Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I have a few questions.


Good morning! Oh hello, good morning!
Excuse me but why are you still sleeping? Didn't you hear the alarm go off? It's right next to your head. Do you think you might need hearing aids?
It's time for my walk please. What do you mean you're tired? Being tired is no excuse. I'm tired too. Do you think it's easy entertaining you guys and keeping Mr Thumper in check?

Why are you still in your jammies? Why do you take so long to get ready? Why must you brush your teeth? Who's going to be sniffing your breath? There's no one out there at this hour. Look it's 6.01 already. Get changed please. Are you changed yet?

Oh, are we going by car today?
Why does Mr Thumper have to come along? He's so slow. Does he really need a walk? I'm sure he'd rather just have breakfast in bed.

Why can't I be in the back seat?
Why can't I be in the back seat?
Why can't I be in the back seat?!


I must have slipped out. I'm getting too skinny. Do you think you should be feeding me more? Hey, now that I'm in the back seat, can I come out front? 

Why not?! Lots of dogs do! I see them all the time, learning how to drive. What's wrong with you? Don't you like dogs? Don't you want me to learn things? Auntie Fran lets me come up front. Can I go live with Auntie Fran?

I'm h.o.o.ome..! Oh hellooo.o.o...I'm my breakfast ready? I'm starving! Can we eat now please? Can we?  What do you mean "not yet"? Why not?

Why not?!

What do you mean?! And why do I have to wait outside the kitchen?!*!! *@!
Please explain!

Is there some reason my bed isn't downstairs yet? Where am I supposed to sleep? On the floor? Why are you so slow? Why do I have to walk slowly? Because YOU do? But why DO you?

Why is there a spot on my bed? Is that dirt? Whose pawprint is that? Why didn't you clean it? Wouldn't it be better if I just sleep on you instead? I won't tell if YOU won't tell. Are you going to work now?
Why do YOU have to go? Why can't the other one go? She's pretty lazy, isn't she? She doesn't give Mr Thumper a massage everyday like she tells you, you know. Did you remind her to give me my bone? And could you bring me back some steak please? Yes, I'll be good. Promise.



What do you want? Don't disturb me please.

Why isn't he home yet?  Why?
Who's going to take me for my walk?
And why are you watching TV? Shouldn't you be getting my dinner? I'm hungry you know. What do you mean, YOU get to eat first? Humans always eat before dogs? Who said that? Some dog b.e.h.a.v.i.o.u.r.i.s.t? What's that? And what's on telly anyway? Is it Dogtown? I like Dogtown.
Oh wait, we don't have Dogtown because it costs too much money to get that channel. If you eat less cream cakes and passionfruit tarts, we'd have the money for it. How about that? What do you mean...or I could have less steak? By the way, are you getting my dinner soon?

Why's my bed still downstairs? Can we go upstairs now? I'm sleepy. Hey, here's a thought. Wouldn't it be easier if you just got me 2 beds? Then I could sleep wherever I want all day. Come to think about it, a bed on the sundeck might be nice too. Yeah. How about 3 beds? What do you mean I'm too pushy? Am I really? Why do you say that? And why are you walking so slowly? Are you old or something? Why do I have to walk behind you? Where's my blankie? Could I have my blankie over my head? Please put my blankie over my head. O-v-e-r  m-y  h-e-a-d!
Thank you. Goodnight. Turn off the lights please. It's too bright here.


I started writing this in early September. Then all sorts of things happened in our local dog community. Interesting, good and very bad, as you would know if you follow this blog, and the post got shoved further and further back until I forgot about it.

But here it is finally!

I suspect it may be the last we see of the belligerent, in-your-face obstinate Georgia. She's changed quite a bit in the last 2 months.

She's stopped chewing Things She Shouldn't Chew so we can leave her home alone for at least a few hours. She no longer shadows us, and spends most of her day sleeping. She responds better to commands and doesn't challenge and argue as she used to. [Though when she decides to use her vocal chords, she remains The Undisputed Loudest Dog On The Planet.]

She also doesn't play as hard anymore, and has become quite picky about who she wants to play with, sometimes ignoring old friends in favour of meeting new dogs. It may be my imagination, but I think she's just as happy with our human company and exploratory or on-the-leash street walks.

At home, she's more mellow, surprisingly, even with Rufus, and often runs to check on him when she hears him coughing and hacking.

She went through a worrying "I'm 2 years old now, don't muck with me." phase with other dogs. We haven't seen that behaviour since Dogs Day Out, thank goodness, but remain vigilant about her triggers and in keeping her "sub-threshhold". [Which is why it's so vexing when something like the daschund or cat attack happens.] Interestingly, many of her "teenage" dog friends have also been going through this crabby phase. They're all well-socialized dogs so it's puzzling. It seems to particularly affect GIRL dogs. Doubly puzzling.

So there you have it. Our little pea, Georgia, is growing up. No longer a lady-in-waiting. Possibly A Young Lady. [I'm not 100% convinced yet.] This is the day we were looking forward to, inconceivable in the first few months when she was so wilful, hyperactive and destructive.

So how come I feel a little tear welling up? The months have flown by too quickly, a reminder of how short our dogs' lives are, and how little time really, we have with them. The truth is, I miss the old Georgia already.


Some helpful reading for people with crabby dogs:

An excerpt from one of the posts in that last link:
"When dogs are allowed to greet others while on-leash, they learn to expect it. When they can’t, they tend to become frustrated. On-leash aggression is frustration. How many times have you heard (or thought) “He’s not aggressive! He just wants to say hi!”? To make matters worse, what starts out as a display of frustration is often misinterpreted by the other dog as an aggressive display, leading to a snowball effect. Avoid the greetings and avoid the association."

If those links have you thinking, you'll find more helpful sites/blogs on the sidebar. Their names will point them out to you.

I love this one too:

It's great reading, especially for people who think all dogs in the world are friendly just because theirs are. [Until Georgia came along, I used to be one of these witless ones.]

An excerpt from the post - "Owners of non-reactive dogs simply don’t understand the plight of the owner of a reactive dog. They honestly don’t see anything wrong with letting their dog walk towards your dog for a greeting or allowing their off leash dog to run up to your dog for a quick butt sniff."

SUMMARY: Not a single dog trainer/behaviourist [that I have read] encourages random on-leash greetings between dogs, especially dogs that don't know each other. I hope the next time I walk Georgia down Darling Street and some strange dog pulls towards us to say "hello", the owner won't be offended or think me rude when I walk my dog away.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Loved this post. Made me laugh out loud!