Perpetually Pesty Peetie

Just now I was sitting at my computer enjoying a cup of coffee when my intuition said to me “You might want to turn around in your chair right about now.”  So I craned my neck to the right just in time to see Peetie sail over the babygate at the mudroom doorway like it wasn’t even there.

She has, apparently, discovered the cat box in the bathroom.  She also took a moment to test the screen door to see if it were possibly not latched, so she could take herself on a self guided tour of the yard.  Then she popped right back over that gate and into the rest of the house again.

She likes to gather up the food bowls after breakfast and chew on them.  Every morning I take them away from her one at a time, and every morning she sets about collecting food bowls and trying to chew on them at my feet.  The first time I caught her carrying a food bowl around I commented about how charming it was, and my friend Connie warned that “the shine would wear off that real quick.”  Was she ever right.  Peetie is quite aware that I don’t like her food-bowl-chewing hobby, and has taken to hiding the odd bowl so she can chew on it with impunity.  DoDo’s bowl has been MIA for two days now; I can’t find it anywhere.  I have a really small house, so this is a mystery.

This puppy has no off switch that I can find.  Can’t reboot her.  I’d like to unplug her for two minutes and maybe do a system restore to a point in time where she wasn’t constantly on the prowl looking for mischief.  Are you a small dog trying to take a nap after we were outside playing Dumbball for an hour or so?  Peetie will poke you in the ribs repeatedly with her nose until you wake up.  If you wake up with four extra sets of teeth poised at her delicate nose skin and a rage that is unmatched in this earthly realm, Peetie will exploit it with a friendly tail wag and turn it into a wrestling match.  If you are persistent in ignoring her ‘friendly overtures’ she will take hold of your tail and drag you across the floor.  When you explode with outrage, she will play bow at you and delight in your enthusiasm for her efforts.

Are you Mr. Woo, trying to have some post-breakfast quiet time in a crate?  Peetie will  thrust her head and shoulders into the crate with you and then just stand there, tail wafting gently to and fro as though rustled by a benign autumn breeze, and stare at you 7 inches from your eyeballs while your growling escalates to a fevered pitch.  When you can no longer take the *staring* and burst forth from the crate like a freshly hatched god, she will follow you wherever thouest go in the house, tripping on her toes like your fairy godmother.

In the evenings when I’m curled up in my easy chair watching tv with a Fae noodled up against my thigh, Peetie stands on the arm of the chair (the chair rocks, incidentally, so this is double irritating) and plucks at Fae’s fur like she’s gathering material for a nest (in which, no doubt, she will hatch another plan to be an enormous pain in the ass)  while Fae gets angrier and angrier.  When I tell her to GO THE F*CK AWAY PEETIE!!!! she leaps backwards and – like a hairy boomerang – returns with yet more zest and vigor.

This dog is a PEST.  How could I have been so wrong about her?

I have fostered quite possibly hundreds of dogs in the last 20 years, so many I can’t count or recall them all.  I have seen lots of marvelous changes in shell shocked fosters as they unfold their mysteries and delightfully reveal themselves to me.  I have never been so fooled as I was by “No Drive” Peetie.  I should have named her Cerberus.  She definitely has the energy of three dogs!  And yesterday on our walk she rolled in something so vile (Michelle and I agreed, after much sniffing and gagging, that it was probably, ermm, a human “by-product”) so she definitely smelled like three dogs.

She’s staring at me RIGHT NOW.  I assume this means she is about to engage in some naughtiness I can’t even begin to fathom.

Her favouritest partner-in-shrillness is the Red Mop who is still with us for summer camp.  That’s another pest-in-training.

She doesn’t get into mischief in the house though (mostly).  She saves it for when we are outside, and she wants to chase down every single Dumbball ever thrown, and if she does not get there first, hang off the neck fur of the dog who does, or rebound off them over and over again whilst shrieking in their closest ear.

Peetie speaks this language and encourages her.

Dexter, bless his heart, tolerates it magnanimously.

This dog, however, has had quite enough thank you.

About two days ago, Fae lost her last shred of patience and beat 12 kinds of holy hell out of DoDo.  And I don’t mean she snarled and snapped at her, I mean she laid into her like a f*cking BOSS and kicked the living shit out of her.  There was red curly hair flying, flailing, screaming, voiding of bowels … and still Fae kept on coming.

