Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dog Day Afternoon

This post is about dogsitting or dog sitting...whatever I'm doing it. My husband's friend/attorney is out of town doing something lawyer-y. I hope he's having fun...and refrains from attaching his phone to his belt at all costs. Anyway, his lab, Lucky is in our care.

Lucky is a hunting dog. She is playful, hyper and loves to be outside. I have a Chihuahua, Fergie. Fergie (named after The [former] Duchess of York <- important to clarify) is a small, loud, bully. No matter how big or small the animal, Fergie will play the role of intimidator.

I found this website which offers great advice about dog training, I specifically was looking for information on how to introduce the two dogs. This post was very helpful. In short: walk them together, in single file, taking turns leading (so the can smell each other), let each dog smell the other's excrement and on the last leg of the walk have the dogs walking side by side. Fergie went from barking (at Lucky) like a whacked out maniac dog to not even caring that she was there.

When we got home from our walk, Fergie went back to barking, like a whacked out maniac dog. I bribed him with treats as Lucky tore up a stuffed animal and several chew toys. I was nervous that Lucky would eat the couch next, which I thought might be okay because I really want a new couch; but then I thought, she could choke and die which would be bad so we texted her owner to find out that she is not house trained, she is kennel trained. So, Lucky went in her kennel for the night.

The next morning, as I slept in bed, my husband returned from dropping off our son at school (it's a trade off, he does mornings and I do...nothing), Lucky was whining in her kennel, so he took her out for a morning walk. Fergie disapproved, loudly:

Today, I was home alone with both dogs, Lucky decided she wanted to go outside. It was raining. Her kennel is in our basement. Our basement stairs are steep and slick, she is a lab. She would not walk up the basement stairs because her nails were making her slip. I did not want to pull her up the stairs because she would choke, which would be bad. Sooo, I carried her up the stairs, did I mention that she's a lab? While I carried her up the stairs, Fergie stood at the top of the stairs, barking like a whacked out maniac dog. Fun times. I finally got both dogs leashed up and ready to go outside.

Once outside, Fergie looked at me, lifting one paw at a time, he did not want to walk in the rain. I snatched him up, unhooked his leash and put him back inside the house, while Lucky was trying her best to drag me out to the sidewalk. I'm glad Fergie didn't want to walk because Lucky wanted to run. Lucky dragged me, in the rain, half way around the block, I was running, for my life, I don't run, unless I'm being chased (or dragged by a big dog). She stopped, I caught my breath, she shit on the sidewalk, I cleaned it up as I thought about how "smart" I was told she is. The rest of the way home, our pace went from mall-walking to jogging to running for my life as she tried to drink from every puddle she came upon.

There's a difference between a dog person and a *small* dog person.