An Animal Lover

Let me start off by saying I am a consummate dog lover. I will pet any dog that comes my way; from tiny to huge I love them all. I can even go a step further and say I am an animal lover. Cats, dogs, rabbits, etc, I think they are all pretty awesome. I know that probably sounds a bit like an enigma since I am also a bird hunter, but hunting is for food not for trophies. So in my mind it balances out.

Back to my “I am a consummate dog lover” statement, I love them all, but at the same time I am well aware of the power and strength of any dog, no matter its’ size or temperament. I believe that all dogs big and small should be properly socialized and trained to behave in a calm well behaved manner. Granted not every dog is going to perfect every day, but with consistent work, you should be able to walk with them and not have an aggressive dog. Good behavior starts at your end of the leash.

I am also a strong believer that not everyone should own a dog, some people are just not fit to take care of themselves let alone a creature that relies on them for all of their needs. Just as important is that people need to research the breed of dog they want to have before getting something just because it looks cute or the size of the dog. Looks are not the “begin and end all” of getting a dog. Do you have the time and patience to give a certain breed the exercise and interaction it may require? If not then please don’t get the dog, everyone will end up unhappy and the dog may end up in a shelter or worse put down.

This morning on our walk we ran across such a case in my humble opinion. There is a woman who lives a couple of streets over that own two Cane Corsos, a two year old male and a one year old female, neither of which is neutered. The male weighs in at about a hundred and ten pounds and the female is only about seventy five pounds. We have run across her walking her dogs on occasion, but Mitch has been with me to help, not this morning, though. The male is animal aggressive and lunges growling and barking which sends our dogs straight to the same red zone level in zero to ten seconds flat. Then we have a potentially serious situation on our hands. The woman does everything she can to hold the dog back, him standing on his hind legs straining to break free and one of these days I think it will happen. He is only going to get stronger as he gets older. Don’t get me wrong these are beautiful dogs and quite friendly when I approached her “dog less”. But when there is another dog in close proximity look out scout.

This morning walking in the dark I saw her walking toward us and she had both dogs with her. I moved as far to the left as I could and downed both Charlie and Orso, spoke calmly and quietly telling them to “leave” and re-adjusted my hold to the low end of their harnesses for a better grip. My two did awesome comparatively speaking. The woman moved as far to the left as she could and tried to get hers under control but the male immediately lunged growling and barking at us raising the female to the same frenzied state. Mine started to respond in kind when her two went at each other in a horrific dog fight with the woman on the end of the leashes. I jerked both leashes of my two and turned back the way we came and I walked as fast I possibly could to get away. I felt terrible for that woman but I was not going to put my dogs and myself in harm’s way. Even as I rounded the curve in the road and was out of sight I could hear them go at each again.

It was a very sobering and scary experience, which I hope to never live through again. It really drives home just how important working with your dog is, for their sakes and your own.

The Sultan of Slobber

The other day I was sitting on the bench at the end of the bed putting on my shoes when I glanced up and saw a long brown streak on the wall a little higher than eye level. I walked over to get a better look and figure out what it was. You can imagine the look on my face when I realized it was dried dog slobber. Gross! Of course this isn’t the first time I’ve found dried dog drool on the walls, it is almost a daily occurrence around here. Ever since we brought Orso home we’ve had this phenomenon. So you’d think I would be used to finding it by now, but every time I spot a new blob of drool, I get grossed out.

I’m pretty sure there is a Saint Bernard hiding in that Labrador body. I’ve never seen a dog drool quite as much as him. Orso will be walking along and drool will be hanging down swaying back and forth with each step getting longer and longer. The long tendril will even pick up stray debris and add to the drool creating a sort of anchor at the end. It’s really disgusting looking. Mitch will take his shoe and knock it off, no big deal, but not me, I do not want that anywhere near me. I’ll take a twig to try and snag it, but I am not going to touch it with any part of my anatomy, unh huh no way. Yuck! I am pretty sure it is some sort of toxic waste or something like that.

