Maverick was born June 8th 2002 in Iowa. Howie purchased Maverick from the pet store, Happiness is Pets. At the pet store Maverick had been separated from his littermates because one of his sisters had been chewing on him. Maverick was Howie’s first dog. Maverick went to puppy classes and was a quick learner. He has also gone to agility classes and hunt training.
Maverick used to be in a crate when Howie was out until the age of four. Now Ruby our other dog is in a crate when we are out and Maverick is free. Often times Maverick will sit in the chair by Ruby’s crate and keep her company.
Maverick is a loving dog. He loves kissing people, people he knows or does not know. He is snuggly, he likes to stay close, be petted and hugged. He loves physical affection. He is very smart. He is quick to learn things and interested in everything. He is super active, needs a lot of exercise, and does not tire easily. He is a great guard dog. He has aloud authoritative bark and does not miss a sound. Maverick is an extremely sensitive dog. He is very in tune with his surroundings. If someone in the environment is yelling or upset he tends to shake and curl up in ball. If someone is sick or sad and crying Maverick is right their side, licking them better. Maverick also keeps tabs on his family. He follows either physically with his body or his eyes where everyone is going at all times. If in his opinion, we have ventured off too far, he will come over and herd us back to the group.
However since the cancer and chemo he has slowed down a lot. We went from spending at least an hour at the park to 20 minutes. He does not ask to stop but you can see his body tiring.
Maverick attended doggie daycare regularly from the age of eleven months to five. Now Maverick stays home with me and Ruby. On occasion, he would go to daycare if I am very busy or the weather was bad. Maverick had also been boarded at the day care (so he could play all day) on several occasions as well as stayed with friends while we were away.
Now since the cancer we have not sent him to daycare at all, nor has he been boarded.
Food and Water
Maverick has been eating ProPlan dog food. He also eats lots of dog treats and lots of people food. He does not like shrimp, grapefruit, spinach, or cucumbers but will eat most anything else. He loves peanut butter, apples, and steak. We do not feed Maverick pork products of any kind. Maverick’s bowl is on the left and Ruby’s Bowl is the right. Maverick was never a big water drinker.
Maverick never stole food from us or our other dog until he became ravenous from either the cancer, the chemo therapy, or the steroids. Since his diagnosis, he was losing 1 to 2 lbs a week (though he gained 1 lb this past week to our pleasant surprise). We have upped his food and are giving him more snacks throughout the day. We also have just started feeding him three times a day. Now Maverick is a huge water drinker since the prednisone and he can now finish a bowl of water in no time. And he drinks all day long.
Going to the Bathroom
Maverick can generally last 6 - 8 hours without going to the bathroom. He generally poops 1-2 hours after a meal. He poops twice a day. His poop is normal. Maverick does not like being sent to go to the bathroom alone. He likes to know you are watching and waiting for him even if it is only from above on the deck. Maverick pees normally and loves marking his territory but knows not to do that except outside. Maverick does not have accidents in the house. Maverick when peeing will sniff around until he finds just the right spot before going to the bathroom. In terms of poop, he is much less selective. Maverick generally squats to pee except when he is marking his territory he lifts his leg. Maverick has poor aim when he lifts his leg, if he is trying to mark a tree 4 out 5 times he will miss the tree. Maverick does not like to go out to use the bathroom when it is raining - he needs to be coaxed.
Since the cancer, he is peeing and pooping much more often.
Relationship with Ruby
We got Ruby November of 2007. Ruby is a little chocolate lab. He was not overly fond of her at the beginning but they soon became family. Ruby was born with a urinary problem and Maverick was always taking care of her cleaning her, and letting me know she had an accident. Ruby loves to play tug of war with Maverick. She loves to chase him and hunt him. He puts up with her the majority of the time but lets her know when he is not in the mood for her antics. He has been playing with her less frequently since his diagnosis. Maverick also enjoys humping her. Both dogs are fixed. This has also become less frequent due to the diagnosis. He has also found ticks on her and shown us where they were.
Both of our dogs sleep in bed with us. Maverick sleeps on the right hand side of the bed right next to Howie. He prefers to sleep directly on the sheet. Often he spreads out like a person but he also sleeps in a ball. Ruby sleeps down by my feet.
