July 08, 2003

The Dog Ate My...

It was 1989 and we were living the other side of Asheville. We called him Woody. He showed up at the house one day, a young speckled pup, an Australian something-or-other I found out. Very smart dog, will grow to about 40 pounds, easily trained they said. We looked around for 'lost dog' posters, checked the paper, called the pound. We found no dog matching Woody's description, and after two weeks, decided that even though we had Zachary, our first Black Lab, Zach could use a playmate. And so we had our first 'pound puppy' and he had come to us.

So, all is copacetic in the Smokies and we are a two dog family. We're sitting around the dinner table, and out of the corner of my eye, I notice that our new oak rocking chairs on the porch are rocking, nobody in them. It's not windy. What's going on? Woody (a name which he got only after this day) was blissfully chewing off the ends of the rocker legs. We still have what's left of the chairs on the upstairs porch as evidence.

The next week, same out of the corner of the eye thing... something large and yellow was moving jerkily across the back yard like a huge fuzzy caterpillar. Woody (rename: R32) had found the door to the 2 foot high crawlspace under the house and came out with a playtoy... a 20 foot section of 6" yellow fiberglass insulation. Much more of it didn't come out so nicely in one piece, and there were tufts and chunks of it in the dark under the entire house. I nearly lost it. The stupid dog was oblivious.

I finally calmed down, but not enough to get back to my computer work, and decided I would sit down and watch TV for a while. Hmmmm. Curious. No signal. Reason: Woody (rename: CableGuy) had chewed the cable in two. This relationship, needless to say, did not work out. And so now, as we look for a pup to fill Buster's big ole paws, I have some reservations about bringing home the saddest, kindest or cutest doggie face from the pound. It could be another Woody/R32/CableGuy.

Posted by fred1st at July 8, 2003 06:11 AM | TrackBack

That the problem with them smart Aussies -- best keep em busy, or they'll find some way to occupy their time.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at July 8, 2003 08:07 AM

Speckled? Probably one of our Australian cattle dogs. They and kelpies, our sheepdogs, need to be worked. Boredom leads to such things as you describe.

Posted by: Jan at July 8, 2003 05:31 PM

Yes it sounds like the Australian Cattle Dog - or Blue Heeler. I seem to have acquired one of these lately and Flo also needs to be kept occupied or else. Luckily she occupies herself for hours in possum-watch in the evening. Reinforces the notion: labradors are better! Btw - a labrador and a Jack Russell Terrier makes a very good combo.

Posted by: boynton at July 9, 2003 02:35 AM

our newest dog (we have 3) was a rescue. she's an australian cattle dog and very smart and cute and sweet (to us) and fun. but as we sadly found out, she's fiercely protective. luckily she's only bitten our two closest friends. now when we have people come to visit she lives locked up in the back room while the other dogs play and enjoy the company. dogs are great but sometimes complicated.

Posted by: bud at July 9, 2003 04:26 PM

It reminds me of my cat horror story in a way. We agreed to take in a friend's cat because it wasn't getting along with her dog. Maddie turned out to be terrified of the other cats though she outweighed two of them. What was worse was she liked to crawl into my lap and when another cat came in the room, she would go ballistic and rip up my thighs and, if I tried to control her, my wrists.

We took to calling her the Madcat. She lasted six weeks with us. We finally found her a home where she was the only cat, worshipped and adored by a family of five. Last report was they think she is wonderful and she thinks they are wonderful. So sometimes a change of situation does a pet a lot of good.

Posted by: Joel at July 10, 2003 03:21 AM

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