Monday, June 11, 2007

Since Aegis has been gone, I've been surrounded by ruffians with no manners.

Cocker Spaniels are sort of like that. They are contrarians by nature, they are notoriously difficult to train. Very good natured about it, but just won't have anything to do with it. There just doesn't seem any limit to their mischief and badness.

Max is my current baddest boy. He's athletic and can get himself up on the kitchen counters if I'm not paying attention. My other three are geriatric cases who have each had their day in the sun of penultimate badness, but are still pretty awful if they put their minds to it.

I was thinking about how so many dog training experts stress the "head of the pack" theory. Namely, that you yourself need to be the pack leader. I really agree with this most of the time. It has certainly been a strategy that has worked well for me in the past, as long as I didn't expect too much from the cockers, who have every intention of running amok if they feel like it.

The shortcomings of this really have hit home this week.

You know how dogs will be practically dead before they will let you know they are sick or hurt? How stoic they are? Well, evidently, they expect this same behavior from the pack leader.

I've just been too sick to be a good alpha wolf. So, they've stepped up their trash diving and kitchen counter walking and rummaging all over the house when they should be sleeping. I'm a bit disturbed to think that they are sizing me up as a possible snack should I expire. They are already jockeying for position as to who will be in charge if my cough doesn't clear up. And I've seen the change that comes over Fat Buddy when presented with a live chicken that is suddenly a dead chicken. Me and the chicken, we're a bit intimidating while we are still walking around and not worthy of much of F.B.'s attention. But, boy-howdy...that dog can register to the nano-second the exact moment live chicken turns into chicken dinner.

I'm half certain they will find my bare bones one day and the grossly corpulent Fat Buddy standing over me wagging his tail stump in utter innocence.

A Luna moth got in the house last night and all I could do was croak "Stop it! Stop it!" while flailing weakly from the couch as Max and Shadow crashed into each other two feet above the floor in a failed interception tackle with this bird-sized moth.

"Stop it!" I lamely throw a newspaper at them. They laugh at me with dog grins as they lift themselves up from where they crash landed on the hardwood and tear off to see where the moth went.

I snuffle noisily and look around for the moth.


It's in my hair.


  1. erin ambrose said...
    see now thats funny...i don't think of dogs ...or cats for that matter, as stoic at all when they're hurting. big cry babies...maybe its a domestic predator thing?
    now...llamas and the like....they're stoic. the only way to know a llama is ill is when they stop getting up.
    prey types don't have the luxury of slowin' down to complain or they might end up lunch!
    hope you are feeling better!
    it took me a loooong while to get to where i can say i'm over the lung thing i had...yuck.
    Chris said...
    Rosie, what's Simone's favorite kind of cat? We used to have a Bombay cat, but it got run over by a truck and died. *sniff* *sniff*
    Leeuna said...
    Hi Rosie,
    I hope you feel better soon. I enjoyed this post. It was hilarious and so very true. Shadow has me wrapped around his paw.

    Take care and get well soon.
    Leeuna said...
    Hi Rosie.
    Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. I enjoyed reading your post. It is hilarious and so true. Shadow has me wrapped around his paw.

    Take care and get well soon.
    Jbeeky said...
    Bug. In. Hair. It is a testement to your inner fortitude that you are still on that mountain. I would have run down that thing screaming, "Get it out, Get it out!" with the dogs laughing at me and taking nips out of my bare feet.
    Anne Johnson said...
    LOL, especially about the Luna in your hair. I've seen those suckers in action, one of them scared a bunch of macho backpackers I knew back in the day.

    I hope you feel better. Don't know much about dogs, but cats and birds certainly hide all symptoms of illness as long as they can. That's how you lose 5 kittens in 8 weeks.
    Bad Alice said...
    How did you summon the energy to be funny? And what exactly am I looking at in that photo? Does he have his head in a Quaker Oats canister?

    As for moths, I spent some time in England, where they often for some reason don't have window screens. I have to have water by my bed at night. So one night I took a big swallow, and, well, I try not to think about it.
    seejanemom said...
    Hee your hair.;)
    Galadriel said...
    When we tell our cocker to do (or, often, to NOT do) something...we can see him weighing the consequences of ignoring the command. Is it worth the potential punishment?

    On the whole, he decides that he'd rather be good. But every so often he'd rather do it and take the consequences. He is the only dog I've ever known clever enough to realize that sometimes bald-faced snatching the chicken off the counter is worth the scolding/getting chased outside/spank if I catch him in the act.

    Horses are often stoic, too, much more so than people realize.

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