Sunday, July 20, 2008

Roll With It

... but bring Rub Downs!

At a recent practice, Bailey takes off across the field to leave a little something for the next dogs by to sniff out. I follow with a baggie, but before I can get to him (it), he’s off again. This time he sniffs the ground, drops his front shoulder and rolls. And rolls again, and again. I hear “Ewww!” back at the practice area. “I think Bailey found the dead gopher.” Sigh. I wonder if I packed those Rub Downs. I’ve learned, you see.

This is not the first enthusiastic roll in mystery Ewww! Really, it’s been happening since he came to live with me. The off leash park has some fabulous offerings on occasion, in addition to the usual smelly sloughs. Ordinarily these are handled by a short ride home in their crates and a quick hop in the tub to sub out the stench with the minty fresh smell I prefer.

We’re not always prepared, though, and the journeys haven’t all been that short. Last April, returning from a tournament in Lloydminster with a friend and her well-behaved collie, we stopped in North Battleford to switch drivers and let the dogs out for a bit of business. Once again, Bailey bounded off (I stupidly took him off leash) and proceeded to do his business. I followed, bag in hand (this is going to start to sound repetitive here). Before I reached the designated pick up spot, he was off again, and once again proceeded to roll in something that must have been extremely lovely, because he got up and rolled in it again. Then he got up, dropped and rolled in it again and again. Sigh. Eventually he made his way close enough to me to hook him up and bring him back.

It didn’t look all that bad. A bit dusty, but it didn’t smell great. We opened the windows, trying not to inhale too deeply and stopped at a nearby Tim Horton’s, where we wet down some cloths and soaped him up a bit and that’s then the slimy looking stuff came to the top. He must have scrunched it right down under the fur. Ewww! The impromptu bath didn’t really cut it, and we had to spray him down with some Dr. Scholl’s to survive the last part of the ride home (where, of course, he had a bath before bed).

So … Rub Downs. Make sure you pack ‘em!

Judy & Bailey

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Three Dogs...Are You Kidding Me???

For the past four years, I've had two dogs. Two big dogs, about the same size. Similar temperament, very loving with one another and have had few issue throughout their lives as a pair. The past several months I thought, very much in passing, that it would be fun to have a third dog. A small dog. One who would nip at the ankles of my big dogs. But I wasn't actually serious.

Well, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for. On May 31st while at a wedding in the country, this adorable white ball of fluff was found trying to play with the pigs and donkeys on the property where the wedding took place. Much to the chagrin of some of my friends at the wedding who do not share the same compassion for lost animals as me, I took this puppy home with the intent to find her rightful owners. A few days later, I was able to make contact with her family via a local vet clinic, but alas, they never stepped forward to get her back.

So now I have three dogs. In theory. There are three dogs at my house, but I have yet to come to terms with it. Three dogs who need fed, loved, walked and three dogs whose excrement I am now responsible for.

As the three adjust to their new lifestyle, I am constantly laughing at their antics. In Millie, Daisy finally has a playmate who likes toys and doesn't tire of well, a playmate who inspires Monty to want to play also (a miracle in and of itself). Daisy will approach Millie with a toy in her mouth, inviting her to play. When Millie accepts the invitation, Daisy promptly reminds Millie several times that she must submit, as Millie always does willingly. Then the three of them will engage in a very fierce-sounding rampage of ear-pulling, neck grabbing, tail-wagging excitement.

Last night, Millie got the zoomies. It's the first time I've seen this, and it's likely because it rained all day and evening, and she spent most of the time in her crate, and little time playing or walking. It was hilarious! I have one couch that she can squeeze underneath, and she would often shoot under there after doing a few laps around the living room, over a dog, under a dog, and so on. Then she stuck her head out from under the couch, waiting to pounce while Monty & Daisy looked on very curiously. Unfortunately, it was about 11:30pm and not at all an appropriate time for zoomies (which I tried to explain to Millie). Needless to say, she protested when alerted to the end of her play time and there was a little bit of jostling in the crate when she tried to resume zoomies once in her bed for the night. What a turkey!

I swore that I'd never get another puppy. So much work, training, headache...but what a rewarding experience it is. I've been lucky with my dogs. None of them were nightmares as puppies. All fairly laid back and easy to train. So I have three dogs. There. I said it. I have three dogs. Two big ones about the same size, and a little white fluffy one who nips at Monty & Daisy's ankles.


Friday, July 4, 2008

If You Could Read My Mind or Don’t Go Changin’

Sometimes it’s easy to know what they’re thinking.

Earlier today, I sat with 8 eyes boring a hole in the back of my skull. “Will she drop it? Will she drop it?”
“Sorry boys, you’ve had your supper. This one’s mine.”

Or the mantra that runs through his head as he drops to the ground staring at the object lying between us. “Throw the ball. Throw the ball. Throw the ball.”

But sometimes I’m just too human to get it. Last night, while I sat up doing a bit of reading (and not falling asleep by the 3rd paragraph … huzaah!), he jumps up to take his place at the foot of the bed, and a moment later he’s down again, trots over to the corner and tries to climb behind the laundry hamper, comes back to the middle of the room, stares at me, mumbles something, silent stares and a few more mumbles.

“I don’t know what you want. No snacks! Get to bed.”

He jumps up, and 30 seconds later he’s down again. Pace, pace, pace. Still not sure what he wants, I get up to let him out. Not interested. There are no fireworks tonight, as far as I can tell. What is it? I sigh, yawn, and return to the bedroom. It’s warm so I stop to turn on the air conditioner, turn out the lights and climb back into bed.

Suddenly, all is right with his world. Was the air conditioner now loud enough to block outside noises? Or was it the broken routine of lights-out that had disturbed him?

OCD?! My dog?!

Can you guess what breed?