I am speechless. Bailey did it again. It must be me.
As the story goes, my friend, SF, needed Bailey to help lead Axel to a street he always fears of. Also, it has been a while since Axel met Bailey.
After work at six, I took Bailey into the car and drove to SF’s place nearby. As before, I walked Bailey to the slopy green field next door after parking the car. Axel arrived shortly and in some strange ways, the two didn’t really play much with each other. After some warm-up, Bailey was able to lead Axel into an area Axel fears visiting (for what reasons, I cannot fathom).
SF and I walked along the river, let our dogs socialize with other dogs. SF picked a restaurant and we tied our dogs to a tree. All was well until …
“Your dog,” said SF.
From where we sat, with the plants blocking the view, I couldn’t really see our dogs. When I heard SF saying that, I looked straight and saw a scene I could not comprehend.
I saw Bailey, looking at me, with his tongue stuck out, without a harness, without a leash …
… I quickly stood up and called Bailey. By then, he turned and ran. So fast around the playground, dashing from dogs to dogs. I forgot where my mask was (around my neck), I was doing my best to chase after him. It was dark, in the evening. The very scene reminded me of that memorable morning when Bailey broke off his leash and ran amok in a park.
Bailey was too fast. I couldn’t catch him. I tried and fell onto the concrete ground (fortunately, this time, I did not injure myself). One dog owner, an Indian lady, tried to lure Bailey with a bag of treats. It wasn’t that successful as Bailey was going crazy with her dog and I could tell that she was quite frightful of Bailey.
I don’t blame her.
Anyways, she passed me her bag of treats and asked me to get Bailey’s attention. It worked, in front of a very big crowd, I hugged Bailey firm across his chest, not letting go. SF came by with the harness. I was so thankful that I did not lose Bailey this evening.
Under the same roof, we have Cynthia and me and a dog named Bailey. In Bailey’s eyes, it is without a doubt that I am not the dog owner. So when Cynthia has to return to Indonesia due to a family emergency for 14 days, I knew I was in for an unforgettable adventure.
Oh My Routines!
Most people whom I talk to would not truly relate to what “dogs need routines” mean. They would go, uh-huh, so what?
Well, dogs need routines. In Bailey’s case, since he doesn’t like to pee or poop at home (and therefore, no way to even train him to do so), he has to take his walk in the morning at 7-ish.
Rain or shine.
In sickness (of the owner or the dog-sitter) and in health.
That alone is a pretty big commitment if you chew on it.
To make sure that he has his morning walk without fail, he would bark in the morning as a friendly reminder. I try not to respond to his barking immediately. That would reinforce his behavior thinking that barking equates to a voice-controlled door that opens when he barks.
At times, he would bark before 7 in the morning because he heard other dogs bark on the street (dogs’ roll call, as some may say).
I am not someone who wakes up early in the morning. Having to dog-sit Bailey for 2 weeks temporarily made me one.
Then he needs to be fed at 8 am. A bit of playtime and cuddle moments in between his naps. Between 5 to 6 pm, Bailey would expect his evening walk. At times I walked him in the neighborhood. If there isn’t much rain, I would take him to a dog run nearby so that he can run freely, without a leash. If I have the time and energy, I would take him out somewhere further with a car. Before midnight, he would need another short walk to, again, pee and poop.
3 walks. 3 pee and poop sessions. From 7 am to midnight.
That Walking Feeling Is, I Believe, Mutual
It is obvious that Bailey doesn’t enjoy walking with me and the feeling is mutual. The constant pulling. The ongoing picking up of rubbish to swallow and the refusal to obey my “leave it” command. Zero to little engagement even as I bring along treats. Sudden jump onto random pedestrians (one morning I had to apologize to what seemed like ten people of which, one jogger nearly fell onto the ground as Bailey made an attempt to jump onto her). Towards the end of the walk, Bailey would refuse to budge. He wanted more walking and more socialization with other dogs. To me, once I have collected his poop, the walk was done. Obviously, we were in constant disagreement.
According to Cynthia though, Bailey doesn’t behave like that. Hence, it must be just me and him. The feeling is mutual.
This is partially my fault. It was the Chinese New Year holiday period. My condo was quiet in the early evening. I have decided to walk Bailey up the stairs. Since he was so much faster than me, I took off the leash and let him run ahead. At the top of the stairs is a link bridge. From a distance, I saw a small dog with its owner.
