Friday, September 19, 2008

How's Your Nozzle?

Last night Gilly and I were playing soccer with Jetty when she started shrieking in that awful pitch that only young girls can reach. “Mommmm, gross. He’s got something stuck in his nozzle.” Well, my first thought was—I hope it’s nothing fatal, because there’s no way I’m touching his nozzle.

Eventually I realized that the neighbours could probably hear us, so I had to pretend to be a grown up and overcome my intense desire to run away. I joined them to see what she was talking about. She kept pointing at him and groaning, but she was pointing at his head. I asked her to be more specific about what she meant (ok, really I just kept shouting WHAT? at her). “His nozzle, Mummy, his nozzle - there’s something in there.”

The penny finally dropped; I asked her if, perhaps, she meant nostril, not nozzle. Yes, she did. It turns out it was nothing to worry about, just a booger. And who knew dogs even had boogers? This dog ownership thing just gets better and better. Pass the wine.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Everybody Poops

When Jet was younger, he would get what we call “the zoomies” several times a day. This would involve him barking and racing around with complete abandon - over people, furniture, any obstacle in his way. These hilarious episodes were akin to a toddler screaming “I not tired, noooo need a nap”. They would end when we were able to lure him into his crate, where he would promptly collapse into sleep.

These seem to have abated as he enters into adolescence, with one notable exception. When he has to poop, he goes crazy with the zoomies. Our fence is actually teetering on the verge of falling over because he’s slammed into it so often. He only does this at home. If he has to do his business on a walk, he has no problem. We can only imagine that at home he feels his body is betraying him - how dare he have to poop in his very own playground. We have explained to him that it is perfectly natural, and there is nothing to be upset or embarrassed about. We have also assured him that our regular “poop patrols” in the backyard will keep his play area reasonably clean, but he doesn’t seem to believe us. Do they make a canine version of the book Everybody Poops?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sticks and Stones

When we first got Jetty, we allowed him to use the doggie door to access the backyard. My rationale was that more access = fewer messes. It worked well until he got attitudinal, and began thinking he was all that and a bag of chips. Then we had to seal up the door and actually get off our butts to let him out. We control access, we control the dog. Reasonable in theory...

But in practice, the dog was making me seriously nuts last night. In, out, in, out, all night long. Doesn’t he know that all I wanted to do was sprawl on the couch and watch some junky TV shows? Honestly. When I took the time to stop and watch what he was doing, I realized there was a pattern. Come in from outside, lie down and chew on a stick or stone until Mummy throws it away. Ask to go outside and then come immediately back in. Lie down and chew on a stick or stone until Mummy throws it away.

Fun as this game was, I eventually got bored and curious - where was he getting his supplies from? He wasn’t out for more than 10 seconds, so he couldn’t even have left the deck to source out these treats. So I went out with him. And there on the deck were two neat piles - one of sticks and one of stones. He had them all lined up within 5 paces of the door. A completely orderly, ready supply of nature’s chew toys.

I have no idea how she does it, but our breeder, Cheryl, has some sort of weird sixth sense when it comes to picking the right family for her puppies. Armed with information gleaned from only a few short emails and one face-to-face meeting, she managed to zero in on the perfect fit. Jetty and his obsessive-compulsive disorder is a perfect with both Gilly and me. Poor normal Graham (who sometimes even leaves cupboard doors open in the kitchen, gasp) gets left shaking his head at us. He just doesn’t get it. But we appreciate our neat, orderly dog. Now if I could only find a way to use Jetty’s compulsion to my advantage...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jetty Update

So, I haven’t posted in ages, but it’s been busy in Jettyville:

· He’s had sleepovers with Ollie, during which they destroyed the back garden beds with their fast moving games of chase. He drove Ollie to distraction by biting his ears the entire time he was here. Poor Ollie must have slept for a week once he arrived back at his nice, quiet, puppy-free home.

· He’s eaten the entire remainder of the garden. Jet is especially partial to basil and petunias. At least he’s thoughtful enough to bring the petunias inside the house to eat; Graham never brings me flowers.

· Gillian has taught him to give a High Five and to play soccer - his new favourite activity.

· He’s driven me to distraction with his sock obsession and his endless pulling on the leash. A brilliant purchase on Saturday has changed my life with Jetty forever. The Gentle Leader is an absolute godsend. It has transformed him from the devil dog into an angel. Well, that may be an exaggeration, but I can walk him with 1 finger on the leash now - better than last week when he pulled me right over. I don’t know how it works. I don’t care how it works. I just care that it does.

Today we all took him to the park to get some exercise before the big storm (which has yet to materialize, those weather people are such fear mongers). We couldn’t find the soccer ball, so we brought his newest toy - the flying squirrel. It doesn’t look anything like a squirrel; it’s more like a square Frisbee made out of fabric. Apparently it glows in the dark. That’ll be handy for any midnight games of fetch.

Anyway, we had him on the long line leash, since Gillian is terrified of letting Jetty off the leash. She seems to think that he will run away and not come back (like that would be such a bad thing...). She’s a worrier, our girl, so we indulge her when we can. This makes games more difficult as both dogs and people get tangled in the leash, but we persevere. The only problem is our dumb dog. He just doesn’t get fetch. He loves to run after whatever we throw and then run back to us. While carefully leaving the toy where it is. This is why soccer is better, at least with that Gillian and I can just pass the ball back and forth and he can run between us. So, it’s off to the heap of failed puppy toys and gadgets for the squirrel.

We discovered something else at the park today. Jetty is gay. We love him anyway, and are open to any lifestyle choice he wants to make, but really, it’s a little embarrassing. He seems to think it’s still the ‘70s and free love reigns supreme, but in our conservative neighbourhood, it does raise some eyebrows. I thought getting him fixed would solve the humping problem, but sadly, not so far...

Anyway, it’s just about kibble time, so I’ll sign off for now. Cheers.