Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Dogs, Frogs, And Logs

Still having 100 degree days here and hope where you are is much cooler. This heat is affecting us in ways I was not expecting including the air conditioner's compressor failing three Sundays ago. This happening on a Sunday is one of the cons of living in a small town as all of the business, except the two grocery stores and the convenience store/gas station up on the highway, are shuttered by noon Saturday. One of the pros of living in a small town is that you can call up the owner of any store and they will be happy to come down and open the store for you, give you what you need, and tell you to come back on Monday to pay for it. This is how we got a new air conditioner installed and running in less that a half hour.

This new air conditioner makes a beeping noise when you turn it on or off and the first time we did so with Duke in the room his whole body jerked and jumped and he ran out of the house in fear. That is when we realized he, in addition to the other things done to him, had probably been tortured with a shock collar. The beep built into the air conditioner is very close to the sound a shock collar makes when in use. I am sure the person who used the the shock collar considered each press of the button a correction but there is a difference between getting a dog's attention and hitting him with a voltage so great it causes the body to convulse.

To try to get him to associate the beep with something good I started giving him a biscuit every time we turned the machine on or off. That plan did not work because instead of connecting the sound with the biscuit he connected the biscuit to the sound. After a few days whenever I brought him into the living room to turn the air conditioner on or off he would run outside the moment he saw the biscuit. In his mind the beep did not mean a treat, the treat meant the beep was coming. So I gave up on that plan and we just ignored his reaction and let him run away. He is still disturbed by the beep but instead of running outside he may go to his bed in our bedroom or come over to us for reassurance. When he comes to us we act the same way we do when he come over for a scratch or a pat on the head so he is quickly getting over his fear and doing fine.

Last Thursday night we had an incident with Little Sally Pumpkinhead. First I need to tell you LSP has a pet frog and has had one since late Spring. I was working in the yard back then when I noticed the dogs standing with there heads stuck under the bushes. Both stood in a way that denoted great focus so I went over to see what had caught their attention. It was a frog. After a bit Duke got bored but Little Sally Pumpkinhead laid down and watched the frog for about a half hour. She would get up and move whenever the frog did and then lie back down. Sometimes she would sniff the frog while other times she would touch it with her front paw. It think the paw touch was to make it move because she never did anything to really hurt it. Now every time she does not come when called we know she is probably with her frog. Sometimes at night when she wants to go out we know it is because she wants to check up on her her frog. That frog is all over the yard. I've found Little Sally Pumpkinhead with it out in the middle of the yard, near the front porch, under the lilac bush, over by the fence separating my yard from my neighbors, and under the wheelbarrow by the trashcans.

Not only does Little Sally Pumpkinhead like to sniff and put her paws on her frog she also likes to lick its back. My husband found this out one night when he went out to bring her inside and found her licking the frog. Some people think certain types of frogs secrete a drug that can make you high but I don't think Little Sally Pumpkinhead has heard that rumor.  I'm not sure why she likes licking her pet frog but I do know mother dogs like to lick their puppies so maybe she is just really attached to the frog. I'm not sure what the frog thinks of the whole thing but it seems to put up with it.

So anyway, last Thursday night Little Sally Pumpkinhead woke us up in the middle of the night and thinking she wanted to go outside to check on her frog we told her to go back to bed. She did go back to bed but a little bit later she was back at the front door and then back at our bedside. Since she can be very insistent about doing what she wants we again told her to go back to bed. It wasn't until the smell hit me that I understood why she wanted to go out. After letting her out I found small puddles of liquid poop on the kitchen linoleum, on the basement concrete floor, and on the living room carpet. I felt bad because she had tried to tell me she need to go out and I had ignored her. The next day we didn't feed her breakfast and, since we thought she must of eaten something that she should not have on her walk, we kept her outside most of the day. She seemed to be doing find.

Around 5:30 PM she was in lying on the floor in the living room and suddenly jumped up and raced outside leaving a trail of liquid poop behind her. This is when my husband called the Vet and was told to bring her in right away. The Vet was worried; Little Sally Pumpkinhead either had a blockage in her intestines or was suffering from heat exhaustion. With the high temperatures they have treated several cases of heat exhaustion and had one dog die from it. Scary. The Vet did a thorough examination and found no evidence of a blockage and no evidence of heat exhaustion. It must have been something she ate but since the heat could have exacerbated the problem he sent her home with doggie Gatorade, six cans of special gastrointestinal health dog food, pro-biotic paste and other meds. I am relieved to report she is almost back to her old self and getting better everyday.

I forgot to mention that on our way home from the mountains last month we stopped and bought a new mattress in Fort Collins. The company that makes our mattress ships them all over the country from California so ours arrived last week. I've been sleeping like a log, nothing like a comfortable sleeping surface to make life better. That and having healthy and happy dogs.


Kay Dennison said...

Sleeping well is a blessing!!!  So are pets!!!!!!

la peregrina said...

Amen to both, Kay. :)

Ally Bean said...

I'm so far removed from small town life that I was actually shocked that you could get an AC from a store in the way that you did.  Wow.  Like anyone around here would give a care about us in that kind of predicament!  

Hope the doggies are doing okay.  Both of them seem to have had their share of woes this week. Poor babies.

Darlene said...

Is it possible that licking the frog might cause your sweet doggie's intestinal woes?  I do think reptiles might have a toxic condition.

It sounds like Little Sally has adopted the frog and may think it needs mother's love.  I hope the doggie is fine now and you are getting a full night's sleep.

la peregrina said...

Everyone is doing fine, Darlene, thank you for caring. :)

Do not think Little Sally's problem had anything to do with the frog since it is the not a toxic type of  frog.  She has been licking it for so many months now I am sure any health problems would have showed up before now.  We are positive she either ate something she shouldn't have out on her morning walk or at home.  She will eat almost anything and do it before you know she has done so. 

Once my husband left a meatloaf too close to the edge of the kitchen counter and when he walked back into the kitchen he found Little Sally, with her front paws up on the counter, very quietly nibbling pieces off the loaf.  I swear she knew nibbling makes less noise than woofing and was hoping she could eat it all before we caught her.

la peregrina said...

Having people open their stores for you is definitely one of the best perks- and doggie are doing great.  :)

Tara said...

What a great post. I enjoyed reading it so much. I love your reports on your life and doggies.

Blue Witch said...

Glad the doggies aare OK now.

Love the frog tale!

la peregrina said...

Good. ;)

la peregrina said...

<span>Love the frog tale!</span>

Yep, she's a goof but she's our goof.

Martha said...

I thought you were going to say she ate the frog! Are you sure she didn't???  Burp/ribbit.  :-P