Goooood Mornin' To Ya! (You have to say that with a Jamaican accent, or it just doesn't work)
It's a beautiful, sunny day here on the coast of Southern NH. We have a busy, busy schedule ahead of us here. Lots of chores to do today, cleaning, shopping, cooking. Ten dogs who all need a walk.
I'm totally obsessed with the Dog Whisperer, which really shouldn't be too surprising considering how many canines I have at my home. I really want to have all the dogs get along with everyone in the house, and all the other dogs. Right now, my Mom has two dogs, Seneca and Lizzy. They are really easy going and well-behaved. Then my sister has a little Bijon (I don't think that's how that is spelled, those little white fluffy dogs) who is friendly for the most part. Sometimes she shrieks when you go to pick her up and she'll growl and snarl at the other dogs if she gets jealous of another dog getting attention. Then there are all my dogs, all seven of them, who are terrible with any people but us. They are good with other dogs as long as it's not ALL of them against the others. If they get a "my pack" vs "your pack" thing going on they just lunge repeatedly at the other dogs and bark, and bark, and bark until one or the other group of dogs is pulled away. We can bring up to three of them at a time upstairs and introduce them to the other dogs, and they are generally okay. They may hide under the couch or crouch by our feet. If they try to growl or lunge at one of my Mom's dogs, we have to put them on their backs. They're getting a lot better, with people too. It's hard for them to get enough exercise in the winter. They get cold quickly, even if I put doggie jackets on them. And the booties they make for dogs are hideous and useless. They always end up flopping off the feet one at a time as you're walking along. You have to be absurdly vigilant about watching to make sure they stay put on the dog's feet. But all they are is a canvas and rubber sack with a velcro band meant to be used to strap the sack around the lower leg, or ankle, I suppose, of the dog's leg. Inevitably they slip off the sleek fur of any dog. I really don't have a better solution though, as far as dog shoes go. They best option I've encountered so far is a goopy wax-like substance that you smear on the pads of the feet before a walk in the snow or sludge. It's used, mostly, I think, on sled dogs. It keeps their feet sealed up from the elements. It seems to work pretty well as long as it doesn't get rubbed off too soon. It seems like it's mostly the salt that irritates their feet. That's when they start to hop around whining until you pick them up and wipe their feet off. So the point is, finally, that they don't get as much exercise in the winter as they should.
I know my rambling about my crazy number of dogs is just so interesting, but I have to get the hell out of here. I was sitting alone in the living room alone, eating my oatmeal and toast, writing my post, and then suddenly my brother, my sister, and Mikey all migrated to the same room. And they are smoking cigarettes all around me and it's making me feel like I'm going to puke. It's just too overwhelming, I feel as if each and every breath I take is killing me, slowly and with black mucus. I think I'll go for my walk and hit the store on my way home. I think I may have an evening alone tonight. Mike has a friend on vacation who needs his house heated with a wood stove and he needs his chickens fed. So Mike and my brother, Sam, are going to spend the night at the friends house with some of our dogs. And my sister is going out with her boyfriend. And my other brother is on his way to Rhode Island to pick up my Mom. It would be so, so nice to have a peaceful night to relax in a house that will stay clean for the night after I cleaned it. It won't be like it generally is, which is that I can't even tell I cleaned anything ten minutes after I clean it. I can't wait to have a relaxing night alone.