My fur family has been so harmonious for so long, I guess I forgot what the real world is like. I committed a major feline etiquette breach this evening (at least I’m sparing you the “faux pas” puns…) When we brought Mickie home as a six-week-old kitten, she thought Lucy the Dog was the greatest kitten toy EVER. Sophie has been very Mickie-like so far, fearless warrior-kitten and all, so I didn’t expect any problems.
We hadn’t properly introduced Sophie and Lucy yet, but they’d seen and smelled each other through the back door with no apparent distress, so I thought this was just a formality. I picked Sophie up and opened the door, and Lucy bounced happily inside the house as usual. Feline freakout on my shoulder. I quickly took Sophie over to her cat condo where she’d hopefully feel safer. She hissed and spit and fuzzed up, but got to where she was relatively calm once Lucy settled down. She still fuzzed and hissed a little when Lucy came near, but was pretty much OK otherwise. Also, after I let Lucy back out, I picked Sophie up with some definitely Lucy-scented hands, and she didn’t seem to have a problem with that. So, I figure this’ll work itself out.
Monday, July 27, 2009 Mrs. McG
I went out a couple of hours ago to take a little walk through the neighborhood, once the sleet had gone all the way over to snow and it was sticking pretty well. First thing I did was go around back to see if Lucy was outside or had barricaded herself in the basement against the advancing glaciers.
She was, in fact, just venturing out into the yard when I got around to the back, and she was definitely not so sure about this cold, wet white stuff on the ground. When she saw me she acted glad to see me as usual—but I could tell she thought I must be out of my mind to be outside in this stuff by choice.
She politely refrained from demanding to accompany me on my meanderings. I wonder why.
Saturday, January 19, 2008 McGehee
OK, so Lucy and I won’t be heading to the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge anytime soon.
With Miss Lucy’s pre-August-2004 life a mystery to us, we have freely indulged in all sorts of speculation. Since she’s likely a Border Collie mix, I had wondered if she might have done any agility stuff in the past. Well, I think that’s been answered.
The Fayette County Humane Society held a fundraiser on Saturday, June 2nd, at the Peachtree City Dog Park. One of the many attractions brought in for the event was the Doggie Fun Zone, a traveling agility course specially designed so that dogs with no experience can run the course. A typical agility course contains a number of obstacles such as jumps and tunnels scattered about an area, and the handler must direct the dog through the obstacles in a specific pattern. Doggie Fun Zone had a definite course laid out with mesh fencing, directing the dog (and handler, sort of) through a maze that contained the jumps and so forth. There was also a lure line running through the course—a white cloth on a cord that would hopefully entice the dog to chase it through the obstacles. All in all, a pretty cool setup, and some of the dogs were barreling through the course for all they were worth.
Lucy chose that particular time to act like she knew how to heel.
Baby gates were set up between the sides of each obstacle and the mesh fencing, to ensure that the dog didn’t go around an obstacle. Handlers, however, were cautioned to go back and forth over the mesh as needed rather than over the baby gates. So I was doing quite a bit of awkward swinging over the mesh, while encouraging Lucy to stay on course. (Do as I say, not as I do.) The lure was of almost zero interest to her, and she was very content to wait around until I had finished my gymnastics to find out where I wanted her to go next. But to her credit, she didn’t balk at the tunnels as some dogs might—if she could see me calling her on the other side, she would happily trot through, and then continue to stick right with me until the next obstacle.
Our not-exactly-blistering run was capped off by Miss Congeniality’s noticing a group of dogs she wanted to meet just outside the Fun Zone, and she hopped right over the mesh fencing, missing the last tunnel. Honestly, instead of a cloth, I think the very best lure for her would have been one of the other dogs running through the course at top speed!
But, we’ll be ready for ‘em next time. Lucy doesn’t have any “fetch” instinct that I can detect, but we’ve been quite successful with a game called “Get The Treat!”, where I throw a dog treat across the yard and she runs after it, then comes back to me for another round. Not “fetch” exactly, but it’s a start. Maybe I’ll start tying the treat to a white cloth or something. We’ll get this figured out—she’s a smart girl, not to mention the best doggie in the ‘verse.
Sunday, June 3, 2007 Mrs. McG
I am continually amazed by Lucy. Maybe it’s just because she’s my first dog, but I dunno…
Over the weekend I was cleaning up the bedroom. Lucy found a small box, picked it up in her mouth and walked out of the room with it. Since that was exactly the sort of thing I was trying to collect and throw away, I griped,
“Aww, Lucy, bring that back here.”
She put the box down and came back to where I was.
Intrigued, I went for broke. “No, go get that box and bring it back here.”
Massive hugs and praise ensued.
I know border collies are notorious for this kind of thing, but it’s amazing to see it in action.
Monday, June 5, 2006 Mrs. McG