Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dog Eat Dog

When we got our dog Lucy, there wasn't many dogs in the area. Some, not many. I couldn't tell you were the occasional other barks were coming from, but they were out there. Now and then Lucy would get into a 'conversation', and with little doubt, our beagle cross was the noisiest in the land.

Three and a half years later, our renters downstairs have two dogs (generally very well mannered dogs compared to mine), and every neighbor I in every direction seems to have at least one dog. The neighborhood's gotten noisy.

The main problem is our neighbors to the rear, who got not one, but two german sheppards recently, and have been training them with 'maul me please' arm guards. When it was just the one, it got lucy into a tizzy now and then, but they'd often have fairly polite conversations. But with the addition of the second shep', we just cant let lucy out at all if the sheps are out there, or war begins. So now when Lucy has to answer the call of nature, it's usually on a leash.

So, the 3 dogs in our yard, Lucy, (ours, beagle/sheltie barking specialist) Outlaw, (renters' 4? year old white lab, giant cuddly bear) and the new addition, Kali, (renters' chocolate lab? Under a year old, enthusiastic spitfire) like to have discussions with the sheps across the fence now and then.

All in all, there's 5 dogs who dig at the base of the fence off and on, not generally with any more success than is needed to peek at each other. The other day Kali manages to squirm her little puppy self underneath, and figures she'll go play with the sheps.

The sheps are big, and they aren't trained to play nice. (le sigh)

SO, Kali spent a night at the vet on an IV to replace a little bit of fluids, and got the back of her neck shaven to check out the wound closer, but has since been released with a good prognosis. The neighbor I THINK has done some work to shore up the fence gaps, (pretty sure it's his fence, not ours) I doubt he'll be stepping up to help with the vet bill...

Oddly, my renters were planning to move out at the end of the month, so if Kali has stuck to our yard another 2 weeks, it all would have been avoided. Or if the neighbor hadn't been training those sheps to attack, or if the fence was better, or, or, or... Oh well... at lease Kali's gonna be OK.

And somehow, Lucy doesn't seem to be involved in this trouble. Lucy's on thin ice around here.. a dog that gets nippy over food, and hapless baby aren't a good mix. If we can't get Lucy to behave better soon, we might have to give her away. This area is becoming less and less ideal for a dog who likes to think she's the queen of all she surveys. She needs a home with a lot of space to run around, and no small kids...

I'd hate to give up on her though. We almost put an ad on craigslist to give her away, bet decided to give her another try, and consult with a trainer. The trainer came, and gave us some good tips... she was going to email later, but hasn't yet.. that's not a good sign.

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