Monday, February 7, 2011

The Bachelor Dog Strikes Again!

Hi folks!  Let's see if I can get this one to post on Monday morning.  Last week, I had to go in manually from the Blackberry and force the 8:00 a.m. post that had still not posted by 10:30.  Who knows!

Well, so much for thinking ol' Pip was confined to the garden yesterday!  Let me back up and start from the beginning though.  Pip is a pest.  Pip is a pain in the patoot.  Pip makes even an animal lover like me confounded.  Sometimes, I just want to ship him off to a doggie nursing home.  But, Bart loves him, so I try to think happy thoughts about him, the little booger.

Pip started his reign of pestdom Saturday night when he and Bart arrived here at the farm.  When it's my Sunday to work, we all stay here so we're waking-up on deck, ready to go.  Pip seems to never remember he's been to the farm before.  He wanders aimlessly.  He runs into things.  He almost gets himself killed on a regular basis here.  Wheather he's running into one of my dogs who take great exception to being plowed into or walking under a horse or driving me into a nearly homicidal state, he likes to tempt fate when he's on the farm.

For those who didn't read "The Boyfriend and The Bachelor Dog", Pip has a lot of medical issues, including blindness and constant urination.  Pip urinates to the point that we could put him in a basin in the middle of a town square and call him a fountain.  It's constant.  I swear he's been custom-fitted with four Great Dane bladders because he never runs out of urine.  He's a 17 lb Boston Terrier.  I don't see how it's physically possible for him to hold that much liquid!  But, he does.  Go back and read that post in January to more fully appreciate this little thorn in our sides.

So, Pip was tempting fate as usual Saturday night by running into my dogs while we were trying to unwind to some DVRed episodes of Jon Stewart's The Daily Show.  I gave everyone their own bone and put Pip on his bed with his, to hopefully keep him out of harm's way.  When he plows into one of my dogs when they have their bones, watch out! Pip is about to become a snack! He's oblivious to it.  And, with his dog Alzheimer's, he doesn't remember not to do it five minutes.

Fairly early in the evening, Bart decides it's time for bed.  I didn't know this because I'd already fallen asleep sitting up.  I was roused by Bart calling the dogs to go outside for one last bathroom break.  I always hope it's one last round, but Pip makes sure it isn't. I'm getting ahead of myself again, I'll get to it though.

So, anyway...  Out go Spot and Pip.  Killer and Coffee don't make a move without me.  After three years together, they still don't take orders or even suggestions from Bart.  They are guard dogs after all and he's not in charge here.  They only answer to the Commander in Chief--which in the case of the farm, is me.

I love on Killer and Coffee for a few minutes before I get ready to take them out when Bart comes back with Spot and Pip.  Bart and those two are gone for a long time.  Ok, well, maybe Pip is emptying those Great Dane bladders.

Finally, Bart and Spot come back...without Pip.  Bart is aggravated.  "He's escaped again," he said getting the flashlight.  I have no idea how that little old blind disabled dog does it, but he can get gone faster than any of my healthier dogs.  When Pip escapes, he hasn't left the farm, he's only left the fenced off parking area which is a safe place for him.  "No, we can't have that.  I can't be safe.  I need to go see what I can get into out here in the dark with these horses! Charge!!!! Bachelor Dog on the loose!"  Plod, plod, plod, zip, zip, gone.  For added fun, Pip no longer comes when he's called.

Bart finally finds Pip out with Merry and Milagro wandering aimlessly.  For a dog who seems aimless, he sure heads right for trouble.  Maybe he's a dare devil?  He's definitely not suicidal because he wouldn't give me the satisfaction of a peaceful happily ever after with Bart.  Nope, that's not his idea of a happy ending.  Pip's idea of a happy ending involves me being out of the picture and he and Bart being bachelors together like they were in the good ol' days.

Pip is carried inside by Bart who isn't risking the little devil heading out again.  Killer and Coffee are put on duty in the barn.  Spot is on his bed beside my side of the bed.  Pip is put on his bed beside Bart's side of the bed, which he promptly leaves.  Oh well.

Bart and I are giggling about what a pain Pip is and some of his antics that I won't write about because they were well...inappropriate for discussion in polite company.  Let's say that Pip did some rather impolite things earlier in the evening and leave it at that.

I hear Pip drinking water out of Spot's 5 gallon horse water bucket that doubles as his water bowl.  Spot is 70 lbs of very large dalmatian, a little water bowl is pointless.  Pip is refilling all four Great Dane bladders.  Slurp, slurp, slurp, gagging sound from drinking too fast, slurp, goes on for, I kid you not, 15 minutes. Then, he wanders back to his bed.  I thought somewhere in all of that I heard water running, like urination, but no, everyone just went out.