I quickly ran to Bailey trying to catch him. He also saw the dog and he quickly ran to the dog with overwhelming enthusiasm (which, unfortunately, the dog owner with colored hair saw as aggression). Bailey outran me, of course. I tried calling him back. But my recall failed.
Looking back, I am still unsure if that dog owner was traumatized by a charging dog from behind or I, the dog-sitter was traumatized by Bailey’s behavior. I apologized, in a weaker voice than usual, and quickly removed Bailey from the crime scene.
To have a reliable recall, there must be a higher value than what distracted the dog in the first place. Unfortunately, neither my praises nor my treats work.
Prey Drive Not The Same As Aggression
Unless you have a dog that has a certain degree of prey drive (and hence read more into it), most people would think a dog is aggressive when they go after other dogs – especially smaller ones – or small animals with such vigor.
In short, prey drive is an instinctive behavior. Aggression is associated with emotions such as fear. They are different. It is easier to correct or subdue prey drive than aggression. Because in the latter case, you would need to resolve the emotional issue first.
Bailey has a medium prey drive. He likes stalking smaller animals and he likes to chase after them. He doesn’t hurt and he doesn’t kill.
I thought it was a good idea to bring him to Botanic Garden. Poor Bailey saw all the chickens roaming freely in the garden but could not give a good chase. He must have been feeling frustrated. Poor me with my arm ached from all the pulling. No, it wasn’t a good idea.
Big Brother Role
My friend SF brought home a 5-month old Golden Retriever named Axel a couple of weeks ago. I was with my friend the day she brought him home (she lives alone and needed help). Axel is different from Bailey. He is shyer and he needs a lot of encouragement to even step out of the house. And when he does, he prefers to stick to the green field right next to the apartment not wanting to go further. So we thought, why not bring Bailey and see if he can ‘pack-lead’ Axel?
Bailey and I arrived early and we were playing at the green field next to my friend’s apartment. Shortly, Axel and SF joined us. I did my best to tone down Bailey’s enthusiasm. And it worked. I am pleased.
As we led our dogs out of the green field, I noticed that Axel refused to move. In fact, he seemed disturbed by loud noises such as cars and motorcycles. He looked frightened.
SF tried to use kibbles as an incentive to get Axel to move one meter by one meter. Unfortunately, that also attracted a lot of Bailey’s attention as Bailey is highly food motivated.
That didn’t work. After barely moving for 20 meters, I suggested to SF not to use kibbles. Just let Bailey does his job.
True enough, Bailey walked in front – like he always does when walking with me unless he is really tired – Axel followed. What a beautiful sight to behold! Once Bailey realized that we were in a pack, he constantly checked back at us. I thought that was pretty cool.
Good job, Bailey!
Bailey Met His Nemesis
Only when you are a dog would you understand the draw of a dog run or a dog park.
I like bringing Bailey to a dog run. He can go unleashed. I don’t have to deal with the pulling. It is a good way to burn down his energy. He loves it. I love it. It is a win-win.
Walking to the dog run is often a challenge for me. He is constantly distracted by other dogs on the street, constantly distracted by the rubbish on the ground (even kibbles for cats). But as we approach the dog run, the scent of other dogs – whether present or not (as dogs leave marks or pee mails) – grows. Bailey would pull stronger and stronger until he totally forgot about me.
One day, like any other day, I would command Bailey to sit between the double gates, calm himself down, before letting him into the dog run. On this particular day though, even as I opened the inner gate, Bailey ran back to the outer gate instead, not wanting to enter.
I was puzzled. As it turned out, he was not pleased with two of the dogs inside. One of them had injured him in the past. Bailey would stand near the gate not wanting to play with his other friends. Although to him – and I know – I am merely a vending machine for food and drink, my pawrent instinct kicked in. I took Bailey to a far corner and played fetch with him, keeping an eye on the whereabouts of the two dogs. I just don’t like how they play with Bailey. No means no.
Jogging & Bailey Took the Blame
Bailey and I played fetch when we were inside a dog run. That is one good way to burn down his energy. Outside the dog run though, he needs to be on a leash. To achieve a similar outcome, I would prefer jogging.
It is rather fun jogging with Bailey. It is a mix of a slow jog, sprint, and sudden stop.
I enjoy walking Bailey on a rainy day. Because most dog owners would not prefer to walk their dogs in light rain or on wet ground. I like it because lesser distraction means lesser pulling.
Anyhow, one morning, I was jogging with Bailey in a park. As I turned into the park, I stepped onto a wet metal grid on the ground. It was slippery and I fell on my butt. My right forearm was scratched. My palms were bruised. I had minor bleeding here and there. One stranger asked if I was okay. She thought I fell because Bailey was pulling.
