Relatives; Dogs; Bit by .. Something

•I have long maintained that I do not want to use force to train our little puppies. Your description of a puppy may differ from mine, though, since one of our puppies is several years old and weighs in excess of 50 pounds. Even our younger puppy is over a year old now and she weighs roughly 40 pounds. Of course they are not puppies in the view of most of the world, but they are my (our) puppies, and as such they do not deserve to be trained inhumanely. They may be animals, but they are my animals…Test your lipstick on lab rats you sick fuck!

All that being said (even noting that I made the dogs sound a bit smaller than they really are), they are not perfectly behaved. The first dog, Warlock (aka Sporslook, Slooker, Stink-Wagon) is pretty well behaved and will come to any of the names that my wife invents for him. He rarely ever barks, and when he does even I get out of bed to see what is going on. There is usually something big happening if Warlock barks.

My dog, Zelda (who is only known as my dog since my wife sprung Warlock from ‘Dog Jail’, thus keeping him away from immenent death, leading directly to a bonding of sorts), who is only my dog since she wandered under the fence one night and the wife wouldn’t let me kick her to the curb to see if anyone came looking for her, is not so well behaved.

Zelda (whose name was chosen because it was the last name on the last page of a pet naming website) is a spunky little dog. She simply proves the addage that it is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. I weigh almost 200 pounds and I sometimes back away from her. When she is in a bitchy mood, stay away from zelda.

We had previously tried to use a non-harmful bark control collar to keep her from barking, the one in question was a collar that sprayed a bit of citronella towards her snout. She eventually began to like the citrus smell, and learned how to aim it at Warlock (who doesn’t like any smells) to keep him away from her. She was clearly not learing anything from that collar, which was thankful, since she ate the thing the next day…

I bought a new collar for the dogs, from the website. This collar does actually shock the dog though, so there were a bunch of questions that I wanted to ask the people at petsafe before I put it onto my dog. My email went unanswered over the weekend, but by Monday they had not only replied to my email, but also recommended that I call them for “better service”.

After several failed phone calls I managed to get into the queue for the petsafe products. Less than ten minutes later I was actually talking to someone that worked for the company (not someone who works for a call center in India. If you don’t appreciate that then you have simply never had a problem with a pc, tv, vcr, dvd player….) who asked for the model number. I happened to have hte model number handy, since the faulty device was actually in my hand. He walked me through how to test the device to make sure it was working (which it was), then he walked me through how to test the device on myself to see how ‘shocking’ it really is.

Ideally I would have liked to have been able to test the device around my own neck, the guy told me that there would be no way that I could simulate a dog’s barking though. He works for the company that invented the device, I just think I can bark as well as a dog; whose information is more likely to be true? So I simply sated myself by making the collar shock my finger. The guy warned me in advance that “the animal has far thicker skin, as well as a lot of hair to go through before the shock takes place”. Damn Right!

The electroshock collar is working pretty well so far, but it has made the more vocal of the dogs spend most of the time on the floor by my feet. This, as the guy told me, is normal behavior. He said that you need to remove the battery from the collar from time to time when you send the dogs outside, else the dogs will start to fear the collar instead of being afraid to bark. Since making them stop barking is the entire point I will try to do just as he said. It is a bit difficult though, especially when you see that little puppy getting zapped….

She has seemed to learn pretty quickly though. She knows that if she is barking in excess, and then I throw the collar on her (which she welcomes) that she better not bark. Unfortunately she usually doesn’t go outside much when the collar is on, I can understand that since it really does give a good zap when activated, but is she actually learning anything? Only time will tell.

• Some of my relatives from Oregon are coming to see me tomorrow. Some of them I have seen as recently as last year, while some others I have not seen in more than a decade. Said visiting family members wanted to make sure that we could include all of the family that are in the Arizona region, so I suggested that we all meet at my house. This makes it so that us poor people (myself, my mother and my brother) don’t have to drive very far to make it all happen, which is a good thing all around.

The problem was that this meant the wife and I had to do some impromptu ‘Spring Cleaning’. Our house is certainly not filthy, we don’t just ignore trash piles and step over them, however, some areas of the house are cleaned far less frequently than others. The dogs’ room for example.

I don’t care what level of training your dog has, if you tell him to “clean his room” he will invariably stare at you like you are an idiot. Which is probably justified, I mean dogs can learn commands and be very obedient, they can’t actually think though, and don’t understand commands that they are not conditioned to understand. That meant that I had to do it…

I started to clean the dogs’ room, which was a full two trash bags of garbage, pretty late at night. This was partially because I hate the task, as well as being drunk enough that I really thought it would save time in the morning. As it turns out, one, or both, of those reasons were faulty.

The first hour or so of operation ‘clean up the dog room’ was going pretty well. I removed at least a couple of garbage bags full of trash from that room during the first couple of hours. Yet I left the door open to the outside while I was doing it. It started to rain.

For reasons that I would soon understand, the dogs started to go ballistic. They were chasing some imaginary foe all around the room, even had that foe cornered in a little metal can. Of course they knocked over a couple of knick-knacks along the way. I still thought that they were the dogs crying wolf, until I saw a little, cheap, porcelain statuette in my coin jar. As I reached for it, thinking that I was about to use it as a focus point for a verbal scolding of the dogs, something bit me.

I got bit by the thing that you see on the right. While it is difficult to judge the size of the culprit in the photo, I can tell you that the diameter of the can is six inches. The rodent covers the full six inches even with his back curving around the can. All of that is not even including the tail! The mouth of that vermin was able to open up far enough to give me a wound that is just a bit over a half of an inch from the top bite mark to the bottom bite mark. Not to mention the fact that it hurt really bad, and bled profusely.
I am pretty sure that I said “ouch” at least once. Ouch being the most mundane of terms that I used…The poor photo can be attributed directly to the fact that I didn’t want to get anywhere near that thing ever again. I will tell you that it really, really hurt…

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