Watching Winter come into his own is kind of like watching Spring’s transformation from puddle of whippet to a fully realized terrier but with the film comically sped up. In just over two weeks he has learned so much! He has learned what “Winter” means and how it’s important to perform some kind of behaviour to make The Food Lady stop uttering it incessantly. His recall is very good now (unless he is running around the chicken pen – then all bets are off BECAUSE THERE ARE CHICKENS! TASTY TASTY CHICKENS!! AND ALL THAT SEPARATES US FROM THEM IS A FLIMSY WIRE FENCE THAT YOU CAN STICK YOUR WHOLE NOSE THROUGH!). He’s figured out that peeing in the house is Not A Good Thing. He knows where cookies live (my pocket) and where breakfast happens (in his crate) and that cats are fun(and are everywhere in my damn house). He’s found his voice (I could live without this one – he has a bark like an 80 year old man with emphysema).
Recently he has discovered that CHASING other dogs is FUN! And you can BITE them, and because they are stupid OCD border collies who have shrunk the whole universe down to a single orange hockey ball orb, they ignore you while you hang off their scruffs like one of those fish that attach themselves to the sides of sharks. A week ago Winter had no idea that the front end of dogs even existed, because he had his nose perpetually shoved up their nether regions (when he was not pissing on everything in sight to announce that he was A Man)(doG bless the operation called “neutering”). Now he is experimenting with the various means of trying to get them to play.
A few days ago, he discovered toys and that a multitude of them live in two baskets in the living room and that you can have them any time you want. Most impor-terrier-antly, he has discovered that you can lay atop a mound of them and declare that ALL THE TOYS ARE BELONG TO YOU, and that border collies will recoil in fear from all 22 lbs of your majesty. Then he discovered that the Food Lady will hoist you up by the armpits and remove you from your throne on Toy Hill Castle when you are being a dick about the stuffies, but because you are a terrier, you will spend the rest of the morning plotting how to get back on your fluffy seat. Terriers are hilarious.
He and Kieren are vying for a notch up a bit – both are low man on the totem pole (and Tweed, incidentally, HATES Kieren and is determined to keep him squished down there at the bottom of the heap) so they squabble some. But Kieren is also the only dog in the house who will play tug with him after breakfast, since all the other dogs are old farts who are pooped out on various dog beds. It’s quite funny, and I must get it on video for you some time – Winter will go retrieve the sheepskin pad that is his crate bed and will drag it out around the house trying to entice Kieren to grab hold of the other end. This is not difficult, as Kieren has only two modes of operation – play or sleep. They play tug until I realize what they are playing with and take it away, wherein Winter spends the rest of the morning trying to climb the table or chest of drawers or whatever tall piece of furniture I’ve hidden the sheepskin atop of.
Outside, playing with Spring is his favourite thing. It’s a noisy activity that sounds like they are about to disembowel one another, for terriers never do anything half-assed. Spring is not yet sure if she loves or hates playing with Winter, as she’s gone a bit soft playing with nothing but border collies and the Orange Pillow known as Mr. Woo.
They are SO much alike. I should be immune to the wonder of this, having experienced it with The WooTWoo, but I am still greatly amused by their similarities. There is no mistaking them for anything other than relatives. They both stand on their hind legs like gophers when they want something. They both like to do The Gopher at my feet, with their backs to my thighs, and their faces are so eerily similar that looking down on them from that angle is like seeing double. When they are anticipating something but are unsure, they both sit with one paw hoisted up in the air. And they both do a funny little two-step dance thing when waiting for a directive, this super hurried little front foot stomping – tappity tappity tappity-pause …. repeat.
The worst trait they both share is that when I am trying to watch a movie and do not want terriers in my lap, they both Gopher beside the chair and rake at my arms with their strong little feet. And no matter how many times you holler at them, and shove them off the arm of the easy chair, they bounce right back and repeat until you relent. Very difficult to reach the popcorm when you are arms are pinned down by terriers!
When he first came to me, I thought maybe he was Spring’s dad or something, as he looked old. His coat was shitty, his teeth were terrible, he was out of shape … now he’s lost about 3 lbs and is a lean machine, his coat is starting to shine and his teeth are pearly white. He looks like her brother now.
Transforming Winter is so rewarding. If I were a filmmaker, I would have loved to have videoed the past two weeks as it would be the most stunning tribute to the power of a home for a lost and confused dog. I’m not sure why it’s happening so much faster for him than for Spring. Maybe because he was older and had some life experience behind him (and was not left to die in a cat carrier in a field in the hot summer sun)?
Everyone else is doing alright too. Piper goes for her surgery consult in a week. As she will be on a long, painful lock down after her surgery, I have relented and let her run around a little bit while she still can, and she was so delighted that she was zooming around photobombing everywhere!
She’s gonna be MAD during the recovery phase, so I hope she remembers this little kindness.
Dexter has an on-again, off-again limp/tripodding thing going on with his right hind leg. As I am now ACL-tear paranoid (it does not help that it’s the same leg as Piper’s!) I took him in to have that looked at. The veterinary professional has declared his knees sound, his hips great and no toes appear to be more sensitive than any other, so it’s possibly a soft tissue injury or a pull somewhere, so he’s about to go on lockdown as well. Gee, I wonder how he could have hurt himself?
Kieren has mostly made himself a member of the family (unless Tweed has any say in the matter) and is fitting in well. I wish I could keep him!
He is just so frickin’ handsome! I am going to be so fussy about where he goes.
And TWooie is … fat.
I really need to start saving up for a new lens next, if the dogs ever leave me any money to do that. My telephoto lens is trying very hard to die. Maybe because it’s worn out from the LASER BEAMS FOR EYEBALLS that are pointed its way all the time?