While yes, Bailey was ahead of me, it was totally my fault.
A Park Full Of People Thought I Did The Unthinkable!
Here in Singapore, we are not allowed to unleash our dogs in public, except dog runs or dog parks. It was in the early morning. The weather was lovely. One-third of the park was occupied by elderly dressed in uniform standing one meter apart exercising with music played in the background. Some rested by the benches. Others took a stroll on the pavement. In the middle of the park, there was a large patch of green grass. Ginger, the Singapore Special (an actual local breed name) was with her owner’s helper.
Ginger is a rather unique dog. Inside a dog run, she would observe other dogs and play with a selected few. Bailey is among the ones she called friends.
With a leash though, Ginger behaves rather differently. She would still play but when she becomes frustrated (I would presume with the leash), she would bite her own tail.
Back to that one fateful morning, Bailey was playing with Ginger. It went well until he pulled too hard. The leash broke!
All hell broke loose.
Imagine a fast-running dog, unleashed, dashing across the park. Everyone was looking at me running like a mad man trying to catch Bailey. They probably thought that I was the one who unleash the dog in public, the irresponsible one who jeopardize everyone in the park.
Bailey, predictably so, ran back to Ginger. I tried to catch him but I failed. He ran away.
In his second rendezvous, I made a mental commitment. I had to catch Bailey. I threw my body onto him, grabbed him with a good and firm hug, rolled onto the wet grass that I know, and everyone knows, is soaked with dog pee. The helper asked if I needed to borrow her spare leash. I politely declined, tied the broken leash onto his harness, took him home and have the leash replaced, and brought him down in time for the “school bus” that transported him to the dog school.
Till today, I am still keeping the broken leash just in case someone that day took a video and sent it to the police. I swear. I am innocent.
One fine day, Bailey has destroyed or shredded my T-shirt in the morning and the floor mat at night. On the other day, he has destroyed his bed made of canvas, shredded a hole in the middle. I tried to brush his teeth every night. It was an interesting experience having my fingers right inside his jaws. I have risked losing my fingers trying to stop him from eating a discarded chicken drumstick in bone (and I succeeded). While some dog owners may frown upon him thinking that Bailey is too aggressive, it was heartwarming to see Bailey playing well with dogs with the same energy level (Luna, Whisper, Ole, and Bella). I tried cleaning his ears once and got my face and body covered with the fluid he shook off. I bathed him every week. I bought a trimmer online and shaved his fur around his paws (not good for his hips in the long run). I don’t necessarily enjoy the process of being a dog-sitter. But I must admit, there were moments I enjoyed.
I must confess that I don’t get Bailey all the time. Like why he puts his paws onto mine when I cuddle him. He seems to really enjoy it when I rub his chest and the back of his ears. He would freeze and put his paws onto me.
Bailey wakes up really early. If it was up to him, he would want everyone in the household to wake up at 5 am every morning together with him. Do things together.
I often wonder why. Today I have an epiphany. And that kind of makes me feel sad.
The average lifespan of a dog is perhaps 12 years. That is not really a long time on Earth. If I were to live only 12 years, I would have made every day counts. Like waking up early every day and making the best out of every single day.
In that way, I kind of got it why Bailey wants to wake up so early every morning.
Soon to be eight months old, Bailey is one super active puppy. Outside of the home, he terrorizes dogs and humans alike. With harness and leash, he likes to stand on his two feet capable of hopping forward and backward depending on the situation. He enjoys playing with dogs that are of a similar energy level. He ignores dogs that are too passive. He enjoys taking on dogs that are bigger than him, at times much bigger than him. He enjoys chewing onto furry dogs. Baily, why can’t you be as chill as your friend Elvis the Dachshund?
Or Dylan the Singapore Special?
These days, there is no need to set an alarm in the morning. At seven, Bailey would start barking. He would need his morning walk. Then his first meal of the day at home. Afterward, he would need some nap time after the meal. Before noon, he would be super active wanting to play. That is a good time to play puzzles with Bailey. And then pee time.
At noon, he would prefer a second nap. And he would be super active again, thereafter. Time to play fetch to burn his energy down! And then pee time.
