Wakonda the cat and Buddy the dog have subdivided our house. The cat has claimed the upstairs rooms as her domain while the dog has laid claim to the first floor, but there are parts of the first floor that are shared. I should tell you that this arrangement is not from mutual consent, but is the result of a baby jail gate, one of three we now have (T & K only need two for Miss H, but yet we have three and are considering a fourth), placed at the bottom of the stairs. The sharing occurs because the cat seems to know when the dog is in his crate for a rest or because doggy jail is appropriate for the moment and will magically appear to visit with us or, if it is bedtime, to join us on the bed for the night. The cat, being not entirely wild about the dog, will sometimes pass right in front of the crate while meowing loudly as if to say “look at me, I’m never in a crate because cats rule.” There are times when both cat and dog will share space, but the dog gets excited about company and wants to hold the cat down by placing his front paws on her and of course she strongly objects to this action. Too bad she has no front claws (she came that way) or the dog would probably change his attitude towards her in a heartbeat.
We have an apple tree, not a good one, in our backyard and Buddy has discovered that apples taste better than tennis balls or plastic bones. When he gets us up at 0h-dark-thirty the backyard is the first place we head for and he runs straight to the apple tree to wait for us to get a “toy” from it. We have used all the lower ones so have now resorted to using a rake to pull the higher ones down. At this point if you throw him a ball he looks at you as if to say “look slave that is not what I want.”
Chase the apple is fun for him and helps to deplete his excess energy–and there is plenty to deplete. I can vary the game by using two apples although this does seem to confuse him from time-to-time. This adds to my enjoyment of the game, but maybe not so much to his.
And now for the us part of this saga. We are reasonably educated people, at least we like to think so, with college, work experience and common sense, yet we are constantly outwitted by a 10-month-old puppy. He will get things, shoes, socks, kitchen sponges and anything else he can reach. Considering he can leap four feet in the air from a standing position, it is hard to put the entire house out of reach. He has even learned to open our sliding closet doors so we have resorted to keeping the bedroom door closed. This leads to another problem from my point of view and that is that as winter approaches the bedroom can be around 55 degrees when we head for bed and I don’t like cold rooms at bedtime. Once Buddy has something he is reluctant to give it up and has learned that if only one of us is home he can keep us from catching him by circling the dinning room or coffee table. You can tell by his expression that he knows exactly what he is doing, but does it anyway. This action often leads to doggy jail, the time out spot, but he seems content with that because he knows he will get out eventually. Sometimes Buddy will roll a toy or apple under the sofa or somewhere that he can’t reach and then will look at us and deliver a lecture, woof, bow-wow, moan, until we do his bidding.
All of this has led me to have more sympathy for folks like T&K and their trials with Miss H because as I have said before there are many similarities between toddlers and puppies.