning at Trout Lake so they could run off their zoomies.

Dash turned 3 on January 5th. Its seems like 3lbs of puppy turned into 30lbs of dog in a blink. Demi (formerly Debbie, sister of Dolly and daughter of Sparkle) has grown from an 11.5″ back length to a perfect 14″ and is topping the scales at 11lbs after a haircut. I guess she wasn’t quite full grown when you blessed us with her.
Dash’s temperament is still the same. Confident, willful, bossy, greedy, jealous, friendly, sweet natured, lover of everyone and everything except crows and squirrels. He is a prince and he knows it.
Dash has grown quite fond of his little sister Demi. He washes her face every night before bed and tolerates her cannonballing him when she’s frisky. Dash and Bijoux left her alone when she first arrived.
Demi was so fearful. I am pleased to tell you she is no longer a fear biter and we trust her around people, most importantly babies and children. She watches Dash and Bijoux happily greet people and now will cautiously approach visitors for a good petting, though she keeps her distance from strangers when we’re out and about.

Demi has blossomed and has fully adopted us, taking cuddles from and initiating play with her cat and dog brothers, her man, her uncle and me.

Demi Dash and Bijoux

Last month, Demi started running with Dash and Bijoux at the dog parks. It was so wonderful to see her confident enough to not only be out from under foot, but enjoying the wind through her hair. I love watching the dogs run, its truly a beautiful sight. Demitasse has terrific recall. Dashiell, not so much. Dash’s attitude is pretty much a “Yeah, I heard you, but I can still see you, so what’s the problem?”.

We walk with Bijoux, the Basset Hound, Monday to Friday mornings and keep her for the day 3x a week. They are a very good pack. Dash & Bijoux are definitely a bonded pair and they are inclusive with Demi now that she wants to be with them. We have occasional play dates with other dogs. Dash & Bijoux will intervene if the visiting dog makes Demi nervous. Meal time has been pretty hilarious of late. They get meat on top of kibble and Demi will gobble up her meat then will try to stick her face into the other’s bowl to try to get more. When only kibble is left, they all trade bowls. Dash tortures Demi by slowly and methodically eating his meat one piece at a time and won’t let her in his bowl until the good stuff is gone. He has never been very food driven, as if he is sure hunger is something he will never know.

Demi has learned a lot from Dash and has figured out that she can be a princess. When The Man comes home, even if he’s only been gone for 10 minutes, she will follow him around until he gives her a piece of duck jerky. If he is not forthcoming with said jerky, she will give an obstinate, “Woo! Woo!”. Its their thing. Demi has gone from staring at us from a hiding spot to climbing on our laps for cuddles and kisses, giving us a paw when she wants a chew or treat, and nose butting us when she wants to wrestle.

Big brother Dash and little sister Demi

We’re so pleased she’s realized being happy is a lifestyle choice. She is excited to go on walkies, sometimes trying to get into Dash’s harness as we’re putting it on him, just to make sure we don’t forget to take her. She had some separation anxiety at first (chew damage on door), but now is fine knowing the cat is in charge when we’re out. She makes a sweet sound when she yawns, and makes silly noises in an effort to talk like people. Her favourite night time sleeping spot is on my face.

I almost signed off without telling you that we picked up a vibration training collar for Dash last summer, when he stopped paying heed to “Hush” when barking at squirrels in the yard. The little bugger figured out how loud he could bark without setting it off within moments. His terrible twos are on the wane and he seems to want to be a good role model for his kid sister.
Thats all for now, except for our eternal gratitude to you for our little darlings.

Yours truly,
Les, Anna, Mister Big Guy, Dashielle Bowie and Demitasse/xox


Update: Dashiell Bowie AND Demitasse Solidum-Smith — 7 Comments

  1. Thank you , Anna, on your charming update – it is so interesting to hear how alike Demi and her mom, Sparkle are in some of their actions, even though they have been apart for so long. It’s quite evident that Dash loves his little companion and Bijoux is an added bonus. Thanks again and thanks also for caring for Sparkle as a foster, before she came to live with me, I am very grateful.

  2. thanks for sharing your story with us. i was deeply saddened by the last paragraph. i know that many of us grew up in an era where corporal punishment for animals, children, women, and people with disabilities was considered good standard practice. Thankfully, more and more people are now realising that positive reinforcement training methods are both more effective and kinder. I’m very sorry you felt you had to resort to punishment with an electric shock (“vibration”) collar and swearing. if you experience behavioural problems in the future, please, please, please consider using positive training methods, or hire a trainer who uses those techniques (such as a clicker) to help you. Of course, it is much easier to zap or strike the dog, but using physical punishment usually only teaches the animal (or child) to avoid physical pain (exactly as you describe in your letter), rather than using their brain to distinguish right from wrong and act accordingly. Another concern with corporal punishment is that when the behaviour does not change, the punishments often escalate. And this is one way that dogs end up in rescue organisations, some of which, sadly, also support such methods. I would be more than glad to recommend positive training books or give you the names of some trainers who use positive reinforcement- please get in touch if you are interested. good luck with your little ones. jenny

  3. Yes, vibrational collars are really shock collars.. They can be painful, dangerous things.
    I have a 10’s machine -which operates with the same electrical current as those collars.
    If it’s on anything but ‘extremely’ low pulse .
    Even on low … if it’s on neck, tempels, head; any sensitive areas… It’s really nasty !.. sends painful ‘electric shock’ surging through whole body….(I think those collars should be illegal… as in wrong hands they can be turned up to ridiculous pulses. The citronella or water spray collar (which I don’t know much about) sounds kinder/less dangerous.(if one goes that route)

  4. I can appreciate your concern Jenny, but vibration is not the same as electric shock. And, please don’t assume that their collar was more than that, otherwise you take an update and ruin the intent of an adopter trying to share a nice story and soon, who will want to share any more. There is no shortage of forums for discussing the ban of electric shock collars, so there’s no need to use an adopted dog’s update to get your opinion out there, especially when they weren’t even using one…the effect of your comment will more likely leave them feeling aweful that someone thinks that about them. Just my opinion, but I like the updates and don’t want people to be afraid to share.

  5. Well said, anonymous. We need to be as kind with each other as we try to be with our dogs. I have a suggestion for anyone considering any kind of “training” collar. Try it on yourself first. Put it on your bare upper arm, with the “business” part of it on the soft skin of your inner arm, and then do whatever the collar requires- pull tight, or push a button, or whatever. Without a layer of fur to protect you, you’ll know very quickly whether the device is safe to use! I don’t know anything about spray collars, but I guess if you wanted to test them, you’d have to put it around your chin, just under your nose!! :-)

  6. Bravo anonymous!!!!!! I do not agree with Jenny either. A vibration collar gives a mild vibration when a dog barks or it can be changed to a noise that screeches with each bark. Before i put this collar on my dogs I tried it out against my neck and all I felt was a mild vibration and NO electric shock. Unfortunately when you have 2 very intelligent dogs the effects of the collar don’t last long and they would continue to bark right along with either the screech or the vibration so they got put in the drawer and I will probably just throw them away.
    I firmly feel that one should do their proper research before sounding off on something they obviously know nothing about.

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