Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What is it about....

What is it about a broom, dust-mop, shovel, hoe, rake, lawnmower ... that makes Henry crazy?  He is generally a gentle unassuming little dog -- okay, quiet you guys.  I know "unassuming" may be a bit of an exaggeration.

So, here is what is happening.  I am transferring the large colored concrete tiles from the front parking strip to the back treed section of our property.  Henry awaits me at the gate after I pull the thick hunks out and put them on the transfer trolley.  He follows me back along the house.  Eventually the slabs will create a small patio for the chairs under the leafy canope.  That area stays ten degrees cooler on the 100+ summer days.  It is nice to be able to sit out there with a book.

While I am working on the new area Henry is in full-out bark mode, diving at the shovel head and dodging and barking at the scoops of soil as it is transferred to the berms around the sequoia and the avocado trees.  He lunges at the rake still barking enthusiastically as I try to level the area.  Henry even eyes the metal level in case that tool grows teeth as I check for "flat"!  The neighbors must think he is attacking an intruder.  Unfortunately Henry would just offer an evil-intent intruder wet puppy kisses.  Even the squirrel chattering up in the tree avocado cannot get Henry's attention.

There is a difference in tone.  Henry can bark with joy and happiness.  You can hear him celebrating life.  This is not that bark.  Henry is trying to threaten the rake and bark it into submission.  I think he is a bit frightened by the shovel and rake and broom and all those other things on the list.  I guess it is time to get him beyond that.

My family will tell you I get tired and grumpy when doing hot sweaty work.  Maybe not the best time to train my pup, but in this case, it is time to combine training with hot and sweaty. trigger word will be "quiet" and today I'll take out the cheesy star training treats (yum.) This is a real commitment on my part!  I've never attempted training while doing physical work.  Training Henry is usually work enough!

Later: well, that did not work out well.  Henry did a lot of barking and ate cheesy stars every time I convinced  him a treat is better than a bark. I think he may have learned that if he barks then quits he gets a treat - so: bark, treat, bark, treat..... He is tired.  I am tired.  We're going to bond for awhile on the recliner.


  1. Ohhhhh, I want to see his reaction to my new toro leaf blower. Hee hee!!!

    On the other hand, this can also suck up leaves, and that might be great for getting all those look hairs off the hound...........

  2. Hum. Leaf blower! Next to cement work, I think that is the best idea ever -- and the suck feature would be great for after bath work!