Professional Farmer

I’ve decided to plant Dexters this year.  They’re coming up quite nicely, but they require an awful lot of water.

This silly beastling has decided – after months of rest, anti-inflammatories, chiro, vet visits etc. – that he can jump 22″ after all.  No more stutter stepping, no more avoiding the jumps or flinging himself sideways over 16″ jumps like a crab fleeing a seagull.  He just suddenly started jumping 22″ again with ease.

What a creep.

Well it’s too little, too late mister!  Regionals entries closed before your mysterious recovery, so all hopes rest on Springaling this year!  Not that there are any photos of Spring, as she is too busy free-feeding on rabbits to pose for photos or play with the rest of us plebs.  I apologize in advance to those of you who are sensitive about rabbit consumption, but seriously, the rabbits in this neighborhood must be the stupidest bunnies on earth (and that’s saying something, as I’ve never found them particularly intellectual to begin with) because they are dropping kits in the dog play areas like crazy, and the dogs are eating them as fast as they can birth them.  And it’s hard to be a connoisseur of fresh rabbit in a pack of other bonkers-for-bunnies dogs, because your siblings will steal a bunny out of your mouth as soon as look at you.  So they find a nest, everyone who can grab a bunny grabs a bunny, and then they all RUN AROUND IN CIRCLES AT TOP SPEED, chewing/gulping madly as they go lest another less fortunate dog steal their prize before it disappears down their gullets.  It resembles a super frantic game of musical chairs, or a Monty Python sketch and it is – sorry again lapine lovers –  funny as f*ck to watch.

At least they are running off those extra calories.

Anyway, I am super looking forward to playing at Regionals.  No pressure for us this year; I have ONE goal, and that is for Spring to have fun and not pee in the ring.  I don’t care if we win anything or even do all that well, I just want her to run reasonably fast, enjoy herself and come out of the ring happy.  She is such a MARVELOUS little dog and I love her so much, and I want us to have fun playing my favourite game together.  Not particularly lofty goals, but realistic ones.  After all, I have this tiny little she-devil up and coming for future competitive years.

It’s funny because I adopted Addy because I thought it would be awesome to play agility with an Italian Greyhound.  It turns out it is NOT awesome, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.  She has the attention span of a crack addict and anything – ANYTHING – that catches her eye must be investigated and possibly played with immediately.  A twinkle in the sand, a passing bee, even a puff of dirt from her own speedy little paws, and the game of agility is immediately forgotten, or at least temporarily abandoned, while she runs off to see if it’s more interesting.  And it’s not as though she doesn’t *like* agility – she loves it!  She fears nothing, throws herself over the contact equipment, leaps jump bars twice her height, banks in tunnels like nobody’s business …. but she just can’t stick to one activity for more than a few seconds (except for digging in mud; she would be the WORLD CHAMPION of mud digging).  If agility courses were 5 obstacles long, she would probably beat the border collies.  Alas.

This probably sums up Addy the best:

(And yes, that is a real bubble, not a Photoshopped bubble.  She is the only dog I live with who will play with bubbles.)

I kept Fae because I am SELFISH and she was so god damn cute that I didn’t want anyone else to have her.  That’s pretty well the only reason.  It’s not a very good reason, but maybe I’m not a very good person.  And she is not a very good dog.  Her nickname around here is “BADITTUDE” because she’s snarky, sulky, stubborn AF and requires cajoling, coddling and sometimes military discipline to keep her snotty little self in line.  And I LOVE HER SO MUCH!  She is hilariously bad – not naughty, like Addy, but downright bad.  She’ll run like crazy to get the ball and bring it back, run right past me, lay down 10 feet away and give me the canine equivalent of the finger and bite any other dog that looks at the ball.  At night I have to physically remove her from the end of the bed or she won’t let the other dogs come up and join us.  And when I tried playing bubble-blowing with her, she got MAD at the bubbles for floating!

Oh but she is FIERCE.  And I adore her.  She has so much spunk and spirit.  And she’s turning out to be a little f*cking dynamo on the agility course.  She is fast and she wants to win ALL THE THINGS.  She did go through a period where she was terrified of the teeter and refused to get on it.  For months she wouldn’t get on it.  We tried low teeter, no-tipping teeter, teeter-bangs-get-a-cookie teeter, roast chicken … nada, nothing.  She wasn’t getting on it for love nor money.  Then one day at practice Fearless Addy did the teeter in front of her and got a cookie.  She got a boring tuna and sweet potato cookie.  SHE GOT FAE’S RIGHTFUL COOKIE.  And Fae was over that teeter in a flash and now she loves the teeter.  She’s *that* kind of dog, and I love it.

Now she can run a full course, and at speed too!  For a little sausage tube of a dog, she is very quick on her feet and she makes little huffing noises of excitement while she runs.  I will have to get video of her weaving for you all, because it is the cutest thing in the entire world, it will make you want to pick her up and squeeze the life right out of her (and she will bite you in the nose when you do it too, so be careful!)

Look at her adorable little self.

LOOK AT HER!!!

You know what else is frickin’ adorable?

This.

I don’t need another dog.  I don’t need another dog.  I don’t need another dog.

AGH!!

Maybe I need another dog.  I don’t want to talk about it, because someone of you will give me very good reasons why I don’t need another dog.  Because I don’t.  But shut up, I’m not listening to you.

