I threatened to start a doggie thread the other day and a recent move by our 'companion' (er thief) made me think it was time to do so.
Living out of town we keep some of our bread products in the freezer so that it remains usable over a period of time for use when fresh runs out. To unfreeze it before we put it in the bread drawer it is placed at the very BACK of the counter to thaw, often overnight. Unfortunately our four legged thief has decided that half frozen English muffins are just fine for midnight snacks and that by (presumably) standing on hind legs with paws on said counter and with much neck stretching said bag of muffins can be relocated to floor snacking level.
Arising the other morning looking to enjoy a toasted muffin with my morning cupa I was greeted with a shredded bag in the corner of the kitchen and a dog that would not look me in the eye. She knows she has done wrong but somehow I dont think that will stop future similar behavior, time for a new place to thaw bread! Now who is training who?
We got our first dog back in the late 70s some 40 years ago and have had a four legged friend continuously ever since, over the years they provided great companionship and not a few moments of fun AND frustration. I will start this 'tail' of our journeys together with how we came to have a dog in the first place and how that day did not end on a happy note.
Back then I had a big boat which was kept in the marina in a small town called Wiarton where I came to know the local cop who had a small ski / fishing boat in the same marina. (there is another story there of my first attempt a water skiing which we will not go into here). Peter Pigeon, yes that really was his name, when patrolling downtown one day observed a small dog flying out of the window of a moving vehicle, he was unable to catch up with or locate the vehicle but did catch the dog (I will pass on the commentary on that!). Being at that time a bit of a 'one horse town' with the nearest dog pound some 30 or 40 miles away he looked for someone to take care of the dog locally, that sucker turned out to be yours truly who was that day working at the marina with a friend getting ready for the boating season.
Having been presented with this scruffy looking long haired little terrier cross and having to head back to work later that day we all loaded into my almost new Dodge Ramcharger for the roughly 2 hour drive home. Halfway back we decided to stop at a cafe for a quick bite leaving our new passenger in the truck (with the windows rolled down an inch or so for air) whilst we ate, emerging a short time later we were greeted by what the doggie had done in our absence. Rubber window trim removed and shredded, my buddy's sleeping bag now a collection of small bit of material and shredded filling and our guest sitting there proudly saying 'look at what I did!
The dog lived and the friend remained a friend, “Fluffy” became a much loved four legged friend and provided several more 'entertaining' moment over the ensuing years some of which I will share in later 'tall tails'!
A friend of mine had a company car years back when she worked for a well known kitchen storage company famous for its plastic boxes. She also had a Boxer dog who one day had to accompany her as care at home was unavailable. Leaving the dog for half an hour in car with windows cracked Janice thought all would be well. Well they were for the dog. She had amused herself by eating the dashboard!
As mentioned before I once had a boat (a big one) kept at a marina in the little town of Wiarton on the shores of Georgian Bay, we spent many an idle hour or 12 just sitting around chatting with fellow boaters and 'socializing' with suitable libations to hand. When reminiscing about our friend Fluffy one particular such occasion comes to mind when he also did a little 'socializing'! Sitting on the neighbors boat chatting and having a drink or 3 my wife remarked how smoothly her libation was going down in that her our hosts had to keep filling her glass which kept going empty. The drink in question was a cream liquor of the Amarula or Kahlua type which indeed does go down smooth however the amount imbibed appeared to have little effect upon the mrs and after a while we went to wander back to our own boat. Upon getting up to leave we were surprised to see that Fluffy who normally would be right on our heels and never stray far from where we were was still sleeping on the dock alongside the neighbors boat. When called he simply lifted his head and then went back to sleep, panic sets in, is he ill, what goes on? We pick up our fluffy bundle and head back to our boat and let him rest whilst keeping a close eye on him and by the next day he seemed to be back to his old friendly tail wagging self. It was not till the next time we 'visited' that we figured out what the problem was, it seems that our pooch found the mrs Amarula, which had been sitting on the dock alongside the boat we were sitting on as we chatted, was very much to his taste. No wonder the level on said libation went down so fast, it seems that such drinks are simply too tempting a treat to not slurp a little when the owners are not looking! Another lesson learned, keep cream based beverages out of reach of certain friends who cant handle their liquor.
