YorkieBox Blog

Yorkie Life by Jasper (and other pet things)

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Hi - Welcome to the Blog dedicated to all things Yorkie. My name is Jasper and I will be your host. YorkieBoxBlog is an off-shoot of my website, Jasper's Yorkie Box. We are located in the one of the stores at CedarHouseMall.com.

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Guard Your Cash

Posted By on January 16, 2010

We have a two-year-old Yorkie and a couple of older cats. Even though Jasper, the Yorkie, is the new comer to the family, and also the smaller of them all, he has some how gained the mastery over them. Yorkies are usually a big-hearted breed. They have a self-image that is much greater than their physical size. Jasper is an alpha male, and he has the attitude to back up his self-image. The cats have given in to this arrangement and submit to his authority. I think they view him as the male lion in the den.

There are certain things the cats do annoy my wife and me. I have one cat, Jezebel, which loves to pick at the legs on our piano bench. I have another cat, Toby that periodically tries to sample leftovers from the trashcan in the cabinets under the sink. We’ve put some small bungee cords on the knobs to hold them closed, but he still tries. You can hear the cabinet doors springing back as he tries to open them. Toby’s also gotten into the habit of going to the screen on the window adjacent to the front door and picking at it when he wants to come in. Another one that bugs me is that both cats will jump up on the counters in the kitchen and walk along the top space above the cabinets.

I get on to them when they do all these things. Usually, I will just yell at them, but I have been known to throw a couch pillow their way, and in some extreme cases, have gotten up from my chair. Well, Jasper has picked up on our disapproval of such cat behavior and has taken it upon himself to keep his harem in check. Now, as soon as he hears the sound of the cats picking at the screen, or sharpening their claws on the furniture, he’ll jump down from his perch and chase them down. When the cats jump up on the counters, he’s on it, barking his commands until they get down. It’s become quite convenient. If he’s snoozing, or not paying attention, and one them jumps up on the counters, all we have to say is “Tell Toby get down!” and then he snaps to it. He’s like our little cat herder.

Jasper has a lot of toys, some of which we don’t let him play with all the time. During these times we put them up on the counter in the kitchen. Well, one day I was in the bedroom, and he came wandering back there with one of those toys. I thought it was strange, but figured that one of the cats had knocked it off on to the floor – surely he hasn’t trained them to get his toys down – has he? A few days later, I was in the kitchen eating breakfast when I caught something odd out of the corner of my eye. There, up on the cabinet was our dog, walking around like he had good sense. I couldn’t believe my eyes. He hadn’t taught the cats to get his toys, but rather, they taught him how to get on the counter tops.

We thought it was funny. We thought it was cute. I sat and watched him one day so I could get how he was doing it on video. He was jumping up on to a chest by the door, and then jumping up from the chest to the counters. Well, we obviously had to move the toys to another counter, one that he couldn’t find a path to. Luckily, he could only walk on about three feet of counter top; the dish drainer had him cut off from the rest. So, we just cleared that area from anything interesting to him and after a while he got bored with it all – we thought. One day my wife came into the kitchen and noticed a couple of twenty-dollar bills shredded about the area. She had come in earlier from shopping that day and put her purse up on “his” part of the counter. Apparently, her style in purses sparked his interest and decided he would check it out. So, I guess he hopped up there, stuck his little snout in, and pulled out a mouthful of cash. Unfortunately, Jasper doesn’t understand the value of a dollar and started treating it like he does any other paper product he finds – with a vengeance. My wife talked to the bank and they said as long as we could find the part with the serial number in tact then they could replace the money. They also said that thousands go to the dogs the same way every year.

So watch your pets and whom they hang around with. You never know what skills they’re teaching each other or what they’re planning together. I’ve seen the cat toss, from unreal heights, a Ziploc bag full of cake to the dog, so he could rip it open. We caught them just in time to save most it. They can acquire skills you wouldn’t believe. They may appear cute at first, but be on your guard. They could be polishing those cute little moves for their next heist. It may be a small caper, like a napkin, a chicken bone, or a fuzzy sock. However, it could be for the major score; the raw steak waiting on the grill, or that really good tasting “green paper” lying down inside your purse.

