What did you get for Valentine’s Day?
Ender arrived on Tuesday evening from California. He’s a 3 year old male (ACTUAL) Italian Greyhound that came to me through a series of circumstances via an internet friend in Tahoe. I first learned of Ender in November, but had just acquired Addy and passed on him, and yet here he is anyway. How does this kind of thing happen to me?
So it was fate right? To have an Iggy delivered to my doorstep?
For those of you who are counting – and I know some of you are – that makes an even 10 dogs at Casa de Food Lady. You know what it DOESN’T make? Me a hoarder. More on that later.
Ender is very sweet and can smooch me in the face by leaping from the ground from a standstill. He is reasonably housebroken. He gives the cats a wide berth. He’s very handsome and makes Addy look like a total squirt. You can really see how IG she is NOT by sitting her next to her long legged brethren.
I like Ender, but so far, I do not love Ender. Although I do love taking photos of him!
Initially, the other dogs were intrigued by Ender and seemed to like him. Winter invited him to play right away and even Dexter “I see Mommy and Tennis Balls and everything else is invisible” play bowed at him. But he’s been here for three whole days and now everybody hates him. Winter particularly hates him.
When he tries to play with Addy, Ender is over there like a shot (and he is FAST!).
He gets all up in their business.
And then he starts giving Winter the Business.
He definitely gives Winter the NO Feeling.
And when Winter tells him off …
Ender fights back and I have to break it up. I’m finding Ender a little on the passive-aggressive side … he is all needy and nervous, but he is also kind of a bully / asshole. I suspect he has never lived with other dogs before.
This would be enough to give me pause, but he also barks ALL. THE F*CKING. TIME. At everything. I bring him to work every day, where he has already pissed off all the puppies by humping them and interfering with their social dynamics, so he has to be crated. And in the crate (at work) he complains all the time.
He barks at everybody and everything that comes through the door – every visitor gets barked and yodeled at. We have Nosework classes at the shelter several days a week about 10 feet from my desk and he barks, yodels, grumbles and growls at them the whole time.
Today I took him to (insert big box pet store name here) along with Addy to buy crickets for my gecko and learned something new about Ender, which is that he is leash reactive. In the space of 15 minutes he progressed from barking/yodeling/grumbling at everything he saw to lunging, snarling and snapping at other leashed dogs. He doesn’t do this off leash (or at least he hasn’t so far) so I assume it’s leash related, but I HATE it. I am not unskilled in managing and working with this behaviour, but you know what? I don’t WANT to. If I wanted to do that, I have my choice of largely undersocialized dogs at work that I could spend hours working with. I really don’t want to come home and do it there too.
Is it so wrong to just want nice, reasonably well adjusted dogs? Haven’t I already put in my dues, over and over and over again?
I also really don’t want to upset the social balance at home, nor do I want to undo all the work I have put into building Winter’s confidence over the last year.
But I reaaalllly want to photograph Ender over and over again ;-)
So far, Ender kind of gives me the NO Feeling too :( This disappoints me, as I so want a real IG, but I am not sure Ender is the dog for me.
Also, I am thinking of throttling Addy Hole Digger and burying her inside one of her own artful creations.
Also, Ender’s reactivity is rubbing off on Addy, in the space of just three days. She is hyper-alert anyway, and is already picking up in his barking-at-everything. Now I’M grumbly and growly.
What I really want to throttle and bury is the coyote that killed my favourite rooster this week. Mr. Roo was a very handsome BCM who slept in until 9AM and never crowed and was super laid back. Asshole coyote left me only his one, imperfect, white tail feather :(
That damned coyote makes me feel like this.
The other thing that makes me feel like that are thinly veiled / not very fucking subtle suggestions that I am a “hoarder” on social media. Especially coming from people who know piss all about me, but are obviously being fed their *ahem* ‘theories’ by people I have thought were my friends. It’s supremely irritating. But on the plus side, I suppose it’s a good way to separate the wheat from the chaff. (What is chaff anyway? Whatever it is, it’s obviously too chickenshit to come to me directly with its “concerns”.)
For the last 8 years I have blogged my dog life with what some of my (actual) friends consider a startling amount of transparency. Putting my life out there has both comedy and perils, but I’ve got nothing to hide (when it comes to dogs, that is. I WON’T TALK ABOUT MY TIME IN PRISON!*) I find it somewhat boggling that anyone can cruise through the back issues of Wootube and see my home, inside and out, the care and interest I take in my dogs, my many musings on their acquisition and my efforts to juggle a pack of divergent and challenging canine personalities, and still have the ball numbing audacity to allude to me as a hoarder.
This is a hoarder.
(photos courtesy of pawshpal blog)
This is not.
When’s the last time you read about a hoarding situation bust where the dogs were anything but filthy, diseased and starving?
Woo is definitely not starving.
Spring thinks she is, because she is on a diet, as she was looking a little porky to me these days. The thing is, she doesn’t FEEL fat – both she and Winter have “sprung” their chests, which I have to assume has something to do with maturing? Both of them are only a couple of lbs off their “normal” weight, but both of them are looking wider. Spring in particular has lost her whippety look and gotten very square all over. And Winter was always built like a tank. I’m starting to wonder what kind of terrier, exactly, they are mixed with!
The problem is, when I diet Spring and Winter they bust down the mud room babygate and eat all the cats’ food while I am at work.
But back to the whole hoarding thing … if you all recall, I work for an animal shelter. I have yet to take home a permanent resident from my shelter to ‘save” it, and spend all my days trying hard to find creative ways to convince people to adopt the dogs in the shelter. I have run a border collie rescue for the last 15 years and of the 300 odd dogs I have fostered, kept only a handful of dogs.
I have more dogs than probably you, and more than probably most people you know (but I do have friends with more dogs than me, and they aren’t hoarders either). I’m different from you, but that doesn’t mean you get an automatic pass to insult, belittle or slander me.
And for the record, my house smells of vanilla grooming spray at the moment, because the dogs were all nail clipped, foot hair trimmed and brushed this week, and all you’ll find in my kitchen sink is a plate from my dinner an hour ago. My floors are freshly vacuumed and washed, there’s dog laundry in the dryer because I obsessively wash and towel dry muddy dog feet after every lengthy exercise outing (which happen twice a day in the winter months and three times a day in the summer months).
Friends come into my home routinely. They don’t have to wear gas masks (I am dog sitting a french bulldog next week though, so I might have to hand some out … that thing can FAARRRT!) when they do. So if you are a peripheral acquaintance of mine (or an alleged friend) and you still think I am a hoarder … well, fuck you.
And if you are the coyote that ate my Mr. Roo, well fuck you too. Extra.
GOD DAMMIT ADDY!
It’s sobering to imagine that five years from now, my life will be radically different for my pack of beloved dogs will be significantly smaller :(
(don’t worry, he didn’t hear anything. he doesn’t hear much these days)
In other news, Miss “Prognosis Poor” Gemma Bean chomped me but good the other day when I tried to physically make her sit and stay for her weekly photoshoot. Little shit obviously doesn’t *feel* like she is dying!
Isn’t she getting hairy again though? It’s sooo cute. She is so damn cute I can’t stand it. I never thought I would say that about a maltipoo.
(*I have never actually been to prison. In case you were worried for a second there.)