Sunday, December 10, 2006

Hypnotizing the Dog

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Just how do you hypontize a dog??? I am seriously getting worried about Miss Mabel and the crate.

None of my dogs have ever liked being locked up and all of my girls have had a history with the doggie criminal justice system. Poor Maggie was in doggie jail for a bit and then in rescue for over a year because the rescue lady wouldn't give her to just anybody because she liked her.

When I brought Maggie home, the first time I left her alone, I parked around the corner and ran back home. Maggie was beating her head against the gate to try and break it. I scared her and it stopped. I learned that scaring the crap out of her was a great way to to train her instantly.

Mabel is a little better at being shut up than Mags was. My guest bathroom has the scars to prove that. We had lived in this house about a month when I was headed out to dinner with the host of the t.v. show I was working on and made the mistake of using the guest bathroom on the way out. Maggie had never given the room much attention...it's small and narrow. The dogs always seem to know they have my undivided attention when I'm sitting down in bathroom and take that opportunity for a little lovin'. So I petted her and left for dinner.

I was stunned when she didn't greet me in the living room. I noticed the door on the way to my bedroom. That door isn't level but it was never shut all the way. I threw the door open and found a very traumatized Maggie... and a destroyed bathroom. Blinds shredded, wall paper peeling, custom paint job scratched to bits. The door has a "kick stand" now. (And, can I say that in six years of visitors to this house, when I explain what the door blocker is for, only ONE human being has had the courtesy to put it back in place after using the restroom!)

Between hating to be locked up and having a tummy that didn't digest properly, Maggie May was not the best traveller. The first time I took her to Baton Rouge, the nurse told me, "Give her one ACE (knock out pill) when you get up. If she's not woozy when you leave for the airport, give her another. If she's not woozy at the airport, give her another." So I did...three pills.

Cut to 7 hours later in Baton Rouge. I get Mags out of the crate and she races out of the airport, me in tow. Runs around the grassy area that was there at that time, sees my family, jumps in the car, doesn't sit down all the way to Mom's, checks out the yard, chases squirrels. Finally everyone leaves and it's Mom and I talking. Maggie walks into the foyer to peer out the front door, turns to come into the den and...SPLAT. All four legs in four directions and she's unconscious! She slept there for nine hours! My mother was screaming the whole time, "Your gonna kill my baby with those drugs!"

Mags never travelled on drugs again. But she did travel.

The time I remember the most was a Christmas when Maggie did not want to get in the crate. It is this event that I think is freaking me out about Mabel and the crate this year.

We were in LAX and it wasn't terribly crowded. We had our tickets and the baggage guy had come for Mags. It was time to get in the kennel. And Maggie wasn't going to do that.

She took her powerful head and swung at the crate. She managed to knock the thing 20 feet away! I marched with her in tow over to the crate and drug both back to the ticket counter, feeling every eye in the place on me.

I tried to get her in again and again, she put on the brakes. I whipped her body around so I could look her in the eyes.

"Look, here's the deal. Six hours in the crate and two weeks at Granny's all-you-can-eat buffet or two weeks in doggie jail. Your choice Tuts."

She hung her head, walked right in and the ticket counter erupted in applause!

I don't think Miss Mabel will be as easy. I've been hiding treats in there. She leaves them alone. Which reminds me, both Maggie and Mabel have a very subtle way of letting me know they don't like this.

I always attach a Ziploc bag to the top of the crate with Velcro. Inside is really bad poetry containing the name of the dog and any instructions for the ground crew and a few cookies for them to give the girl. When we are all set at the ticket counter, I will give the pup one of the cookies and I always pick the most unusual one... say if there is one red cookie, that's the one I give her.

Inevitably, when I get to Baton Rouge, that is the ONLY uneaten cookie. Both Mags and Mabel traditionally eat that cookie after breakfast on the the second day at Granny's! I think they're trying to tell me something.

So, I'm trying visualization. While lying next to Mabel, I picture my mom at the kitchen table, Mabel under her arm and eating off her fork. Mabel running around with her cousin Bailey, the corgi. Mabel playing with my little cousins. Mabel chasing squirrels in Granny's big back yard. Mabel curled up in the dog bed by the ever-burning fireplace. Mabel loving Granny's extra large bedroom where she has about 15 feet to get a running start to jump on the bed. Mabel opening all the Christmas gifts her Auntie gets her.

I don't think she's buying it, but I hope, I hope. Seven days til lift off... wish me luck!

2 comments:

Velvet Sacks said...

Mabel is probably visualizing, too, Holly--all the same things you are. Plus, she's probably seeing herself parading down the aisle of the plane...meeting the passengers...sharing their peanuts...sitting in the co-pilot's chair and enjoying the view.

Good luck!

Ordinary Janet said...

What a character! You gotta love a dog like that!