21 November 2008

Missing one chihuahua.

Where's Black Beauty? Where'd she go?

Well. Here's the deal. I know I've said she's mine. She's a foster. She's ours. She's not. But one thing has been really clear. Something has been wrong with Otterpop the whole time we've had her here with us. In her already weirdo brain, weirdo being a technical term we use for horses who are, well, weirdo, something went extra weirdo and left me with a different dog. Not really a good kind of different. Really a bad kind of different.

Maybe the timing of losing a Timmy before a chihuahua. Maybe her having a stressful event with a chihuahua there. Not sure what happened. We've had lots of other dogs visit, and had a Gustavo come to stay, but something about our chihuahua made Otterpop extra weirdo in a way that I will not and can not tolerate. Because she became mean to Ruby and that's not going to work.

To try and fix I have:
Talked to all my dog trainer friends.
Talked to my dog behavior mentor multiple times.
Watched videos. DVD's. Read books.
Installed dog bootcamp at my house.
Long down stays. Long sit stays. Dog training singley. Dog training in groups. Dog training in pairs.
Separated dogs. Switched dog pairs up. Put dogs in different places.
You name it. If it's not listed here, I still did it. Except for dog drugs. We did not try that.

This has been going on for nearly 2 months now.

And what I have found that Otterpop goes back closer to normal when the chihuahua is not around her. Sad but true. Her stress level goes down, and her normal level goes up. Everyone all hanging out together? Otterpop goes weirdo. Manageable weirdo, but not really a pleasant dog and just SO STRESSED OUT. We have had to make fundamental lifestyle changes here. In an 800sf house, the dogs are just together. Period. That's how it works.

Lots of people I know have lots of dogs. And a lot of them have dogs that can't live with the others and they have work arounds for that. So not us, here at Team Small Dog. Note the whole TEAM part? It might sound like chaos over here on Walk Circle a lot of the time. OK, it is. However. There are a lot of dog manners that happen too. I know. You come over and I let them race around with the toy and you're like, what dog manners on Walk Circle? Let's talk toddler with a hot dog incident. Drink spilling, cake eating, baby licking mayhem. But, when it comes to dog relations and things like waiting for doors and leashes and taking turns and chaos management, actually a lot more rules and regulations and time spent instilling than you might think. A perfect balance. But all the dogs feeling the love. And when that balance is tipped, we have a problem.

So. Started putting the word out again. Super great, and now kinda trained chihuahua looking for the PERFECT home. I am picky my friends. She has her own little web page and everything. Also had this idea. A very nice lady who works part time as a groom for us, and I have known for a long long time, her super beloved old dog died shortly after Timmy. Her hubby? Not totally on board with a chihuahua thing. But not totally off board. Her lifestyle is a little bit jet set in a horsey kind of way, and needs a portable and flexible dog game for anything. Who also would get to come to work and see me every day.

So today, Beauty went off on a test drive. Itinerary included a trip up to the very exclusive and chi chi Menlo Circus Club, an estate, and a party at a small ranch. Tomorow includes a weekend off at the Hunt. That's right. Foxhunting. Here in California, involves coyotes and farmlands and a million foxhounds imported from England. I dunno. Another story for another day. Although Black Beauty would be part of the hanging out at camp crew while the riders are off with the hounds. Much party having. With things like hot toddies. Much horse trailer riding. Going to see if Beauty can keep up with this lifestyle for the weekend. Bundled her off in her little horse blanket jacket, sent her off with her bed and an overnight bag and a kiss on her little white haired face. Wishing her the best, and knowing if it doesn't work back she is absolutely welcome home here and we start looking again for her forever home.

Right now, our house is quieter. But in a good way. Otterpop right now laying quietly in her bed, after a long night time walk with just 3 dogs. Looking like how I haven't seen her in a long while. And I know this is the right thing. But some of us are still missing one chihuahua.

1 comment:

Elf said...

What a hard thing for BB's temporary mom. But we'll wish for the best for the Hunt-enabled chihuahua life.