Dogs are easy, right. Every kid ought to have a dog so they can grow up properly. I had to be a good dad and get the kids a dog, right? Oh, we got a dog alright. It’s been a long time since I had a dog. When I was a kid, we had a couple of animals but my responsibilities related to the animals were minimal…I was a kid. Even, as an adult, I foolishly believed that my responsibilities from when I had dogs as a kid were the real extent of pet ownership. I have since then been properly educated…
Over the summer, I dug postholes all about my yard to put up a fence to allow Ginny to have space to play and do what dogs do (which I have since found out is poop). It was a big effort as I hand dug the holes and mixed concrete to hold the posts. It looks great and seems to finally have been made Ginny-proof. I next had to build Ginny a proper dog house. I had all sorts of lumber scraps and stuff laying around so Ginny has a first-class house that didn’t really cost me anything.
I have not weighed the house but I suspect it weighs as much as my car. Emily and I put insulation in the walls and ceiling and installed white siding so it will be the same color as our house. Ginny doesn’t like to stay inside all day so I figured I needed to give her a heat source in order to be safe this winter. We installed an outdoor light in the ceiling of her house and it keeps the space pretty nice for her. I measured the outside temperature at 29 the other day. Inside, after letting the bulb warm the space, the floor of her house was 44 and the ceiling area was much warmer.
Of course, for the light to work, I needed an outlet on the outside of the house. The one and only outlet was on the other side of the house so I had to drill a hole in my brick and run power from the laundry room through the wall. Without considering dog logic, I simply plugged an extension cord into the new plug and ran it to the light fixture in the ceiling of the doghouse. The first day we left her alone with her new place, she decided to take a bite out of the pretty orange cord running into her house. She got a jolt out of it I am sure. It wasn’t enough to hurt her badly…she only had a small spot on her lip. I wasn’t prepared to sacrifice another cord to see whether she learned her lesson though.
Being one to over-engineer whenever possible, I built an armoured cable to power her light. I haven’t seen evidence of her trying her luck on the new cord, but I am pretty sure it is bite-proof and will keep her safe and warm.
I don’t know about you, but this whole dog ownership thing seems pretty easy, right?
I mentioned last week that we got a new dog from the shelter. She is a super sweet dog now that we got her all fixed up. You see, she came to us from the shelter with parvovirus, fleas, ear mites, and maybe kennel cough (she has that now but it may have come from the vet). So, first thing, I am pretty disgusted that the Kanawha/Charleston shelter doesn’t deal with it’s ickiness better. A few months ago, they had to put down masses of animals because of disease. I have talked to several people who got dogs from there that had parvo and died. Apparently it is a common problem for that shelter, but I think it is unacceptable. I get that it’s a big and busy shelter, but gee whiz, it is what they are all about. Parvo kills a lot of dogs, especially puppies, so not treating/testing/quarantining animals effectively makes them a high-rate kill-shelter depending on how you look at it.
Ok, sorry, I have strayed a bit. So, Ginny came to us and within 2 days she was obviously very sick. Many hundred dollars later and we are fortunate to have a mostly healthy dog. But I wonder…you see, she has taken to eating poop from the yard. We have some less-than-prize neighbors who let their dogs run and poop all over the neighborhood, but that only provides Ginny access, not inclination. We walk Ginny on a leash every day and she has started searching out and eating other dogs’ poop! Did something happen to her brain when she was sick? I am not positive about this, but I suspect that poop doesn’t taste all that good (especially compared to the food she seems to like) so I cannot come up with an explanation why my sweet Ginny would eat every pile of deuce she comes upon. “It’s number 2 Ginny…run away!” Nope, not my dog.
It’s been a long time since I had a dog so maybe this is the new trendy thing that all of the young and hip dogs are doing nowadays…surely not. No, I can definitely say that eating poop is a bad thing. Come to think of it, I may have a new alternative saying for my kids. No longer will I have to say, “Would you jump off a bridge if all of your friends were doing it?” I can now say, “Would you eat poop just because all of your friends are doing it?”
Maybe I am being over-reactive. She’s a puppy and I know puppies are crazy. I hate to say it, but I would prefer she would chew on my shoes rather than the biohazards in the yard. I guess we will have to work on her manners some. The first trick I am going to teach her is “shake”. You see, I can shake her paw without hesitation, but she is definitely not getting kisses from me!