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Monday, August 09 2010

Tomorrow we have an appointment to get Briar spayed. I dread it. Perhaps that is why I've put it off for so long, thus allowing her to grow to the size of a St. Bernard before her first trip to the vet. YES!  I said it!  Her FIRST trip to the vet!  Now before you string me up for being a bad Doggy Mommy, let me point out that our vet lives less than 500 yards from my front gate. He is married to one of my dearest friends. In short, Doc does house calls.  He has seen Baby Briar since she was still wild enough that she had to be "captured" in the sheep stall. Now she is large enough to put muddy pawprints on his shoulders.

And it's time to get her spayed.  In fact, it's well past time to get her spayed.  They charge by the SIZE of the dog, ya know!  You would think that I'd have spayed her when she was the size of a small brick shithouse, but no!  I had to wait until she was the size of a Volkswagon bus. Also keep in mind, that unlike all the other dogs around here, except for the ride over here, Briar has NEVER been on a car ride!  AND . . .  to further complicate things, except for when she was small enough to manhandle onto the kitchen counter and put in the kitchen sinks (yes, it took two sinks to fit her!) she has never had a bath.

Again, before you lynch me, let me hasten to point out that Briar is a Livestock Guardian Dog.  She is supposed to be with the sheep 24/7 with little or no contact with humans.  Her parents were fed from a self-feeder. As a puppy, she had to be "kidnapped" and captured with leather gloves.  Apparently many livestock guardian dogs work out quite well with this method. As we have already established however, "I" am a softie.  I like to play with her.  Plus, I need a dog that is a bit safer than a large, white, unsocialized mountain with teeth. My sheep are handled daily and other people are often over here.  I cannot have Briar eating my mother, my friends, or my Border Collie. So Briar is fairly well-socialized as far as Livestock Guardian Dogs go.

As far as the average ranch dog goes, Briar is wilder than a March hare.  All my dogs are obedience trained and happily fight to ride in the truck.  Even Blue Heeler, who is crazier than a Mad Hatter, has logged many miles riding across Texas. A leash is their ticket to adventure. Unfortunately, because of my laziness, Briar doesn't know what a leash is.  (I know!  I'm a bad Doggy Mommy!)

The reason I kept putting off getting Briar spayed was because I really wanted to get Briar used to car rides and leashes BEFORE she went to the vet. But alas, that hasn't happened. And because she spends so much time in the nasty pond, she needed a bath.


 I embarked on that little adventure this afternoon and dearly fear that our experience with the bath is setting the stage for my whole tomorrow . . .

Collect shampoo, leash and water hose.  (Note Bloodhound observes this collection and run to the barn.  The last I saw of her was floppy ears and skin waving goodbye.)

Blue Heeler and Border Collie see waterhose and begin to dance and scream for the much-loved Hose Battle.

Slip lead around Briar's neck.  She is unconcerned. (Perhaps Momma wants to brush her and check for ticks. She LOVES to be checked for ticks!)

Lead White Mountain to water hose. The dust has barely settled from Bloodhound's blazing trip to the barn. Briar is still unconcerned.

Pick up hose.  Briar is unconcerned.  Border Collie and Blue Heeler are poised with anticipation. (I should have sold tickets.) Turn on water. For a moment, nothing happens.  I actually allow myself to undulge in the pleasant surprise, but this little slice of nirvana is jerked away as I suddenly find myself propelled across the porch like a kite on a string. Briar is not quite as fast to process things as Border Collie and thus it took a moment for the experience to sink in.

Decide that perhaps flip-flops were not the best choice in footwear. Drop water hose. Border Collie and Blue Heeler are delighted.  This has exceeded their expectations. They happily chase the water spray across the porch as I struggle to reel in Briar like a marlin on a line. Suddenly Briar drops like a sullen cow. ("Just kill me and get it over with!")

Since this New Briar is much easier to deal with than Marlin Briar, I hurry to grab water hose and start again. She is now completely passive - a giant beached Beluga whale. I soap her up and do the rub-a-dub-dub thing.  She is unimpressed with my singing voice and is waiting to die. Border Collie and Blue Heeler wait patiently.  They are certain that the rodeo will begin again and soon the water hose will be free for another battle. As Briar waits to die, I rinse her.

When I am satisfied that all the soap is out, I stretch my back and drop the leash. She takes the opportunity to dart through doggy door and into house. I follow the unique trail of wet pawprints and the wet leash she is still dragging. Thank God for tile flooring. Trail leads through kitchen into den into bedroom, through bathroom loop and back into den again.  I follow this wet trail for a minute but am completely perplexed. No Briar? Where is Briar?

Follow trail through house again. No Briar? How does something the size of a Greyhound Bus hide in a 3 bedroom house?

Follow trail again. No Briar! German Shepherd is sprawled across my bed though.  (make mental note to move the ottoman so Hairy Old Dog cannot climb onto clean bed.) Check house again.  Still no Briar.  Call her.  (Duh!  In what dream world was THAT gonna happen?) Check under bed. Nope.

Decide to use Crime Scene Investigator Skills and follow water trail through house AGAIN! This time note that on one pass through the den, tracks led into front foyer WHERE THERE IS ANOTHER DOGGY DOOR!  This leads to front yard. Open front door.

Find Briar wallowing in the sand.  Like Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby, she stands up. Sand and shavings are now stuck to her coat. Pick up wet, yucky leash that is now coated in dirt. Pull Straining Heifer back through front door. Briar sees Back Door Doggy Door and lunges for the light.  I drop leash before I am dragged through doggy door with her.  Border Collie and Blue Heeler are delighted with this afternoon matinee showing of "When Good Dogs Go Bad.")

Meet Briar on back porch and drag her to hose again. Wonder how to explain back injury at the office. (No really, I was dragged through a doggy door.") Dog decides to become Sullen Cow again but sand is so thick in her coat that I make decision to let it dry and brush it out. Turn off hose. Sullen Cow perks up.  Border Collie and Blue Heeler are disappointed that show is over.

But I am reminded that this is not the show, this is just the preview.  The show is tomorrow when I try to stuff her into a car.  Why, oh why, did I not spay this dog when she was big enough to fit in two kitchen sinks?


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 02:39 pm   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Please, please post pictures of the after math inside the house next time.
Posted by Sue on 08/10/2010 - 12:10 PM

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