Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Puppy Dog Tales

Three of our four dogs had to go to the vet last week for their annual examinations and shots. Only Levi was exempt, having had his turn earlier in the year. On Wednesday I went with Kim to help her wrangle Lucy and Oliver. Except for a small amount of leash tangling, they didn't really need wrangling. There was one semi-chaotic moment when the vet tech took off Ollie's leash and picked him up to carry him to the back for blood work. Lucy, still off leash from having been the first to go back there, scurried through the open door and took off down the hall. Kim and I stood by helplessly and watched half a dozen vet workers bump elbows in the narrow hall as they scrambled to catch Lucy.

On Friday I went back there with Gimpy. He's the smaller of my two Goldendoodles but much, much larger than Lucy and Oliver. Size, evidently, does not equate with courage. The same vet tech who had taken Lucy and Oliver's leashes off left Gimpy's on to lead him to the back. Gimpy had other ideas. He wouldn't go. She talked soothingly to Gimpy as she tried to pull him toward the door; he sat back on his haunches and pulled backward, his eyes steadily on me, as if begging and expecting me to come to his aid. I got up to take the leash and encourage him to go through the door, but it didn't help. The vet tech pulled Gimpy and I pushed him. When the tech brought him back a few minutes later, she said he'd been nothing but cooperative in the back.

While we waited for the vet, Gimpy relaxed, alternately lying on the floor and getting up to sniff all the equipment in the room. I was relieved that he was back to behaving normally. Then the vet opened the door, and Wimpy Gimpy was back. He scrunched his big body into the corner behind my chair as if he were trying to make himself small enough to disappear. Pulling and pushing once again, we managed to slide him on his rump far enough out of the corner for the vet to examine him. The vet and Gimpy both sat on the floor through the entire examination.


Three people live in our rent house across the carport from my own home. Every time one of those people steps outside the house or pulls into the driveway in a car, our three male dogs go nuts, barking and growling like trained guard dogs bent on keeping those friendly, familiar people from entering our home.

On Tuesday, when the plumber drove his truck into the driveway, the dogs made not a peep. To keep the dogs out of the plumber's way, I had closed the gate and shut them behind the indoor fence that separates the front half of my house from the rear. They watched in curiosity as this man they'd never seen before walked in and out of the house several times, but they never made a sound.

We replayed that scene on Saturday when the air conditioner stopped cooling and I had to call out the second repairman of the week. Once again, the dogs didn't voice any warning or concern whatsoever. After the A/C repairman finished the job and I handed him a check, he asked if I'd mind if he opened the gate and played with the dogs for a minute. I gave him the go-ahead, and in seconds he was surrounded by all four of them. He petted and played with each one in turn, much to their delight and his, too. As he cuddled with Lucy, Levi broke away from the pack just long enough to retrieve a tennis ball, returning to poke it at him. The repairman bounced it toward the hall and laughed heartily as Levi and Gimpy lost their footing and skidded after it. What fun!

All the vicious barking as the neighbors come and go had made me think our dogs are good burglar deterrents. Now I'm not so sure. Maybe they are, as long as the burglar doesn't show up driving a big van and carrying a toolbox.


  1. Mabel Lou was sometimes strange at the vet and a few years back, they asked me to leave the room. Once I was out of sight, the wimpy puppy was gone and my sweet cooperative girl was back! Apparently all the drama was for my benefit! Levi may behave better if Kim took him... Or if you told the vet your concerns and left the room.

  2. I love that! "As long as you want to pay attention to a dog, here's a ball. Play with me." How dull our lives would be without these furry babies.

    1. Annette, Levi is always on the lookout for a fellow ball enthusiast.


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