Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Muggy Musings

Today is the first really hot day we’ve had in a very long time. Unfortunately, the heat is of the humid kind which means that the minute you walk outside, you feel as though you’re in a sauna.

I’m not a fan of humidity. Yesterday was a lovely spring day where it was warm but breezy and there was very little humidity to be found. Today, we’re in danger of storms so the humidity is piling up and making everything feel a little ominous.

It does feel stormy out there. I hope we get a giant storm, even though it means rain. I love to listen to them rage at night. Of course, the dogs don’t necessarily agree. Sookie will calmly snuggle up closer to me and hide under the covers whereas Rory will jerk awake, sit bolt upright at the first crash of thunder and then proceed to also get under the covers, usually sitting on Sookie in her rush to hide and ending up on top of my chest.

It’s quite hard to sleep like that though it is rather endearing. I’ve noticed that the dogs don’t seem to consider me much when it comes to sharing the bed. They definitely like to cuddle up to me but it’s usually in whatever position they find comfortable and it doesn’t matter if I find it comfortable. Often, I wake up to find that I have two dogs laying sprawled horizontally across the bed and I’m creeping closer and closer to the edge of the mattress.

Sometimes, one of the girls will push the other off the bed. We’ve had a couple of incidents in the night where Sookie has knocked Rory off or vice versa. I usually scoop the surprised pup back up on the bed where she sits in an embarrassed, indignant hunch until I lie back down . At this point, the offended dog will turn her back on me and move far away from me and the other pup. Of course, by morning, she’s back and curled up close.

Still, even with the occasional nocturnal Shuffling O’ the Dogs, I still am thankful that my pups are old enough to sleep through the night. My sister got a new puppy- it’s a peculiar looking thing with very long legs and a tiny body. It’s only nine weeks old which is the age at which I got Sookie and Rory. She’s going through crate training and getting up regularly to let her outside.

I’m glad those days are over for me. Many a night was I awoken by a frantic puppy that was licking me to wake me up because she REALLY needed to go outside. This was fine some times. They’d go out, do their business and we’d shuffle back to bed. On rainy nights, it wasn’t fun. For one thing, they didn’t like to go out in the rain so I’d have to go out to encourage them to go and give them a reward if they did and, secondly, we’d all go back to bed wet and soggy.

I do miss the early days of puppyhood. Like many things you see every day, I don’t realize how much the dogs have grown until I look back at puppy pictures. To me, they look the same. Then I look at photos and I see the little five pound babies who are now 14 lb adults.

They still act like puppies though. Last night, I watched them torment Dog Whisperer’s beasts who were driving me a little potty as I sat outside and tried to blog. My girls decided that since the beasts were already barking, they’d at least give them a reason to bark. Thus, Sookie proceeded to tear along the edge of the fence, get the beasts excited to the point where they started fighting and then she’d calmly break away and sit with Rory and watch.

Part of me was highly entertained and satisfied. Part of me felt a little bad that my dogs were just contributing to the normal racket that the stupid dogs provide. I’ve got to the point if I’m just outside sitting, I can ignore them. However, if I’m doing something like, say, shearing the long grass down by the fence and Dog Whisperer lets the dogs out, it annoys me because the dogs throw themselves right at the fence where I’m standing and growl at me. Then they bark. And bark. And bark. And since Dog Whisperer refuses to acknowledge the noise, I end up giving up.

I’ve mentioned it to Wife of Dog Whisperer who muttered something about bark collars and negative reinforcement but, so far, there’s no sign of the collar and the negative reinforcement seems to consist of a weak, “Fred, No!” from the back door. Occasionally Wife of Dog Whisperer will be more proactive but it’s simply not consistent enough for the dogs to grasp that it’s NEVER ok to act like a homicidal, maniacal barking fiend. Unfortunately, as I learned with Sookie and Rory, you have to keep doing something in order for the dogs to learn.

Still, for all their dog issues, at least my neighbours are nice. They loan broken lawnmowers and Wife of Dog Whisperer is nice to chat to when we both have time. Son of Dog Whisperer is a nice little boy even if he is a little…odd. He’s stopped staring at me so much and now talks to me. He often accidentally hits his ball in my garden but I figure my retrieval and return of the ball is penance for all the times my friends and I would do the same thing to our neighbours when we were kids.

Besides, walking around the neighbourhood with the girls in the evenings, I see that there are lots of houses with lots of yappy dogs so it’s not just me. Granted, I REALLY wish that strange dogs that aren’t on a leash would stop chasing us and making us flee but, well, it makes me more alert even if it is a little terrifying. It’s happened three times now and I really don’t like it. I feel like an idiot when I run away but when you have a full-sized German shepherd lunging at two terrified dachshunds with no weapon or defense, all you can do is run.

Although I think I am going to start carrying my little squirt bottle again. Just to be safe.

Ah well, at least life in my neighbourhood is never dull, even on hot and muggy days!

Happy Wednesday.

No comments: