Wednesday, November 09, 2011
In case you didn't see me post this picture on Facebook
You can see that Iris is watching TV with her ball handy: In case any bird or animal shows up on the screen, she will grab the ball and run to the TV, holding it in her mouth, growling viciously as she chews on the ball. Because she used to physically attack the television, we started telling her to get her ball each time she did it. That way, she only bites on the ball and leaves the TV alone. We still have to listen to the growling, but our television escapes injury. Most of the time these days, we don't have to tell her to get the ball; she grabs it as she gets up to run to the television.
I'm sure we could break her from this behavior, but it amuses me. Cesar Millan ("I rehabilitate dogs, I train people") probably wouldn't approve, but that's his problem.
Iris is a dog fully of neuroses and conflicts which, I'm sure, began in her younger days at her original home, wherever that was.
Here's the latest strange thing with Iris: Since we got her eighteen months ago, she has never wanted to sleep on the floor next to our bed, which is where I like my dog to sleep. When we first got her I didn't know what sort of behavior to expect, and I kenneled her next to the bed; I figured that alone would train her to sleep there.
Nope. When I took the kennel to the garage, she began sleeping on the cold floor in my bathroom, about as far away from our bedroom as she could get. For awhile I actually snapped on her leash and attached it to the library table beside the bed so she would be forced to stay beside me; she acted so mistreated that after a few nights of this I released her. Finally she accepted the dog bed in the computer room, where she spent time while I was at the keyboard; she began spending her nights there too, unless it was raining or storming; then she hid in Cliff's tub.
When she was sick Friday night and I had cleaned up the mess and crawled back in bed, she kept hanging around at my bedside. So I got her bed from the computer room and put it at my bedside, where she curled up and slept the rest of the night. When she spent a second night in that spot, I washed that dog bed and another one, so she'd have one in the bedroom and one in the computer room. Maybe she was finally ready to sleep near me at night.
She didn't like the clean beds, either of them. But since she got them "broke in", she's using both: one at our bedside when we're in bed, the other in the computer room when I'm in here.
After all this time and all my efforts, she's finally sleeping where I intended.
If you wonder why I even care where she sleeps, I once read a book, "The Second-Hand Dog", that suggested if you are away from home during the day and feel sorry for your dog being alone for so long, one way of bonding with him is to have him sleep next to your bed at night. Some sort of "pack" thing. When I first got my previous dog, Sadie, I put her bed in the kitchen; when I awoke on her first morning with us, she was as close to my bed as she could be, and that's where she spent the nights from then on. And now, Iris is there too. Maybe she's just showing her appreciation for me cleaning up that horrible mess at 2 A.M.