I fancy myself to be a person who spends enough time with and energy on my dogs, that they are reasonably pleasant to be around. I love working with animals; have since I was too young to know why. My childhood dog, Rex, knew more tricks than any old circus dog. I've put obedience titles on several of the whippets. Granted, some of our performances were a little Monty Pythonesque. OK, some were downright comedic events, but we also won a few classes along the way.
The one thing I had trouble with since moving to this corner city lot, is the dogs going barking berserk at our picket fence when another dog walks by on the sidewalk. Back at the farm, the dogs were encouraged to sound wild alarms if a dog were outside their fence. We had foals and ducks and a strange dog could be a danger. (This did not stop them from knowing when a friend was in need. Hence we welcomed Loosey the lost coon hound, but back to the story at hand.) So it was terribly confusing for them when their mad screaming at canine passersby here in the city resulted not in praise from me, but dismay.
I tried everything to get them to understand that the sidewalk was neutral territory. Nothing worked. I had to do something, because dogs are always walking by, and the whippets would work themselves into such a frenzy, that they figured if they couldn't bite the trespasser, they'd just bite what they could: each other. Then in desperation one day I hurled the large, lightweight plastic green watering can which was sitting next to me on the porch, into the air. Not aiming at them, of course, but at the ground behind them, or the fence.
Well, dear readers, magic happened. I never said a word. I kept the large light weight soft plastic green watering can in reach at all times. Interloper on the sidewalk. Mass of whippets swooping. Bark, Bark, Ba-! Large lightweight soft plastic green watering can flies through the air and lands behind mass of swooping barking whippets. Mass of startled quiet whippets turn and look at me. I sit innocently on the porch, minding my own business, humming an absent tune. "La, la, la." Whippets lose interest in attack mode, and instantly decide to play with toys, or come wagging for a butt rub, or roll in worm stink. No more barking, biting frenzy. Magic.
So for the last few years, if a dog and its walker wandered by our sidewalk, the waggle would swarm, then look up at the sky for a plumetting large lightweight soft plastic watering can, and then decide to occupy themselves otherwise. Even though there hadn't been a flying watering can forever. Peace reigned in our little corner of the world.
Arrive Lindy Loo. Lindy Loo is the great-granddaughter of Maria, the original Mouth of the South. Lindy Loo does her great grandmamma proud. I can't remember last summer (really, not a day of it), nor can I tell you for the life of me how Lindy Loo has achieved the age of twenty-one months without having met the large lightweight soft plastic green watering can. She does not limit her alarm sounding to members of her species, but includes children on tricycles, humans of different ethnic backgrounds, mentally creative folks who audibly converse with themselves, and persons who dress inappropriately in her rather dull, conservative opinion of these things. In other words, if it dare to pass by our side walk, Lindy Loo barks her fool head off.
So. Yesterday I was picking up poop in the back when I spied our sweet neighbor Julie walking her darling pair of rescued Chinese Cresteds, Rosie is a powder puff, and Eschon is the naked variety. Bill was reading on the front porch, and the waggle was enjoying the lovely day, lying in the papasan chairs, digging holes in the flower beds, playing tug with toys.
"ALARM!!!" cried Lindy Loo. "Interlopers on our sidewalk," she screamed at the top of her lungs!
Well, I dropped the pooper scooper thingies (thank all that is good) and grabbed the trusty old large lightweight soft plastic green watering can as I ran across the breezeway. I jumped down the steps into the yard and let her fly!
Now, herein lies the problem, dear readers. When we play Frisbee or even tennis ball in our yard, the dogs get to chase and capture the thing about two out of every seven throws. The other times I have to go through the gate, into the street, retrieve whatever I threw, and toss it back into the yard. Aim is not my forte.
I watched, first in eager anticipation of Lindy Loo's shock, then in fascination, followed quickly by concern, which rapidly morphed into abject panic. The large lightweight soft plastic green watering can arched gracefully through the upper atmospheres, flew way up over the fence, and was re-entering Earth's orbit directly over Julie and the unsuspecting Chinese Cresteds' dainty little heads.
"JULIE!!! LOOK OOOUUUUUTT!!!"
Bill had left his quiet spot on the porch to hush Lindy Loo, and he was across the fence from Julie.
"What the...?" He instinctively ducked and covered, having been a child of the fifties, as the UFO hurled itself Earthward.
Of course at that very moment, our good friends Lee and Dee arrived from the other direction. Lee on her marvellous three-wheeler bike with the flag sticking up the back and the great big baskets for carrying anything, and Dee walking beside. They looked up in the sky and said, "Well!"
And the large lightweight soft plastic green watering can landed with a clunk in the street right in front of Lee's marvellous three-wheeler bike. Julie, the cresteds, and Lindy Loo were oblivious of their near death experience. Bill was laughing hysterically at me. Well, so were Lee and Dee. I was wilting with relief that I hadn't scared dear, sweet, gentle Rosie out of her powder puff little mind. Lindy Loo was still barking her head off at the cresteds.
Julie went on her fortunate way. Lee and Dee joined us on the porch for a glass of wine and to continue laughing at me. Lindy Loo scanned the horizon for her next victim. I kept the large lightweight soft plastic green watering can handy, but Bill discouraged any further attempts at behavior modification.
He wanted to make sure our liability policy was up to date.
Hug your hounds
1 hour ago