20 January 2013

Meet my new friend

Last week I got a dog:

Isn't she gorgeous?  She's a 7 month old golden lab and I got her from this middle aged hippy lady who lives out in the countryside near enough to Colac Bay. She was giving her away because she also owned the mother and sister and 3 dogs was just too much. But she had already named the dog and it didn't seem right to change the name of a dog this age, so her name is Cherokee. But that is a bit of a mouthful really, a dog's name should only have one or two syllables. So I'm shortening it and calling her Cher. I think that sounds like an OK name.

So in order to become my dog Cher had to be taken away from her home and her mother and sister, and in the process she seems to have developed some temporary separation anxiety issues. At first she cried and howled unless I gave her constant attention, or took her for a drive, which seems to send her straight to sleep. She stopped crying soon enough but she hasn't really left my side since then. She likes to have her belly rubbed and to sleep under blankets. She'd never been on a lead before but she seems fine on it, though at first she wouldn't go out the gate - I had to pick her up and carry her out of the property before she would keep walking. I hope that her behaving on the lead isn't temporarily on account of her separation anxiety and that she doesn't start to misbehave as soon as she is feeling better.

She already likes playing fetch, though she gets distracted easily. But still, she's much smarter than the last dog I had (poor thing, he was really awesome despite being stupid), who didn't learn how to bring the ball back and drop it until he was 8 years old. It's just that strong wind and blowing leaves and random sticks are  just as interesting as her ball. Especially sticks. She also has a penchant for cat-poo, which I really don't appreciate. So I will try to train her out of it and see about joining some obedience classes. Maybe some doggy socialisation  classes too because so far she hasn't been very friendly to other dogs. In fact she seems scared of them. Cats too. Though that may have something to do with Dad's cat attacking her every time we drop in there for a visit. She barks when people come into the house, though often she doesn't actually notice them coming in the door so much as she notices them walking through the house some random time later, and starts randomly barking and growling. She growls a lot actually, she's a very grumpy doggy. She especially doesn't like my brother - I'm not sure if it's something inherently about him or because he smells like Dad's evil cat, or because he waves his arms and intimidates her for the fun of it. That's why you can see the poor dog here hiding under the kitchen bench, looking all sad.

Luckily, not all cats are as evil as my Dad's one. My sister's cat (she used to be mine, I picked her up off the street when I was 16 and she ended up staying with us, not to mention she hasn't shut up since) is much more laid back and mostly treats the dog as some strange foreign object - doesn't know whether to be disgusted or to make friends. Cher was afraid of her at first, on account of being attacked by that other awful cat, but she's getting over it now. Besides, the cat pretty much sleeps all day so she's really just part of the furniture.

So now I will have more to talk about than constantly complaining about my PhD thesis. Instead I will bore everybody with constant stories and pictures of my animals. Cats left, right and centre and a grumpy young pup. Oh, and the horse of course...

Nah, just joking. This one lives next door to the Colac Bay house and I feed it apples while Cher barks at it.

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