Saturday, September 3, 2022

Dog Gone

There's nothing worse than that pit-of-the-stomach feeling when you realize your dog has escaped. 

We were having a new furnace installed. I hadn't closed the dog door which lets Cully out back. I figured that all of the workers had their own dogs and would understand that the gate needed to be kept closed. But I hadn't really understood their focus on the job at hand and the amount of back-and-forthness there would be to the AC unit out back. 

I pretty quickly realized that Cully wasn't home. She had been popping in and out the dog door all morning checking on the work that was being done and when the dog flap stopped flapping my subconscious prodded me out of my chair to check on her whereabouts. She was nowhere to be found. 

I asked the furnace guys if they had seen her but they hadn't. They immediately started calling for her, but I knew that would be futile. If she didn't come when I called, she wasn't likely to come to relative strangers, no matter how much she liked them. I grabbed her leash and treats and started off up the cul-de-sac. Since the gate that she escaped through was on that side of the house, I guessed that she'd probably just keep going in that direction. I didn't see her in anyone's front yard and the house next door was fenced but none of the houses after that had enclosed yards. 

She hadn't gone far and she wasn't alone. Lionel, her trusty partner in crime was with her in the backyard just beyond the next door neighbor's. They were together sniffing at something in the grass. When I called her name, Cully lifted her head and took off further into the yard in a spastic run, the kind she does when she's got something that she shouldn't have and knows she shouldn't have. The great escape was now a big game. 

I ran into the yard, pulled the treats from my pocket, and waved them in the air to get the scent blowing in her direction. Cully was running circles, mouth open in a big grin, butt tucked. She ran a few more circles then stopped, nose in air. I called her name and held a treat for her to see. She paused for a few seconds to think it over, ran a few more circles, then came at a dead run towards me stopping long enough for a quick snack and for me to grab her collar.

Cully, prancing, was accompanied back to the house by her self-appointed, furry, yellow bodyguard. Exhausted by their big adventure, the friends slept away the afternoon.

We almost made it...

Thursday, March 17, 2022

An Update

I know, it's been awhile, but I thought I'd post an update just in case anyone out there is still interested in what is going on with our girl-hound. 

Cully has been here two and a half years now. It's been two and a half years of non-stop training. I would like to say that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and in some cases, I think maybe she's finally got it, but in others...sigh. We never would have been able to do it without the trainer, but we finally have her dog agression under control. She still doesn't like dogs but she will ignore them on walks which, at this point, is all that matters. Her fear of trash trucks and motorcycles remains but is manageable. 

I am sad to say, however, that Cully's counter-surfing is here to stay unless I do as the trainer suggested and get an e-collar. Cully doesn't realize it, but she is getting closer to that training measure every time she gets caught. Last night I almost lost an entire head of cauliflower. What dog in their right mind will eat a cauliflower? Most humans won't even eat a cauliflower. Cully, however, cannot be trusted when one is within reach. Opening the veg drawer in the fridge brings her running. Hearing me unwrap a head of lettuce has her drooling. (The Lettuce Reaction makes me laugh every single time, mainly because I think of Ray's equal but opposite Lettuce Reaction. The retraction of his lips as he'd politely take that disgusting thing in his teeth and walk to the front hall to discretely drop it out of view of the giver.) Cully LOVES lettuce. Anyway, enough about her training. 

Personality wise, Cully is a sweetie. She's a bit quirky and incredibly stubborn, but sweet sweet sweet - except when it comes to squirrels. Cully despises squirrels in her domain and will explode out the back door like a squirrel-seeking missile if she sees one of the fluffy interlopers. Strangely she ignores them everywhere else but they are NOT allowed in her backyard. She enjoys the company of her cats, must have a paw on whomever she is talking to, and is especially attracted to old men. Other than these little things, Cully is your normal, everyday, vegetable-loving hound. If that is a normal thing. Vegetable-loving (shakes head in disbelief).

Paw's on.
Cully and her favorite toys.
Celebrating Valentine's day with her favorite cat.
Celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
Hanging with Li.