Thursday, December 09, 2010

Perhaps I should name him "Dammit".

On second thought, no. I mean, he's already demonstrated that he won't respond to that.

This morning, I took him out into the fenced dog area of the yard. He was on his leash, and he did just fine, although he saw a couple of the cats nearby and he clearly wanted to chase them when they ran. The problem came when I took him back into the house. I fell victim to an old habit that I'd gotten into with Lagniappe, and without thinking, I reached down and unhooked his collar BEFORE we were all the way back in the house. No dim bulb, this dog--he realized what I'd done before I did and like a black flash, he was off. He backed up about ten feet, looked at me, then began to dash and caper around the yard like a Dervish.

"Come!" I commanded to no avail. He wasn't coming back. I went after him and tried to get him to back, but he was free for the first time since coming here and he was going to play. He'd run right up to me, lower his head to the ground, wag his tail, and wait for me to grab at him, at which point he'd bolt off, run a half circle around me just out of my reach, and do it again. "Come here, Dammit!"

But the result was always the same: He'd get within a few feet and pause, but dart away like a rocket as soon as I started to move.

OK, cute but aggravating...and I have someplace to be this morning. But I can't get close enough to grab him, nor can I lure him close to me by holding something out to him, or just sitting on the ground, pretending to ignore him. Even when I walked away from him, he'd follow, but never all the way back into the house. He wasn't leaving, but he wasn't coming in, either. "Come here, Dammit!"

Wow, that dog's fast. And agile. And still free. Aaarrrggghhhhh......

I't my own fault. The foster warned me about him. She gave three instructions: Never let him get wet, never feed him after midnight, and never let him get off-leash outside. And here, on Day #2, I'd already screwed up.

I'll spare you all the details, but it took twenty minutes, help from a neighbor, and a ruse to lure him into the neighbor's shed. He's back now. And now that we're back in the house, he wants to be best buddies again.

And how do you stay mad at a face like this?


Actually it's not that hard today. Grrrrrrr.....

15 comments:

  1. I'm thinking Einstein might be a better name! Thanks for a great morning giggle at your expense.

    And, that IS an adorable face!

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  2. Sounds like you have your work cut out for you.Hang in there.

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  3. A 'learning' experience on BOTH sides :-) And I'll bet more to come!!!

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  4. Hm, so given the rules, are you going to name him Gremlin?

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  5. Oh, that habit takes some time to break - trust is required. He'll get there, though. Treats help if he is food-driven...

    May I also vote for Ruger? Though Max is also a favorite...

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  6. I'm very familiar with the behavior. Huskies are notorious. It is what they are bred for, to run and see what is over the horizon. So, of necessity I've learned some techniques. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

    Don't chase. They want to play. Don't yell. They don't care. Run away from them, if run you must. They will follow to play. Don't grab, you'll never be that fast.

    Bait works well. Find something he likes such as a two-pound porterhouse and wave it at him. He will come. Seriously, a bit of sandwich meat, slice of cheese or a doggie treat might work.

    Or, offer his favorite toy. All the better if it has a bell, noise-maker or sqeaker inside.

    New dogs are always the fun part. They aren't the old dog, and they each have their own personality.

    You could call him Papillon for his escape attempts. Pappy for short and to avoid embarrassment among other people.

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  7. Our dog does that same "pout"...cute, but hard to stay mad at him.

    We're happy for you both. When I get the pictures up on the computer, I'll post some for you to see.

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  8. He can never "replace" Lagniappe, but he can fill the hole that Lagniappe's loss leaves in your heart. He's a beautiful boy; you're very lucky to get him, and he's lucky to have found a forever home with you.

    Ed had some great advice. Something I've seen work very well: throw yourself on the ground and SOB. Seriously. (You're in trouble if it's wet and muddy.) Throw yourself down and just BAWL. Most dogs will come to you and start nosing you to see what's wrong. At which point you can grab for the collar.

    Consider keeping a tab on him (a short line no more than about 6" with a knot at the end so you can grab it). Easier to get hold of than the collar.

    Find something he REALLY REALLY LOVES: ball, tug, squeaky, liver, caviar, whatever works. Keep some version thereof with you at all times. (If you're using fresh meat, please remember to feed off whatever you have each day and get a new batch.)

    He'll be wonderful. Congrats! Look forward to reading about him!

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  9. Gremlin. Love it.

    For a name. What popped to mind was

    Gon - From Hunter x Hunter or

    Algon - a great hunter in American Indian myth.

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  10. Blitzkrieg, dammit! :-p

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  11. But he's an AMERICAN Shepherd!

    And I was thinking maybe calling him "Steve".

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  12. But it's a perfect name for a cool dog!

    Not. Steve. I dated a guy named Steve once. He was an asshole.

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  13. Please do not name the poor dog Steve. I too have never known a good Steve. along those lines though - how about Chuck? Charlie? or even . . . John?

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  14. Awwww.....look at that cute face!! (Kira has given me that look a time or two after being naughty! lol) Hard to be mad too long! ;)

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