Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Poor sensitive, neurotic Pete


Pete, who will be seven next month, is the sweetest, most affectionate dog I’ve ever known.

He was born Nov. 6, 2005 on a farm just outside Crawfordsville, Ind. His dad was a miniature Australian shepherd and his mom was a full-size Aussie. We brought him home six weeks later on Dec. 17. He was Maria’s Christmas puppy and was full of fun. He drove Ruthie, our older dog, crazy but probably added some years to her life by forcing her out of her couch potato ways.

But Pete has always been timid and easily spooked. Maybe if he’d had a few more weeks with his mom and his littermates he would have had more confidence.

Over the years, he developed some quirks, like studying the sky and going into a frenzy of barking if a jet contrail defaces an otherwise clear blue sky. And when he hits the back yard, he almost always heads for a spot on the chain link fence on the west side of the yard where he bites the fence and barks hysterically for a minute or two.

He has also developed a habit of pacing back and forth on the back porch, peering into the dog-level windows at us and barking non-stop.

We’ve worried that his barking is disturbing the neighbors and one of them mentioned it the other night.

So Maria determined we need to fit Pete with a bark collar that will shock him into comparative silence.

We used one of those on Ruthie and she resented the hell out of it. In fact, she went up to our bedroom and pissed on our bed in protest. Fortunately, it was a waterbed and was easily cleaned, but we got the message and used it sparingly.

I think we sold that bark collar, or it quit working and got thrown away. Anyway, I found a $120 unit on sale for $26.99 at SportsmansGuide.com today and ordered one.

I wish it hadn’t come to this because I’m afraid that Pete will decide we don’t love him anymore. Yes, he’s that sensitive.

So I’m going to let Maria put the thing on him. I don’t want my little buddy to blame me for it.

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