Moments later, Bart turns on the flashlight because Pip is stirring again.  Pip has reversal of night and day.  It's annoying.  It prevents me from sleeping.  I would like to tranquilize him and put him in a large crate.  Bart won't have it.  So, I don't sleep much when Pip is around.

I hear Bart, completely disgusted, "Pip peed on his bed!"  That sound I heard, it was urination after all...and Pip had been outside only 15 minutes earlier.  Bart gets up and attends to things.  Pip wanders into Spot in the meantime.  Spot gives a loud bark and snaps at him.  Pip heads under my bed.  "Don't pee under there Pip, it'll be hard to clean-up."

Throughout the night, Pip wanders. He bumps into things. He goes through his very loud drinking routine many times.  He occasionally takes a nap and snores loudly. But, his favorite thing to do is hurl himself at the side of the bed to go outside...again, and again, and again...thud, thud, thud.  So, Bart gets up to take him out all night long.

You know, Bart may be a much younger guy than I realize, but he just looks older from chronic sleep deprivation thanks to Pip.  Are you starting to see why I can't sleep when Pip's around?  Is that doggie nursing home making more sense?

Morning comes eventually and we go out to do chores.  Bart allows Pip to wander aimlessly while we do this.  It makes me nervous because if he gets stepped on by a horse, it's all over.  Pip will not only be off on a one way ticket to eternity, Pip will be splattered on the ground.

A horse wouldn't even have to try to hurt him.  A horse could simple move gently while Pip is standing under him and SPLAT!  Boston Terrier guts everywhere.  I don't love Pip like Bart does, but I also don't wish for him to meet his end by going SPLAT under one of my horses.  I think it could put a strain on our relationship, not to mention create a mess that I would have to clean-up.  I mean, I couldn't expect Bart to scoop up Pip's guts.  It's not right to ask someone to clean-up their own splattered dog.

I have offered alternatives in the past and we've tried some of them.  Once, Bart let me put on Pip's harness and tether him to some corral panels. He could run a good way and not get hurt, plus not wrap himself up in the tether or walk around a post with it.  See, I try to think of things to be helpful.

I've offered the garden plot several times since it's not planted for the winter.  It's fenced in with field fencing.  It has a gate.  It's between the people barn and the horse barn where it's protected from the wind.  (The people barn is where I live and have the office and other necessary rooms for the business.)  The garden is a space of about 24 x 12 feet.  It's the perfect place for a little 17 lb pain in the patoot dare devil dog to safely wander.

Today, I put Pip in the garden without asking Bart.  I was tired of watching him while Bart did something else and calling him to come back from the horses, which he wouldn't do, so of course I had to chase him down.  Booger.  Into the garden you go, Pip.  It'll be better for all of us.  It worked.  Pip was safe and we were free to finish morning chores.

After our late breakfast, Bart wanted to work on a gate and I wanted to start on the blog.  So, Pip goes back in the garden.  Within an hour, Bart is back in my study saying, "So much for the garden." What? "Pip got out."  How'd he get out?  "I don't know but I came back, gave him a treat, went in the bathroom to wash my hands, and then he was gone.  He was already out back by the time I found him."  Pip the Bachelor Dog Strikes Again!

Being the animal behavior observer that I am, I took Pip back to the garden and put him in.  I sat quietly on a bench in the breezeway between the two barns to watch him.  I knew he'd try to get out again and then we'd know his method of escape.  Bart wandered around the property after a little observation.  Bart is slightly hyperactive.

Pip put his head through one of the squares in the field fencing.  Then, carefully a leg.  Then carefully, another leg.  Those squares of fencing don't look like anything he could squeeze his little pot belly through, but apparently he did.  Once Bart saw this, the mystery was solved enough for him. He headed home with the little booger.  Now, I would have poured a glass of wine and waited all afternoon watching to see the escape completed, but not Bart.  He had enough information.

Well, so much for having a safe place for Pip the pain in the patoot bachelor dog to hang out and not pee on my floors, get eaten by my dogs, or squished by my horses.  Ho, hum, back to the tether Pip. It will be a command decision because Bart won't readily agree to it. But,  I'm not ready to clean-up Pip guts and deal with the relationship repercussions when he gets stepped on by a horse.  Sometimes, I've just gotta make command decisions for everyone's own good.

And so, that's your Monday story of how Pip the Bachelor Dog strikes again!  Anyone want to keep him next weekend so I can get some sleep?

Thanks for reading and have a good Monday!

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