Sunday, February 28, 2016

Went to fetch our dog! Seems to have grown since we saw him last week. Can leap house in single bound, clear cats from a room with a single woof! Has aptitude to chase horse until it drops! Barks at TV as I don't think he's seen it before. can look out of all windows except the top ones (which are 12' up!) and can probably take the leg off a Jehovah's Witness before the car doors fully open - I love him!

Ah, yes. Dogs name. well after a week of trolling through something like 30 names ranging from Digby to some kind of half dwarf half vampire thingy we finally settled on
Barney - God knows why but it was either that or The Dog with No Name. They reckon he's about a 1 - 18 months old, I'm thinking he's not that grown up, despite his size and the strength to push cars off the road.
So thanks to all you who made suggestions.

Dog Update; So Management has decreed a name change, from Barney to Barnaby. We took a vote and apparently I agreed. Barnaby is settling, calmed down from the initial burst of mania and we are realizing the importance of training with such a large dog. Luckily Management took our last dog to puppy school so she has a good understanding of the basics, I am learning too.
Friend Pam has given me some seriously good advice and our friend Elisa has given much of the same advice and is really good with him.
This morning we (Barnaby & I) learned to lie down while we're eating. (Oh you know what I mean!) Joy made him sit, then lie and every time he got up, she made him down again, eventually he stayed on the floor while we were eating and was rewarded after being told he could move, with a tasty liver treat (He likes those!)
Later we shall take a leash walk, I've got him in a Martingale and on a lead rope, and he'll be encouraged to walk without pulling or straining during our sojourn around the cemetery. Good place to walk a dog, really quiet there!
Still only letting him run free within the stalag (fenced in back garden), starting work on the guard towers today ....

Update dog: Took our walking berg for a walk, suitably collared and leashed. Was instructed in the art of teaching Barnaby to walk to heel. Simply utter "With me" wait one second or so for response - pull sharply on leash if none - repeat as required. 
By the time we got to the cemetery gates, he's walking alongside me - stop at gate to pee (Barnaby - not Martyn) set off, walk some then call for a halt and ask him to sit (OK, not all it might be but whatever happens, he's notallowed to get up from sit until its "ok'd". More walk, turn 180 and walk other way expecting him to maintain position (mostly!) bring him home and made to sit before unleashing, again only to move once told.
Result was a very pleasing walk for us with no dog tearing up the road with two of us hanging on for dear life!
Sat on the back deck in the sunshine and drank beer (Barnaby drank the black pond water) after that he was made to sit & lie whilst being brushed - removed approximately 1.5 dogs worth of top and bottom coat thanks to Furminator - garden now looks furry! Dog looks sleeker!
He's settled more, and so are we. He's looking at us now and wagging a tail at the sight of us. Still not sure he's responding to his name much but its only been two days!
Was worried about his eating, or not as was the case, today he's been grazing out of the bowl all day, so we happy - judging by the way he tore round on the lawn and savaged a squeaky toy, so's he ...

Tales from the Dog House ...
Barnaby Escapes! I called home the other night from some fog laden center of iniquity to be told the following by Management;
Quote" So I was coming down stairs carrying my jacket, having just got home and changed, when I saw the back end of Barnaby disappearing through the front door, he'd escaped! I slipped into my jacket and tore off after him as he was heading up the lane for the road, shouting Barnaby, Barnaby, to no avail. Before he reached the road he turned left and headed along the top of the bank we keep mown, pursued by a barefooted me! At the end he turned left, away from the road thank god, and set off down thee neighbors drive and through the fence into the field where the cattle are. I followed and scrambled through the electric fence (which was on!) to find Barnaby playing chase with the cattle. More calling of name resulted in more ignoring, then he found something to eat, excess cow I think, so I was able to grab him. I set off hauling him home and when we came to the electric fence, we had to roll under the bottom wire together, it was still on! Eventually we made it back and he was hauled unceremoniously into the house and the door firmly shut. Relief flooded me, so I walked into the bathroom and took down the pants I had been going to wear and put them on - which is what I had been going to do when I walked down the stairs carrying my jacket in the first place!
I have no idea what passing drivers on the road may have thought when they saw the sight of Management tearing across the top of the field pantless - yet one imagines that those that did spy this had a tale to tell at supper that night!