My little doe-eyed darling is FIERCE.  She trounced the pesty ginger and I let her, and I laughed and laughed.  I only broke it up when the other dogs took notice and went to join in the fray, because frankly everyone but Peetie could take or leave DoDo and I was worried they’d gang up on her.

You do not want to mess with FaeFae.  Thirteen pounds of huggable, snuzzable, nose-booping, cheek-kissing futhermucking ASSASSIN is what Fae is.  In her previous incarnation, I’m pretty sure she was what they modeled The Sopranos’ characters on.

Poor DoDo.  Life’s lessons are hard.

(This is a senior-moment interlude, entitled “Why Is The Wootie Toy Not Moving?  I’m Confused.”)

One thing Peetie has gotten better about is leaving the terriers alone to their terrier games.

She used to be right in there like she thought she was an honoured guest whenever they would start wrasslin’, which would of course ruin and thus end the game immediately.  Because the terriers play on an alternate plain of existence that none of the other dogs can really appreciate.

Winter may have been an accidental addition, but he is the yin to Spring’s yang and the two of them make one whole (one whole ball of chaos, of course).  I can’t imagine them apart now.  They are twice as much trouble this way, but that’s a small price to pay.  Since I’ve taught Peetie to leave them to their shenanigans, they will now sometimes invite her to join them in a sort of modified version of their games once they have exhausted one another.  Sometimes I catch Peetie and Spring having a romp, which is nice.  Because even though Spring is a terrier, capital T, she is still a sensitive soul and for a while Peetie’s energy overwhelmed and frightened her.  She still won’t play ball unless I leash the puppies, as she doesn’t like being mowed down in the chase.

Dexter likes to play a chase game with Peetie that used to be the purvey solely of Tweed, where I yell “GO GO GO!!” and Dexter takes off at top speed barking and “snarling” while Peetie chases him.  Nobody ever played this with him except for Piper in her younger years, and then Tweed, right up until shortly before he died.  Now Peetie has taken up the mantle and Dexter is happy again.

These guys?  Off in their own world, hunting things, smelling where things were once, and actively looking for other things to smell after or hunt.  They would be happiest if the whole property was fenced, and they could spend all their days outside laying around and watching for threats to chase away.  Whilst collecting as many burrs in their coats as possible.

And this is just my delightfully naughty, super hilarious living hot water bottle.  She is Summer’s-End Barometer, as she has begun to burrow into my sweathsirts again in the last week.

And this is a chicken.

Peeetie has eaten all the dogs beds in the house.  ALL of them.  They are all outside in a pile by the fence waiting to be carted to the burn pile if/when my landlord ever returns my wheelbarrow, which he absconded with about two months ago under the guise of “borrowing it” for ” a couple of days.”  If you would like to contribute to my Replace The Dog Beds So Piper Has Somewhere To Rest Her 14 Year Old Bones Fund, feel free to throw some cash at my PayPal :)

Today On Wootube

Make your own Addy Fountain just in time for summer!

How to communicate your feelings clearly and effectively.

Get your beach body ready with this easy workout!

And how to make yourself stand out in a crowd!

Our neighbour, Mr. Campbell, sold his acreage and moved away.  The new owners haven’t taken possession yet, so we’ve been playing over at his place for a change of scenery.  I like it better for photos, because the property is level, rather than sloped, and there aren’t a jillion cottonwoods behind the field, so I can get the blue sky in the photos.  Which is prettier.  Mr. Campbell still comes and mows the lawn and doesn’t mind if we play beneath his plum trees.

It really showcases the weirdness that is my dog Dexter.

And it has shade.  Because it’s been SO HOT here the last week!  Redonkulously hot.  We can sit under the willow trees and be naughty without boiling to death.

