61 – teaching a new dog old tricks

We refrained from getting an animal in the Oregon years. I was working in the house, on the phone the vast majority of the day, and a barking dog would have been…unprofessional.  Didn’t want a cat… I really enjoy playing with them when they’re small–but adult cats are basically unguided missiles with a hairball payload, shedding all the way. My mother’s cats always lived outside, but we’re not really that kind of people, and until now, haven’t lived in a place where it was possible to have outside cats. And inside cats have to poop in a box.  If  I never have to change cat litter again, that makes me very happy.  I should never say never, though… because I said for quite some time that we didn’t need anything else that poops to be living with us…

She's about the size of, and has the markings of a border collie.  It's hard to tell in the pictures, but the black fur has brindle color all through it.
She’s about the size of, and has the markings of a border collie. It’s hard to tell in the pictures, but the black parts of her coat have brindle color all through them.  Was told this is probably heeler mixed in.

And that was kind of where we stood until we moved out here to the ranch.  And now, we have a fenced area around the house, just perfect for a dog…and I’ve got a 2.5 mile walking route figured out, one where I can see ahead of me once the rattlesnakes and tarantulas start slithering and running around. You may think I’m joking, but we saw two black racers slithering across the ranch entry road just yesterday on the way home.  They may be non-venomous, but if they surprise me when I’m walking, I have a tendency to either stomp them to death or run like hell before I have time to decide whether they are a good snake or a bad snake.  It’s not a reaction that’s controllable. Just saying.

So, we’ve been discussing the dog thing for months–we talk EVERYthing to death before we do it. A few weeks ago, we finally decided it was time–I have time to spare, and am home almost every day, all day. So, the plan was that I was going to the pound, to see if they had a dog that I thought we’d both like, and then take Corey back to see it, so we could decide together. Are the pictures a spoiler? Yeah, I’m thinking they probably are.  I stopped in the Chamber of Commerce offices and asked some old friends where the pound was and what days they were open. They weren’t too sure about that, but one of them did know there was a lady who rescued dogs.

Head in between us on the loveseat. She wants to be near one of us pretty much all the time she's awake... and that means I have a shadow at pretty much every moment.  It's nice to have the company.
Head in between us on the loveseat. She wants to be near one of us pretty much all the time she’s awake… and that means I have a shadow at pretty much every moment. It’s nice to have the company.

Called her, met her near a local gas station, and she took me out to the boonies north of town to see this herd of doggies. Seemed like dozens of pit bull/heeler mixed pups running around.  Most of them were going ape in the pen, and some were running around loose, and they were bouncing all over. She said that there were ten from a single litter.  But one that looked different from all the rest came over to me. She just about came up to my knee when she leaned on my leg.  I bent down, told her to sit, and lifted her chin up to see more of her face.  She sat down on my foot, and looked up at me.  I petted her, and it was all over but the paperwork.

Her official name is Days. As in the Days of our Lives, Days of Wine and Roses, Rainy Days and Mondays, A Hard Day’s Night, Eight Days a Week, Happy Days, Those Were the Days, Wasted Days and Wasted Nights, and so on (sorry, I genuinely love bad puns). Mostly, we call her Daysie. As in Daysie Mae and Driving Miss Daysie.  And yes, I’m aware of the spelling.  After I suggested the name, Cor said that his dad had always talked about a dog named Daisy that he’d owned in Minnesota, so he was sold on the name from the get-go. She’s about two or three months old, just losing her baby teeth now.

Every moment that I'm writing, she's within a foot of me, and to leave my desk, I basically have to trip over her.  It's much like having your very own, incontinent, stalker.
Every moment that I’m writing, she’s within a foot of me, and to leave my desk, I basically have to trip over her. It’s much like having your very own, unpredictably incontinent stalker.

Now, I could go into raptures about how responsive she is, and how much she’s bonded with both of us, but I won’t. Not least because she had her second accident this morning.  Well, it wasn’t accidental on her part–and I swear, she was out of my sight for 30 seconds! At night, she’s in her crate, which helps my husband and I sleep well.  She’s got the morning routine down for first thing, and with the cold rain blowing this morning, she got finished in record time.  It’s the rest of the day that we’re struggling with. And, bluntly, I have to pay better attention. Hard for me, as when I’m writing, I’m oblivious to most everything.

Anyway, she and I walk two to three miles almost every day… In this environment, though I do carry it with me, she doesn’t even need a leash. She stays within a few yards the whole time I’m walking.

In the evenings, she loves laying on Corey’s lap, I think because he’s more still than I am, I tend to fidget.  He’s trying to teach her how to play, and you can tell she wants to, she just doesn’t know how yet.

A week from Monday is spay-day, as promised to the rescue lady… and I would have anyway.  I don’t romanticize the whole thing, nor believe that females must have a litter of pups, and then you can get them spayed.  They can be spayed as early as six weeks now, and should be.

So, today is furniture-building day; all the materials are up at Corey’s shop, and a rainy day is just perfect for getting an entertainment center built… maybe even the combined bookshelf/tv stand we want for the bedroom. And, maybe a half door to keep little miss peepee pants out of the carpeted part of the house… we’ll have to see.

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