It rained this morning: hard. So, naturally everything got really wet. None of us wanted to go out until the rain stopped, and even then Blondie refused to go out in the grass and get her feet wet. Mostly that’s because when we get our feet wet HairyFace stops us on the way back in and wipes them off with a towel. Blondie hates getting her feet wiped. So do I, but … when you gotta go, you gotta GO. You know?
Blondie refused to go out in the yard, but she asked HairyFace to let her go out front. Out there it’s all porch, board-walk and gravel. She won’t get her feet wet, but because it’s not fenced she has to be on a tether. HairyFace said, “Okay” and hooked her up to the tether.
Blondie has always been good at getting off her tether. She has a knack for being able to shake just the right way to get the piston hook clasp to just fall off the ring on her collar. To fight that, HairyFace added a carabiner beside the piston hook. That has been pretty good at keeping her where she’s supposed to be.
Blondie likes to run off. Sometimes it’s because some dog is running around and she wants to go play, sometimes it’s just to go wander the woods. That’s very dangerous!
Not me, I NEVER run off. I love my home, and I love my peoples and I’m perfectly happy here (someone please make sure HairyFace reads this, okay?)
HairyFace had to go do something in the shop, but he figured Blondie would just lounge around like she usually does out front. When he got back: no Blondie! She’d broken her collar and run off without even any tags. That’s extra bad!
I barked out the window to warn HairyFace that she was gone and to remind Blondie to stay out of the woods: there is a Sasquatch in the woods, we heard it just yesterday and all of us were all fizzed up about it.
HairyFace was worried sick, he always is when she does this (and she’s done it several times). He borrowed a car and drove up and down the road to see if there was any sign of her. While he was gone, Blondie came by to check in. She’d been running and was tired, but she wandered off again before HairyFace got back. He would not be able to catch her anyway, it’s a game she likes to play: let him get close enough to almost touch her, then dart off: giggling.
HairyFace came back and let Cogdill out in the yard. He patrolled the fences, peering off into the distance looking for Blondie, but not making a sound. I continued to scold her loudly. I knew she could hear me.
After a while it started to rain again. Within a few minutes a wet, dirty, Blondie was out front trying to act nonchalant. She knew she’d done wrong, and she wanted in out of the rain, but if HairyFace was going to yell at her or scold her, she’d run off again. That’s just the way she is.
So HairyFace stepped out on the porch. Blondie was in the driveway pretending to sniff rocks and looking disinterested. HairyFace said, “Blondie, sweetie: it’s raining. Would you like to come inside?” He knows how to play the game by now.
“Oh, is it raining? I hadn’t noticed.” she responded, “But now that you mention it, yes I will come inside.”
So she did. HairyFace also knows that scolding her will do no good. He’s read a lot of books about training dogs. Many of them say you should never scold a dog for being bad, especially after the fact: the dog won’t know why you’re scolding them and will just get confused. Instead, if you want to make a point about bad behavior, ignore them. This works especially well when they know they’ve been bad. So HairyFace pretended she wasn’t there all morning long. He would not talk to her, he would not make eye contact with her, he would not pet her, even though she was being very repentant.
By lunch time the rain had stopped. HairyFace gave us all a lunch cookie and ate his lunch, then let us all out in the yard. This time Blondie was happy to go out. HairyFace worked in the yard, and started talking to Blondie again. But Blondie snubbed him each time by turning her back to him and pretending he didn’t exist (turn about IS fair play, right?).
When Cogdill and I came inside again, Blondie refused. She stayed outside, mostly sitting on the wall (to keep her feet dry) all afternoon. HairyFace went out several more times, and each time he asked if she wanted to come in. She said, “No. I’m fine right here.” He even called her through the window and she just pretended she couldn’t hear him.
So HairyFace kind of gave up and just kept an eye on her and let her be. After a while it started looking like rain again. Hairy looked out to see where Blondie was and see if he could get her to come in. No Blondie: he could not see her anywhere. Worried, he headed outside to look for her.
Normally, when Blondie wants in she will scratch lightly on the door to let Hairy know she’s there. I bark loudly one time. Blondie rarely barks, so that doesn’t work for her: she scratches the door. But not this time: she was just standing there, waiting, hoping Hairy would notice. He let her in and she went to curl up on a snuggle bed in the living room.
Usually, when HairyFace is working at home (at the dining room table) Blondie is laying right next to him. She is his blonde shadow. For now, at least, she was keeping some distance.
He said, “There are things out there that can hurt you badly or kill you. It’d tear my heart out if you got hurt. Please don’t run off.”
Blondie did not promise she wouldn’t do it again, but she did curl up next to his chair in a sunny spot and slept by him while he worked. I think they’ve made up now, but Blondie had better not expect to go out front again for a long time!
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