Q-Day 182: Furry Shenanigans

Shuggie and Sabra went to the vet for their checkups. Together. Shuggie is not really good at the leash thing. I practiced with her in the yard several times, but ultimately counted on her following Sabra to make it successful. What was I thinking?

Todd was in a meeting so that left me on my own to corral these two into the car and I hope to God no one in the neighborhood was watching. First off – Sabra hates the car. Hates it. She will get in on my command, but once she’s in there she’ll tremble all over like she’s being tortured.

Anyway, I walked both out on leashes to the car. Sabra took one look at the open door and stopped dead. I picked her up and placed her in the backseat, but she struggled with me and so I had to juggle her back legs in and inadvertently dropped Shuggie’s leash. Shuggie took off behind the car and OMG I left Sabra (who I know will not run away) to nonchalantly dash after Shug and JUST caught the end of the leash. Thankfully she hadn’t really noticed that she wasn’t under my control so she didn’t bolt.

Meanwhile Sabra used the opportunity to jump out of the car and back to the front door. I tried to get her to “come” but she was having none of it so I had to go get her and drag her sorry ass back to the car. Lifted her back in and then tried to get Shuggie to do it on her own, which only worked about halfway in and then I had to lift her back legs in and quickly slam the door shut.

The ride over was uneventful. Shuggie calmly laid down (!!!) and Sabra’s teeth were chattering. Then we arrived. I slipped my mask on and proceeded to extract these two from the back seat. That was the easy part. Getting them to the door – since Sabra was again NOT HAVING IT and Shuggie was confused to begin with – was a whole new circus sideshow, fully visible through the all-glass front of the office. I couldn’t get them both through the door and navigate the vestibule and through the second door without a significant amount of pulling and stumbling and a whole lot of “good girls.” I’m for the most part a petite human and these two made us look like the Three Stooges. The receptionist pretended not to notice.

Shuggie was a model patient. Sabra begrudgingly did what was expected. They got their shots. Shuggie had an ear infection so she got drops and we’re now almost finished with them and there’s no more itching and scratching.

No more accidents in the house and only your garden-variety naughty obsessions with socks, paper trash, and daddy’s shoes. Oh, and digging. She dug out the base of one of our backyard trees, such that you can see the roots underground now, and a handful of holes along the fence line. Either she’s digging for critters or digging for China. We’ll never really know.

And, speaking of critters, Fergus is making the rounds again. And he brought a friend. I saw the two of them in the backyard one morning, hopping leisurely across the lawn in front of the lower level sliders. One of them commenced some auxiliary digging at one of Shuggie’s spots and that’s just all we need. It’s not a yard anymore, it’s an archaeological site. Christ.

So yesterday I saw Fergus slinking across the deck with a plum-sized walnut in his mouth and then he disappeared behind the grill. I got up to investigate because a) last year I found a walnut inside the grill and b) I kinda missed him. He came out empty-mouthed and skittered up and onto the table where he was looking up at the umbrella and now I know why.

Todd told me when he opened the umbrella on Sunday a walnut fell out. Did it hit you on the head? (I’m envisioning this now and it makes me laugh out loud.) Which explains why I found one there when I was setting up for lunch with my in-laws.

Yesterday’s walnut was just dropped on top of the soil in an otherwise empty pot next to the grill. Just left it there. Lazy. I’m guessing he’s running out of places to plant them on the deck, as I’ve emptied most of the pots since nothing was grown in them this year and because… Shuggie.

I’m still finding whole peanuts in various places, like in one of the pots and then down in the only garden we’ve built so far – which is also the site of many of Shuggie’s deposits and now I have questions.

Where is he getting peanuts?? How has he forgotten them? Why does Shuggie poop – out of a whole backyard the size of a regulation baseball field – in the garden next to our house? (There’s an easy answer for this, by the way, so it’s not really a mystery.) The good news about that, is it’s easier for us to be sure she’d gone.

Why haven’t I mentioned much about Bee? It’s not intentional. She’s such a good dog – she doesn’t DO anything really. She loves chewing up bathroom trash, so I’ve taken measures to keep those doors closed. She adores Todd. He’s her person. Wherever he is, you can be sure to find her. She has deeply attached to Sabra – she will wait by the door for her to come outside with them, and often won’t leave the deck until she’s outside too. One morning I found her curled up in Sabra’s bed with her.

She takes her treats nicely now (= much less grabby), although she is prone to snatch Shuggie’s right out of her mouth. I scolded her for this yesterday, but honestly Shuggie is such a brat opportunist I think she deserved it. Bee, you may recall, is a finished show dog, and so she is by far the easiest to groom. She will stand there until you’ve thoroughly brushed her – if I only do parts of her, she’ll wait and stare at me as if to say, “uh, you’re not done yet.”

Bee is timid around strangers. You cannot approach her if she doesn’t know or trust you. She will duck her head and run away. There is history to this behavior that I don’t entirely know, but I am sensitive to it and have made efforts – as I did with Sabra so many years ago (with similar behaviors) – to move softly around her and allow her to come to me. It didn’t take all of a week.  

She is shy around Veruca, and I have explained to her that she hasn’t spent much time around her and so Bee is weary of her. This, too, will take time and effort from V. Bee will stand safely away from V and watches her – so I know she wants to trust her.

She is also very good at stealing a sniff of people when they’re not looking, and most often from behind. Yeah. She’s that dog. So, if you feel you’ve been lightly goosed, she’s most likely the perp. It annoys me to no end, and I’ve warned her like I’m talking to a four-year-old that one of these days she’s going to get it.

So where Bee is the introvert, Shuggie is the extrovert, and Sabra is somewhere in between. Shuggie loves on everybody. She is not shy and will throw her 46lb body on your lap when you sit down. I’m working on curbing this habit.

V and I took Shuggie for a car ride to Starbucks – possibly the highlight of the week – and got her a Puppaccino. I let her have about half of it on the way home, which was a good thing because after we got home she belched it all up, so maybe she’s lactose intolerant?

Sorry for the long post. I’ll save stats and random tidbits for another post.

Happy Saturday!

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