Speaking of naughty, I am *very* proud of TWooie this week.  Because although he was – as usual – naughty, he was also an abbreviated sort of naughty.  A few days ago we were playing on Mr. Campbell’s property when this guy in the neighbourhood with a rottweiler came strolling down the street.  I don’t like this guy OR his rottweiler, because he lets it off the leash on our dead end road … which is fine, as long as it stays on the road.  But why people think those of us who live on the farms on this road want their dogs loping on and off our properties, trying to get at our chickens and pooping in our grass, is a mystery to me.  Twice I have caught his rottweiler trying to find its way through my fence to get at my ducks, while the owner keeps walking down the road completely out of sight until I yell at him to get his damn dog.  I finally told him I’d call animal control on him if he didn’t leash his dog.  So this time he had his dog on a leash while he walked down the road, and TWooie spotted him and of course went running over to be an asshole.  But you know what he did?  He STOPPED ON THE PROPERTY LINE and barked from the property, but didn’t step paw one on the road itself.  And then he came back when I called him, all chuffed with himself.

And then this morning a neighbour with a border collie we have met before stopped to say hi and TWooie ran up to the dog, barked and snarled at it from about two feet away about three times to assert his presence in the universe, and then decided to ignore him altogether while we chatted.  For TWooie, this is remarkably restrained.  Of course the border collie is used to TWooie and knows he is all spittle and ugly face and no follow through so he didn’t pay him any mind, but still.  I am proud of the little fatso.  I just want to hug his weird and grouchy little self.

Of course I can’t as he’s hiding from me right now because he tore off most of his dewclaw and I had to cut the rest of it away and then clean it up and wrap it in vet wrap.  As we know from previous entries, TWooie doesn’t handle pain well and he’s pretty sure I was trying to kill him, even though he’d only been a partial monster this week rather than his usual full on monster self.

I did create a monster though, that goes by the name of Peetie.

As I mentioned previously, all the toys are belong to Peetie.  Every throw of a ball or frisbee is for Peetie, obviously.  I finally found a Wootie Toy at a pet store today and Wootie didn’t even get a chance to play with it, because Peetie wouldn’t stop beating him (and everyone else) to the Wootie Toy.  She’s FAST.  I now have teach Peetie to turn it on AND off, rather than turn it on and leave it on ALL THE TIME.

She likes to share though – when she gets the ball she wants DoDo to chase her and try and take it.  It’s her favourite thing.

And when she has the Wootie Toy she actively shoves it at DoDo so she’ll grab it and they can play tug.  She’s become such an interactive little critter, and a very busy one.  It’s very charming.

But it encourages bad behaviour in DoDo, who can’t always tell the black-n-whites apart.  Which could, you know, lead to her untimely demise.

One thing I would really like Peetie to do is leave me alone.  She is a super touchy-feely dog and doesn’t understand “go away” signals (or orders, or shoving, or yelling obscenities).  If I sit on the ground, she tries to get in my lap 400 times, in eight thousand degree heat.  When I’m at the computer, she hooks a paw around my calf and tries to worm her way chest first onto my lap.  If I pet another dog, she’s in there like a dirty shirt (and tries to climb into my lap to boot.  Are you seeing a pattern here?).  If I get annoyed with her, she gets sucky and extra clingy.  If I try to reward her when she backs off, she backs right in again!  It’s driving me a bit nuts.  Any ideas?

It’s a couple of days early, but I’m going to take this opportunity to wish Dexter a happy SEVENTH BIRTHDAY.  Seven!

I love this dog.  I don’t love trying to play agility with him, but I do love him.  He’s the best spontaneous hugger, and so gregarious and full of enthusiasm for everything.  He might not be the dog I wanted, but he’s the dog I got, and I wouldn’t trade him for anything.  There’s no dog like him!

Well, except for this dog, who looks an awful lot like him.

How To Be Addy (a pictorial step-by-step instructional guide)

1. Do something naughty, like digging holes in the agility practice area

2. When The Food Lady tells you off, blow her a raspberry

3. Immediately regret your impulsive sassiness

4. Decide to laugh the whole thing off

Bonus 5. If concerned that you are the only one laughing, distract The Food Lady by tackling her at top speed with wet and muddy paws

No matter how naughty she is (and Addy is VERY VERY naughty) she never fails to make me laugh.  There are times when I have to turn my head away and giggle into my sleeve when I am giving her shit for something lest she see me.  I am so very happy she is no worse for wear after the rat poison incident.