Tales from the DoGhouse ...
This morning, hour unknown, I fell over Barnaby on my way to the bathroom. I swore and pitched up against some piece of furniture that had been carefully positioned right where some fool tripping over a slumbering canine was sure to impact with it. Despite the swearing and crashing both Management and the Barnaby slumbered on.
Later, having dressed and imbibed the requisite amount of caffeine, I bade Barnaby sit while I attached the leash, good boy! Opened the door and narrowly avoided being catapulted by an exiting dog which had spotted the snow. We walked, not pulling, to the cemetery, and in deference to the dead and having thoughtlessly forgotten the poop bags, took to the outside track used by the deer (Who never use poop bags) we walked, fell over downed trees, crept under snow covered branches that always waited for the optimum point before dropping the snow off their branches. The optimum point being the skin located between whats left of the hair and the color of the shirt. Once around the track and walk back, not only no pulling yet hardly a reminder - I was impressed. Once safely back in the stalag, he sat gracefully while I removed leash and then we played in the snow. I made strange growling noises and lunged at him in slow motion, he ran around in circles chewing snow - the long winter evenings will just fly by!
Later I left to get some new tires on the semi, Management reported that Barnaby was racing from window to window whining pitifully for a good ten minutes after i'd left.
Later still I got back, and upon opening the door was treated to a curious sight; Barnaby flung himself across the room, whining to such an extent that I feared I might need to apply WD 40 in copious amounts to stop the squeak! I noted, as I was trapped between the dog and the door, a fascinating sight. The tail was wafting to and fro in a practically a blur, yet as it went left, the butt when right. In response to this and the theory that every action has an opposite and equal reaction, the torso followed the tail,and the head followed the torso. Additionally the head was moving in an up and down motion.
I believe I have just witness the very first attempt by a dog to perfect the 3 D wag ...
Yesterday I had a day off to go to the dentist, for the purposes of extracting a tooth that had snapped off at the gum line. Dentists as a rule don’t really bother me, lie back, shut your eyes, open your mouth and think about something else for ten minutes like a lot of people before me have done - in any number of situations! 
Afterwards, I had to make a stop at the cat food supplier, for the purposes of obtaining pussy biscuits or whatever it is gets thrown in the bowl. I sauntered in and the young lady at the counter enquire what I would like? “Pussy nuts” sez I, “One bag of please” thus showing my attractively blood stained teeth.
She responded, “Which flavour?” ah, Management had failed to instruct me on this aspect, I took a chance. “Well he’s a barn cat so I suppose Rat & Mouse flavour should go down pretty well?” Turns out that no one else had thought of this before, so they didn’t have that one, and she reeled off the ones they had. When she came to “Chicken” I said “That one!”
She then asked if the cat had tried this before as some cats are known to be fussy about their food. I pointed out that this cat survived all summer on mice, rats, gophers and god knows what else but that if it walked, crawled or flew He’d try it. I further stated that a miniature pony has gone missing from the other side of the town and he’s looking quite portly and not a little smug!
“Tail’s from the DogHouse”
One of the little known pleasures of being owned by a dog, is the endearing little character traits they exhibit from time to time. Since we bought Barnaby into our lives, he’s displayed an awesome interest in geology, this “interest” is not, as one might think, the exhumation of earth in a spirited escape attempt from the stalag, more the inhumation of anything given to him. Some examples are, rawhide chew (inhumed near the deck steps) dental bone, or at least half of it anyway, (inhumed near the rhubarb remains) and a squeaky toy, inhumed at some as yet unknown location but quite possibly under the “giant molehill” that appeared mysteriously that same day!)
Earlier this week, Management suffered from either flu, or a cold with flu like symptoms, and was forced to stay home. On Wednesday, feeling better, she was working from home and Barnaby was proving to be somewhat of a distraction. Opening the freezer, she selected – The Bone! This thing had once supported some kind of giant cow or was a particularly well preserved brontosaurus leg, either way, you get the idea. Barnaby reacted to this with interest (see above!) yet being incarcerated within the inner jail (house) he was unable to access the stalag for the purposes of inhumation. Being a resourceful type of being, he devised a solution, and was but a short time later back in the office, sans – The Bone, and looking mighty smug.
At some point later, Management headed from the office and past the spare room door, which stood ajar. (You can see where this is going, can’t you?) Far from the orderliness of neat comforter, Management was made uncomfortable by the disorder that was now evident and peeling back the comforter revealed – The Bone, which was inhumed in, by now, bloody sheets surrounded by paw prints. Laundry day came early this week …

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