Monday, January 26, 2009

To Schnorg Or Not To Schnorg

A couple of months ago, I had to take Judah to the vet. He was wearing his prong collar so I could control him - a prong collar is like a choke collar except it has wide prongs that spread out the pressure so it's not too strong in any one place. Now, I can control Judah with that collar, but the vet couldn't. He suggested I get something called "The Gentle Leader" which is kind of like a horse halter, but you fit it to your dog so that he can still open his mouth to eat, drink and pant. The collar works by putting pressure at the base of the skull instead of on the throat (like the prong did) and the vet said it's a good collar for a dog as large as Judah. However, I managed to amaze the vet by getting Judah to sit and stay while I put my gloves on. Basically, I gave the leash a yank and said, "Judah, I need to put my gloves on. Once they're on, then we can go, not before!" And he sat there until I had my gloves on, then he lunged for the door. The vet was shocked: "If you'd have told me mid-afternoon that he'd behave like that I wouldn't have believed you!" "That's because you're not Mommy!" I said we tumbled out the door.

But I really didn't like the way the prong collar make Judah hack and choke, so for Christmas I bought him a red Gentle Leader collar, and tonight I fit it on him. He didn't like it at first, but after I took him around the house a few times he seemed to get used to it. Of course, I bribed him with a few treats to make things easier. I still need to work with him on that lead, but by spring we should be ready for long walks outdoors.

The cats were none too amused with Judah romping around the house. Even on a leash, he romps. But then they realized that Mom was giving That Dog treats, and they gathered around the pantry door looking for their handout. They're like little kids - you can't give one something without giving the same to all the rest. And they know that Mom is a sucker for a furry begging face. All four of them have the old soulful eye routine down pat.

I really want it to warm up soon. I want to get outside and walk, with or without the dog. Carl wants it to warm up so he can re-banish Judah to the backyard "where he belongs". It's been so cold this winter that Judah's taken up residence in our dining room, and at night he occupies our furnace room in the basement. The cats want it to warm up, too, so Judah will get out of their house and they can stare at him through the back door, giving him little kitty sneers and sticking their tongues out at him. You know they do that - they're spiteful little monsters with innocent looking faces.

I wonder what the "cat language" word is for "Neener!".


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