John Currie

One of My Dog’s Favorite Toys

Posted By on January 11, 2010

MunchkinYorkies love to play. They can be amused with some of the funniest things. We always have our eyes pealed for things that we think will interest him. Well, over time, Jasper has acquired a wide array of toys, and some of his favorites are stuffed animals. He especially likes Beanie Babies. My wife has a little suitcase full of them. Whenever he wears one out, she will pull it down and let him pick out a new one.

Occasionally though, something will grab my eye while I’m out shopping and I’ll have to bring it home, just to see how it rates on Jasper’s excitement meter. Last May, we were out shopping at my favorite place – Walmart. We were in the infant section looking for a shower gift and came across a couple of baby toys that we thought he might like. Well, just as we thought, he liked them a lot. We were a hit in eyes that night. Some of his toys are fun to him, and he plays with them from time to time, but every once in a while a toy is introduced to him that he just can’t get enough of.

That’s how these two toys are to him. One of them is a little stuffed bunny, and he sleeps with it every night. The other toy is a stuffed duck that when squeezed, makes a quacking sound. It didn’t take him long to figure out how to make it work either. For the first few days, all you’d hear around the house is quack – quack – quack! He would drag that thing around with him everywhere. The stuffed duck toy has a little woven rope loop on top of its head. That’s Jaspers favorite part. He likes to hold the toy between his paws and chew on that little rope loop. I like that part too, as it acts as a pretty good dental brush. He will spend a good five to ten minutes gnawing on that little rope.

Munchkin and JasperImagine, if you will, what this thing looks like after a couple of months, of a dog chewing on a cloth toy. It’s pretty nasty. My wife has thrown it in the washer several times now. Surprisingly, after the first couple of washes the duck still quacked. He is now silent after this last wash. The much favored dog toy was finally put in to the "play with occasionally" pile after he finally gnawed the little rope loop off the top of its head.

Well, I felt pretty sorry for the dog, and the duck, so the search for a new one was on. I bet I had been to every Walmart in Alabama and some in Georgia and Florida. I couldn’t find that little duck anywhere. So I hit the internet. Luckily, I had one thing going for me to help me on my search. Normally, to avoid the headache of thinking up names for all of these toys, we will just look on the label stitched on to the toy and derive a name from that. Beanie Babies are easy because they name all of their stuffed animals, so we just use their names. Then, after we name it, we cut the label of so that he doesn’t chew it up. Well, we named this toy Munchkin. That’s what was on its label. So, I searched Munchkin and found that Munchkin was the manufacturer of baby products. I finally found it on their website and was surprised to see that it is actually a bath item and can be used as a wash cloth. I guess that’s why it survived so many washings. It’s called a Bath Critter.

I ordered one from eBay so I could use my PayPal account. After about a week it showed up in the mail box. It was wrapped in one of those real flexible tough plastic mailer envelopes. While I was at the mail box, I decided to mash on the wrapper to see if I could make it quack. It did. My next thought was "Boy, this is gonna be fun."

Jasper is a nosy little busy body, so I knew he was going to want to know what I had in my hands. Sure enough, when I came in he stood up on his back legs, stretching out to see what I had. So, I put it down on the floor to let him inspect it. He was curious, but boy you should have seen him when I mashed on the package and it started quacking. He went crazy. He grabbed that package and ran all over the house. Every now and then he would stop and look around to make sure that no one was close, then he’d drop it and start trying to tear in to it. Then, in frustration, he’d start shaking it wildly in his mouth.

Well, we were rolling on the floor. I ran to get the camcorder so I could capture this on film. By the time I got back into the living room, there was a pretty good trail of plastic envelop pieces. Linda was still laughing. I started filming. It took me a while to get him cornered enough so I could get a hold of it and help him get that little duck out. We finally did, and as expected, the toy is back on the top of his favorites list. He drags it around all over the house.

I’m going to have to buy a bunch of these little Bath Critter things. They may last long with a baby, but with Jasper they have about a four to five month life span. I’m glad we were able to find another one for him. That little duck really warms his heart. Besides, it’s good to hear the quack, quack, quack of a happy dog again.

John Currie

My Dog has What?

Posted By on October 8, 2009

Jasper, our little Yorkie, and I have a ritual that takes place every day after dinner. We play Basketball, only his is on a much smaller scale and it doesn’t require a net.

