Dexter stands on stuff (alternate title: Between Two Bastards)

This was supposed to be a totally different entry.  Originally I was going to discuss family social dynamics, because lately I have been seeing quite a lot of this:
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and this:
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And this:
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When the dogs get all really riled up, Dexter likes to “attack” Piper and Tweed likes to “attack” Dexter.  Dex’s attacks on Piper have significantly diminished in both number and scope since I started getting in there and giving him Hell – he may be narrow, but he is her size plus another half again, and I don’t want him hurting her back.  So he goes in for fake darts at her, but doesn’t touch her, which is fine by me.  For some reason Piper does not correct Dex when he “attacks” her – it’s not a case of ‘puppy immunity’; I think it’s just favouritism as Piper likes Dexter quite a bit.

I’m not sure that Tweed likes Dexter very much at all.  He sure didn’t like him as a puppy, and he hasn’t seem to have grown that much fonder of him – although I must say that Tweed generally only “attacks” dogs he knows, likes and trusts, so maybe he does secretly like him.  Lately, Dexter has not only taken some exception to Tweed’s enthusiasm, but seems to be looking to make it an excuse to provoke a fight.  Because when they get all riled up, Dexter will seek Tweed out, get on his radar, and then take exception to Tweed’s sniping.  If it escalates a little bit over his comfort zone, Dex backs down again, but what I’m seeing is Dex testing the waters for the day when he’s ready to keep fighting.  And since nobody is allowed to kick Tweed’s ass (except me.  And Piper)  I guess I’m going to have to get in there too and put a stop to it.

There’s enough tension in the household already.  TWooie and Dexter are the source of much of it.

Dexter Does Not Like the TWoo.  And TWooie Does Not Like Dexter.  Here you can see how TWoo is “not” giving Dex a hard stare (he wants to, but he knows he’s not allowed) and Dex is not-so-subtly leaning away from TWoo’s personal bubble zone.  Poor Wootie is just irritated that he has to act as the buffer between two bastards.
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Shortly after I took this, Dex started to rumble and TWoo started giving lip.  I didn’t photograph it, because I put down the camera and put an end to this tension *right* away. I can see it ending very, very badly.

Incidentally, when Wootie gets riled up … he barks.  And barks and barks and barks.  When TWooie gets riled up, he “attacks” me by grabbing at my pants!  It doesn’t hurt at all, because surprisingly he has very good bite inhibition, and it also explains why even when he going ballistic on some other dog, they don’t take his displays very seriously.

The whole reason I put dogs on the old TV stand* in the first place was to show you TWooie’s latest accomplishment, which is the time honoured trick called “shake a paw”.

Whoopee, right?  But here’s the thing – TWooie *offered* me this behaviour the other day, unprompted, to try and earn a cookie.  Since coming to live with me 5 months ago, TWooie has never once offered me a behaviour to solicit a reward.  I have always lured him, and while we have played many clicker games, he’s always just stood still, wagged his tail and stared at the cookie.  Apparently, someone in his past life taught him “shake a paw” because he also knows how to switch between paws when asked.  I wonder what else he knows and is hiding from me??  I love unlocking the secrets of The TWoo.

Nice to meet you, secret TWoo.
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(*re: old tv stand:  since losing my job I have managed to break the following:  Tweed.  My car.  My vacuum cleaner.  And most recently, my television.  I turned it on last week and it went KABOOM and exploded.  Fortunately, within a couple of days I located a bigger, free tv on Craigslist.  It came with its own cabinet (it’s very ugly but it works!) so the old tv stand is just parked in the living room next to the new one)

In standing my dogs on the old tv stand, I unknowingly created A Monster.  The Monster looks like this:
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In fact, it is now the Monster’s favourite nappy place, so I guess it’s not going anywhere.  He is curled up on it, asleep, as I type this entry.  I guess I’ll have to sew a pillow for it or something.

Anyway, there is nothing Dexter likes better than praise.  I asked him to hop up on the stand and pose and he got praise AND a cookie.  Since then, I can’t get him to stop hopping up on stuff.

A pile of rocks?  No problem.
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The spare tire affixed to the back of my landlord’s camping trailer?  Why not!
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(that was a funny / scary one, because he hopped up on the tire and tried to use it as a springboard to get UP ON THE ROOF!!  But the roof is curved, like a rolltop desk, and he came clattering to the ground from 12 feet in the air.  Scared this shit out of me!  And keep in mind, I am not asking him to hop up on ANY of this stuff … he does it on his own and hopes to get praise for it)

A pile of old truck tires?  Sure.
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And the piece de la resistance:  the roof of an old truck behind the trailer.
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Oh brother!

And because I know someone is going to ask “Where’s Megan?” let me just preempt that by saying she’s right here, beside me, looking miserable.  She got spayed yesterday, and feels like crap.  Even though I let her sleep with my last night (wrapped around my head and licking me in the eyeball every 10 minutes) she is still very unhappy.

Poor Megan :(
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She is off to her new home later this week.  I am going to miss her like crazy, she is such a little dear.

She leaves right in time for Race, my next foster, to arrive.

You remember Jess, the Puppy From Hell?  Race is her brother, rescued from the same bucket at the same horse auction.  The woman who took him home decided not to keep him, so with a little (ok a LOT) of help from our friends across Canada, Race and another puppy Twist made the journey from Saskatchewan to the AAC Nationals in Calgary Alberta, then to Kamloops BC where they are staying until this weekend, and then coming here to the Lower Mainland.

Dog people are THE BEST!


  1. I love Dexter’s posing – very professional!

    Race is so cute! Are you going to miss Megan? Is that a stupid question?

