Monday, January 26, 2015

About the you-know-what. (Dog.)

Following yesterday's entry, I was informed via PM that I was very mean to my dog on Saturday. Tralfaz (for those just joining us) chased after a neighborhood kid, just to play with her, and would not respond to any calls. So I went berserk in front of the neighbors and dragged him in the house.

It was pointed out to me that 1) my dog is very young, and 2) my dog is just being friendly, not aggressive, and 3) I'm a big fat baldy-headed jerk.

I'm perfectly willing to agree with #3, as that is exactly how I felt after I stopped being furious. I'm not good at furious. Some people like anger; it is painful to me, and I hate it. TV shows and movies to the contrary, I do not do things better when I am angry. And I can't even remember when I allowed something other than the dog to make me that crazy.

But the dog does make me crazy, and he did on Saturday because:

1) he weighs more than ONE HUNDRED POUNDS, and scares the life out of some people who can't tell a gigantic friendly dog from a gigantic unfriendly dog (and considering that you could get knocked down into the street by either type, it is a fine distinction); in the past he has frightened a toddler to crying with his friendliness (that kid will never own a dog); 2) he was in the road, which could have killed him and whatever ran into him; and 3) we've worked on this stuff for months and he makes no progress at all and is frustrating the hell out of me. Oh, he'll come when you call inside the house, but not when he has anything better to do. He's always had the selective hearing of a surly teenager.

Someone else suggested that Tralfaz may be understimulated; he may need a job. He's a draft dog by breeding, but I haven't got a shay to hitch him to. With a blizzard coming our way it might not be a bad idea. Get a sleigh, charge for rides.

I actually was chatting with a fellow I know who told me he has a broken dog sled that he used to use with a couple of medium-size pups. But his dogs were not particularly controllable and went running wherever they wanted, chasing deer, cats, air molecules, whatever. And if they banked around a tree, the sled---10 feet back---would not bank, but would rather brake, suddenly---which is how it broke.

Tralfaz is actually too large to be a sled dog. With his weight he tires quickly. But he is as strong as a brace of oxen, which gave me another idea. Maybe it was time to get a plow, break the soil in the backyard, and supplement my income (Good Neighbors style) with a suburban farm.

Of course, you can get oxen to plow good, sturdy lines:


But a dog plow... eh, based on my experience and that of my pal with the dog sled:


I'm not going to set my four-legged friend up for failure. He's had a tough enough couple of days.

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