Monday, August 03, 2009

The dog honeymoon ends

In the vintage HBO special "Carlin At Carnegie", George Carlin had a lot to say about dogs. One of my favorites, went something like this:

"Hi George, how's it going?"

"Agh! The dog...goddammit never mind!!!!! He chewed the legs of off EVERYTHING!!!"

Well, we haven't quite reached THAT stage with our recent canine acquisition, but we've certainly had our share of adventures over the past several days. She has survived quite well in our care, perhaps despite repeated inadvertent attempts by me to poison her. But I'll get to that later. So far, Daisy has been a complete joy. She's almost ridiculously playful, has grown very comfortable with her new home and surroundings, and on flat ground can reach a speed of almost Mach 5.

The folks that owned Daisy previously (we got her from a foster home that found her on the street) had obviously trained Daisy JUST enough that she hasn't caused any problems yet. No accidents on the rug, on destroying furniture. Well, that is, except for eating the kitchen table. No really. She ate the kitchen table. Okay, not ALL of it, just one foot. I guess after 8 years of my children dropping applesauce, milk, and ice cream during regular attempts to fill their faces, the legs of the table have acquired a nice patina of flavors on them. I suppose if I was a foot tall I'd be snacking on them too.

Daisy also managed to chew through her first leash in less than two days. Her current leash is made of chain links, and if she gets through that one I'm going to contact that guy who just crossed the Allegheny River on a tightrope and borrow some of his wire.

Today was the first day we had the opportunity to leave her alone in the house. Based on her obvious chewing abilities, she's going to be confined to her crate when we're not home. I gave her a test run this afternoon. She cried, she barked, but she survived. When I got home, she was so happy to see me that she cried like I'd saved her from being trapped in a well, and promptly followed me around for the next three hours and anchored herself to my lap every time I sat down, making sure that I never, NEVER leave her alone again. In fact through the magic of the iMac camera, here's proof. Let me tell you, it's a challenge typing this way.

But you know it's funny, I certainly don't get a greeting like that from my FAMILY when I return from Home Depot. Not even close.

As I mentioned in the last post, Daisy's only real issue (other than her ravenous appetite) is her interaction with other dogs. She's so excited by the world around her that every blade of grass requires a sniff, every sound in the distance requires a perking of the ears and a bark of attention. And when she encounters another dog while on her leash, it's chaos. she immediately tries to assert her authority and go on the attack, so much so that we've had to tackle her for doing so more than once. Obedience training is definitely in her future. On the other hand, when we take her to the local fenced-in dog park, she's incredible to watch. Other dogs seem to flock to her, and as soon as they start to play those other dogs and their owners quickly discover just what kind of speed she has in those thin legs of hers. Virtually every other person at the dog park has seen her run flat out across the park has this to say.

"Holy crap."

In fact I witnessed an overweight black labrador stop in her tracks after failing to keep up with Daisy, and clearly heard her mutter the words, "sweet jeezuz."

Yeah, she's fast (and yes, Paul, she's the dog that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs). Next time we go, I'm taking the video camera.

Oh yeah, about my inadvertent attempts to poison her. The day after we got her was the day I decided to do a yearly cleaning of the deck with a bleach based solution. That was also the day she discovered the gravel underneath the deck is a great place to hang out, dig in the ground, and keep cool. The next day she decided not to leave my side for the entire afternoon, even while I was spray painting a piece of furniture. I have a feeling that one of those two incidents were the reason we had to bring the dog to the vet monday to have her red, swollen eye checked out. It's fine now though. And, yeah yeah, I know, let the lectures begin.

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