And speaking of shit, riddle me this: yesterday the dogs and I spent pretty much the entire day outside.  I built a small brooder house and pen for my week old mistral gris (them’s For-Eatin’ Chickens for you city folk) which took me all day as I am not much of a handywoman/carpenter.  Then around dinner time we played ball for an hour.  Then we came inside and we all had dinner.  Then I spent about a half hour outside locking up all the chickens and ducks for the night.  Came back inside the house and found three little piles of poop on the floor.  WHY???  Was 7 hours outside insufficient time for pooping?  Harumph.

Then later that evening, PEETIE pooped on the living floor right in front of me.  Srsly, these dogs, I swear.

In other Peetie news, I found her “on” switch and now I can’t turn it off!

As it happens, I *can* build drive in a dog (not Italian greyhounds though).  Maybe too well.  Now ALL THE TOYS ARE BELONG TO PEETIE.

She chases every ball or frisbee, no matter for whom the toy is thrown.  She’ll take dogs out and send them ass over tea kettle in her quest to get there first.  Most dogs have figured out to keep one eye on the ball, and one eye on her and get out of the way quick.  But not everydog. Poor DoDo.


I love the new and improved Peetie, though the carsickness had failed to get any better.  I am not sure if the other dogs like the new and improved toy-crazy Peetie though.

It’s like looking in a mirror, isn’t it Dexter?  A younger, svelter, less weird mirror.

Although to be fair, everyone harasses Dexter at play time.  Probably because he just takes it.

Except for the terriers, who prefer to bother one another in weird and physics-bending ways.

And Wootie, who has eyes only for bothering Piper.

DoDo likes to play ball / frisbee and likes to hang off Dexter’s ruff too, whichever is available.

She is an interesting puppy.  Much like Peetie, she has all this untapped drive – but unlike Peetie she is not shut down, but rather obnoxious about it.  Today whilst letting the dogs outside one by one through the babygate (to prevent free form chaos) she bit me in the toe when I used my leg to body block her from running through when it wasn’t her turn.  Little turd!  When she first arrived she came with the following “issues”:

  • barked in crate at 5AM, demanding a walk. Fixed that.  Grouchy Food Lady is grouchy in the morning.  Now she stays quietly in her crate until I let her out.
  • Played keep away when called.  Fixed that.  Hard to play keep away on a long line, when The Food Lady will reel you in like a swordfish.  She doesn’t even have to wear the long line now and comes running at top speed when called.
  • Fussy about her food/anorexic.  Fixed that.  Lots of daily exercise builds a good appetite.
  • Wasn’t food motivated / refused to eat kibble.  Fixed that.  Now she’d eat sticks or cardboard as cookies if I offered her one.  Loves to perform for food now.

I think sometimes people underestimate poodles’ capacity for having boundless energy (Gemma not included in this statement).  Maybe little toy poodles are lazy things, I dunno, but DoDo is a Moyen poodle and she is bouncing off the walls energetic and needs somewhere to put it.  Running with a pack of collies every day is a good place to put it.  And she really just needs some boundaries and some manners, which she is quickly developing here.  In her first couple of days she chased the chickens, and the rooster chased her right back and she ran SCREECHING from the hen yard, while I laughed and laughed.  She has also learned to pick blackberries off the plant rather than stand around pathetically whining while everyone else feasts.  I think she’s just not had very many rules in her life.  Her owner says he bikes to work with her every day (she’s in a trailer) and she barks the whole way.  She tried barking in my car for like 30 seconds and I turned around, gave her the stink eye, and told her in no uncertain terms how lovely an orange poodle mat would look in my kitchen and she’s been quiet ever since.  She’s not stupid!

This is pretty stupid.

Kidding, kidding!  You know I love me some Dexter, crappy agility dog though he may be.  He’s a special blend of .. special.  And he will be seven years old in 12 days.  SEVEN!!  I don’t even know how that happened!

Then there’s Winter.  He actually is kinda stupid ;-)

In other completely unrelated news, I am thinking of getting/raising some turkeys.  I don’t have any yet, so there are no photos of them.  Instead, here’s a photo of her royal tiny highness FaeFae, contemplating ways to murder dogs who get the ball before she does (buh bye Peetie and DoDo!).