Sunday, February 26, 2006

It's a Dog Meet Dog World

About a year after our beloved Cody, an akita/chow/shepherd mix died, we decided it was time to get another big dog. We live in a somewhat rural mountain area, and I really dislike the idea of having guns in the house.

Although our Yorkshire Terriorists have the hearts of lions, one drop-kick from a bad guy would almost certainly turn them into puppy smush. Plus, they'd never quite gotten over the loss of their big fuzzy friend. They still seemed a bit depressed.

So we did some research through Petfinder. The closest Petsmart that had shelter dog fairs was over an hour away, so we contacted one of the shelters that would be participating to get more information before making the drive down the mountains in the dead of winter.

We had a specific criteria. The dog must be female, and shouldn't have any lab in her. This last was recommended by our vet when we asked for his advice. We had put a pool in a year earlier, and he said that labs and lab mixes just can't resist the water.

The Valley Shelter is in a small, remote area and happened to have three litters of adoptable puppies at once. Apparently someone's Tri-color Collie got out and went on a bender, knocking up two shepherd mixes and an airedale in the same weekend (sounds like quite the party!). The shelter was pretty sure of the parentage, and not a lab in the bunch. Perfect!

So Daddy set off in a blizzard and brought home Mathilda (now known as "The Noodle").

The Yorkies were furious.

Who is this smelly, clumsy--and, er--unladylike intruder and what the hell is she doing in our house?

Charlie, our 13-pound mutant terrier, was a puppy-mill rescue. As a baby puppy, she had to fight amongst bigger and older dogs (dozens housed in one pen) just to eat. She has the instincts of a streetfighter. She decided to take action.

She took every single dog toy--including the puppy's--down to the basement (where dogs aren't allowed) and hid them. If she was unhappy, ain't NOBODY going to have any fun!

Molly, aka The Little Walnut Brain, is our 3-pounder. She's a follower, not a leader, so she joined in with the sulking and the snubbing.

When Daddy didn't immediately get in the car to return The Noodle, Charlie decided to turn up the heat and demonstrate her displeasure in other ways.

She pooped on his shoe.

She pooped outside his bathroom door in a strategically steppable spot while he was in the shower.

She pooped in front of his easy chair.

When this didn't get the desired effect, she decided to ratchet it up a notch.

She barfed on the armrest of the couch where he rests his head.

She barfed on his side of the bed.

It became the ultimate battle of wills between Daddy and The Charles.

Finally, it was quiet on the excrement front. But Charlie didn't want to be held. She refused to play. She kept herself away from the family except to bestow baleful glares in Daddy's general direction.

I got worried and called the vet. I explained the situation, and described the symptoms. He was quiet for a moment.

"I think she's suffering from pique." Pique? Dogs get pique?

I wasn't convinced and we made an appointment. The vet tech put a thermometer up Charlie's heinie to take her temperature. When she pulled it out, there was a low rumbling. A sulferous grumbling. Like nature's warning in Dante's Peak before the volcano blew.

My husband took Charlie off the vet's table and put her on the floor, where she unloaded the dump of all dumps. The grandaddy of all poo. He estimates it was almost half of her body mass.

Guess in an effort to win the war, she'd been holding it in for a few days to let off a last big hurrah. Curses! Foiled again!

The siege was over.

In an effort to promote Noodle and Yorkie harmony, my little guy posted a set of doggie rules (you can click on the picture to see it in all its glory!). Sometimes they pay attention.

P.S. As a footnote, labs aren't the only dogs who can't resist water. It took The Noodle 2 months to figure out how to tunnel under the fences.


Kippa Herring said...

I LOVE "The Rules". What a guy!
I'm inspired to try something like that for our cat (to include stuff like, "Don't bat things off the mantlepiece in order to get attention when you want to go out. Meow by the door instead")

"I think she's suffering from pique. "
Could he possibly have meant pica?

Charlie said...

Reminds me of a great scene from Frasier, when Eddie the dog was depressed.

DOG SHRINK TO MARTIN: "If you were Eddie, what would be your favorite fragrance?"


NILES ADDS: "Put that down as his favorite beverage, too."

Your dog essay is a scream-thanks.

Rhonda said...

Fabulous. It takes true talent to make doggy-doo entertaining. My pack of hounds would be proud of Charlie: Two paws up and a tail wag.

As for little guy . . . just too sweet!

KB said...

I love animals, and have 3 dogs and a bird of my own!

Keep it up!

Aargh said...

Very funny I love how the Doo Doo was used as a weapon I think mine does that one when she is mad at me. They are great companions and also very entertaining

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