Thursday, September 21, 2006

Outwitting the Dog

Now you read that title and you maybe know me, but you don't know Ben {my Dearly Beloved's Lab}, or dogs in general very well, and you think, "How hard can it be to outwit a Dog, for goodness sake?"

Well, I am here to tell you, with a stubborn breed, like Labs, it's hard. Darn hard.
And it's our own fault. We spoil Him. Especially the Dearly Beloved. But I do my spare of spoiling, too. I admit it.

And it's because he's so darn gorgeous. He IS. We should pimp this boy out for commercials. He is the picture perfect Yellow Lab. Not a brain in his thick, bony skull, but he is breath takingly beautiful. And cute, too. And he will look at you with thouse soulful, liquid brown eyes and melt your heart.

He was trained to retrieve. And he DOES have good instincts. That I attribute to good genes. To watch him work with the training dummy, or with a dead bird is to watch poetry in motion. He literally "Prances" when he brings the bird back to the Dearly Beloved, tail wagging the whole way.

The problem we have is now that the temps are cooling, we have turned off the A/C and opened the windows. Well, one of the living room windows gives Ben a good view of the two streets we are situated on. He is very territorial. Doesn't like other dogs, any cats, squirrels or people walking down his streets.

If he's looking out the window and sees any of the aforementioned creatures or hears them and then sees them. he takes a bounding leap and the screen goes flying and he's out in the yard. Being in the yard is okay, he doesn't jump the fence, and we have an electronic fence across the driveway that it only took him 2 shocks to learn not to cross.

His barking is the only problem in the yard. It is a mild annoyance. I look at it as an early warning system, sort of a pre-doorbell, depending on the frenzy of the bark. It does keep the door-to-door salesmen and religious zealots away. And that' a definite plus.

My solution is coming along slowly, but surely. I can only get the plant I need once a year when we make the 10 hour trek out to Terlingua. There is a stalk type cacti called Ocatilla. The goat farmers use it for fencing, b/c even goats won't eat it.
It grows 4'-5' tall. I have to use tongs and leather palmed gloves when planting it and still be very, very careful. I've been told that if I plant it deep enough and lash them together, that even if they die, they will stay in the ground.
I hope so. My plan is to put 3 Ocatilla, then a Prickly pear, then 3 Ocatilla, then a PP, then an O, then you get the idea.
Hoefully, the thorns on the Ocatilla will get the "POINT" across to Ben that it is a BAD idea to go out the window.
Any gardeners out there with opinions?


G Bro said...

I have an ocotillo thorn in my ankle from 1980. Never had the nerve to cut it out. Doesn't hurt anymore, though.

If I put ocotillo in the attic, would it keep the racketycoons out? The house smells like Grandma's closet since I lobbed a ton of mothballs up there. It's cut down on the traffic, though!

phlegmfatale said...

I LOVE ocotillo - and I've seen it more like 10'-12' tall in Arizona, by the way. Beautiful stuff.

Oh, wow, g bro - if you were single and I were single, I'd use my female charms to get you to let me dig that ocotillo spine out of your ankle. There are few joys in life that rival the sensation of a good splinter-dig. Yee haw! *L*

G Bro said...

Be still my beating heart! Nothing like a woman who wants to come at you with needles or a small blade!

(Note to self: just keep smiling and nodding, then MAKE A RUN FOR IT!) ;-)