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Archive for August, 2007

Hobie ‘n’ Hector meet Monty!!

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Mike called tonight to ask if he could come by and intro his puppy, Monty, to Hobie and Hector.
I of course said yes right away. We had already planned in advance that he would walk up to the fence from the outside and let them sniff and we’d take it from there. If Hobie and Hector were good, we’d bring Monty inside the yard.Well, my dogs were perfect angels!

First, while I was waiting for Mike and Monty to walk over from their house, I picked up all the toys of value and their rawhide bones, any food, etc. I put everything away in the closet and left two boring tennis balls (there is diff between tennis balls if you ask Hector. There are the boring kind and the high-value kind. The high-value kind got put away in the closet).

Then, my dogs and I walked around inside the fence together. I picked up dog doo-doos and they just hung around and were VERY relaxed. I was so proud because I have just started taking my new anti-anxiety meds so I was relaxed and it obviously translated to the dogs. We had about a 10-15 minute wait. And while we were waiting, all of the dogs in the neighborhood were announcing Monty’s arrival. It was so funny! I could tell where they were on the walking route by which dog was barking (yes, you can recognize their voices!).

Mike and Monty approached the fence, and it was delightful. This little puppy, so cute, and my dogs were just perfect gentlemen. I told Mike to bring Monty in through the HOUSE, so we all went back up to the house — Mike and Monty in front, and me and my dogs in the back. We all entered the house simultaneously from the back door and the front door (this was unplanned) and they greeted in the kitchen. Then, we all went into the back yard together. I had Mike carry Monty down the stairs. He’s still a bit small for stairs!

We let him off-leash and they had a ball! They were sniffing like crazy, and then running and leaping and running, running, running. Hobie, the one we were most worried about, was actually almost “motherly” towards Monty. He was just so wonderful with the puppy. I was so proud of him. Hector was a little bit stimulated and tried to mount this little dog a few times and after the meeting was so over-exerted it took him over an hour to stop panting! But all in all, he did very well. He and Monty have almost the same markings so it was so delightful seeing a mini version of Hector running alongside of the big doofus!

They were very gentle with Monty. I noticed that they allowed Monty to be the leader. It was not really like they were chasing Monty, it was more like they were FOLLOWING Monty. They moved as a pack, at a slow trot. It was awesome! But then, Monty would lie down and flip over and show his stomach very submissive. It was just a great, great experience and I am SOOOO happy.

Afterwards when Mike got home he called me and we talked about it for 10 minutes! We were both very happy that it was such a successful meeting. Now the ice is broken, and I don’t have to worry. Oh, and did I mention how proud I am of my boys?

Cat attack!!

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Wait’ll you hear what happened on this morning’s walk.

I had watched “Greta and Hoss” on DW last night — every time that episode is on I point at the screen and go “That’s me!” Hoss does exactly what Hobie does on walks. I noticed that when another dog approached, Cesar did make the people STOP, make the dogs sit and calm down, and then continue walking. I can’t imagine how that is done without incident, but that’s definitely what he trained them to do! Hopefully I can master that one day!

I decided to take a friend’s advice and use the prong collars this morning. Thank goodness I did because they definitely gave me a (little) more control over the dogs. My goal was to walk them over to the other road so they could hopefully meet Mike’s new puppy. But, in order to do that, we have to walk up three dead-end dirt roads: mine, another one, and then Mike’s. My street is good because they know everybody; the other street is deserted (no houses) so there are no problems there; Mike’s road is very populated and lots of pets. But I noticed that there were very few cars in the driveways, it being Saturday morning and “tax-free weekend” here in Mass, everybody is probably out shopping. Hooray! It would be an easy walk!

Not so fast. I made it to Ralph’s house (this is the dog-hater — his property abutts mine but he lives on the other road — same road as Mike, only further down). I didn’t see the cat snoozing in the brush, but the dogs sure smelled her. They zoomed to the left and then I realized there was a cat! Thinking back, I realize that the dogs were perfectly fine, it was only when I said “NO!” that things started to escalate. Darn it!!! But those prong collars sure came in handy. The dogs were straining at the leashes and I figured out that because I’m so short I have a low center of gravity and I could feel that I was about to go down on the ground face first. So, instead of letting them pull me down, I SAT down deliberately! !! If anyone had looked out their window at this point, heaven only knows what they would’ve thought! (Meanwhile, my house, which is RIGHT THERE? Well, Gil is home all right, but he has the music on FULL BLAST so he can’t hear the ruckus. Hobie is barking, Hector is whining, and I’m saying “NO!” in as calm a voice as I can muster). I do feel bad because I shouldn’t have been pulling CONSTANTLY on those prong collars. I know they’re only supposed to be used for “snap” corrections, but I didn’t know what else to do. I was terrified that if I let go, the cat would run, they’d chase her, and kill her. And, in hindsight, I should’ve just kept walking instead of stopping and sitting down on the ground!