Jasper has an array of toys and they all have their time and place throughout the day. Of those toys, his Basketball becomes his favorite right after eating dinner. I will lay on the floor and watch the news (usually) and will throw his Basketball, which is rubber, and a little smaller than a tennis ball, across the room into the kitchen. He in turn will run like a mad man into the kitchen, skating across the linolium floor, finally ending his chase by sliding into the back door, catching the bouncing ball on the rebound. Then he will come prancing back with the ball in his mouth ready to chase it down again. He will do this for at least an hour before showing any signs of fatigue.

Basketball is the highlight of his night, and I really don’t mind the time we spend bonding. This past week it has not been that much fun for me though. The ball, which I have to wrestle out of his mouth as part of the game, has suddenly become very slimy. This is not normal for him. Usually his mouth and the ball are pretty dry. I don’t mind wrestling for a dry ball, but I start to draw the line at wet, slimy toys. I also noticed that his face hair has been wet and matted, and also stained where usually it is dry and almost white.

We got alarmed and decided to take him to the vet the following day. I ran through the symptoms with the veterinarian and also added that he has been making a snorting sound lately when I put him on his runner. He thermo’d his rear end, and stuck his fingers down his throat (sort of like asking the dog to “Open up and say AH”). I was surprised when he said, “I think he has tonsillitis”. I said “What? Can a dog get that?” He was amused at my response. He said that Jasper was running a fever and all the symptoms make sense. Heck, I didn’t even know dogs had tonsils. He said that Jasper’s were swollen and it was probably hard for him to swallow. That would also explain the snorting sounds too.

He gave him a shot and orders for a week of amoxy drops. Jasper should be back to normal soon. I hope so, not only because I want him to feel better, but also, because I hate playing with those slimy toys.

Not Just Another Rover

Posted By on September 26, 2009

Choosing the right “just perfect” name for your beautiful Yorkie can be just as important as choosing the perfect pup, or any other family pet. Naming your pet does not have to happen within the first hour, day, or even week that he comes home. Get to know your Yorkie’s personality. Look into his eyes; listen to the sounds he makes; watch his cute, quirky ways.

We brought our first Yorkie home in July of 1993. Our first thought was to look through a list of baby names. No, that didn’t work. Then we went with biblical names. We zeroed in on Gideon, “Mighty Warrior” (Judges 6). Our little Gideon was a mighty warrior. He thought that he was as big and tall as any German Shepherd, or Dalmatian, but was so meek, mild, and obedient to those around him, even his feline siblings. Lastly, he bravely battled with seizures. They were not very long lasting but they were strong and scary. As noted in another post, he died Christmas Eve of 2005 from complications brought on by seizures.

Our second Yorkie was named Gabriel, as in the Arch Angel of the Bible. Gabriel came to live with us toward the end of February 2006. He gave special kisses, was funny, was sweet and kind, and did have an “angelic” look deep in his eyes. We lost Gabriel on July 12, 2007 when he suddenly bolted from our car, into the woods behind our house, we think. He seemed to disappear into the night’s darkness to never return! Gabriel, an angel – our angel, is now with the angels.

Four to five weeks after Gabriel’s disappearance, my husband was on the hunt again; therefore, I followed, and we brought our third Yorkie home. The task of naming him was upon us, so out came the Bible and we began our list. Since angel named dogs tend to have the tendency to take flight, we shifted our focus to more earth rooted names. How much more earth rooted can you get than with gems and precious stones. Jasper is not only earthy but Heavenly. The book of Revelation states that the building of the walls of the new Jerusalem, and one of it foundation stones is Jasper. We tried it with his last name to see how it sounded – Jasper Currie – it had a nice ring to it, so he has been Jasper ever since.

If your pet is anything like ours, you will find that a first and last name is just not enough. Sometimes he needs that middle name. You know, that name that’s expressed in just the right tone to let you know you’re in trouble. That name that Mom uses in place of your last name when you’ve really pushed her last button. Jasper has one of those names. We had a hard time thinking up the perfect middle name, but, while watching Fox News one night it came to us. Alan Colmes was arguing with someone and he had me pretty mad. He had pushed my last button, so I thought – Jasper Colmes Currie. I said it again with some stern emotion, a little more bass in tone, and a touch of dismayed shock added in for good measure, “JASPER COLMES!” It was perfect. And he knows what it means, and when I add “Do you want a spanken?”, he stops what he’s doing and snaps to attention.

