Thursday, December 29, 2011

Maid of Mayhem - No ones BFF

She's usually the perfect pet during the nighttime. She has matured enough now to only need to go outside once each night and then, it's a quick squat to pee, a meandering tour around her yards' boundary and then, back to the door rapidly as if something is chasing her. It's a good thing I'm there to open it on her approach or who knows what horrid end she may come to.

We three adult, humans are learning, slowly, but learning. Tooth and claw is a good teacher, much as life has always been for us. Yet, last evening I had to take Gail over to an Urgent Care Center in Independence to stitch up the gash resulting from a playful encounter with Chewy's still razor- sharp puppy teeth while Gail chased her up the stairs trying to retrieve a shoe that has become Chewy's favorite item to steal and run with. I took a look at it before we decided it needed professional medical treatment and estimated three or four stitches would be needed to close it up again. I may be wrong; but I doubt it. It's a caption on one T-shirt Kellie gave me for Christmas. It fits me to a "T" pun intended. Three stitches is what it took, plus a Tetnus shot, a prescription for an antibiotic and a request for a recheck today out of caution related to the fact that the gash came from a dog's tooth.

Chewy has experienced two sessions of crate confinement today, one while Maureen took down the Christmas tree and decorations and stored them again till the next time and once more while I went over the kitchen floor with a damp mop to remove most of the muddy paw prints accumulated since yesterday. It's impossible to accomplish any chore that requires a fast moving object at floor level if Chewy is present. It's all a wonderful game to her. We purchased one of those as seen on TV magic rugs that claims to capture all moisture and mud or grime instantly. It has the potential to work that way if it could be place outside in the varying precipitation, which would afford the most contact length as she waits to be let back inside each time. As it is, she hates to have her feet wiped or be toweled off after being out in the rain. She has had no contact with snow yet this year, so we have something to look forward to soon. I wonder what new set of problems snow will generate for the household?

We are in the midst of rearranging living-room furniture. I wish you could have seen Chewy's reaction as she got her first glimpse of all the changes that had taken place so far. You could see the bewilderment on her face. It seemed to ask, "What is going on here?" Only a blind person could have been more confused in that situation. My imagination is working overtime conjuring up various scenarios as a result. What a joy it would have been to have witnessed her dashing down the stairs with some contraband she had swiped, leaping up into the air to land on a sofa that is no longer there and imagining her crashing into the wall that is behind where the sofa had been before. Is that wrong of me? Oh Well! So be it. She needs to suffer unexpected consequences due to her behavior now and then. How is she going to learn otherwise? We haven't been able to teach her anything so far. It's true, you know. An Old Dog has no chance of teaching a hard headed pup any new tricks.

Honestly, we are shocked at how fast and how large Chewy has grown in six weeks or so. She seems twice as long and twice as tall as she was when she first arrived here.

I've got to put that new video camera to work, capturing her herding behavior, her heel nipping techniques and how she goes about teaching stupid human tricks to stupid humans.

Chewy's not all bad. There are some beautiful aspects of her character and personality and of her physical appearance. Her profile is perfect for her breed. Long, square muzzle, closely set, beady little eyes ... Ha-Ha, I am joking of course. Her ears hang perfectly, her coat is thick and silky to the touch but one must be careful how and when they do the touching. She is quick to admonish the uninvited digit in forbidden areas. It's difficult to learn exactly where all the forbidden areas of her body are. I believe they keep changing as she ages. It less risky to only touch her when absolutely necessary.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I believe it was Fred First's admission that there was once a time that he had considered returning Tsunga to the breeders he had gotten him from that caused me to realize Chewy wasn't all that different or worse than any other puppy.  All she needed was some more time and understanding from us.  Patience Clarence ... Patience!

It may be premature to state that I've begun to notice some calming and better behavior in our little darling but I actually do believe it's taking place.  I suppose it compares to being charged by a lion, only to discover that all it wanted to do was get acquainted with you and lick some exposed skin, not rip you limb from limb. Perhaps if Chewy could manage a sound like a purr when she's in that mood, then I wouldn't cringe and adopt a defensive posture as I normally do when she gets playful. Torn flesh and ripped skin takes a while to heal over when you reach my age.  It's not easy to alter one's fears once a relationship has been established between man and beast and their interaction has been a painful and bloody one.

So, there is hope on the horizon.  We will see how it goes from here on.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011


I believe our greatest difficultly when it comes to our new puppy (hereafter referred to as "CHEWY") is that our first puppy was such a godsend to us. We've said it many times since Jenny left us. "Jenny was a PERFECT puppy and an even better dog as an adult." Yes! Jenny was comparable to a bottle of fine wine. She only got better with age. We only wished that she could have aged for a few more years than she did. Nine years certainly was not enough time to share with us.

And now I found out that a friend of mine, another Blogger I had the privilege of getting to know via email and reading his wonderful Blog for years now, has suffered the same fate as us. He lost his beloved Tsunga. One difference between us and his family is that they have had and lost several other Labradors.

I was right there with Fred First when he brought Tsunga home. I watched and read all that Fred shared with us in print and photos. Tsunga was such a beautiful creature, in my opinion. Now, I look forward to looking on as Fred searches for a new friend to share his life with. I came right out and told him not to consider an Aussie Cattle Dog as a replacement. Well, I tweeted it to him anyway. That's the same as saying it in a face to face ... right? I just know that Fred is going to come up with something, some final words related to his life with Tsunga that I and the rest of the animal lovers out there wouldn't want to miss it. So, click on this active link to find him and his blog and then bookmark it for future access. I know you will be glad that you did.

Now, I feel a twinge of guilt for my warning. It's not Chewy's fault that she is as she is. It's me! I just know that I'm messing up what could have been a great dog.

I have acquired a moderate dislike for Caesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer of TV renown. What's so special about him? How did he acquire all that knowledge about dogs? Do they teach that stuff in college? I suppose I could have chosen a similar path for myself but how was I to know it was such a lucrative choice as a career? Don't get me wrong. Mr. Milan is a genius when it comes to understanding and training dogs. But, does he have to make it appear so easy?

Perhaps I am rushing to judgment and only adding to my shortcomings. Hey! It may well be that Chewy will mature and flower into a perfect adult dog too. All I must do is stick it out and wait to see what happens in another year or so. Chewy won't understand when I say "I'm sorry" for all the mistakes I've made in the past. Apologizing won't make a nickels worth of difference. I have prayed for guidance but so far, I don't feel led in the right direction.

Watch this web page. I know there will be other confessions to follow. I've got to unload my growing burden as it gets to the breaking point or I'll surely be crushed by the weight.