Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Shiner Update

I know I haven't spoken about the dog lately, so I thought I'd provide a bit of an update. After eating me out of house and home -- I mean, eating my house and home -- he's settled down quite a bit. I am tentatively calling him housetrained (no accidents in 2 days). He is not jumping up on people anymore, and we've found better outlets for his energy during the day when we're not home. Here's hoping he's done chewing on random fluffy things around the house. I'm running out of fluffy things for him to find.

Speaking of fluffy things...

A feral cat was in our back yard when we let Shiner out this evening. The cat ran immediately for the fence to get away, but Shiner was a little too fast, and caught up before the cat escaped. When I got to him, he had the cat by the neck and was shaking it furiously. I got his attention, and the cat managed to get away. That may be the end of our feral cat problems in our yard. And, I think I can safely declare Shiner "Not Cat Friendly." Danger to all cat-kind seems more appropriate.

This probably confirms something we suspected about Shiner's background. As a shelter rescue whose tatoos are illegible, we don't have anything definitive about the kennel where he was bred or any racing history. And since most kennels keep a pretty good handle on their animals, we thought he might have been a coursing dog. In racetrack racing, dogs are baited with a mechanical rabbit (usually just a tail attached to the inside of the oval), and they chase that, but don't catch it. In illegal coursing, the owners use live rabbits in an open field. The dog who catches/kills the rabbit is the winner. These dogs tend to be less able to happily coexist with small animals and maybe children.

I better see if I can't find a really strong muzzle for him before I attempt the introduction to small children. And maybe I shouldn't warn their mothers that I'm experimenting with their kids. I wonder, after 5 dogs, if my neighbor realizes how many times I've tried her son out as my small child measuring stick. Is that wrong? If I told people that I was testing with their kids, would anyone let me find out if this dog is okay to be adopted to a family with children?

1 comment:

James said...

Yup. Probably not cat friendly. I guess they all chew. Phoebe has just stopped eating the walls(!) and our coffee table, which now has eight corners instead of the usual four.

Good luck with the kid friendly thing. I've tested my hounds with other people's kids before. I nearly had a heart attack once when out in public a toddler ran up and threw his arms around the neck of a dog I'd only had a week. I stayed calm so as not to freak anyone, and the dog just started licking the kid.