Friday, August 19, 2011

Neighborhood Watch

Sitting here, looking at my sweet little dog enjoying the sunshine, it is hard to believe that this is the same snarling, whirling beast that was on the walk earlier today.  Fievel seems to think that he must alert me to every danger on the planet.  He is an equal opportunity barker.  Race, gender, sexuality, age, and socio-economic status are no barriers to barking.  He knows that a poor black lesbian is just as dangerous as a middle-class white man.  Here are some groups that Fievel finds particularly dangerous.  I'm informing you because they may be in your neighborhood, and you should be on the lookout.

1.  Dogs within a 7 mile radius
2. Children, particularly babies in strollers
3.  Old people
4.  Runners
5.  People on wheeled conveyances (bikes, scooters, skateboards)
6.  People who have difficulty walking (i.e. they require a cane)
7.  People who have a pleasant manner and are nice toward him
8.  Birds
9.  Grocery shoppers (who KNOWS what's in those bags?!?!)
10.  Things that move or flap in the wind, such as flags, garbage bags, and tarps
11.  People who do yard work

Our neighborhood is especially dangerous because some of these groups like to gang up.  Old people and children specifically, will frequently join together to terrorize the community.  Sometimes they even invite people on wheeled conveyances along.  It's a real menace, I tell you.

Of course, the irony in all this is that he views everything completely differently inside the house.  A burglar could break in, and as long as he wasn't carrying a vicious baby or wielding a cane, Fievel would be happy to greet him.  "Are you here for the jewels?  Great!  They're over there with the dog treats."

Other people are happy to tell us that it's a training issue.  Well thank for the input, but we took him to training and he still misbehaves.  I blame his previous owners for poor doggie socialization techniques.  At this point, Ethan and I are looking looking forward to buying a house with a yard to solve the problem.  Preferably a ranch.  With a moat.  And a 10 foot wall.


Not Jenny said...

I'd leave a response to this post, but I am currently sitting in a house with a dog and children and their wheeled conveyences are outside so I might just stir Fievel up again.
What is his stance on squirrels?

L said...

Not Jenny, your house is just full of Fievel unapproved activities. And children. Tasty, tasty children.

Fortunately the squirrels Fievel has seen so far have been too large for him to attack. ;)

Carlw4514 said...

I'm sure Fievel marvels that you are so unaware of the danger, and feels unappreciated for his heroic efforts!

I've forgotten where his name came from.

craftosaurus said...

Well, keep in mind that there are lots of different types of training. "When I say 'shake,' put your paw on my hand" is a whole separate ballgame from "the world is not scary, so you need to calm yourself."

We're doing a lot of the second category these days because Mr. Cecil has become a growing barker when he sees another dog on his walks, which became an issue after his 2 months as a recluse for his heartworm treatment. He gets treats for being calm.

Have you ever brought Feivel somewhere dog friendly off-leash or on a really long leash? Cecil is so. much. better. when we do that.

Elly/Laura/CTG said...

I would like to thank Fievel for sending a d-mail to Bruiser and Sally, they have been informed and are responding thusly. Please let Fievel know, that also scary...the tiny Chihuahua that lives next door, but A.J. the pug mix is okay and you can sniff her nose. Suki the boarder collie is okay too. Also...people who look like Fagan from the 1964 production of Oliver are also bad (but this is a general consensus not just a Bruiser and Sally one)

L said...

Uncle Carl, Fievel was named after a Disney movie about a mouse who immigrates to America because the people at the pound thought he was a rat terrier. We are pretty sure he's a Toy Fox Terrier, but he looks pretty ratty, so we thought it was a good name.

craftosaurus, we got some behavioral training that wasn't just shaking hands, it was walking him around the room with other dogs, etc, but we need to get him some more socialization for sure. I am hesitant to let him off leash because his recall isn't very good when he's in crazy mode, but the long leash is a good idea. We should give that a try.

Laura/CTG, I am sorry that your dogs seem to have received the barkogram. (I kind of imagine this happening like that scene in 101 Dalmatians...) Fievel says "Grrr. Arf! Arf!"

Lisa said...

This may be the FUNNIEST post I have ever read!!!! Awesome, pure awesome. I've actually already read it about 4 times over the last couple weeks, just when I need a laugh - thanks L!

L said...

Lisa, thanks for the compliments! Glad I could provide a laugh or two.