Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Strangling the dog

The temperature has been below freezing for the last few days and snow is still on the ground, which shows no signs of leaving in the near future. This may not seem like much of a problem to you, especially if you do not know my dog, Jesse. He has always been more that a little psycho. For some reason he hates to be outside in extremely cold weather. He does very well in cool, snowy, rainy and even fairly cold weather but when it gets extreme he wants to be a house dog. This is a big problem for us because being an outside dog he never gets a bath, making him quite smelly. Jesse stays outside and has two other dogs to keep him company and has a sleeping porch complete with several heat lamps to insure his comfort. He is not house broken any more, now that he is entering old age and senility is just around the corner. When he comes into the house for the colder times he lays at my feet in front of the fireplace and sleeps, much as I do. After a while he gets up and wanders around the house and will lift his leg and wet on the door facings, the furniture, the beds, the kitchen cabinets and almost anything else he happens to be passing. So far this part has not happened with me......yet! He is getting pretty old so we just deal with it and keep him outside as much as we can. Yesterday while we were sleeping in front of the fireplace (I in my chair, him on the floor) he kept getting up and wandering off. Every time I had to get up and go find him and bring him back to the den area before he did the wetting thing. Finally in frustration I got up and found a ten foot length of rope and tied it onto his collar. I then tied the other end around the instep of my foot, which was in my bedroom slipper. It was perfectly comfortable and I couldn’t even feel the rope at all. The thinking being, that when Jesse got up to go urinate somewhere in the house I would feel the tug, wake up and prevent his wandering. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

After a short nap I woke, got up and headed for the bathroom. I struck out at my usual rapid pace and made it to the kitchen. Jesse did not wake up and follow me as he sometimes does. He lay instead, perfectly still, sleeping away. He weighs almost 80 pounds! When I rounded the corner to the kitchen my speed increased and I was doing about 25 miles an hour when the rope became taut. It did not hurt or even budge Jesse from his slumber but it snatched both my feet out from under me and I went down like a sack of potatoes. Banging my head on the counter as I went down, both my knees and chin hitting the ceramic floor at the same time, made a tremendous noise. That of course woke Jesse and upon seeing me down on the floor flopping around and obviously in distress he raced to my side barking and growling ferociously. I lay perfectly still, not because of Jesse possibly biting me (I knew it was likely) but because I could not move. Linda did not race to my side as she usually does when I fall down or something like that happens. I instantly knew she was in front of the fireplace bent double laughing at me. She made little noise knowing I suppose that I was really going to be pissed and would take it out on her if she laughed. After a minute or two and a couple of hushed snorts she came into the kitchen and asked if I was alright. I was but my entire body ached for the rest of the afternoon, especially my elbows, which hit something really hard on my rapid descent to the floor.

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