Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tales of a Dogsitter - Quirky Misty

Tales of a Dogsitter – Quirky Misty
Misty, one of the California blonde rescue girls from Camp Cocker, arrived at TBTB Dog Camp sporting a bag of clever tricks. First, she has the most adorable tilted head with a mop-top (some call it a cocker crown – long hair on the top of her head) making her look oh so sweet and innocent, It took me a few days to figure out she was the culprit getting into all things Not Dog.

Misty Ann could leap off the ground in a single bound, (about three feet in the air) and grab whatever she saw on her way down, and then run with it. She started with the trash – easy to solve. I just moved the trash far enough back off the counter that she can no longer reach it. She then moved on to grabbing food bowls that were intended for arriving dogs, off the counter. All the dogs loved her for this one because when the bowl hit the floor and scattered food, the game of clean-up was on. Again, this was easy to solve. I just moved the bowls away from the counter edge.

Misty also loved to lie on the kitchen table so she could be eye level with the activities. Solved that too, moved the chairs away from the table so she couldn’t get up there. The other day I left my bathroom makeup drawer open and couldn’t find the mascara. Later I noticed it in the doggie pup tent – she doesn’t chew anything but food, but she loves to grab and run – it’s a game with her. And she’s sneaky – sometimes you don’t see her do it, especially if she doesn’t have to jump up to reach her target.

Her latest trick. . . I’m sorry to say is one she has taught the other dogs. I was on the back deck yesterday enjoying the sun. The puppies and I had just returned from a run and everyone was tired and ready for a nap - or so I thought. Duke the Rottweiler pup and my other spaniels were just ready to nod off in the glorious sunshine when I realized Forty West and RockDog were missing from the crowd. I assumed they fell asleep downstairs (in my dreams) but something told me I better check. Quiet puppies could mean trouble.

I crept down the stairs and there they were – the two of them, inside the cabinet with both their noses buried inside a box of CornFlakes. OMG it was so funny. They were quietly chowing down and didn’t even notice when I came up behind them to snap a picture and then say in my big, bad, scary voice: “what are you doing?,” totally startling both of them. Misty of course was sitting in the background with a smirk on her face. I have chased her away from the Lazy Susan cabinet many times. I cleaned up the cornflake crumbs and checked the box to find Forty West and RockDog had devoured almost the entire thing. The good news, in no time flat they were sound to sleep on the back deck with the rest of the pack.

The puppies now know how to rotate the Lazy Susan cabinet so they can help themselves to whatever they want on the shelf – they figured this out by watching Quirky Misty! Needless to say she has integrated very well into the TBTB resident pack and made lots of friends with her antics. The Lazy Susan problem is not so easy to solve, especially with all the dogs aping each other. It will require a child’s latch on the cabinet to keep them out, especially since they have been rewarded with yummy food every time they open it.

I’m now onto Misty’s bouncing up and down, so when I hear it I call out to her and she immediately stops or comes upstairs. But, the other mischief – well I find myself counting heads all the time so that I know if any dogs are missing before the trouble starts! It’s impossible to get mad at these adorable little faces – I just have to stay one step ahead of them and think like a Dog. Needless to say when I have a group of puppies here for the day it can be quite exhausting. Oh well, just another day in the life of a dogsitter. I truly love my job – it’s a real HOWL! ☺

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