Thursday, April 30, 2009

Harley, Harley, Harley...

There seems to be an excess of Harley's this month. I had 2 this past weekend and will have another one this coming weekend. Buddy is a really popular name, Coco is another. Sadie and Maggie for the girls, but Harley seems to be the most popular dog name of all.

Whenever, I finally finish typing in all of my client info into the new database, I will have an actually name count for you. I hit 429 dogs and over 300 owners, at the time the computer died. I have to get back into typing in 20 dogs a day and finish the last foot or so of papers on my office floor. Oh, yeah and then pickup this year's papers out of the kennel.

Oh, yeah, this has been really encouraging....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not a Conversation I Want to Have

This Sunday, I am going to get to tell an owner that their dogs are welcome here. This is not something I enjoy saying, but I cannot tolerate any aggressive dogs.

I know I will tell the owners and I know the dogs won't be back because I control those things. This isn't maximum security and I can't put other people's kids at risk.

I have been separating these two dogs from the other dogs. They get a whole play area to themselves. They play pretty rough with each other, but at least they are getting some exercise and aren't spending the entire playtime fence fighting the other dogs at the gate. They have been doing that with their neighbors in the kennel. I put dogs next to them that won't take the bait and fight back.

Until yesterday, this was going to be a pretty simple conversation. I would just ask the owners not to bring them again. Now, I have to tell them that I truly believe that one of the dogs will eventually injure if not kill their other dog. This is where I lose control of the conversation. This is when owners become deaf and can't hear me. No one wants to hear criticism of their kids, and I think it is worse to hear bad stuff about your dogs. When an owner does listen to my advice and sees the problem, I stop worrying. I am hoping that these owners are realists.

What happen yesterday? I was putting the big group of dogs away first.

See, I could never get the big group of dogs that all get along to go to the far side of the play yard. Someone would always stay behind and I would have to put them back in their kennel to let the two aggressive dogs out. This meant that one dog got too short of a play time AND had to put up with the two idiots fence fighting at his kennel. So, I switched it around. Two trouble makers get the big play area and 9 dogs share the small side.

So, small side dogs go in first. As I was trying to sort that group out, I heard the other two growling. They play very rough and growl quite a bit when playing so I wasn't actually alarmed. Then I hear a more distinctive growl and out of the corner of my eye I see the puppy shaking something in her mouth. It is gray and fluffy and I freaked. I really thought that one of the smaller dogs had somehow squashed through the gate and gotten in with this monster. Not that we have anything small and gray at this time. It was a large, ratty, knotted rope that I hate because BB gets it and hits me with it. My heart was beating so fast. Not the aerobic exercise I want to get, but it did make me much more attentive to these two playing.

The younger and smaller one is very aggressive over toys. The tugs of war are play on oneside of the toys and just plain war on the other. I also noticed that the puppy is food aggressive to the older and bigger dog. The puppy is a smaller breed and will never be as big as she sister, but the size of her aggression doesn't have those limits.

Not looking forward to it, but it is a conversation that must be had.

Last Day for My Poodles!

Well, they are not really MY poodles, but they are here quite a bit and for long stays. Now that they are going back home to their REAL owner, I am not going to get to see them.

See, Grandpa and Grandma have been babysitting the grand dogs during a divorce. They head back to Dad this weekend.

No more ricocheting around the kennel, two fluffy projectiles, as I try to make it to the dog door and remove it. No more Fetch with Max. He brings the ball back and lets me take it out of his mouth each time. You do have to throw to where Max decides to run to, or he can't find the ball, but that is a small price to pay for a dog that does all the work in a game of Fetch.

I wish I had the camera last night. They were both staring at me with dog biscuits hanging half way out of their mouths. It would have been a lovely portrait.

At least, I get to keep BB.