Monday, June 08, 2009

Canine Boot Camp Featuring Snake Dentists

Ahhhhh. Dog people of the world unite! Do you have a dog? Does your dog produce any of the following side effects? Headaches, itching, nausea, abrupt fits of cussing, the tender feelings of the beginnings of mental break down? Or do you have one of those dogs? Meaning a dog that is not really a dog at all but a bizarre, rarely seen entity known loosely on the streets as "a good dog?"

At our house as you all know we have Rudy. Good dog? Rarely (a funny dog is different than a good dog.) Especially lately. We are working against our surroundings here in this camp ground to keep him trained and tolerable. After three months in this location he has learned to bark at every single noise he hears outside (never used to do that and I am not going to go in to why he has developed that behavior because my brains will leak out my left ear if I try to talk about it) and the lack of contact with a wide variety of other dogs seems to create such hard core tension in him that he is like a tightly wound spring ready to snap every time we take him out for a spin around town or on a trail. He cries constantly the whole time he rides in the truck (also, never used to do that) in anticipation of wherever we are headed. He has also arrived at a moment in his life when he has developed attachments to certain toys that are causing him to act like a depressed, rabid lunatic. Last night we finally had to take "the precious" away from him once and for all. I am now almost certain that Tolkien must have had a terrier who had a tennis ball who caused the inspiration for the character of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. Anyway.... what I am trying to say here is that it has become a full time job trying to keep this dawg in line of late.

We took the tennis ball away because Rudy was getting overly protective of it and he would literally hole up in his crate with it for hours like a troll. At night he would bring it on our bed and circle around us like a wolf growling and taunting us with it (like we want it... dudes, the thing smells like toe cheese.) So last night we orchestrated a fake out move and snatched it while he was not looking and Billy put it in a container out in our little storage shed. We have a hidden back stock of goofy dog toys that we rotate through in times of need. Last night we called upon Mr. Snake to come to the rescue. It was a brilliant success.

A pleasant introduction was made... both parties were in fine spirits and ready to have a good time.

Little did we know Mr. Snake is also a highly skilled dentist... so we allowed him to do an oral exam. Lucky for Rudy he had no cavities. Although I did see a look cross Mr. Snake's face that read "Wow, dude.... baaaaad breath, yo!"

After an hour or so of rough housing Rudy and Mr. Snake were the best of friends posing for this portrait as proof.

So our daily doggie boot camp will continue. We went to the beach this morning and Rudy had an unfortunate incident with a 6 month old puppy that was three times his size. Puppies don't really get it yet and can be a bit too nutty when they engage with another dog in play. This one was slamming Rudy around and Rudy freaked and they ended up in a weird sort of fight where the bigger dog was pinning Rudy on his back and snapping at his face and Rudy was trying to be in full blown "I may be little but I am gonna whoop your ass!" mode but could not even get up or out from under the other dog. It was really awful to witness on a human level but not really a dangerous moment in the dog's reality I don't think. The other dog owner then called Rudy "an instigator." I am going to go ahead right here and say that I think at least 75% of dog owners we meet are idiots about dogs. And being that I have an uncontrollable hillbilly temper I of course told him very loudly that nothing like this has ever happened before in the history of Rudy's life (and really, honestly it hasn't) therefore implying that it was his dog's fault. It was not really anybodies fault. It was just dogs. Sigh.


Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Poor Rudy! That dude was an idiot. Little dogs like Rudy (and my Lucy) may be spunky, but they can't really handle the craziness of a big puppy who doesn't know his own strength. Lucy tangled with my sister's lab puppy several years back, and it ended with us having to take Lu to a special vet dentist in Kalamazoo. Lucy is an old girl now--10--and she gets along much better with smaller dogs. I think she thinks she can "boss" them easier. When she was younger, she used to really enjoy play-fighting with her buddies, but now she just barks at dogs who are playing, just like a grumpy old lady telling them to simma down. It makes me a little sad.

All this to say: yep, I know, sometimes they act crazy and it's hard to know why. I hope Rudy will work out whatever is bugging him. (FWIW, Lucy does the crazed barking thing, too, and it's a newer development; I blame old age.)

I love the photo of Rudy with the almond, and those beautiful flower photos! I know the cold weather there is driving you crazy, but it sounds like heaven to heat/sun-phobic me. :)

Tell Rudy that Lucy said simma down. And give him a kiss for me!

Bethany said...

Ahhhh Karen... have I told you lately that I love you? This is exactly why I started the post with the statement "Dog owners of the world unite!" I should have added that only cool, sane dog owners need apply. Thanks for answering the call.

Yeah... it's tough with Rudy too because we are constantly changing the environments he lives in. He gets used to one place and then we move to a new one. Sometimes it's good and sometimes it's bad. This particular location is rife with fodder for behavioral problems to spring forth from. Bleh. So I can't wait to get him set up in new digs.... wherever that next new place may turn out to be. It's just a weird window of time for all three of us here right now I think. I may start barking randomly out the window before the week plays out.

I would like to let Lucy have a chance at bossing Rudy in person. He could use an mature lady (besides me) to put him in his place.

Thanks for loving the almond picture. It's not the kind of pic that everyone would appreciate. ;)

Raven said...

those are some of the scariest photos I've ever seen.

sybil said...

as long as there was no blood it's all good. dogs will be dogs... i think the same rules apply to kids, right?...