What amazes me the most is how in the world it ends up splattered on the furniture, the walls and occasionally me. That is probably the grossest feeling in the world getting hit with flying drool. My stomach usually turns over a couple of times when that happens. Then I rush to go bathe.

Now my life is reduced to doing daily wall checks, where I walk around each room and check for fresh slobber shrapnel. I have found it as high as above the door jam, how he got it almost seven feet high amazed us both, but it usually is about five foot off the ground that I find most of Orso’s weapons. There is nothing more embarrassing than washing down all the walls and as soon as someone stops by the first thing anybody sees is the remains of a fresh nasty slobber blob at eye level.

That’s my dog.

I’m Going Solo Again

It’s just like old times. It’s just the dogs and me, facing life all alone in the wee hours of the morning. It has been eleven weeks since my foot surgery and one week bootless. This morning was the first morning that it was just me holding both leashes wandering around in the predawn hours. It was a nice quiet morning all by ourselves, no critters or other vermin about. It was a slow walk much to dogs dismay, my foot is still stiff and a bit tender, but I’m walking, and that is a wonderful feeling.

Charlie kept an eye on the road ahead as usual always on the hunt. Orso snatched as much tall grass to munch on along the way as always. The world is his “All You Can Eat Buffet”. I’ve never had a dog that will eat just about everything he comes across. Tall grass, mulberries and wild blackberries in the summer, acorns in the fall and hackberries in the winter are all on the menu, plus the undesirables, goose poop and deer droppings are quite the delicacy. Yuck.

This morning was quite uneventful and for that I am very grateful, because I know in the not too distant future, something will be out waiting for us. Waiting to run in front of us or make a noise in the dark and the dogs will lunge and drag me around like a boat anchor, and hopefully my foot will be able to take it, not to mention the rest of my body.

But there is hope, our wonderful friends that walked the dogs for me while I recovered also worked with them daily, training them to heel, do stupid pet tricks and not lunge at other dogs on the walk. I intend to carry on and continue the training; otherwise we’ll have dog stew for dinner. Just kidding, we don’t eat stew in the summer.

It felt good though, almost as though life is almost in balance again.

Wanted: A Big Honkin Guard Dog

We have a prowler. I made this disturbing discovery last evening when I went outside to water the tomatoes. I found a beer can in my garden outside our bedroom window and a cigar butt about five away from the beer can. The beer can still had about a quarter of beer left in it and the cigar had been smoked down to about two inches left. It still had the cigar band on it. So somebody stood outside our bedroom drank beer and smoked a cigar, and our two “watch” dogs never made a peep.

Can you believe it? There is somebody out there that has the nerve to stand outside our house drinking beer and smoke cigars, or maybe I should say the stupidity to stand outside drinking beer and smoke cigars. What did they think they would see? The windows are closed and the blinds are drawn, it’s summer, moron. It is hot outside, the air conditioner is on.

But more importantly, our pampered pooches didn’t make a sound. No they were sound asleep in our bed snoring away. Charlie snores louder than Mitch and Orso sleeps like a puppy, totally unconscious. I’m not going to get any help from Mitch either, because he can sleep through a gun shot, so I either become a lighter sleeper or get a bigger dog.

So I think I might place an ad in the paper:

“Wanted” A big honkin guard dog. Looking for the biggest, baddest, watchdog. One with fangs three inches long and jaws with a two thousand pound crushing force. One that can run faster than a speeding bullet and jump higher than six feet (I figure the creep can’t be too tall) and have an impact force of a runaway freight train.

Maybe if I get a dog to fit that description no one will come and hang out in the dark again

Monday Morning

The alarm clock shrieking in my ear
Head pounding a leftover of last night
Sitting upright slowly with great effort
Feet slow to hit the floor.

Shuffle to the shower
Stinging spray brings a gasp
Adjust the faucet to a more tepid degree
Shampoo in my eyes causing tears.

Stubbed toe getting out of the shower
Could this day get any worse?
Getting dressed and nothing matches
Monday morning has come to visit.