Psycho Dog

Can someone tell me why I thought it was a good idea to encourage Lorrie to take on the responsibility of taking care of her friend, Allison’s dog while their family took a short vacation to Galveston? Why? Why did I do that?  What was I thinking?

Of course, those are the questions that Lex asked me when I conveyed Lorrie’s request to her when I drove down to the bunkhouse with her last week. “What I’m thinking, honey, is that Lorrie is ready for more responsibility and I think it’d be a good for her to take on this responsibility. And it’s only for five days. What could happen?”

So, with Lex’s cajoled agreement, we gave Lorrie the permission to dog sit. On the way back we talked about the extra supplies we’d need and I assured Lex that Wanda and Dirk would bring everything that was needed when they brought the dog over…this afternoon.

“Today? You’re kidding me, right? Why am I just hearing about this?”

The reason Lex was just hearing about it was because Lorrie had just gotten off of restriction for getting mad enough at her sister, to tell her that she was not from the planet Earth and we were waiting for her ship to return for her.  That’s the funny thing about our Melanie.  If you told her something believable, her skepticism would kick in and she’d question every word you said. But make it outrageous, and she’ll fall for it every time. And freak out. Which she did. And we had to show Mel her birth certificate so that she knew she was born in Texas and not from ‘Planet Zongo’.

Back to dog sitting.

Day One of Taking Care of Max

Max is a Russian Wolf Hound.  We didn’t know that. And we didn’t know that the favorite activity of a Russian Wolf Hound is being a couch potato. And we didn’t know that Russian Wolf Hounds don’t bark very much and don’t go all excited when someone enters the house. But they are curious.

He arrived with little fanfare and immediately claimed the sofa in the den for his personal space. Freckles was completely intimidated and decided that discretion was the better part of valor and hid in Lorrie’s room.

The screaming started when we forgot to mention his presence to Martha and Charlie. Martha brought over a casserole that she baked for us to try. It was a new recipe. She walked in, as usual, and went to the kitchen to put it on the counter by the stove. Then, Max, the Wolf Hound, decided to see who this new person was and left his comfy spot in the den to go check the new arrival out.

Martha had her back turned when she heard a dog panting. She said later on that she thought something must be wrong with Freckles since she assumed that it was our dog panting so heavily.

She turned around.

Day Two

Freckles would only leave Lorrie’s bedroom to go outside. We finally lured her out of her room with pig ears.  She loves pig ears. So does Max.

We wanted the two dogs to become acquainted. Lorrie was convinced that with the right inducement, they would meet and Freckles would be just fine.

So, pig ear by pig ear, Lorrie lured Freckles out of her room, down the stairs, and into the den. Then she tossed one by the sofa where Max was reclining and he jumped down to get it. The movement caught Freckle’s attention.  Her eyes grew wide, her mouth gaped open and then she did three things simultaneously, two of which had to be cleaned up with a steam cleaner. The third thing she did was do a complete 180 degree turn in mid-air and bolt right out of the den and back up the stairs.

Day Three

We let the day finish out and then got the brilliant idea to bring Max up to Lorrie’s room.  Russian Wolf Hounds are not territorial. Rat Terriers are.

Day Four

Another day of cleaning carpets and a very unhappy rat terrier.

Day Five

We put down a plastic tarp underneath some newspapers in the den and decided to give one last try to ‘socializing’ Freckles. Max, to his credit had been an ideal addition to the family. We managed to convince little Eddie not to ride him like a horse and he finally quit trying to climb on Max’s back. Max ate his food, asked to be let outside when needed, and fell in love with our Mel, who wanted us get one for us. “But we already have a dog, Mel.”

She wasn’t convinced that Freckles, especially the way she’d been behaving lately, was a good enough reason not to get another dog.

So, there we were all gathered in the den. Then Lorrie brought out the bag of pig ears. That got both dogs’ attention.  We scattered several pig ears around the room, and suddenly, Freckles went from a terrified rat terrier to a crazed pig ear gathering lunatic.

She raced around the room and, one by one, took each pig ear just as Max was about to get to it and sat on them. When Max would turn to go for another pig ear, she’d race to it and take that one too. After several turns of ‘this is mine, not yours’, Max reclaimed his spot on the sofa and with a sorrowful expression, watched Freckles pick up each pig ear and race out of the room with it, and come back for another one. We couldn’t stop laughing at her. She’d give Max a threatening look, as if to say, “You come down off of that couch and I’ll make you into a pig ear,” and went about snatching the last of them up.

Once she had them all, we went to the hallway and found Freckles sitting by the stairs, but there were no pig ears in sight. Lorrie called Freckles but she wasn’t moving. Finally, Lex picked Freckles up and found, underneath her, were all the pig ears that Freckles had hoarded.

Saying Goodbye

We missed Max the moment he rejoined his family and they drove off. Freckles stood at the door and watched them drive away.  Lorrie bent down and hugged her dog and told her that she loved her, even though she was a psycho dog. And that became Freckle’s nick name, “Psycho Dog”.

Still, she’s ours and we love her.