Thursday, September 18, 2008
For Feline and Furball Friday:
This had not been a good night at Casa Blocher. But given the health challenges several of us have faced on behalf of our pets lately, perhaps I shouldn't complain.
I'm gonna complain anyway.
It already wasn't the happiest evening. I haven't had a nibble on a job yet, which tends to lead to a bit of depression and frayed nerves for both John and me. But John had gone to bed, and I was doing something or other on the computer when I heard sounds coming from the next room. Nobody was in there but Cayenne, and the DVD was on pause. I knew immediately that Cayenne was up to no good. And I was right! The remains of two vintage trolls were strewn all over the carpet in the den. Cayenne still had some of it in her mouth.
She came right to me when I called, which is good, but also I think an indication that she didn't know she'd done anything wrong. I punished her - not hard enough to hurt, but enough to get the message across. Pepper, who wasn't involved at all, ran away outside.
I gathered up the hair, the troll bodies, the little wedding dress one of them had been wearing, photographed the damage, and put the remains toward the back of the shelf. The rest of the trolls aren't quite as easy a reach, but she could easily have grabbed a Barbie with a little effort. I should be grateful for small mercies!
Even after being punished, Cayenne didn't run away. She did the submission thing, rolling over and putting her tail between her legs even more than usual. I gave Pepper a chew and then took Cayenne outside, and gave us all a little time to calm down.
Back inside, I sat with Cayenne for a while, gently corrected her attempts to paw me, and tried to let her know that I still love her but won't reward her incorrect behavior. By then, though, did she even remember about the trolls? Or did she just know I was mad at her?
Since then, Cayenne's been curled up quietly at one end of the couch, the normally rambunctious dog almost motionless.
I've got to do a better job of training these dogs, consistently letting them know what is expected, and what is unacceptable. Despite her outgoing nature, Cayenne was probably abused at least once before we got her. It doesn't photograph well, but she's got a three-quarter inch, fully-healed scar next to one eye. I need to learn to correct them properly, not just punish them in a way that makes everyone miserable, and possibly failed to correct the behavior.
This entry was going to me much more lighthearted than it's been so far, so let's end on a more pleasant subject. On Tuesday, I took both dogs back to the dog park, Miko's Corner Playground at Reid Park.
They had a good time, and so did I. There's a walking track around the perimeter, and I walked around it five times. Cayenne stayed with me most of the time, Pepper only part of the time. We met a few nice people and a few nice dogs, and there was no hiding under picnic tables.
The only downside to the dog park trip was that I had set the camera on macro, to photograph the dogs in the car, and forgot to change it back for long shots in the park. Oh, well!
Be sure to check (Sometimes)Photoblog this Friday to see what everyone else's pets have been up to. I'm hoping that Steven's Pickle had a better week....
P.S. Check out my Twitpic feed for more cute dog pictures!