It gets better. All of a sudden, the cat springs into action and she rears up on her haunches and starts PUNCHING the dogs and hissing at them! Between this, and me sitting on the ground and foot-tapping the dogs’ legs so that their feet keep going out from under them, the dogs completely calmed down. I said, out loud, “Everyone has to calm down!” and I looked in Hobie’s eyes. After all I was sitting on the ground, and so was he. And I did not see a killer. I saw curiosity, love, and beauty.

Once they were completely calm, I stood up, dusted myself off (it had rained so the dirt road was all MUD!), and decided not to go to Mike’s but to turn around and go home. As we started walking back down the road from whence we came, the cat started to trot after us. I looked at her, and she was so darned cute! And I thought, “Aw, isn’t that sweet, she’s walking with us!”

WRONG!!! She trotted up to us, and stood on her hind legs and started punching the dogs and hissing!!! It was amazing and hilarious. It was all I could do not to laugh, but at the same time I was scared it would make the dogs escalate again. Instead of continuing down the road, I made the radical decision to cut through Ralph’s yard (dog-hater) which brings me to the back gate of my yard in about 12 seconds. I made it inside the gate, having to tromp through thickets, thorns and hopefully not poison ivy. I entered first, made the dogs go in and then dropped the leashes. Then, I started to have what I think was an asthma attack or something! I don’t have asthma, but I couldn’t breathe and I was coughing. I guess it was probably panic attack, who knows! I walked around the yard to cool off. The dogs knew I was mad, they both sat in the shade FAR AWAY from me.

But at the same time I was fascinated by what that cat had done. Amazing.

Hey, if nothing else I’m good for a story or two!

"Hey, Lady!"

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I just thought this was funny, and I had to memorialize it someplace.

This is as good a place as any.

I was pulling out of a parking lot today, and stopped at the end to look both ways before I made a right turn toward home. Coming at me from my right was a huge dump truck, and it was maneuvering around a family walking five-abreast on the road. Thus, the truck was in the wrong lane. And so, I waited, and kept my eye on that truck as it careened toward me in the wrong lane.

I suppose it must have looked, to a woman riding a bicycle coming from the left, as though I was going to pull out — which would’ve been really stupid since there was a truck in my lane, going the wrong way. Bicycle-riding-woman was coming from my left, right up alongside my car, and she and her four companions were apparently not worried about the large Mack truck heading their way in the wrong lane, but were instead worried about me because I hadn’t (yet) looked to my left to see if anyone was coming.

I, of course, learned from my mother, Mook, many years ago “head on a swivel” when pulling out of anywhere. What Mook meant by that was to turn my head back-and-forth several times before moving forward in an automobile. In England they say, “Look Left!” (because they drive on the “wrong” side of the road). And, being one to always be extra-super-duper careful, I was simply sitting and waiting for the truck to go by and then I was going to start my head-on-a-swivel, which eventually would’ve meant turning my head to the left, then back to the right, then left again, right, left, right until I was satisfied that it was safe to proceed.

“Hey, LADY!” Bicycle-riding-woman hollered as she passed close by the front of my car, four companions close at her heels on their own bikes. I hadn’t looked left, so I hadn’t seen them (yet) but I think she thought I was just an absent-minded old lady. Those thoughts went through my brain rapid-fire, and instead of glaring at her, I just smiled. As she rode past, she said, “I just wanted to make sure you saw us!” and then all five of them waved. I pulled out behind them, real, real slow, and stayed way back until they turned up the bike path 100 yards away. As they turned, and I drove past them, they all waved again.

It was the first time anybody ever yelled, “Hey, Lady!” directed at me.

“OMG,” I thought, “I have become ‘lady.’ That word. It’s connotation, “Old hag.” “Lady!” the very sound of it like something that smells bad.

“Hey! Lady!” Jerry Lewis.

Stephen King’s “Hitchhiker” (“Thanks for the ride, Lady.”)

“Jeez, Lady, watch where you’re goin’!”

“Ugh! LAAAADY!!!” as some gray-haired woman cuts you off in traffic.

“Hey, Lady! Wake up!”

“Hey! Lady! Pay attention!”

But it was none of those things. It was Smart Lady, waiting for the truck to pass before moving into traffic.

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