My Dogs Let Me Live Here
August 09, 2012
Above from left to right are Caleb, Tess, Ferra, and Shug
I’ve always loved animals and especially dogs. There must be a neon sign on my property leading the unwanted and abandoned to my home. At the present time, my husband and I have 4. One purebred, a chocolate Lab that was gift from his son, and 3 strays. They have taken over our home. I didn’t plan for this to happen, it just evolved. We have acreage and a pond, which is paradise for the furry ones, but a nightmare for me. I’ve blown out 3 vacuums and have conceded defeat on staying ahead of the mess. Each one of my "kids" has a distinct personality. They obey well until company comes over, and then you would think they had never had any attention in their lives. The oldest is a Shih Tzu mix that came to us in 2001. She no longer hears too well, but she can see a lizard 300 feet away and can get the other 3 going. Her name is Shug, and she has a mean underbite. She was always the bully, but has now been pushed out of first place by Ferra, a black hound that also found her way to our place in 2002. She’s the alpha. They are joined by Caleb (the chocolate lab) and Tess, an Airedale/Setter mix, both acquired in 2009. Spelling in front of them doesn’t work anymore as they have learned how to listen to certain key words such as "go," "dinner," "company,” and "outside." I have increased circulation at our branch by checking out dog obedience and training books, but my dogs just laugh at them and throw the books back in my face.
There are several superb books on dogs and training, in case you haven’t thrown in the towel. Try The Power of Positive Dog Training and Dog Sense –How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet. The last book was recommended to me by my dog, Caleb.
- Janet F.