  2. The photo of Dex on the spare tire reminds me of Snoopy doing his vulture impersonation!

  3. ginnysmom says:

    I got a little misty when I saw the “paw/hand” photo with your caption… why do you do this to us FL? I’m very proud of Twooie’s progress. He’s very special and sweet.

  4. i don’ t know if you take requests but a Control Unleashed look game session could be a great one for a blog just to continue the story of the two feisty ones. LOVE THE BLOG!

  5. Race is handsome! I can’t wait for more pictures of him :)

  6. I wonder if some of the tension is being caused by Dex being intact? I know the little guys are wedged up there pretty high, but he must still have the hormones? Maybe Tweed & the Twooie are jealous? (sorry couldnt resist)

  7. BeepandMax says:

    When I park my car in the garage a giant kitty named Beep(Hangin Tree Cowdog) walks all over it! When he was a about Dexter’s age he chewed the plastic end off the antenna. Dang agility dogs:)

  8. Food Lady, you are the bestest!

  9. That picture of Dex on top of the truck reminds me of those pictures you see of lions lounging on safari cars.

  10. ok so what i really want to know is…where did you find that world map on your wall? it’s awesome!

    p.s. Dexter’s ears KILL ME. he’s gotta have like 6 inches of height just in the ears.

  11. Race looks adorable and has beautiful color. Can’t wait to see how the pack likes (or not) him, especially Twoo. Twoo looks so handsome up on the TV stand and Woo looks fed up!

  12. The Food Lady says:

    “ok so what i really want to know is…where did you find that world map on your wall? it’s awesome! ”

    Oh that’s a good story. I rented my last condo from an absentee landlord (he lived in Montreal). When I moved out, it was because he was selling the condo, and his current home in Montreal, and moving to Paris. He said when I left I was to take anything that was already in the condo when I moved in if I wanted it. So I took the shoe rack in the hall closet … when I took it out, the map (which is a triptych, foam mounted, oval shape) fell over – it had been backward (facing the wall) in the closet the whole time! I was so excited, as I love giant maps but they are very expensive, and it had been living in my closet for a year and I had no idea!! So it moved with me and is the focal piece of my current living room :)

  13. MalaysianFan says:

    I agree with Ginnysmom, the photo of Twooie’s paw in your hand elicited a bit of eye-wiping from me, too. You are doing such amazing work with the Twoo, and I really love the photos of him, with and without Woo.

    Oh, and belated thanks for finally sharing photos of Carl with us. Priceless puddy tat!

    When you look at your giant map, take a second to find Kuala Lumpur, and know that Maneki the Cat and I are waving at you with our greatest admiration (and envy, for that map — what a great find!) :-)

  14. I wish you luck with the Dexter/Tweed/Twoo interactions. My 7month old puppy (the balls have come in and the brains have gone out) is starting to bug the 11 yo boy. And Joey is not impressed. Boy is he not impressed. But it’s managable, except around walks and meals. Crates work for meals, not so well for the walks.

  15. Love seeing the dogs, as always. I’ve noticed we aren’t seeing much of the Woo lately. Other than being cranky with Dex, how is he doing?

  16. My Maizey does the jump on things and pose perfectly for that box that is attached to my face. It’s super cute, except she doesn’t have the concept that she is small and will scramble up pretty high, thankfully not on the roof though!:P The funniest is when we are hiking and they run ahead so when I come around the corner and she is posed with her picture grin screaming, “where’s my treat?!?” Awesome pictures!

  17. I so lurv Twooie. I was telling Joe that he should have packed him and brought him to me. (I made him move my TV so he’d feel at home lol) jk!

    The picture of Dex on the rocks – are you sure he’s not part hyena? And look at those eyes. I’d sleep with one eye open if I was you mwahahahaha.

  18. The pic of Dexter on top of the truck is priceless- he looks like those lions you see lounging on safari vehicles in Africa- what a looker! : )

  19. Ngl, Dexter’s eyes kind of startle me every time I see a picture of him. It’s like they’re brown laser beams, powered by the gravitational field created by his mind spinning along at a million miles a second…

    …and good on TWoo for stepping forward to carry on the grand tradition of treat solicitation via trick. Really enjoy hearing about your work with him. :)

  20. Hope Maggins/Megan is on the mend from her wee operation …..she looks so sad and I just want to give her a hug. We’re sure she will settle well in her new home. Make sure her new peeps keep you (us!) updated with photographs.

  21. Hahaha… Cedar does the same thing as Dexter in regards to offering the same behavior over and over expecting treats…. except she constantly either comes to heel position or touches things with her nose. I wonder if that’s a clicker-trained dog thing?

    Oh, and best of luck to Megan in her new home! She’s darling. Your new foster looks like quite the little heathen :)

  22. SweetCeana says:

    I am starting to suspect that I may have a long lost WooTwoo distant cousin in my house. My little tiny Sita makes a lot of the same faces as Twooie, and seems to be the same size. She is definetly not as naturally svelte as the other border collies. We know her mama was a bc, but everyone in rescue looked at her dad and went….um I don’t know. She looks almost identical to his tinsy self. She has some similar behaviors to the one dog same dogs. I just have one question… do they grunt, groan and moan when relaxing?

  23. The Food Lady says:

    TWooie does – he is full of grunts and groans, and he also snores. Wootie only moans when he wants something, and it’s definitely of a higher pitch.

  24. SweetCeana says:

    Who knows, they may have a southern cousin. ;) She definetly shares Woo’s philosophy on recalls and agility equipment….although she may be in less of a hurry to go anywhere. Sita doesn’t rush.

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