Monday, January 06, 2014

Walking The Dog....

So, as you already know -or probably recall from some (or several) posts over the past so many years now, I have a dog. Sammy. He really is a sweet little mutt -kind of looks a lot like a Benji dog, but in miniature. Sammy was 16 months old when my younger daughter brought him home here when his previous owner got sick and was no longer able to live independently and therefore, couldn't handle having this dog. So we got him.

 I wasn't altogether happy with having a dog again. Not that I don't like dogs though because it's actually just the reverse. I LOVE dogs. But I just didn't really want the responsibility and expense too of another pet. We already had a bunch of cats at that time -two unfixed females who had each presented us with a litter that, at the time Sam entered our household, totaled 2 adult cats and 9 kittens. A little much, I know.

But anyway, enter Sam. The Mama cats -one tolerated Sam fairly well and the other absolutely hated him. All he had to do was look at her and she was hissing and swatting at him to the extent that even if she didn't touch him with her paws, he would turn tail and run, yipping and crying like someone was beating the living daylights out of him. Yes, he was that much of a wuss and pretty much today, he is still that way.

But Sam, being ultra-friendly as he is, had this notion right from the first day he was here that even if those two big cats didn't like him, he was hell-bent on making friends with their offspring. It took him about a month but by golly, he and the one kitten -a little male -made up and became very good friends -running and chasing each other, playing till they were both played out and then, they would curl up and nap together. That was Sam and the relationship he developed with the one kitten out of the whole brood that we kept. (Eventually, the two grown females left here for other homes too, so no more kittens then.) We still had one fixed female cat in the house all that time though too -Gracie Baby -who tolerated Sammy for about 18 months after he came here until she became ill and we had to have her put down.

Then, two and a half years ago, Mandy saw this kitten actually fall out the window of the house two doors up from us after the people who had lived there had moved out! It was at dusk, raining like crazy (the old saying "Raining cats and dogs" had a bit of truth to it that night) and being the cat lover she is, she stopped and ran down to the house and picked up this beautiful little kitten, soaking wet and brought it home. That's how we acquired Pearl -who still resides here -actually pretty much is the Queen bee here and rules the house.

About a year later then, one of the cats my son and his then girlfriend had at the time had a litter of kittens and my older daughter fell in love with a sweet little grey tiger cat and was going to take her home with her however, she had to leave that kitten here with us until she could talk her boyfriend into letting her bring the kitten home and into their house. I told the younger daughter then that she should realize this kitten was never going to be leaving here to go live with the older sister because that's just the way life and things run in this house where cats are concerned! And I was right too. That cat -named Tavie -stayed here until this past July when Mandy and the kids moved to Middletown and Tavie then moved there along with them.

Which then brings me down to the pet population here now being just the dog and 1 cat. Now, I do love Sammy -the dog. Really I do. But he has some quirks that I don't much like too. Unfortunately!

Technically, he is house broken. But he is picky about demonstrating his skills in that department. Getting him to show he is truly housebroken requires that he be taken out for a walk, on a leash, at least twice a day -sometimes (heaven forbid these days) even more than that number of walks. Now, in three of the four seasons of the year, I really don't mind walking him. Well, not much anyway. But I know if I don't get him out when he starts to whine and dance around wherever I am sitting or whatever I might be doing, I know I best take him out or else. So I do try to oblige him.

During the winter months though, walking him often is not near as appealing -especially not with the weather the way it's been lately and is forecast for more of the same -sub-zero temps, snow and ice. Not my favorite entities, for sure there! Well, I have written here in previous posts about one of Sam's little tricks that he will pull on me every now and again and it's one I can't peg, can't figure out why he does this but regardless of whether he has been walked adequately or not, he will from time to time decide it is a good idea for him to whiz on one of the couch cushions. And no, I don't like this behavior of his at all!!! Sometimes, I think maybe he's trying to send me a message that he wants me to go get some new cushion foam and make some new cushions for the couch. (I'd really love to just get a new couch because I truly hate this ugly thing I have now that was "gifted" to us last summer. I do hate, hate, hate it but I still don't want the dog occasionally peeing on the cushions on it whether I like the darned thing or not!)

Well, as you know -winter is now fully upon us and the temperatures here are rapidly falling -daily -closer and closer to the zero mark each day with the forecast for the next couple of days calling for subzero temps to start with and which will be made even worse with the wind chills so it will feel like it is minus 20-30 degrees then outside. BRRRRRR. Definitely do not like that idea at all.

What I dislike even more though is that regardless of the temps, or rain or snow or sleet or freezing rain, etc., I'm going to have to venture out in whatever is going on outside and walk this silly mutt!

I can't tie him out to the front post by the front door because he refuses to go do anything out in the yard when tied up that way. I can't just open the door and let him go out, freely on his own either because one of my neighbors would call the dog catcher on me then for sure for letting him run free all over town.

But, I thought maybe, just maybe, I could let him out, late at night, without his leash and that he could at least see his way clear to go whiz on a tree in the front yard or  go pee on the post to the railing as you come down the steps and then, because he is definitely not a fan of the wintery weather any more than I am.

So the other night when the thermometer reading was around zero, I decided to try just opening the door and letting him out, free to run around the front yard and then, that he would do his thing in short order and I could stand a watch him, happy that I  hadn't had to do anything drastic in the walking department.

But you know that other old adage -about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, that's sure turning out to be the truth here.

Seems, at least during the winter months, Sam doesn't like the cold any more than me and if I let him outfor a minute or two right in front of the house and if I am standing there watching him, all he will do is just come and stand beside me and not move a muscle to do anything!

Frustrating, yes indeed that is. But the good side to it -if you pick through this enough to FIND a good side -is that I guess Sam is just concerned for my physical well being and wants to make sure I get at least a little bit of exercise in my life -regardless of how small an amount that might entail -and how cold that exercise is gonna leave me.

Be glad, little Sammy dog, that Grammy really does love you!


Kat said...

Oh the little stinker.
My brother's dog refuses to poop anywhere except the dog park. Apparently he needs a run to get his poo out. Unfortunately, the last three days have been -12 degrees with a windchill of around -45. Sassy dog!
I will not complain about my wonderful sock eating dog ever again! ;)
Stay warm!

Sandi McBride said...

we are a two dog family and walk them 3 times a day, we can't just turn them out because we would not find them till the spring seem to have a handle on this Jeni...good for you!