So, give a little thought to the name of your next pet. And add the forethought into that perfect middle name too. Say it a few times out loud. Try saying it with the emotion of different situations. You may find that “Rover” simply doesn’t cover all the facets of your new dog (maybe Rover Wayne! – Hmmm?).

Just the Right Size?

Posted By on September 24, 2009

A few years ago I got an email that was about a little boy who was finally going to get a puppy. He and his mom went to the local animal shelter so that he could find a puppy, a fuzzy little friend. He went from pen to pen, cage to cage as he snuggled and held the many puppies.

His mother was patient and every so often would ask, “Oh, do you like that one?” Each time the mother would interpret the little boy’s answer as being, “No, this is not the right size”. She continued being patient. He continued searching and holding, but the reply was always “This is not the right size.”

Finally, the little boy picked up a puppy, held it, and cuddled it for a long time. The puppy took in a deep breath, let it out, closed its eyes, and fell asleep. That deep breath let the little boy know that this puppy was the right puppy, and he said to his mother, “See mommy; he has just the right sighs.” It was then that his mother realized that he was searching for sighs, not size.

I truly identified with that story because my little warrior, Gideon, and my angel, Gabriel, both gave just the right sighs. When I laid down on the sofa, each of them, in his own special way, would curl up beside me, wait for me to sigh, and in return, would sigh himself. I could almost put money on these sighs each time I would get comfy, and I could tell by them that they were content and relaxed.

For some reason, Jasper does not do that with me. Oh well, he is still “just the right size.” He gives his sighs to my husband.

Hold your Yorkie; listen to your Yorkie. I’m sure you’ll find he has just the right sighs, too!


I Shall Board No More Forever – God Willing

Posted By on July 15, 2009

My mother died rather suddenly and unexpectedly. My wife and I had to travel to Dothan for 4 days. I knew that there would be a lot of running around to do, a lot of people to see while we were down there, so we were faced with the fact that the dog would have to be boarded. We have left the cats at the vet’s place on several occasions, but cats are pretty independent, and can fend for themselves quite well. A Yorkie, on the other hand, is a pretty high maintenance breed. I was really torn between leaving him or taking him with us. After some time in thought and several conversations with my wife, we decided that we were being over protective and silly, so I loaded Jasper, his pillow, and a couple of his favorites toys up and headed off to his weekend getaway.

On our way back, we knew we were going to be in late, so my wife had her mother pick Jasper up from the vet and take him to our house. She was to put him in his crate and then we would be there a few hours later. Well, when we got home and let him out I was shocked. He was very glad to see us, and we were glad to see him, but our initial greeting was cut short with an immediate trip to the bathtub. He had a solid knot of “you know what” caked into his tail and hind quarter hair. It was pitiful and smelled horrible. It had to have been there for quite some time – days. His rear end was raw were he apparently kept dragging it across the cage he was in, no doubt trying to clean himself off. Even after I bathed him, he would drag his rear end across the carpet, I’m sure it was sore and itched as it began to heal.

He was full of fleas too. We usually use Frontline Plus drops on him and they work great, but, it was at the end of the 30 day cycle and the last round I used on him was not the “Plus” version. I guess that was no match for the fleas at the boarding pad. His digestion still isn’t right and it’s been over a week now since we’ve been home. I need to get him back on our evening walking routine, but we have been so swamped with paperwork and estate matters lately that we just haven’t had the time. But I can assure you of one thing – that is his last visit to that place (if I have anything to do with it in the future). So, if you must board your Yorkshire, check the place out well and talk to those who have used them for that reason before. They may be a great vet but they may not care for your pet very well at all.

The Little Sucker Bit Me

Posted By on June 1, 2009

Jasper loves those little rawhide chew sticks. He likes to get them real soggy. Then after he’s got it almost like a wet noodle, and he’s really into it, sometimes I’ll hear him gagging on it. I’ll look and find he’s swallowed about half of it and then he’ll have to gag it back up. It makes me nervous when he gets it like that.

