Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Battle of the Pets: Winter Edition

Holy crap on a cracker! It's flippin' COLD outside! What is it that has Mother Nature thinking she can just suck us in with spring-like temperatures all through December and January and then drop the bottom out of the thermometer like this?

Even the dogs who've been long awaiting the new fence being built so they can romp around the backyard at their leisure are dashing out, getting their "business" done, and racing each other for the door. Celeste has become very good at hurdling Harley -- not jumping over one side and landing on the other but jumping from her butt to over her head -- in order to reach the warmth of the house. And both of these dogs have coats designed for cold weather! You think they'd be running themselves silly until we'd have to drag them across the yard and up the steps to get them inside.

The one really going crazy in the house right now is Cat. Because it's so cold and the dogs don't want to be outside much, they now want to play with her. She's very old and doesn't like dogs in the first place. Heck, the only person/thing she likes is Husband and he hates cats. So now, she's wandering around the house trying to find new places to hide because all of her old spots have been discovered. Even as I'm typing this I've had to call Celeste into the room and put her in a down-stay so she'll leave the cat alone long enough to get a bite to eat. Celeste doesn't want to hurt her. I'm not even sure if she really wants to play with her. I think she's just really curious about this small blue-grey meowing thing that bats her on the nose when she gets too close and doesn't want to be around everyone else.

Celeste is a herding dog and Cat is not going to be herded. We can't even herd her into her carrier when it's time to go to the vet. You have to grab her & turn the carrier up on its end and drop her inside before she claws the crap out of you trying to escape. When we get to the vet's, you then have to turn the carrier open-side-down and shake her out of it 'cause she's gotten really good at spreading her legs where she becomes an immovable object in there. The first time we did this the vet technician thought we were being cruel and said not to do that. After trying to reach-in and grab Cat and coming away with enough scratches and bites to where she thought she'd need stitches, the technician took the carrier and shook it until Cat "fell" out (from about 6 inches). That's why when we decided to move a few years ago I purchased an inexpensive cardboard carrying box from a major national pet supply store where we could just drop her inside, close the top, and then she'd have a bigger area to escape from once we got to the new house. Easy as pie.

Harley isn't paying any attention to Cat. She's already tried all of the chasing and playing and getting whapped on the nose. She's had three years with Cat and they've finally come to an understanding -- I don't bother you and you don't bother me and neither of us has to shed any blood on Mommy's new couch/pillows/rug/etc. They're finally able to walk past each other as if they don't have a care in the world. They do that "as if" because you can bet your sweet patootie when it comes to feeding time or, even worse, when the vacuum cleaner comes out, they'll tackle each other to be the first through the doorway. Neither likes it and all of the behavior training we've done to get them to at least tolerate the sound of the vacuum still hasn't worked.

The day is getting colder and now there's a forecast for ice/snow/mix for our area beginning tomorrow and into Monday. If it's just snow, the dogs will love it. Both think they can burrow under even the tiniest dusting and it's pretty hysterical to watch. But if there's ice, that's going to be a whole other issue. They may have four-paw-drive when they're running, but we all know it doesn't work on ice. Last thing I need is them being stupid and one (or both) ending up at the vet's for either falling off of something or sliding into something else. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

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