The Joy of Dogs...
Fred on a post
Humph. Disgruntled dog owner admits defeat. My dogs don't have listening ears. They barge out of doorways trying to be first. They bark rudely at Non-Gardening Partner in the house. OK, he is not me. But me finds it very annoying! Cats versus dogs? There's simply no comparison. Cats are infinitely easier, yes?
The bad, first, before the good. Yesterday I was having such a mellow, friendly gardening day. Had been helping daughter load her trailer with hazel suckers - she is building a community garden, will use them for edging of beds. Had a wonderfully affirming chat about appropriate old-lady behaviour during Covid semi-lockdown. Waved goodbye in a dream and started dividing new variegated iris plants. Busy and oh so mellow.
Then Pebbles my younger dog charged through the dog-fence onto next-door's driveway, barking rudely at next-door's dog and owner. She circled around and around, not letting them move. No, she wouldn't come back - I had absolutely no control of her, my rickety fence well and truly broken. Was so cross (and embarrassed). Eventually managed to escort her back home, and bundled her into her kennel. Humph! Spent the next two hours fuming and fixing the fence, shovel-digging holes for more fence posts, stapling the netting along the bottom onto pieces of wood.
Not helped by my ditzy neighbour who was ever-so helpful : 'My son's got a post hole driver - would you like to borrow it?' Yeah, right... Ended up even crosser (Non-Gardening Partner got a bit of an ear-bashing later). Very self-righteous footnote : eight years ago the neighbour's trees came down in a storm and trashed the old fence. Eight years of promises, but no repairs. And that includes NGP.
But now the good dog news. Winnie's been to her vet for the final check after her knee operation. It's been three months, and she's got the big tick! Yeay! Congratulations, my lovely girl dog. And another positive - this morning we three managed the 'gardener and dogs going out the door on retractable leashes' moment without any snarling or snapping. There was some preemptive growling from me, though.
Well done WInnie
Today I'm going to continue dividing the irises and start planting them. I'm going to supervise Pebbles, who is under 'garden arrest'. Dear dog! Long may my energy for dog-taming continue - it would be so easy to give up, shrug shoulders, and do nothing.
Pebbles Staring Next-Door
Three Hours Later...
OK. I've found the perfect spot for the variegated irises (behind the pond where it's quite dry and sunny) and I've planted a third of them. I've weeded, cleaned up dead Cordyline leaves, and repotted a large green Phormium.
I've removed Pebbles three times from sitting by fence she broke yesterday, where she stares into next-door's property (absolutely nothing is happening over there). This has become a bit of an obesession with her, and is not healthy dog behaviour. 'Removed' as follows : firstly, three cheerful, chirpy instructions to 'move' and 'come'. When these are ignored (they are) I then throw a bucket of water over her. Oops. I do have treats ready if she obeys me.
My goodness this is turning into a detailed dog behaviour journal page! Sorry about that. I am so thankful for my cats - such independent creatures could never ever be modified or directed. And so subtle, too - while working behind the pond I was supervised by my cottage cat Minimus, who was being stared at from a distance by one of the Freds, while black Buster hid in the nearby paddock grass and spied on us all. Hee hee...