My plan was to get a puppy in 5 years.  Once some of my older dogs had gone to join Tweed and Red Dog at Valhalla and the middle aged dogs were older dogs, and there was room in the damn van to put another dog whilst traveling.  And then I would get a puppy, and start from scratch, and do everything right and raise a wicked fast, drivey sport dog that would win all the things.  This was my very firm, solid plan.  And then I remembered that this was also my plan when I got this:

And THAT turned into THIS:

I LOVE puppies.  I love training puppies, and how spongey they are, and how you don’t have to undo anything.  I was watching videos of puppies learning things the other day, and marveling at how quick and fast they offer new behaviours and are willing to try anything and I was all I AM STICKING TO THE PUPPY PLAN.  But then later that afternoon Dexter ran into the fence at top speed because he wasn’t looking where he was going, and I remembered how much of a crapshoot a puppy can be and I got all waffly again.  Besides, I wouldn’t even know where to get a puppy from.

Plus technically Peetie is still a puppy.  She just turned 8 months old.  And she is so wonderful.  She is all legs, with beautiful angulation in the back (people say she is too straight in the front and I nod sagely when they say it, but I still don’t know what that means) and she is a LOVELY natural jumper.  Gorgeous personality.  Perfect off switch in the house, housebroken totally, can leave her loose in the house for hours and she doesn’t do anything naughty.  Loves food and works hard for it.  Good bounce back.  Beautiful recall.  PIPER PLAYS WITH HER.

So shut up.

But either way, I need to fix her raging motion-sickness because driving anywhere with her is very unpleasant for both of us.  She won’t even go through the front garden gate now because the van lives on the other side of that gate and she doesn’t want to get in the van.  We have tried riding facing forward, facing backward and facing sideways; covered crate and uncovered crate.  Dramamine.  I just installed an anti-static strip on the car yesterday, so that’s the next effort.  I haven’t tried ginger because whatever, frankly I don’t think a natural remedy will work where Dramamine failed, but I’ll try it too.  Next stop – Cerenia along with desensitizing.  But sometimes she has to come for road trips with us whether she likes it or not.  The last dog I had that got this sick in the car was West.  It’s yucky.  Any other tried and true remedies to suggest?  Hopefully that will solve it today, because I really want to take her lure coursing tomorrow ;-)

I also want to take this lure coursing tomorrow, because I know he would LOVE IT (chase all the things!) but he’s so fat I am ashamed to bring him around those skinny gazehounds.

I took him swimming the other day at the beach and he doesn’t get any skinnier when wet, so I can’t keep telling him it’s “just hair.”

He and the TWoo are 11 this month (maybe).  He still knows how to have fun though!

Such a cad.

I asked Addy if she wanted to be included in this post, but she got distracted by a literal butterfly (just out of frame) and left before she could answer me.

Happy sunny weekend everyone!  And I just wanted to thank you, deeply, for the many contributions those of you on Facebook have made to Dove after her tragedy last week.  For those of you who didn’t hear about it, please visit the website set up to memorialize the wonderful lives lost, and to celebrate the wonderful person who suffered this great loss.  And give your four legged family extra love today.

Comments

  1. I had a dog who ONLY got car sick in a crate. Would puke all over everything (even his own sister) in a crate but once I took him out of a crate he never got sick again…. Just a thought!

  2. I know where you can get a puppy… Just saying.

  3. I should mention that she also gets carsick when riding loose; not in my van because the crate configuration does not allow for riding loose, but in her previous temporary foster home she was loose in the car and vomited it all up.

  4. Susannah says:

    Have you tried a thundershirt yet? Some people swear by them for motion sickness. Good luck! Hopefully Cerenia will take care of it! My best friend is a Vet, & she said it’s amazing.

  5. Janet, Spur, Cutter, Copper, Rip & Emma says:

    Must keep Peetie, must take Woo to lure coursing – who cares what anyone else thinks! We still love you!

  6. I get carsick, terribly car sick – sometimes even if I’m driving. I get all kinds of motion sick, even stand up paddle boarding. Who gets sick – kill-me-now sick on a paddle board? Scopolamine patches work! I’m not sure they’re ok for dogs but I don’t see why not. Worth a try. They’re behind the counter so ask the pharmacist. Let me know what f it helps. One of my dogs used to throw up in the van but she outgrew it after a while. I never outgrew it myself.

  7. Rachel C. says:

    Keep her!!! My carsick puppy learned how to tolerate (still hates them but doesn’t get sick) car rides after weeks/months? of super short treks to a field for leash free runs. The trips were less than 5 minutes and the fields we went to were full of rabbits and other wonderful things. I would do this at least once a week if possible and otherwise just give kongs and other wonderful treats inside the parked van every day. She is still an impressionable puppy so don’t waste time conditioning her!! She sounds wonderful. Good luck at Regionals too!

  8. I found ginger helped, but did not fix, motionsickness. It made short trips less likely to result in puking though, so it was easier to do “a quick fun ride with fun things at the end to show him cars aren’t evil!!!” sorts of things. Which made a huge difference in the long run. My local hippy health food store (and before someone flips, I love them and when I admitted to how I refer to them the owner laughed) had a ginger infused honey that Apollo would scarf right up as a treat so it was easy to get into him.

    The other thing I did was put him on a long lead (25ft) so he couldn’t run away, and then open up all the car does and sit inside and read, holding the end of the leash. It didn’t take him long to poke his nose in to see what I was doing, to which I presented him with a tidbit of BACON!!! After he figured that out I started requiring him to just get a little further in for his treat, and then a little further, and a little further….till he’d hop in and sit and demand his treat.

    Btw, I’m jealous you can get scopolamine over the counter, I have to get a prescription!

  9. Laura in California says:

    Keep her. I started reading your comment about getting a puppy and thought about how things went with Dexter, then I scrolled down and saw you had the same thought. She’s 8 months and you have a good idea of what you’re getting. Plus, she is a really good looking girl!
    Should Wootie go off to summer fat camp?

  10. Courtenay says:

    West was helped by the thundershirt for sure. and lots of short trip practice…

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