Well, the other morning I got out of the shower and he was at work on one. Usually, after I get dressed and it’s time for me to leave, I’ll grab a dog treat and tell him it’s time to go see George. That means it’s time to go get in his crate. It got called that because he used to sleep in there with his stuffed monkey George. Anyway, he knows what that means, so off he runs and jumps in his crate. I knew he took that chew stick in there and I was afraid to leave it in there with him, so I started to reach in there to get it and he started growling at me. My wife told me that he did this to her the other day and now he was doing it to me.

Well, that just wont do. I reached in there thinking I could over power that attitude but discovered real quick that he was a little more Alpha than me. I said “Jasper, drop it!”, the next thing I knew, he swallowed that chew stick. That made me kind of mad. With him still growling at me I reached back in there – a little more determined this time, and then it happened – the little sucker bit me. I pulled him out of there and then put him on his back with my hand on his chest, and I dominated him until he calmed down.

We had a little talk after that. He was nervous and had wet himself a little, I was upset (and was bleeding a little), so I took him out to go to the bathroom and then I put him back in his crate. It looks like we’re going to go back to some of the mannerism basics and the first thing we’re going to relearn is “Drop it”.

Two New Toys

Posted By on May 24, 2009

We just got Jasper two new toys from the store last night. Jasper loves toys. Most of them are stuffed animals of some sort and we have experimented with a great variety of them. We have three main criteria for toys. Jasper is an Alpha Male. He is King of the Cat Harem – and the cats respect that (until they get mad). So the first criteria is that the stuffed toy has to be medium to small in size. If it is too big, he will try to do embarrassing things to it. He is neutered, but I think it is more of a domination thing than a mating thing. I have also seen females do this as a matter of fact. It drives my wife wild and she will get on to him when he does it. So, first is size.

Second, it has to have embroidered, or sewn in cloth eyes. He has a thing with those plastic eyes and he will work on one until he gotten them out. I can’t tell you how many toys I have had to do eye surgery on. He’ll go along for weeks without touching them there and then one day, out of the blue, the eyes become the main thing. Then I’ll have to remove the rest of the eye (and the other one – if it’s left) and then sew up the holes, or sew on cloth ones.

The third criteria is that they have to be well made. Some of these stuffed animals are made quite well. One of his favorite beanie babies, Canyon, had a long cloth tail that held up remarkably well. He would sit there for literally an hour, or more sometimes, just running Canyon’s tail through his mouth, and chewing on it. That tail lasted about 6 months before it finally fell off. The quality of other toys is just not that good. He has shredded some toys in just a few hours.

Hoppie and MunchkinWell, he loves toys that make sounds and that’s what we found last night. We actually got them from the Baby section at Walmart. On of them is a stuffed bunny rabbit. It has a box in it that, when pressed, makes the sound of a little child giggling. The other one is a little stuffed Duck. It too has a box in it, but when pressed it make eight quacks, three time in a row. It took him a little while to figure out where to mash on them, but now, that’s all you here – quacking and giggling. They will definitely have to be put up at night.

Do you want a Spankin?

Posted By on May 20, 2009

Our dog Jasper is a handful. He is my pride and joy. My wife thinks I let him get away with murder. She’s probably right – but boy does he love me for it. My wife is a retired English Teacher, and I still work. So, she is with him all day, and she has taken on the roll of educating the dog. It is amazing what she has taught him to do. For example, he has a array of about 15 toys (mostly stuffed animals – beanie babies), and she has named them all. Well, he knows all their names and all you have to do is say “Go get . . . (whoever)”, and he’s on it. Well, besides teaching him all about his toys, she has taken on the role of discipline and manners.

I was at home the other day and I heard one I hadn’t heard yet – “Jasper, do you want a spankin?”. I looked out from the bedroom to see Jasper running sideways down the hall with his pillow (that’s supposed to be in his crate). It was funny because he was headed back towards his crate. My wife was talking to him saying things like, “you know you’re not supposed to have that out” and “you put that back right now young man” – and the funny thing was, he was doing it. The pillow is twice his size so it’s a bit of a struggle for him, but there he was running back into his crate. The funniest scene was watching him disappear into the crate and then watching the pillow disappear in there after him – after a few grunting tugs.