The afternoon is a tricky time to keep him entertained. On a good day, I could reserve the stuffed Kong toy (with food inside) for the evening. On a bad day when he is restless, I would just give him a stuffed Kong toy in order to keep himself occupied … for 90 minutes initially. Now he is getting better at it … 60 minutes … 30 minutes …
Stop barking Bailey …
Late afternoon early evening is time to walk the dog again. After his walk, it is Bailey’s second meal of the day. Then he would toggle in between being super active and having his nap time. A stuff Kong toy would help him to pass time.
I read that dogs don’t prefer variety. Variety is for humans because we get bored making the same dog snack day after day. Fortunately, I can do boring. For the stuffed Kong toy, it is 70% mashed sweet potatoes and 30% mixed vegetables with a dozen or so pieces of kibbles and one teaspoon of dog-friendly peanut butter.
The same recipe … every … day.
Near bedtime, I prefer to play with him for a while and get him excited, so that Bailey would do his peeing business before his sleep.
Now, imagine repeating this routine for the next ten to fifteen years. Because dogs love routine.
At times I wonder why Cynthia would want to sign up for this.
For more Bailey’s pictures, I have set up a Google photo album for sharing. During this pandemic, it is the best time to take pictures of the pets.
This is a transcript of a video I have posted on Bailey the Pomsky’s first experience with a stuffed Kong toy.
Hello my friends, welcome to my channel. As most of you know, I am a gamer at heart. So this video may sound strange to some but familiar to others, especially my long-time subscribers. And if wish to subscribe, please do so for my gaming videos. Dog videos are my side-hobby, for now.
This pandemic does strange things to people. One day, Cynthia has decided to bring home a puppy. Long story short, I am stuck with this puppy through many seasons or leagues. Cynthia has named him Bailey.
In this video, I would like to share with you Bailey’s first experience with a stuffed Kong toy. Spoiler alert: it was a great success. I am sharing with you my recipe too in case you too have a Pomsky or a puppy. For those who find my accent strange, you can refer to the transcript in the description of the video.
For those who are not familiar with the dog breed Pomsky, it is a hybrid class. Its 10-point talent system spreads between a Pomeranian tree and a Husky tree. Some Pomskys are spec’ed as 7-3 looking more like a miniature Husky. Some are spec’ed as 3-7, which is more like a Pomeranian. As for Bailey, he is too early to tell as he is only 6 months old. Time will tell. Please stay tuned. I suspect he is a 5-5 hybrid.
What I do know is that Bailey is very high in agility. He sprints fast. Super playful and has a very high DPS. Bailey destroys toys. He has destroyed rare quality Kong, which is blue in color. I have skipped the red unique quality because even with the black legendary quality, he can chew through it. At times I think, why spend money buying toys for Bailey? He chews through slippers and sponges and derives the same level of satisfaction.
Having spent too much gold on Bailey’s toys, I have got to come up with a solution. One that can engage him for hours with something that he doesn’t destroy in minutes.
A stuffed Kong toy.
It was my first time stuffing a Kong toy and it was Bailey’s first encounter with a stuffed extreme Kong toy, a black legendary quality Kong toy. Here is a recipe that I am sharing with you so that you too can craft your very own stuffed Kong toy for your Pomsky or puppy.
To make 5 servings of yummy stuffed Kong fillings, I first peeled and cut 7 grams of Japanese sweet potatoes into one-inch-thick cubes. You could of course cook more for your own consumption. Then I steamed the sweet potato cubes over a slow fire for half an hour. By then, the sweet potatoes should be soft and nice. Good for human consumption and good for dogs. Mash them well using a spatula.
Add 1 gram of frozen mixed vegetables and half a gram of kibble onto the mashed sweet potato. Stuff that into the extreme Kong toy. Leave a bit of space and seal it with a teaspoon of Adam’s 100% natural peanut butter. You can use any peanut butter of course but please make sure there is no Xylitol as it is toxic to your canine friends.
Wrap the stuffed Kong toy and put it into the freezer. As for the rest of the filling, wrap it up and put it into the fridge for future use. If you are making extra mashed potatoes for your own consumption, please label the food so that your family members would not eat the one with kibble. You would not want your family members to sprint as fast as Bailey and chew as hard as Bailey.
As it was the first time Bailey tried to tackle a stuffed Kong toy, I left it inside the freezer for three and a half hours. If you wish to lengthen the playing time, you could extend the freezing period up to six hours.
As you can see in this video, Bailey is having a good time with the stuffed Kong toy. He has spent more than 75 minutes playing with the toy. That is 75 minutes of quiet time for me.
I hope you enjoy this video. Bailey and I will see you soon! I shall leave the camera on in case you wish to see more.