Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Arguments with a bitch (yes, canine)

Here's a snatch of recent dialog that I had to undergo.

Me: Look, you ungrateful mangy mutt,* hand me your paw so I can make sure your paws are dry.
Tanji: I'd rather not, thank you.
Me: Hey, it's not as if you're an unschooled fresh-from-the-pound Mutt. You were very well trained as a pup, so hand it over.
Tanji: Maybe we could discuss this indoors?
Me: You're not setting paw indoors until I make sure your paws are dry. Those are genuine refinished hardwood floors, you German Shedder, and I do not want you tracking mud or moisture over them. Got that?
Tanji: You're getting upset over nothing. Let's discuss this inside, where it's warm.
Me: Warm, schwarm. I'm not negotiating this.
Tanji: Look, if you're stressed, a nice belly rub will calm you down. Why don't we step inside and you can give me one?
Me: Argh!

Dog update: Yes, she's done it again. For the third year running, her ladyship has let the allergies get to her. As a result, she's scratched off half the fur on her sides. This is better than previous years (so far) as there are still patches of fur on her, but even so she's gotten rid of all the nice, warm insulating undercoat just in time for winter.

Last year, I feverishly knitted her a sweater to wear in the cold weather. Note: this is a Whole Lot More Work than it sounds. I do not knit. When people talk knitting or crocheting or felting, my normal response is to put my fingers in my ears and hum loudly until they go away. Nevertheless, like a good human, I got a How-To-Knit book and some yarn and knitted her what turned out to be the canine equivalent of a muumuu.
Lana Turner, eat your heart out

This morning, the weather was in the 30s when I left for work. So, I brought out the ole sweater and put it on the dog.

Judging by where I found it when I got home tonight, it was on her for about 4.3 minutes.**

@#$, @#$, and @#!$!^%!@$#!@#$!@#%!#!

I'm thinking out a new plan. I figure I'll let her deal with 30 degree temperatures tomorrow.

Yes, this does cause me a pang, but she's so stubborn! She won't believe me when I tell her it's too cold to go bare skinned. Better now than in December.

Then, the next day, I'll let her outside long enough to roll in the grass (and hopefully catch her before any lawn scrapage occurs) while putting her sweater in the dryer for a minute or so. After it's warm and she's cold, I figure she might get the idea that sweaters are a Good Thing. It's worth a try.

Exercise du jour: Went for an hour's walk at lunch with a colleague. The only strange part was that he seemed to think I'd never walked this route before. I've been at this office for over four years now and walked this scenic path several times. But still, he was nice and it was good to have the company. Not all my co-workers believe in the Importance of Walks, so it is nice to find one who does.

*Okay, a purebred Mutt with an impeccable if a trifle linebred pedigree
** She has a routine. Every morning when I put her out, she scratches another new pit in my nice green lawn*** and rolls around trying to scratch her back. I found the sweater by the latest pit.
*** Well yes, if I could catch her digging the pit, I could chastise her. Doing it after the fact doesn't help the situation much.


solarity said...

Reminds me of a friend's Dobe who could get out of a seat belt harness in less than ninety seconds. Linda did not like having sixty pounds of canine bouncing around the car unrestrained, and her car was not large enough to hold a crate that size. A compromise was reached: Hilda would slip out of the harness, and then sit there pretending she hadn't.

Mary Anne in Kentucky

Crabby McSlacker said...

Oh my goodness, her martyred expression wearing that lovely sweater is priceless. That has to be the funniest picture I've seen in a long time.

messymimi said...

I have knitted, crocheted, and cross stitched, so I have a great deal of respect for you for doing that.

You are a wonderful dog owner, and should feel no guilt for letting her get cold once or twice to show her how a sweater can help her.

JavaChick said...

Aw, poor puppy! Hope she comes around to the benefits of the sweater.

Dr. J said...

So sorry! I had a Shepard years ago! Best dog ever!! He had a flea allergy and scratched!! The vet gave him cortisone shots. The cure was WORSE than the disease :-(

Hope yours does better!

Tiki, Kirby, and StanLee said...

Dolittler blogged today about how well zyrtec (once a day) works for pet allergies. Might be worth checking with your vet about.

Charlotte said...

Oh I laughed so hard! And I'm not even a pet owner! Although I think you impugn your knitting unfairly. I've been knitting & crocheting for years and your sweater is actually quite skillful!

BCB said...

Hmmm. I take Zyrtec once a day and I can honestly say I've never scratched all the fur off my.. um, self. Worth a try.

But Merry, c'mon, 30 degrees is just not that cold. Especially not to a dog with very thick fur. Even a dog with random less-furry spots. Stop inflicting crafts on the poor wee beastie. ;)

Seriously, I hope you can find a cure for whatever it is that makes her do that. Poor baby.

while: Blogger used to be so much more imaginative with these verifications

C said...

Oh, she's such a cutie though. And that sweater is tres chic. Much, MUCH better than I could do.

Gigi said...

A couple of years ago my dog was also dealing with allergies and bald spots from where he had licked and bit himself. It was so severe he needed steroids. The vet told me to give him his weight in allergy pills (3x25mg = 75lb dog) morning and night during the bad season and so far it's worked great. Doesn't slow him down for a second tho - rats.

The Merry said...

Gigi, once she gets over the skin infections, it's back to the steroids. Not sure how good those are long term -- at least they're not great for humans.

Xenia, I'll try telling the dog that the sweater is chic. I think the neighbor dog snickered at her, but he's certainly no fashion plate.

BCB, alas I no longer have a dog with thick fluffy fur. The fur that's left is a thin layer of topcoat, which is about as insulating as that thin strip of hair some bald guys try to brush over the bald spot on the back of their head. When she's outdoors, she shivers like a chihuahua.

The Merry said...

Charlotte, thank you. I'll told her ladyship that it was the best I could do, but she's a stern critic.

Tiki, I'll check out Dolittler, thanks!

Dr J -- okay, no cortisone. You convinced me. (Besides, wouldn't that mean a shot?)

JavaChick, I'm going to pass on all these compliments to her. Maybe that'll help.

Messymimi, thank you! I'll try to feel less guilty.

Crabby, just don't share this photo with PETA or I'll be in a lotta trouble :(

Mary Anne in K, I like the idea of compromising with the animal. So long as it doesn't involve her shivering too much, which induces mucho guilt on my part.