Wednesday, January 29 2014
Susan and David left at half past noon for Los Angeles, leaving us with their two small pitbulls, Darla and Olive. Olive is an old soul with a big head with a neurotic streak. Once she starts barking, she has difficulty stopping. But for the most part she is a perfect dog. Darla, on the other hand, is demon spawn. Her own mother jokingly refers to her "Spawny." Superficially, Darla seems like the sweetest dog ever. But if you turn your back for a moment, she shits or pisses on the floor. And then there are those vicious fights that break out with the other dogs over matters of food and toys. She routinely (like Eleanor recently did in a canine senior moment) goes for toys or food that another dog is presently working on, and the result can occasionally be scars that last a lifetime. It all suggests that she's lacking a number of baseline canine social skills. I was not looking forward to the week of dog sitting that lay ahead, but when it comes to dogsitting, people us need to amass karma any way we can. Also, Susan and David already did us a huge dogsitting favor back when we flew out to Los Angeles back in November.
After Susan and David were gone, the dogs were crazy, with a lot frantic activity between Ramona and Darla (usually ending with the former humping the latter) while Olive barked at them. (Susan refers to this as a "dognado.') It was the barking that was the worst, and I wondered if perhaps it would be like this all week. To break the cycle, I took Ramona down to the greenhouse (a place she loves to hang out, often all by herself). That place is only good around noon on a sunny day; it didn't matter that the air around it was still brutally cold (maybe 18 degrees).
Eventually the dogs settled down and it seemed peace might be possible. There was still the complexity of feeding the dogs; Eleanor is a very slow eater and if Darla isn't physically separated from her, she will swoop in and eat all of Eleanor's food in a matter of seconds (that is, if Eleanor doesn't rip her scalp off). There was also the matter of the shit and piss, which would appear in random indoor places no matter how often we took Darla outside. Fortunately, at least for today, her shit was so dry that it didn't adhere even to carpet. It did, however, force the change of the household version of the five second rule.
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