Rocky and Charlie sunbathing on the back deck
You never know what might set these two off. Today a deer walking along the sidewalk across the street sent them into orbit. But it could have just as likely been a neighbor's cat or a squirrel in a nearby tree. When the tandem barking begins, so does our: "NO BARK!" while someone runs for the vinegar spray bottle, known as the "bad dog" remedy. Usually the barking stops long before we actually find the bottle, let alone use it.
Double barking is OBNOXIOUS, and having an extremely noise sensitive backyard neighbor with the local animal control authority on his quick dial means we stay on high alert for the least bit of barking. This particular neighbor is so sound sensitive, he once called to complain about our dogs barking when we were over 300 miles away, with the dogs! (Needless to say, he was caught slightly off guard when we informed him that we were in another state; yet he insisted that perhaps someone had come onto our property with dogs that look and sound JUST LIKE ours.)
Loyal, playful, energetic, and slightly unpredictable, these pets make great companions and dependents for our boys. Feeding, exercising, scooping and cleaning up after messes is part of the boys' daily routine. Mostly Peter for Rocky and Joseph for Charlie, but with plenty of help from Ezra and Zachary, these dogs need constant attention and upkeep. This time of year, the dog owning duties include daily grooming in a feeble attempt to keep the shedding volume down to a dull roar. Near daily vacuuming to collect dog hair goes without saying.
Having two veterinarians in the family helps with the upkeep and diagnosis of unpredictable ailments and life threatening situations:
- whole corn on the cob ingesting (suspected due to circumstantial evidence; discovered surgically & removed; can cause life threatening blockage if undetected)
- dental decay (and necessary removal of rotten teeth)
- irritable bowel syndrome (surgically diagnosed; requires prescription diet and special meds)
- happy tail (recurring blood blister on the tip of the tail, aggravated each time the wild tail wagging begins, and casting blood speckles everywhere)