Dog Discipline

What could these two pictures possibly have in common?  Buzzy is adorable, but he does have a little flaw.   He feels compelled to scratch soft fabrics.  My new bathroom rug is quickly balding.  I have to groom it every time he gets in there.  He gives carefull attention to several other rugs, but this one must be substandard.  I do tell him,”No!”  He is pretty forgiving, just gives me a hurt look and walks away.  I’ve thought of flapping him with a hand towel, but that seems a little extreme for a ten-year-old gentleman who’s never endured a flap.  I guess I need to buy a better rug or keep the door closed.

So Horrible It Has to be Shared!

Have you ever had an experience so horrible it had to be shared? Maybe something smells or tastes so bad you cant leave it alone. ”Taste this! It’s disgusting!” Over your poor friend’s protests, you insist. “No really, you gotta taste this! It’s horrible!”

That’s why I have to inflict this story on you.

A few days ago, I got an early start, vacuumed, mopped, changed my sheets, and tidied up before settling into my comfy chair with my laptop to write. As I gathered my thoughts and awaited inspiration, Bud and Buzzy approached the patio door.

Buzzy, my American Eskimo Dog is sedate and well-mannered, so it startled me to see him burst through the patio door like a bat out of Hell before he launched himself half-way across the room into my lap. As Bud headed to his office, he nonchalantly mentioned Buzzy might be suffering from some abdominal distress. Sure enough, Buzzy rapidly spun three three or four rotations in my lap and on top of my computer. I tried to calm his nerves and was assaulted by the smell of feces and the nauseating sight of an excrement-smeared computer screen and filthy clothes. Wisely, as I struggled to dig out from under the tornado of a poop monster, Bud disappeared into his office feigning deafness.

Heartbroken by his poor welcome, Buzzy fled to a place of consolation, my fresh bed. Like his wolf-ancestors, before lying down he made two or three circles to prepare his bed. Miraculously, Bud had somehow become aware of the festivities, as had our other dog, a huge Mastiff mix, Croc. Not wanting Buzzy to have all the fun, Croc inserted himself into the melee. The curious one-hundred twenty pound dog jealously trying to stay between Buzzy and his pursuers complicated the situation exponentially. Croc had no clue what the concern was since he and Buzzy greeted each other genteelly with a sniff of the nether portions first thing every morning, but had no intention of being denied a good time. 

With a bit of a scuffle, Bud shut Croc out while  we progressed to the bathroom as Croc howled in outrage., “I poop a lot more than he does!  Where’s my party?” Not having had a chance to evaluate the situation, I wrestled Buzzy into the sink, but not before most bathroom surfaces took on a fine patina of poop. Holding Buzzy in place, I ran water and added soap for his bath. Very quickly, I became aware a sink-bath wouldn’t suffice. Taking him to a tub outdoors was out of the question, so he was destined for his first shower. Naturally, he could hardly be expected to shower himself, so I climbed in. Surprisingly, that was the easiest part of the ordeal. He behaved perfectly throughout the process.

Fortunately for the sake of our marriage, Bud didn’t get off too easily. While Buzzy and I showered, he cleaned the walls and floors, all the way back to where Buzzy had made his grand entrance. By the time the shower was over was over and Buzzy dried, the bed was stripped and the washer and hamper were full of disgusting laundry. As a special bonus, the sink was plugged with excreta and long, white dog hair, another diversion for Bud.

In the week before, I had intended to get Buzzy in for grooming. Much to his joy, I’d never made it. Though his coat is beautiful, particularly in hot weather, it benefits from regular brushing. I am especially careful to brush him thoroughly before bathing to remove loose hair and minimize matting. Sadly, Buzzy had not advised me of his plans. He was so matted after bathing, I wasn’t able to finish the job in one brushing. I’d brush a while , let him take a break, and pick up with the job, later. Some mats even required scissoring, something I’ve never had to do before. I think I’ve gotten enough hair out to upholster another whole dog. Sadly, all that brushing makes Croc even more envious. He’s required an inordinate amount of brushing, too.

Many hours later, things settled to normal.  Next time I am ready, I’ll be more specific in my search for inspiration.

Meet the Help

I don’t know how people get by without dogs.  We have two, Buzzy, an American Eskimo Dog, and Croc, a mastiff mix.  They shoulder a lot of responsibility around here.  Below, they are pictured helping Bud in the shop.

Buzzy is on weed patrol.

Croc valiantly keeps the Fed Ex man at bay.

They are both checking to see whether this pillow should be on the floor.

Serving as area rugs.  Notice the white fluff about halfway to the TV.  Croc thoughtfully pulled it out of Buzzy’s tail and left it there for me, just in case I was looking for some.

They also keep the floors free of snacks at all times.

