Friday, August 02, 2013
7-Quick Takes, No One Wants To Hear Your Pet Stories Edition
I have a weird brand of writer's block, where I can only write an opening paragraph about anything at all, and then if I try to carry on it just becomes a tortuous, random-search kind of text-vomit that no one would want to read, except maybe a curious psychoanalyst, happening on this blog by mistake. My only hope at readable anything is to write within a structure like "7 Quick Takes" and so, here goes.
1.Our home is full... FULL OF LOVE! You probably know we have two cats (just barely adult, a bit over a year old). Now we've added Callie, a nine-year-old collie/golden/shepherd mix. She is lovely and practically perfect (but for one issue, see below). We got her at a groovy shelter and took her home about 4 days after first considering even possibly thinking about maybe getting a dog. Whirlwind.
2. The first night, we panicked because she lunged after our beloved cats. We had decided to keep her on a leash for the first several days, so we could bond with her and really be able to observe her. I'm glad we did it, and it was definitely helpful (if a pain/headlong plunge into parenthood: "hold the leash while I go take a shower...") what I couldn't figure out was, what to do overnight? Do I sleep with the leash looped around my foot? I asked our dog-owning friend PJ and he said "don't you have a baby gate?" Well, no. Do people have baby gates?? We ended up rigging a window screen across the bedroom door and overnight-ordering a fancy one (with a cat door!) at great expense. We stopped using the gate about 5 days later.
3. The cats are young and pretty adaptable (as opposed to our ex-cats, who were old and did NOT like dogs) so we thought it would work out and it has. Charley is still not in love with Callie, and doesn't like his space invaded by her, but he's not afraid. Katy is absolutely not afraid and often will eskimo-kiss Callie on her way by. Cute!
4. Callie suffers from "leash aggression" or "barrier aggression," which is to say that when on a leash, she growls and barks and lunges at other dogs (and cats). Face to face, she's lovely with other dogs, but on a leash she's a madwoman. True to my personality, I've been researching the issue exhaustively and trying different techniques.
5. Callie is not a submissive dog- she IS mellow, which helps in all areas, and she's been trained mostly pretty well. But she doesn't particularly care to please me, is only mildly interested in praise or treats, and is mostly unphased by correction. I've had some success with distracting her and we've been working on keeping-on-walking when we see dogs. I've been teaching her to look at me when I say her name, and that's going well, and it turns out she knows how to heel!
6. All things considered I have to say that adopting an adult/elderly dog is the way to go. I can't imagine how much work it must be to house-train a dog, or to every-other-kind-of train it. I know we may not have many years with Callie but the years we have will only involve outdoor pooping, and for that I am thankful. Also, her original owner died (young0 in her fifties!) of cancer, so, you know, she was an orphlan. From the orphlan home (that's a Meet Me In St. Louis reference.)
7. Callie wags her tail in her sleep. Need I say more? She is the best dog ever.
Did you know that blogging from an Ipad is nigh onto impossible? I'll have to post pictures later, including a link to the host of 7QT, www.conversiondiary.com, so do come back.