Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dog Days







I understand that the phrase "Dog days" usually refers to the hottest, stickiest, time of the summer months, usually the end of July through the start of September. However, around my house, dog days are any day when it's either too wet, cold, or unbearably hot to go outside. For the past week, while the temps have been nice, the skies have been dark, and the rain has just been a steady, constant drip. This is a very sad thing for my dogs. Not only does everyone who comes into the house smell like wet human, (yuck!) but they can't do their favorite thing - go for a walk and molest the newly blooming shrubbery at the park.
Instead, we're stuck inside. Not a big thing for you and I, and for most people who have only one dog, it's usually not the end of the world; But when you have SIX dogs, it's a borderline emergency. Normally, since their mom isn't a morning person, they're pretty patient until noon or so. That's usually when they start watching me closely for any subtle indication that a walk might be about to happen. I had no idea that I was so predictable, but I've come to realise that they're always watching me very closely. Even when they're in, what appears to be, a sound sleep, If I unzip my purse, (which is where I keep my sunglasses) their heads will pop up, their ears will perk forward, and their tails will start to tentatively wag. So on rainy day, I have to monitor my movements, because once they get the idea of a walk in their heads, they'll spend the remainder iof the day whinging and trying to herd me towards the garage. (where we keep the collars, leashes, and doggie back packs.)

So what do I do on days like this? It becomes a Dog Day, because if left unchecked, they WILL find some way to release all their pent up energy - ususally, at the expense of my home and personal belongings.
Rainy days are good for working on tricks and obedience. Since we have a new puppy, I've had to spend extra time doing this lately. MY dogs understand that when it's treat time, they can gather round, at a respectful distance, and when everyone is quietly sitting and their eyes are on me, they will ALL be given a treat. Those are the same rules that I used as a preschool teacher for story time, and they seem to work. Puppy hasn't quite figured that out yet. When puppy sees the treats come out he does the "terrier dance." He starts bouncing around on his hind legs, jumping on the bigger dogs and trying to snatch out of my hand before tit reaches the mouths of the other dogs. I won't tolerate a dog that isn't gentle when he takes something from my hand, and more than once, the puppy's behavior has created a few disciplinary growls from the bigger dogs. Not cool. So we work on that, and if puppy gets it figured out, we work on catching treats that have been tossed in the air, in their mouths -without fighting. They are all pretty good at it - exept for the little dogs. They tend to get pissed off that their size keeps them from getting as many treats as the big dogs. But that's life - if Princess didn't weigh three times her normal size, she could out jump any of them.

Some times, we play hide and seek with the bedroom monkey. The bedroom monkey is a stuffed monkey with REALLY long arms and legs, that when squeezed, makes a monkey sound that drives them INSANE. Who ever finds him gets a treat.

Some times, we go out in the garage and toss the tennis ball for a while.

And if it's been raining for several days, (like today) and they've been especially good, then I track down all of the empty plastic peanut butter jars, and coat the inside of them with a layer of peanut butter. They can spend hours laying about the house licking them until they are clean as a whistle.

However, it gets really stormy, with lots of sound effects, Pete gets too anxious up to do much of anything at all. That's when I go upstairs, cover my kingsized bed with the old comforter, and we all cuddle up together and nap. Since Pete used to be a stray dog, he's terrified of thunder, so I have to turn on my desk top water fountain that plays night time cricket sounds, and I let him curl up on top of me.

Okay, Jake wants to get on the computer. But before I go, Jake wants to know if anyone can answer a question that's always confuzzled him. Ready? Are vegetarians allowed to eat animal crackers?

5 howled back:

sparsely kate said...

Oooo ooooo I can answer that one! Yes they can eat animal crackers but only the animials that eat humans. So, no he can't eat the dogs or the birds but yes, he can eat the lions and the bears.
Did that help? (I have no idea what is inside an animal cracker box!)

And I gotta tell ya, when I read this typo in your post:

before tit reaches the mouths of the other dogs


I had a great bit chuckle. I am so rude. I know it. But it's late and I'm silly!

Love ya...and I always like your dog pics and stories, I bet Bart wishes he could come live at your house. xx

sparsely kate said...

P/s and if Bart actually CAN come and live at your house, then I'll be glad to pay all freight and shipping costs. It is the least I can do.

Hahah you know I'm only kidding. Poor Barty dog..the kids would sell me if I sold him.

jasminharrington said...

I suggested the peanut butter jar to everyone who came in the salon yesterday. However, Jackson prefers small rubber balls. He just cracks me up. Oh and by the way... I got the perverted dog who humps everything! And from the sounds of it Quentin is not taking the dog??? Big surprise!

Cat said...

LOL!

I think having a pack around like that - dog days would become something else - hey you do what you gotta do - it sounds like you have managed the pack fairly well - good on ya!

Cat said...

I have been thinking about you and hoping all is working itself out.