Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Mud in the doghouse

An interesting couple of days, if you like total disorganisation. Yesterday Melissa had great problems getting here in the morning to help clean this mega-kennel up. She got halfway to find the road was closed. I couldn't believe it - that was the shortest opening of a road in history, surely? Open Sunday afternoon and closed by Monday morning.Granted it has been raining everywhere, but our rainfall is nothing like the folk on the coast where they are having yet more major floods.

I had to collect Banjo from the vet's in Warwick about 4 p.m. so left early in order to arrive in plenty of time to do a hasty shop with El before facing the future with Dog. I thought I'd check for myself whether I could get through, as the signs were only a couple of kilometres down the road. And it was firmly CLOSED. I swore, turned the car around and went north to Allora in order to go south to Warwick. That qualified as the major irritant of the week.

I took El up to the vet's with me after our brief retail excursion. I had arranged to have both Cody and Mischief vaccinated as they haven't been done for several years and the vet said there is a huge increase in parvo fatalities in the region. Hence I was going to be juggling three dogs. 

When we went in Rose, the vet nurse, said words to the effect of 'Thank God you're here. And heaven help you with this dog...'

I enquired why, and she said that Banjo had barked continuously ever since coming round from his anaesthetic. Oh, that noise at the back was him...

I had the two tame dogs done, vet Greg being happy with them both, then we went out to load them in the car before sorting Banjo out. Unfortunately Rose could not wait to get rid of this painful patient and produced him before we were ready, with the result we had a total mix-up of dog bodies. Banjo was wearing an Elizabethan collar, and Rose rattled off: he has to keep it on for two weeks because he tried to remove his stitches; he has to be kept quiet - no running around for two weeks...

Right, you are kidding aren't you? This bundle of coiled energy and rebellion had been in the pound for the last week, then in a cage for the day. There was no way on earth he was going to stay meekly quiet for the next fortnight. I shook my head incredulously and wrestled Banjo into his place in the car.

El was very happy to be dropped off to her peaceful cat household while I took my bouncing car the long way home again. 

When we arrived I released the dogs, whereupon Banjo gyrated madly around the area, whacking one of my precious pumpkins. No, no, I only have four of them! I dog-handled him into the yard and hastily into his large penned area. With some forethought I had bought a ginormous beef femur to keep him happy while I prepared his meal. He was rattling empty after basically two days without food due to having to be starved before his operation. I managed to retain my arms when giving it to him, and he promptly settled down happily for a while.

Giving him his food is a major hazard at present as he tries to flatten anything between him and his food. He is strong, too, which makes it a real challenge. I'm thinking of strategies...

I can safely say, after 24 hours of Banjo, that I have several number one priorities for trying to train him:
1. Stop him barking.
1. Stop him leaping five feet in the air to land paws first on one's chest.
1. Teach him some table manners.
1. Stop him BARKING.

After trying me out for 24 hours, Banjo has decided that barking doesn't seem so good as he is likely to have a cup of water hurled over him which he finds rude and startling. He has found out that leaping on my chest results in my snarling savagely at him and pushing him away hard - this too he finds rude and startling. He has found out that I am very mean and try to stop him stampeding over the top of me for his food. We have a long way to travel with this issue. This afternoon he wanted me to be nice to him and stroke him for a change. Jumping up wasn't achieving this. He stepped back and creased his face up in thought. Then he carefully sat down, fixing me with his most concentrated stare, and wagged his tail. Yes - he got his stroke and was told he was a very good boy!

I am of course ignoring the no-exercise part of the instructions I was given, so Banjo gets to go around the paddock regularly with the other dogs.If he didn't have exercise he would go frantic, while I want to calm him. This evening he has been totally silent, whereas yesterday I had to put him in his night shed by 7.30 pm. He is being the very best boy he can be (with a long, long road to travel).

And here is a nice picture of some flooding nearby, taken by the Storm Chasers. Uh, I think our drought definitely broke, and I don't really think I can use the Washpool Road!
Tomorrow Melissa comes again so we can present a better doghouse than it is today - a hundred sets of in-and-out muddy dog prints is such a poor look, somehow.

Have a good night/day and stay safe -


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