23. January 2006 · Comments Off on Adventures With the Lesser Weevil- Pt. 1 · Categories: Domestic, General, Pajama Game

Well, I took the advice about the kong rubber toys last week: somewhat mixed results on that. Lesser Weevil has two of them now, but she keeps misplacing the damned things, once she has sucked the peanut-butter/kibble filling out of them… I don’t suppose there is a clever invention thingy to sort of attach them to her, the way that babies have their pacifiers attached to them by way of a short length of ribbon and a safety pin? No, I didn’t think so. And I think that the peanut butter gives her the trots.

The other announcer at TPR (on duty in the news/information station at the same time that I am on duty in the classical music station) who works as a veterinary technician advises making available those monstrous whole bones, which are sold at local grocery chain, in the pet products aisle. They apparently are cow shin bones, although they look like mastodon bones, something that Fred Flinstone would throw to Dino for a good crunch and munch. She says her dogs take a couple of weeks or so to reduce them to atoms… and they do polish their teeth nicely, as well. We tested this out with something alleged to be a pig shin-bone, which she has been happily crunching away on for the last 24 hours, and seeming to ignore everything else. I have painted everything left in the garden that might be a chewing temptation with a spray-bottle of stuff that is supposed to taste even worse than bitter apple. So we shall see, and now on to the mastodon bone, hopefully before she has quite demolished the current bone to the sub-atomic level. My friend the vet tech and radio announcer says it takes her dogs a couple of weeks to demolish one, and it has the added benefit of keeping their dear little destructive teeth gleaming and shiny white.

The halti-collar, which I bought and tried out this morning, did not work quite as well— she managed to scoop it off her face whenever I slacked off of it. On the other hand, she was not pulling like a tractor at the other end of the leash; it may yet have some benefit in a training situation— not on the morning run, however. This week we were working on the fine technique of walking or trotting on a close-hauled leash, at my knee, which works well sometimes, and at other times only as long as I am chanting, “Heel Weevil, heel, dammit! Good girl, dammit, heel!”, and have the leash doubled around my fist and holding her in position with bodily strength. Perhaps I should just consider this as an upper-body workout—she weighed 47 pounds when we took her to the vet before Christmas, and she has filled out a little since then; say fifty pounds and strong with it. The book about boxer dogs that Blondie bought on sale says that they tend to be very clever, quite willful unless strictly schooled, and very, very powerful for their size.

It is clear from the pictures in the book, though, that Weevil is definitely not within a country mile of pure boxer breed. She has the color, the temperament and the intelligence, but at least half of her genetic makeup is something else, something taller, leggier and leaner. She has an interesting whorl, or cowlick in the fur on the back of her neck, and on occasion, her fur nearly stands straight up, all the length of her backbone— so it does with most dogs, when agitated, but a couple of neighbors have commented that the whorl is a characteristic of Rhodesian ridgebacks… and there are a couple of the breed in the neighborhood, so there is something to make a comparison too.

She is making up to some of the cats: Sammy the Gimp, the three-legged white cat who moved from across the road upon falling deeply in love with Blondie last year, and Percival, the shy and semi-feral little grey catling whom I tamed and moved indoors to a life of privilege the year before seem to be the closest to breaking down and being best buds. She will break down and chase them when they loose their nerve and run away, but they don’t actually seem to be afraid of her. Sammy will sit on the back of the armchair, and Weevil will boldly and repeatedly nudge him with her nose:
“Run! Play with me! Run!”
In response Sammy will bop her on the head with his good paw, claws barely sheathed.
”I do not care to run.”

And this will go on until both of them are quite tired of it. She tries this with Percival, too— Blondie says he nipped her on the ear this morning. Of the other cats, only Little Arthur is hostile: Blondie has observed him stalking Weevil, and she is quite properly terrified of him. Morgie and Henry are magnificently indifferent, apparently feeling that the dog has her place… and it is well beneath their lordly notice.

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