||[Oct. 11th, 2008|09:37 am]
After a trying day at work, with the power off and alarms making Itzl dance across my desk, all whiny and anxious, I expected him to be relieved and quiet during our trip out of town to attend a meet-up of writers.|
Instead, he decided he really wanted something behind me. I mean really wanted it. He doesn't normally want something so bad he'll tremble and whine and whimper to get it. But he wouldn't settle and he wouldn't calm, and he complained the whole time.
Finally, during a break, I checked out what was making him so annoying.
He desperately wanted a small piece of cheesecake.
I cut him a teeny slice of it - four fingernails' worth - and fed it to him slowly, and that settled him right down and made him happy.
That and drinking the melted ice from my soda. He likes to lick the ice that's left when I'm done with the drink, except it all melted before I gave it to him. He was a bit disappointed that it wasn't still ice, but he dutifully lapped up a bit to prove he was being good and cooperative.
After the cheesecake, he was much calmer. He slept most of the trip home.
Today, my sister was supposed to visit with her little dachsie. Her husband's ill, though, so she's not coming after all.
This makes me a little happy because I need to call a plumber to replace the hot water heater. Maybe next time she plans to visit, the plumbing will be all done and the house adequately dog-proofed for her dog.
Her dog is sweet, but not well-behaved. She'll eat anything on the floor - from little clumps of cat hair (this is shedding season - they're everywhere) to the cat food. I have to move the cat food bag up out of her reach as well as the bowl of cat food. I can't leave crunchy dog food out, either, because she'll gorge on it. I have to completely re-arrange the feeding schedules and sites of all the critters because she can't be trusted to not eat them - and she's one of those dogs with a delicate stomach. She'll even try to eat the toys - gut them and eat the polyester stuffing. I used to have to re-stuff and sew up the toys when she visited, now I hunt them all down and lock them up. I can only leave out those few toys that won't make her sick.
It's a chore. And it reminds me just how big a difference a well-trained and well-behaved dog is from a pampered pooch. My sister's dog is a pampered pooch. She needs special food, and special toys, and she can't be trusted to not chew on the furniture. She barks - a lot. She plays rough and she switches into attack mode very quickly with smaller dogs - and Itzl and Shika are 1/3 her size. She's 12 pounds to their 4 pounds. I've trained her to be gentle with Itzl, but she gets excited and forgets. She refuses to be gentle with Shika or the cats. So it's a lot of work to have her visit.
Itzl is a much better guest. He stays beside me (usually in my lap), he doesn't play with other dogs' toys, he steps back to let other dogs eat first, he plays gently with them; preferring chase games to contact sports. He pees and poops on demand. He doesn't bark (but he will mutter and whine occasionally).
So, yeah, I'm glad I don't have to ready the house for her visit today. Next time, after the plumbing's done, I'll be more prepared for her visit. I may even have things organized enough that she and her husband can stay here overnight instead of in a hotel.
Itzl is well-trained and well-behaved.