Sunday, January 22, 2012
The Arrival of Mr. Shocky is Imminent
I was going to treat you to some pictures of my not-so-little rescue dog, Juno. However...Juno does not like to sit for a portrait. Or a quick snap of a cell phone camera. She is a flibbertygibbet, a will-o-the-wisp, a clown. Oh. Sorry. That would be Maria, in The Sound of Music. Juno is just a half-grown pup, living life to the fullest, now that she is not starving or without a home.
To take that dog's picture, The Pony and I double-teamed her. First, we tossed out a couple of loaves of bread to the chickens. Chickens love bread. Chickens love to leisurely peck at bread in the front yard. A front yard bereft of half-grown, energetic pups. Juno, on the other hand, loves bread that is being pecked at by chickens that will squawk and scatter when she runs at them full-speed. She really needs a vocation. I could see her as an award-winning Frisbee catcher. Or herding sheep. I don't know what the non-Lab half of her is, but it's some breed that is highly active and wiry and springy.
The Pony took my phone into the yard to try for a couple of photos. Juno was here and there and everywhere. I sent The Pony to the goat pen with more bread. They were voicing their dismay at being excluded from the stale bread festivities. I stood on the porch to take a picture. Funny thing. Every time I had her in focus, and snapped, Juno appeared up on the porch at my feet. The photo was a landscape, not a dog snapshot. Then there was the incident when she rushed me and knocked the phone from my hand. Which earned her a swat. Not that she noticed. She is unpunishable. No tough love for our Juno. She does not know she's in trouble. I've never seen a dog so smart, yet so oblivious to a human's displeasure. Even her recent hysterectomy and prescribed painkillers did not slow her down. One. Whit.
Our little girl needs finishing school. Or at the very least, some type of obedience training. Hick is not pleased with the chicken-chasing. Even though Juno has yet to bite one, he believes it is just a matter of time until her nose-to-chicken-butt poking routine evolves to murder. His fowl are feathered bundles of nerves. They have not laid an egg in nigh on a month. Of course, their production slows down in the winter. But Hick is ready to let Juno go a round or two with the shock collar. It worked on our black shepherd, Ann, who had a fowl tooth. As in, she killed several of Hick's hens right after he got them. Two of the roosters survived, one by playing dead, and the other by losing his tail feathers. One session with Mr. Shocky was all it took for Ann. And she was unharmed. Now she can walk through the flock without casting a sideways glance.
Some will think it cruel, but Juno may have to learn the hard way as well. Voice commands do not work. Rolled up magazine swattings do not work. Genius popping her with a pellet gun does not work. It is too cold, and she's too fast, to squirt her with a SuperSoaker. And I refuse to let her live life on a chain. No matter what we try, Juno chases those chickens until she's good and ready to stop, or they all run into the woods. Then she comes galloping back to us, all squirmy, with loving doggy kisses. Which is not the time for negative reinforcement, as the deed has already been done.
There are no dog whisperers in Backroads.
Here is a rare moment captured in time. Juno has a shank of some dead animal. It's one of many in her collection. Her collection that is displayed on the back porch, by the kitchen door. It's a virtual Louvre of animal skeletons.
Every now and then, Ann the shepherd tolerates Juno before dashing away to more tranquil arenas. The pictures, alas are the only ones that could capture a glimpse of the elusive Juno. And so, the quality is severely lacking. What we need is Genius with his fancy schmancy high-speed camera whatchamacallit that can illustrate the gases shooting out from a match strike.
If Juno would just slow down to match-strike speed.