Monday, January 9, 2012

total stalker raccoon getter

Saw this on the Dooce's website. It is my life with Jo and Gus.

Gus spends pretty much every waking moment either catching food that's tossed within five feet of him or stalking the cats. Yes, he's stopped trying to drag Millie around by the scruff of her neck even though she weighs at least five pounds more than him. True he isn't dragging her around, but he still spends an enormous amount of time staring at cats. He can't seem to help himself. If there is a cat in the room, I think it's in his DNA--his breed (or perhaps the combination of his breeds) forces him to

Which isn't all bad.

When the cat is a raccoon. Under the deck. At 3:00 a.m.

True, JoJo was the one who had to go out at 1:00, then 2:00, then 3:00, while Gus slept peacefully curled up on my bed. But as soon as she let out her massive, I'm-a-big-dog-who-might-be-scared-a-little-bark, Gus was off the bed, barking all the way down the hall, through the laundry room, kitchen, and dining room and out the door to back her up. He was the first to recognize the scent of raccoon (did I mention how glad I am that we have raccoons and not skunks?), and he was the first one under the deck, cornering the critter, refusing to back down or back away.

Yes, Jo joined him under the deck, hitting her head on every joist, since she is at least twice as tall as the space under the deck. And she didn't give up the barking, at least not until I got the squeaky dinosaur out of the china hutch and squeaked it. (Whaa? You don't keep dog toys in the china hutch by the front door so you can grab them when the dog decides to go for a full-out run down the street?) See, Jo, she can't help but come to the squeak. Squeaky toys are her cryptonite. She had to come out to try to take it from me and I had to trap her in the house. It's what we do.

But Gus? No way. No way he's leaving a furry animal under his deck for some punk squeaky toy.

By the way--Sorry cranky neighbor about the dog barking manically from 3:00 until 3:08 a.m. You're right, my dogs do bark. Sometimes. WHEN SOMETHING IS IN THEIR YARD. Duh, that's one of the great things about dogs.

Okay, except when you can't get super raccoon catcher dog to stop barking and come back in the house.

And there's no way I'm going out in the dark carrying a flashlight wearing my new nightgown to peer under the deck at some wild critter while the dog is barking and waking the neighborhood. So I woke Jack, who stumbled to the door, called out to the non-responsive (at least not to human sounds) dogs, and then suggested I get their leashes.

Oh yeh. The leash. That is the cryptonite for G-dog. As soon as I leashed Jo to the basement handrail and rattled Gus' leash, he couldn't help himself. He had to come find the leash. (What is that mentality that says, hey, I'm running free, but wait, what's that? The sound of a leash? Oh, please, please, hook me up and keep me in line. Yet another example of the lack of brain power in Gus.)

So I used my super dog wranglin' powers (thanks, Jack, for reminding me) and got both of them in the house.

And of course, they totally ignored my requests that they go quickly back to bed. Because, hello, there's something under the deck.

After giving the raccoon a 60-second headstart, I held onto Gus tightly and opened the door for Jo to go scout around. After she gave the all clear, I let Gus go out to confirm that the critter had left the building. Or the under-deck world.

Eventually the dogs came back in the house and we headed back to bed. Of course, it took Gus another 70 minutes to settle down. Dog nearly got hisself another raccoon. Had to strut and leap about, totally ruining his coolness rating.

Kept me up until 50 minutes before the alarm went off. See that's how it is with my dogs.

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