Thursday, September 9, 2010

Driving Miss Daisy

Daisy is the world's simplest dog.  Easy to care for, sweet as all 'get out'... she's often the last one to get her hugs for the day.  She demands nothing, requires very little and does her job... barks like a fiend and keeps deer out of the greenbeans.

Daisy joined us years ago (not sure anyone remembers how many years ago, but the children were quite young!).  Someone TOSSED her from a moving Jeep... She was gigantically fat... so fat in fact, her belly dragged the ground when she tried to walk.  I imagined, at the time, that she was pregnant, possibly with a St. Bernard puppy. (Yes, it would be OUR luck to get a beagle/bernard cross).  We fed her and every day for two weeks, she went and sat by the side of the road, where she'd been tossed and waited... and waited... and waited for her 'folks' to come get her.

Somewhere there,,, she figured out that WE were her folks...

... and we figured out that she' wasn't pregnant, but had an eating disorder.

This small dog will eat herself to death.
Left alone with a 25 pound bag of dogfood one day, when I returned, she had eaten her way through it, resulting in her being unable to stand... only lie on her side and grunt painfully.
So, we have to be careful where Daisy's concerned with food.

Daisy also does not like to exercise.  When she joined us, and after it became presently clear that she would not give us puppies, she was set to leash and taken for walks... and I'm telling you, it was NOT pretty...
every objection known to the dog world ... she used.  When her weight got down to the point that the boys were simply calling her 'the fat dog', we let up on the walks, and time and age and our learning what to do with Daisy has helped.

Anyway, this brings me to one day this week...  I needed to run a couple of close to home errands.  I often use these errands for 'training' purposes, to keep the dogs accustomed to riding in the car.  When I came out of the door, Nana, who loves to go see people, but who detests riding in a car, saw the leash and bolted for bushes unknown. (Note to self - do some positive reinforcement training on the leash issue with Nana!)  Bailey, recognizing the bolt technique, put tail between legs and crawled so far under the 'river van' that she could not be reached by a woman who is not in crawling shape just this moment.

But there stood little Daisy.... wiggle wiggle, grunt... cute little head twisted to one side... and I wondered aloud why I never took Daisy to ride...  Daisy goes to ride only for her obligatory vaccinations... in tandem with the other dogs all sitting on top of her and with all kinds of barking, howling drama (really, you don't have to tell them they're getting shots... they just know!).

Look a there... an errand companion!  So, onto the leash she went.
Her expression said "huh?  oh, crap... I'm about to go for a WALK".
Truth be told, I had to lift her to pop her into the car (it's ok. she's not that heavy!)!
"Oh, Lordy" her expression said "  I'm going for shots"...
and she promptly got UNDER the back seat.

So we headed to the gas station and the state park, where she was coaxed out of the car.
And then, wonder of all wonders, Daisy recognized that she was
~1. having one on one time with mom!  and
~2. the center of attention.

I tell you, that little girl dog checked out everything.  She checked out every post and every tree. I was fearful that we were going to check out every blade of grass.  Such wonderful new smells... so many new opportunites to pee... She walked upon the leash... no dragging a small fat dog, feet side up... she perfectly pranced.  She visited with the park ranger and blinked and turned her little head so cutely at several visitors.  She went with me to walkabout the pond and back through the awesome Osage orange trees.

She JUMPED into the van (no small feat for a short legged chubby doggie).

Now, truthfully, when we got back home, she collapsed in a pile and slept for hours.

Daisy will get to go for more rides, now that I know her secret!

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