Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bad boy, bad boy, watcha gonna do...

Let me tell you about Gaspode, the dog destined to give me a heart attack before I’m 50.

‘Pode is our resident bad boy. He’s been in and out of reform – er -- obedience school since we got him and he is currently in the first one he’s not been asked to leave. This is because the class is run by Corally Burmaster and dogs know better than to dis’ Corally.

‘Pode came to us a homeless waif, having been given up by his previous owners. They’d gotten him because a Parson Russell Terrier would make a lovely accessory to their upper middle class, two-income existence; a Parson Russell Terrier, just like that cute little Wishbone dog and Eddie on Frasier.

They probably read somewhere about the magic of crate training and how a dog will only relieve himself away from where he hangs out. What somehow didn’t enter their brains was that if you leave any dog in a crate long enough so you can commute 2 hrs. to your two-incomes in order to support your upper-middle class existence, he will relieve himself, even if he has to be in close proximity for the remainder of the 14 hours he’s been in there.

Then, when you take him out, he’s going to be a little…mmm…rambunctious. That’s because he’s a Parson Russell Terrier. Also because HE’S BEEN IN A FREAKIN’ CRATE FOR 14 HOURS! Then, of course, he’s back into the crate when everyone goes to bed.

The problem is, Parson Russells aren’t known for their ability to, shall we say, hold it. The fact is, they just don’t really care. So they require a certain amount of diligence in the potty training department.

‘Pode, therefore, has some huge Freudian bathroom issues, no pun intended.

When a dog has become an overly rambunctious poop factory, there is only one thing to do with him on weekends. That is, keep him in the crate where he can’t damage anything. So people came and went just out of ‘Pode reach and he didn’t get to meet any of them.

That’s called “no socialization.”

When ‘Pode came to us, he was desperate for attention. If he wasn’t noticed, he’d up the ante by nipping at whoever would not acknowledge him. And sometimes, being overly rambunctious, it turned into a bite. UPS people were particularly to his taste. UPS people report all dog bites, no matter how innocuous, to the authorities.

So ‘Pode has a record. If he bites again, it’s coitins for Da ‘Pode.

Around the time we got ‘Pode, a guy down our road got a motorcycle. ‘Pode would run along the property line as he drove by, so they guy thought it might be fun to bait the dog. He'd drive up a little, wait for ‘Pode to catch up, drive a little further, wait – you get the picture. I saw him doing this and just as I was about to tell him, “Not a good idea, Buckeroo,” he’d speed off.

Do I need to tell you what that taught ‘Pode to do? Do I need to tell you a dog could get into huge trouble when he chases motorcycles, particularly when the guy that taught him to do it submits the complaint to the animal control officer?

So up went the $2,000.00 chain link fence, which solved the problem for awhile.

Enter Salt, our other PRT. Without going into details, Salt is a furry little Einstein. Salt could do our taxes had he an opposable thumb. Salt not only knew how to get out of a chain link fence, but how to cover it up so you couldn’t figure out how he did it. When we finally figured it out (yesterday), we were amazed at the simplicity of this ingenious engineering feat. He chose the precise section of the fence where we couldn’t barricade the bottom. He dug a hole under the fence, only aiming the dirt outside the fence. When he pushes the fence out to go under, it pushes the dirt out of his way. When the fence returns to its former position, it pulls the dirt back, hiding the hole and any trace of his leaving.

Salt knows a good thing and he’s not going anywhere. He does this just to non-opposable-thumb his nose at us for thinking we’re smarter than he is. He gets out, runs to the front door and barks, “I’m here, Suckers! Lemmee in!”

‘Pode, however, having learned this escape technique from Salt, is positive there is something interesting going on down on the state highway that we don’t want him to know about.

So we’ve spent the past several days thinking we’ve plugged up the escape hatch, only to see ‘Pode on the other side of the fence, heading for the road. Have you ever tried to outrun a Parson Russell Terrier? It’s never going to happen.

One time we found him sitting placidly on the side of the highway, watching the cars and trucks go by. Another time he was in the turn lane in the middle of the highway, with traffic stopped both ways in anticipation of his next move. Another time, after we’d searched all the usual and unusual places for two hours, he was sitting happily at the fence gate waiting for us when we came home.

So, until we can get the fence fixed, ‘Pode is on a short leash, so to speak, not the ideal life for an active Parson Russell Terrier.

I’m sure while we sleep Salt is busy doing physics calculations in preparation for another escape.


Mrs Lifecruiser said...

Pheeew, you got me covered in sweat there....without even trying to outrun a Parson Russell Terrier!

Could have given me a heartattack there, that's the worst scenario when you're a dog owner, the dog lose on the road or even nearby the road.....

But they are so darn cute, both of them, so I'm some way ending up envy you anyway. But I'm crazy ;-)

mrhaney said...

i tell you what , you have got your hands full with your dogs.i love dogs and i like most people that own a dog. there are always exceptions though. dogs can be very sneaky and they are like kids in that we can not watch them all the time and that is when they get creative.
thanks for dropping by ramblin on and have yourself a good day.

Spicy McHaggis said...

'Einstein' wizzed on my bed, go buy febreeze.

Leslie Shelor said...

Yep, I dont' think I would have survived the highway episode, especially if it had been Lily. She slipped her harness and made a visit to the creek and I was a basketcase for a week.

About the spinning wheel, send me a picture, if you want, but I think I know what it is. The wheels with the flyers, which is what I think you're talking about, were called flax wheels back in the early days. They had a stick-like projection called a distaff that held the flax, which is a plant fiber. I also have a large wheel with a pointed spindle instead of a flyer that is called a wool wheel.

You can't spin flax easily on a wool wheel, but you can spin wool on a flax wheel. I do it every day. So grab that wheel, girl, and then come down here and I'll show you how to use it!

lene said...

I enjoyed your post of The Dogs. They can bring so much joy and laughter and pain and worry. If you have more than one it is amazing to see how different two dogs can be.

Rainypete said...

Russels are aggravatingly deviant. They are fo r only the most understanding and diligent owners. Sadly, most people buy them because theya re cute and the poor things get dumped at shelters on a regualr basis. Good for you keeping the effort up to try to make him a good little citizen.

Just make sure you keep and available building amterials away from Salt or he'll have a trebuchet cobbled toegether in a week and be launching himself and Gaspode over intot he nieghboring yards.

sisiggy said...

Which, Rainypete, could be the start of an entirely new canine event: Terrier Flinging!

I'll be first in line for that one...