Buzzy’s Exotic Vacation

Nutsrok

imageOn our recent trip, Buzzy had a great time visiting family.  Lest I mislead you, I never claimed he was a brave dog.  He ran from some house cats, but they were bob-tailed.  In his defense, He’d never seen a bob-tailed cat and was unsure how dangerous they might prove to be.  He walked into a swimming pool by accident, his first experience with one.  He was an excellent swimmer, but had no idea how to get out.  He seemed to enjoy his little swim.image

His introduction to Aunt Beulah’s chickens was hysterical.  He was waiting expectantly when she opened the door to the hen house.  When Bonnie and Clyde strutted out, he set a new land-speed record for American Eskimo Dogs, if there wasn’t one before.  I believe he would have passed up Greyhounds trying to escape those bobbling fowl, even though they showed no interest whatsoever in him.

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Camping

   image Dirty Dog

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We just got back from camping on the Gulf Coast.  We had fun and I learned a couple of things. First of all, if you think you might fall and bust your fanny, carry your extra glasses.  I was standing behind the trailer trying to wave Bud in as he backed the trailer up and Buzzy wrapped me in his leash, plopping me flat on my keester. I fell flat, banging right on my glasses.   I hadn’t gotten in Bud’s line of vision yet, so he thought I’d wandered off, as I am prone to do.  He continued backing up, but fortunately I was able to get out of the way before he flattened me.

Although the fall did kill my glasses, I escaped.  I was worried whether I would have a black eye, but luckily I didn’t.  If I had, I would have to have blacked both Bud’s eyes or I would have been ashamed to be seen when we met friends later.  I was able to get the frames replaced, using the same lenses.  What a relief.  I had dreaded trying to get by with just reading glasses till I could get new ones made.  I will never go off without a spare again.

Buzzy had a fine time camping as always.  We patrolled the camp several times a day.  He got to meet new dogs, see an alligator, smell the Gulf, roll in some different flavors of mud, walk on the beach, and sleep in the camper.  His favorite part of camping is sitting on the bench seat between us at meals.  He doesn’t get a place at the table at home.

Tale of the Hair of the Dog Sweater

Mother and BuzzyimageMy son John lives to torment my mother.  Buzzy, our American Eskimo Dog sheds incessantly, making up vacuum every day to stay ahead of him.  One day my husband Bud noticed a big paper bag on the mantle stuff full of Buzzy’s combings, hair pulled from his brush, and hair swept from the floor.  Amazed, Bud asked, “What in the world is this bag of dog hair doing up here?”

Mother chimed in, “Oh, that’s Buzzy’s hair I saved up for your sweater.”

This was the first Bud had heard of his dog hair sweater.  He thought maybe Mother had finally come unhinged.  “What dog hair sweater?”

“The one you’re going to get the woman at work to make for you out of Buzzy’s hair.”  Mother thought Bud was losing it.   “John told me to be careful to gather up all the hair I could find every time I came over so that woman you work with can spin it and make it into a sweater for you.  How long do you think it will take to get enough?”

Poor Bud had to break her heart.  “John’s been pulling your leg, again.  There ain’t gonna be no dog hair sweater.”

imageMy son, looking his best.

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Photo of hair I brushed out of Buzzy this morning, pictured next to pint jar.

Do These Things Happen to Anyone Else?

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Mother makes use of my cozy guest room frequently  Last night she awoke me complaining the bed was crawling with ants.  Sure enough, she had half-a-dozen bites.  We shook out her nightgown, treated her bites, made her a new bed down on the sofa in the living room, but I felt just terrible about it.  I’ve always made a point to keep the room just to her tastes, freshly aired and dusted, with nice linens, and a handmade quilt.  Having her jarred from sleep by ant bites was horrible.  When I got her settled, I turned the covers back and found dozens of big and small black ants, moving in trails across the expanse of the covers.  I sprayed the bed and floor with insect killer before I went back to bed.

This morning when I went in to strip the bed, I found the source of the problem.  When I opened the door late yesterday to ready Mother’s bed, Buzzy, my American Eskimo Dog came along to help.  He frequently hides treats.  Delighted to find new territory, he retrieved an old piece of cornbread he’d apparently just dug up from its hiding place in the yard.  Unbeknownst to us, he slipped it up under the pillow in preparation for Mother’s visit.  It attracted ants beautifully.  The bed was fully loaded for Mother.

Buzzy’s Exotic Vacation

imageOn our recent trip, Buzzy had a great time visiting family.  Lest I mislead you, I never claimed he was a brave dog.  He ran from some house cats, but they were bob-tailed.  In his defense, He’d never seen a bob-tailed cat and was unsure how dangerous they might prove to be.  He walked into a swimming pool by accident, his first experience with one.  He was an excellent swimmer, but had no idea how to get out.  He seemed to enjoy his little swim.image

His introduction to Aunt Beulah’s chickens was hysterical.  He was waiting expectantly when she opened the door to the hen house.  When Bonnie and Clyde strutted out, he set a new land-speed record for American Eskimo Dogs, if there wasn’t one before.  I believe he would have passed up Greyhounds trying to escape those bobbling fowl, even though they showed no interest whatsoever in him.

We are back home now.  I’ll keep you posted of his future adventures.