Saturday, February 04, 2012

Of Sally and Not Running

OWNER HEART FAILURE

While walking Sally the Dog Friday evening after work, the event happened that I have dreaded since I started walking her – I dropped the leash.
I was in the process of moving the leash from one hand to the other when she made a quick little lunge to some item of nasal interest on the grass of a neighbor's yard.
Her move jerked the leash out of my hands and I feared I had lost her.

In fact, she only trotted about 10 feet away from me, whereupon I picked up the leash loop again and my heart rate slowly receded to its normal rate.
She may not have even realized that she was not restrained, she was busy sniffing.

I have observed that many dogs do not stray far from their human companions, even when off a leash, IF the dog is used to walking with said person.
My sister's dog never went farther than a few dozen yards from us when allowed to run free in a school yard.
As I have stated, my greatest fear is that Sally will charge into the street in front of a car because she has no fear/understanding of them.
Anyway, the rest of the walk went generality well.

THE DOG HOUSE

Today it was rainy off and on all day.
Sally and I did manage to get in a good 45 minute walk in-between drizzles.
But we had to spend most of the day indoors.
I am sure that it is gratifying to architects and contractors when the structures they have created are finished and provide space and service to people, as intended.
So it was today when I looked out my back door and saw Sally the Dog laying in her dog house while it rained.
In fact, she went into and out of her house several times today.
Sometimes she played in it and other times she slept in it.
I felt gratified.
And I am certain that her days under the utility building are numbered.

THE SATURDAY RUN

… was cancelled because I am sick.
I have a mild cold that is just strong enough to sap my strength a bit and stuff up my nose (mostly in the morning).
I have a very slight fever and a very slight sore throat.
All of this has not taken me down to a bed-ridden state, just a bit lazy and grumpy.
So... I may run tomorrow morning (Sunday).
I will see how I feel.
My extended work schedule has forced me to cancel my morning workouts and walks so I am slightly weaker than I normally would be.
That may affect my running, also.
I have run and worked out when sick before and most of the time, other than being weaker, I have suffered no ill effects.
I will see how I feel tomorrow morning at 5 AM.

SALLY AND THE BACK DOOR

Sally is, in people years, nearly in her “terrible twos” - 13 weeks = 91 human weeks = almost two years.
And she is acting like it.
In some ways she is doing better – like house training (sometimes) and play-biting (sometimes).
But she is developing new bad habits – like jumping up on my lap, table and kitchen counters to see/sniff what is going on up there.
And she takes samples of whatever she can reach if I do not dissuade her quickly enough.
I tell her to get down and she generally responds, but the compliance is usually short-lived.
And up she comes again; often in a different spot.

Today she was particularly obnoxious.
Wanting to play with me and nipping at my pants, feet and hands.
I could not get her to stop so I sent her outside.
Upon closing the back door I resumed my dishwashing chores.
About a minute later I hear a faint noise in the back room and then Sally the Dog trots into my kitchen.
I am both astounded and scared.
Astounded because she got into the house by herself.
Scared because I was afraid she had broken the window in my back door.

The good news was she did not break the glass – the door was standing open.
The bad news was she got back in.
At the time, my only conclusion about how she did it was that I had not fully latched the door and she just pushed it open.

This evening, she was mis-behaving again (wanting to play and bite) and I, again, sent her outside after she had eaten her dinner.
This time I was in my bedroom (here) at my desk when I heard a faint sound from the back room and a moment later, Sally appears in my room.
She seemed pleased with herself and hopeful that I was pleased to see her.

That was not the case.
And I was concerned about my back door.
Upon inspection I figured out how she was getting in.

My back door is a “French door”.
As such it does not have a common round door knob, but, rather, a lever.
Inside and outside.
Apparently, Sally has learned the raise up on her hind legs and pull the outside lever down enough with her front paws to unlatch the door and nose her way into the house.
In both cases today, I had failed to engage the dead bolt.
Doing so solves the problem.
Sometimes I do not like having a smart dog.

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