Grandma proofs my typing before I post online, and she asked me to let my readers know she accepts responsibility for “her side of the street,” in that she gave me way more chances than what I deserved. She had never known a dog could be so headstrong, defiant and opinionated. Though she recognized these characteristics in herself at times, she was baffled to have a dog that would not cooperate with her.
Her previous dog was Brownie, a mild-mannered girl-dog who lived to please Grandma. They were very close, and Grandma never had a problem with Brownie. She expected the same with me, and it took her a very long time to adjust to the idea she was going to have to WORK with me to improve my behavior.
She feels bad about the part she played in my mishaps and wants everyone to know I’m a VERY GOOD BOY NOW. It just took us a long time to get here.
Now, about the Blue Sock…
After the guinea debacle, Grandma was seriously wondering if she should 1) give me away to a more capable dog-person, 2) have me euthanized (I’m not sure what that means, but it doesn’t sound good. In fact, it sounds permanent!) or 3) return me to the farmer in Washington state who went to a lot of effort to give me to her.
She doesn’t take failure very well, thinking that love should conquer all. Yet nicey-nicey love wasn’t working as far as my behavior was concerned. Tough love was in order. She knew she could be firm, for at times she had to be hard on her own two sons as she raised them. But she didn’t like to do it. The fact that one more caper with farm birds would lead to my being shot by an angry farmer was the main thing she wanted to avoid.
A friend loaned her a shock collar to get my attention, but Grandma kept forgetting to have the controller on hand when the time was right to pop me. Actually, she didn’t want to use it at all- she just thought having the thing around my neck would be warning enough.
It didn’t mean a thing to me…
Grandma still favored the dead-chicken-around-the-neck idea. She had learned, though, in the farming and ranch land where we lived, that among her friends, chickens were considered members of the family. How could she get a chicken and carry out her plan without offending the community?
I helped answer that question.
A flock of quail roamed a circuit through our neighborhood.
One warm day, I was on a leash, standing by Grandma outside while she picked old blossoms off a bush. Before she knew what happened, the quail came around our wooden fence, and I nailed one, pronto! Grandma liked the birds and was very mad at me at first.
Yet when she pulled it out of my mouth, she smiled, “MY CHICKEN! Well, not exactly, but close enough. We went inside to get safety pins, me still attached to the leash attached to her, and went back outside and sat on the porch. With a few pins, the quail was now a part of me, and she was very pleased.
I was not, at least at first. I was still a young pup with short legs, so I kept tripping over the thing. So I lay down, and to Grandma’s dismay, discovered if I crooked my neck a certain way, I could gnaw on the thing.
“Oh, no you don’t!” Grandma said, pulling me close, removing the collar and scooting me inside the door. I watched her sitting on the steps, rubbing her chin with one hand and thinking, while I planned on how to enjoy MY prized bird still in her clasp.
She jumped up and came inside, ran to the bedroom and came out with a blue sock. “This will do it!” she said with a gleam in her eye.
After stuffing the quail in the sock, pinning it to my collar, and wrapping it with baling twine, she smiled in triumph. “There! No more birds, Petey!”
I was NOT HAPPY. Not one bit.
Back in the kennel, and again, I spent the night in the back room, whining and crying, begging her to let me out. It was a long… a very long night…
to be continued…