He also will sleep during the day either on the couch, the bed, or his favorite black chair.
Before the Cancer and Chemotherapy he usually slept through the night from about 10 pm to 6 or 7am. But since the cancer he has to go out usually several times throughout the night to use the bathroom. Now he lasts about 2-3 hours before he asks to go out. The oncologist says it is because of the prednisone. The cancer or the chemotherapy has also made him more tired. He sleeps or rests the majority of the day. But if there are people, over he is up and in the middle of all the fun.
Mavericks most favorite toys are balls. It used to be tennis balls but the veterinary dental specialist said the tennis balls' fur was wearing down his teeth like sand paper so we switched to racquetballs. He loves to play catch, especially at the dog park. He loves dog parks. His favorite kind of dog park has open fields, woods, and someplace to swim. Maverick is a little ball obsessed and once he is playing ball, he does not want to stop. If a ball is lost or his sister or another dog took the ball he will search for it and search for it.
Maverick does not play with toys generally on his own. The dog toys are left out but he likes someone to play with him with the toys. I think that this has been a change since we got our other dog Ruby.
Socialization with People
Maverick loves to be around people. He is a people dog. He loves babies, children, men, women, and the elderly. Maverick has always been outgoing and loving towards strangers and non strangers. His friendly and playful personality make him fast friends with just about everyone. Maverick was initially hesitant when it came to people with canes, walkers, and wheelchairs but the more he was exposed to them this behavior stopped. Howie socialized him to these things in preparation for the work he did at rehabilitation homes while in Illinois. Maverick loves people in uniforms repairmen, cops, mailmen, etc.
Socialization with Cats
Maverick has a general interest and curiosity in cats. However, the one time we tried to get him to play with cats, he barked and wanted to chase them. Needless to say the cats did not like it one bit.
Socialization with Dogs
Maverick is pretty social with dogs overall from the dogs parks and daycare. He gets along with most dogs but does not seek out dog playmates. Maverick tends to be somewhat aggressive with unfixed male dogs. He also will sometimes have issues with boxers, pit bulls, and other dogs like that. His aggressive behavior can be easily corrected though. In general, we try to avoid dogs that we know he might have a problem with.
Since he started the prednosone, he has been more aggressive with dogs but only slightly. Actually his aggression has been with all types of dogs lately not just the previously described kinds. Also he has been mildly more aggressive with his sister as of late.
Maverick doesn’t like vacuum cleaners.
Maverick prefers to go in Howie’s car over mine. Howie’s car has the whole trunk for the dogs where as my car just has seats. Maverick generally enjoys car rides. He likes to stand and look out the window. He will on occasion whine if the traffic is moving slow or if we are going through a residential neighborhood.
Since the cancer and chemotherapy, Maverick has been more hesitant and difficult to get in the car. He will circle around the car a few times before he can be convinced to go in. Most likely because lately he has been in the car so much going to doctors and hospitals (although he usually likes the places once we get there and has always loved vet offices in the past).
Howie usually grooms the dogs once a week including ears, brushing, and nails. The frequency has decreased more recently to be once every 2 weeks. Maverick has always been sensitive when it comes to his ears (if you just touch him behind his ears, he dislikes it and shakes his head afterwards - he does let Ruby clean his ears though). But he is a good boy and allows us to groom him. Howie also brushes their teeth or gives them Dent A Bones every other day. Maverick like this. I checks over the dogs daily looking for ticks, cuts, bruises, bumps, etc. Maverick is very well behaved for this.
Maverick knows and practices his commands regularly. He picked them up easily. He knows sit, down, stay, whoa, paw, heel, settle, roll over, here, back, off, no, kisses, up, high five, take it, leave it, find it, drop, give, go on, and forward (most of these are known by voice and hand commands and some are also known by whistle). Maverick also understands long distance whistle and directional commands when in the field or water.
While not quite a command, Maverick will howl along with people when they start to sing or hum.
Other Animal Feces
If left unsupervised, Maverick would in the past eat goose feces and roll around in deer and other feces. Not so much anymore.
Maverick generally likes going to the vet because he likes being around all the people. He never has been fond of examining tables. But once he is up there he is fine.
Lately, with the cancer he has been feeling a little nervous at his vet appointments.