Saturday, September 24, 2011

Boxhead, Roadblock and the Gent...

Well, I've been silent for quite a while but I'll make up for it with this morning's post!

If you all remember we were expecting our daughter and partner from Hobart as overnight guests while they dropped off their two 'puppies' for us to baby sit while they went house hunting in Sydney. Daughter has a new job and promotion - so a move from the island state of Tasmania (where having six toes on each foot is a distinct social advantage) with us minding the 'puppies' during the move.

Just to refresh your memories, Caddy, the male terrier-X, and Candy, the spaniel-X:

Now, remember also, we have Denny - the spoilt pet house dog who will be six years old this year:

Well, as predicted they arrived. Rhonda and I had decided that as spring was on us and three dogs would be too much inside, we would fix up the alcove with a large kennel and blankets and the two 'puppies' could sleep in there.

So the 'puppies' were settled in. These 'puppies' turned out to be to adorable but hyperactive young dogs of about 15kg (30lbs) each, very placid but as strong as horses. Walking them the first evening I nearly dislocated my arm as they pulled like crazy on their own one piece leads that were like bungee cord. - Denny trotted along on a loose metal 'choke' lead and did his usual trick of side-to-side sniffing of the pavement foot way!

CHAOS! dog leads everywhere, tangles and the true nature of the dogs emerged.

Caddy, the male terrier, I renamed 'Boxhead', 'cos his 'Staffy' heritage was reflected not only anatomically but in his determined nature to investigate everything that moved or made a noise in the undergrowth. Candy is a delightfully affectionate female spaniel cross who, unfortunately for me, has no idea of her own personal space and is forever under foot and the main offender in the tangled leads department. Hence she has been renamed 'Roadblock'!

Denny was forever the placid 'Gent' he has always been who has become set in his ways over the five years he has owned us and likes his life regular and orderly!

After the first outing I reverted all three of them to metal choke leads - much more effective, especially for Miss Roadblock who uses every bit of her weight to her advantage. She was like a bulldozer, lowering her height to as close to the ground as she could get it and using all of her legs like tractor tracks. Boxhead, while probably as equally as strong, hasn't learnt that trick and prefers an upright stance, hence just making him equivalent to a 'dead weight'.

The alcove bit was a failure - too close to the dining room window so we couldn't turn a light on at night without disturbing them, which alerted the mastiff next door and his two little window wiper friends and set of a neighbourhood howling event. Ouch! Neighbours - happy? NOT!


Time to re-arrange things. Evict them form the alcove into the carport, set them up on Denny's preferred steel-framed futon lounge with their blankets where they could view the whole back of the house and clip their choke leads onto the futon arm - just enough room to reach a patch of grass for nigh time toilet needs.

When they first arrived, they tended to run around everywhere together, but separately at the same time, exploring their new confines. Denny was obviously 'Alpha canine' as the older and larger dog.

This did not last. By the second day they had worked Denny out and found out they could counter his superior speed and agility in play by co-operating together against him. Denny could handle one but could not compete against 'tag team' playing.

So his highness, the 'Gent' has to have regular 'time-out' sessions away from the tag-team of Boxhead and Roadblock and be allowed to retreat into the sanctuary of his own indoor living arrangements for rest and recuperation.

Today, a new adventure for Caddy. Her grooming has been neglected and her coat is quite long and 'matting' in parts and does not handle the dewy, grassy conditions - at least very attractively. With the advice of our regular dog-minder for Denny, we have located a dog groomer nearby and today she will be off for a shampoo, clipping of excess paw fur and a shearing of her winter Tasmanian coat to more suit a northern summer.

Delight of delight - Daughter and partner have sourced a house in Campbelltown on the outskirts of Sydney and have been offered the tenancy! An investment owner has renovated this recently constructed house with fenced yard and was seeking long-term renters to occupy it and he and the agents were impressed by the homework and document preparation our two travellers had prepared. That, plus excellent references won them the lease. Its only two hours up the highway so we may see them more often!


LindaG said...

Congratulations to your daughter!
I am thinking Denny would as soon not see the 'puppies' again..

JohnD said...

Linda, Denny is OK with the puppies. It means he gets extra 'walkies' and has someone he can actively play with - as long as he gets his 'time out' rest periods. lol