Wednesday, November 09, 2011

In case you didn't see me post this picture on Facebook

Our daughter, Rachel, had a big picture of Cliff's prize tractor done where she works; we framed it yesterday, and there it is on the wall behind Cliff.  He's really proud of that gift. 

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.

13 comments:

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It could be that Iris has finally decided to bond with you and accept the fact that you aren't going to get rid of her and that your home is really now her home. Every dod I ever had either slept in my bed or by the bed. I do miss that companionship. Hope your Wednesday is a wonderful one!

Cliff said...

Funny stuff about your strange dog. My wife boards and grooms dogs for a living. (10 to 15 dog groomed per day) And so animals in the house are forbidden. Our only dog is a farm dog and of course sleeps outside. He does have ample places to be in out of the weather tho.

Lindie said...

Wish I had a dog but not allowed here. When I stay at my daughter's to babysit her animals, her dog always sleeps either at the foot of the bed or in her dog bed in the bedroom.

Vicki said...

The picture of Ollie is beautiful, I can see why Cliff loves it. Iris probably thinks you're mad at her for making a mess, she's trying to "make friends" with you. Vicki

darev2005 said...

Oh they do hate it when you wash their beds, don't they? We have almost got DJ broke of chewing her bed to bits. That used to make me so mad to wake up to piles of fluff all over the bedroom floor. Every once in awhile now she will get bored in the night and nibble on a corner, but the mess is much smaller.

Calfkeeper said...

Interesting about Iris attacking the TV. Really makes you wonder what her former life WAS like. But it's nice that she is bonding with you now.

Love the picture, too!

Calfkeeper said...

Interesting about Iris attacking the TV. Really makes you wonder what her former life WAS like. But it's nice that she is bonding with you now.

Love the picture, too!

Lori said...

I think it's great that Iris knows to get her ball and chew on it instead of the TV when she needs to show some creature on TV who's boss.

TARYTERRE said...

LOVE it! LOVE it! LOVE it! What a sweet thing for your daughter to do. Cliff looks pretty proud. That's a GREAT photo. Iris must have had some crazy things happen to her in her life before you. Poor thing is still unsure of herself and you. Glad she finally gave in and is sleeping nearby. Guess you'll have to see how long it lasts. Hang in there. Take care.

Michaele said...

Really nice picture for the wall! And Iris is a hoot! I need to friend you on facebook... off I go.

Michaele said...

What is your last name?

Margaret said...

I don't know much about tractors, but that is a beauty! We have had outside farm type dogs, so none inside since our Australian shepherd/Blue Heeler chewed in the wall. Glad that Iris is where you want her though!! It's sweet that she wants to be near you.

Fernan said...

Beautiful family scene with an appropriate picture, over and above, behind the master on the wall. This's another picture winner.
I'd like a dog, a working dog. only I don't know if I could keep up with one. Have bid on a couple border collies in recent months. was denied either one of them. House such a mess, it'd have to be an outdoor dog and likely need more training than I strength to put in such bonding. Me too, am becoming an old dog. (grin)