Post by thesentientpasty on Dec 13, 2018 11:51:54 GMT
Lady Bez's dog, Tess, was very fond of breaking all the rules.
She was not ever allowed on the sofa (Tess,that is, not lady Bez) but we'd return from being out and find loads of dog hair in the comfiest spots. She'd deny it, but we both knew we both knew.
One day, returning home, I switched the engine off twenty yards from the house and free-wheeled silently up the driveway. We both got out and, crawling like ninjas, silently made it to the front window. We raised ourselves up to see a sleeping dog on the sofa.
I tapped the window. She woke and looked. 'Caught!' Instantly leapt off and headed for the door, torn between the normal welcome and I'm in serious trouble.
The doggy grief of being found out (tail down, no eye-contact) lasted all evening. The following day? Back to normal. She clearly had her own rules that kicked in when the pack leader, Mrs Bez, wasn't around.
Post by thesentientpasty on Dec 13, 2018 12:00:55 GMT
"Watch this!" said Lady Bez.
"That's Bez's doughnut. NOT yours." She put the plate with a doughnut on it, on the floor.
Tess couldn't take her eyes off it. She loved doughnuts. She was maybe a metre away, drooling thoughts of doughnut. We continued to chat. During the next five minutes, any move by Tess was greeted with a stern "No!" by the pack leader.
The doughnut grew, in the dog's brain, more doughnutty and more gorgeous.
"She'll do anything I say." said Lady Bez, confidently.
"We need to up the test." I suggested.
We got up and went to the kitchen. Shut the door. Waited five seconds and then came back in.
Tess was exactly where she had been. The plate was empty.
For years afterwards, the question, asked at any point, of "where's Bez's doughnut?" led to canine anguish, grief and guilt.
Post by thesentientpasty on Dec 13, 2018 12:23:37 GMT
Tess loved the cats, but hated them bringing in rodents. There were numerous times we'd return home to find Tess guarding and growling while protecting the odd shrew or fieldmouse from the ravenous feline hordes. She'd obviously be able to keep it up for hours, the cats circling, waiting to terrorise their victim, she showing her teeth to get them to back off.
And then came the day when we had to have her put down. 14 years of valiant doughnut-eating, rodent-protecting, pissing-on-the-floor-with-excitement ended. I'm not a dog person, but she was loyal, loved us, terrible on a lead, stupid with traffic, occasionally obedient, and surprisingly clever.
It was midwinter and very late at night. The vet, a kindly man, asked what we were going to do with Tess. I said I was going to bury her in the garden. He asked if I had a pick. (It was minus loads outside, and the ground was steel-hard and icy). I have a mattock, I said, impressed at his practicality.
"Then collect Tess tomorrow," he said, "and we'll keep her in the chiller overnight."
Dawn. I was out digging. Hard work, swinging the mattock and digging a grave for the dog. I had to think how long and fat she was. Was this enough. Bit more. That?
Eventually I finished. Four feet deep, and pretty much exactly the shape of the dog.
I went down to the vet. "I'll bring Tess to the side entrance for you." (Vets never seem to want grieving patients and dead animals taken through the main entrance).
A veterinary nurse brought out Tess. Frozen, in a plastic bag. Curled up as if asleep - and not straightened out as the hard-dug hole for the hard-dog was.
I got home, and laughed, cursed and cried as I re-mattocked the grave more rounded.
In my final post about Fluffy I will say after the 'interesting' start he turned into a loving and dearly loved companion not only to the wife and I but to out (then very young) daughter. When she was but barely crawling Fluffy 'guarded' Mary as if she was his, laying close and being most interested in everything concerning her. On more than one occasion our daughter would go to climb over or otherwise manhandle (doghandle?) Fluffy sometimes pulling her long hair with her then tiny hands. Naturally we were right there 'supervising' this interaction concerned that the dog could take exception to being thus handled, we need not have been concerned! Fluffy would just lay there as our daughter mauled her, just looking back over her back as if to say 'thats ok, you are my little girl and I will look after you'. What a lovly little guy he turned out to be, what a shame he decided that he ran out in front of a neighbors car and was lost to us all prematurely. He was however responsible for us wanting to always have a doggie companion to look after us and so I will talk a little about those who followed him in upcoming posts.
Pictured below 'Fluffy' with said daughter and her parents circa 1980s