Thursday, February 5, 2015

It's Going to Rain, Hurry, Feed the Dog!

The first thing I did in the morning was to look at Radar.

The nearest green blob of rain was a good 35 miles away.  Shouldn't be a problem, right?  A couple hours away, I should be able to get the dog walked, get back, have breakfast, and take my time at the rest of the morning nonsense.

I set about doing just that. 


My dog had different ideas.  Most dogs will at least pay attention to weather when it is coming.  Thunderstorms and the like, anything noisy, they will know it's coming before you do.

I got Rack out of the front door.

Normally he stays close.  Not quite a velcro dog, but he does stay close enough that he can see me wherever I am in the house. 

I know, Aww, Right?

That's why you have a dog, Right?

But this was outside and having 45 pounds of McNab Dog glued to your legs was a little odd. 

"Bump".  Come on boy, lets go!

He walked down the driveway, past the car, and snuffled the post to the mailbox - all at slow speed and well behind me.  Usually he's pulling to get me to move faster at this point in the walk.  The roles were reversed this morning.  I haven't yet convinced him to "modulate" his speed so neither of us are being stretched along.  It may not happen.

Getting to the big parking lot near the house, he was uneven and uneasy.  Usually he'll sniff the grounds and do his business.  Wasn't happening that way today.  Looking up at the dark skies, two hours before sunrise, he wandered aimlessly.  I dragged him parking island to parking island.

"You have plenty of time, Rack, there's no rain yet".

Shouldn't have said that.  He visibly ducked when he heard "rain". 

We wandered through the town.  There were a few people I knew up at this hour, mostly dog walkers, but some that work at the various shops getting them ready for you to go in a bit later.  As I was chatting with one, he noticed that Rack was sitting down and shivering.  Insisting that it was the weather and not an approaching 50 Bus, we went on with the walk and eventually home. 

Feeding is still uneven on the best days.  He's fearful and won't eat on his own.  You just don't want to depend on the "He'll eat when he's hungry" maxim - it won't work with a fearful dog and it's just cruel anwyay.

With atmospherics going on with in 50 miles, he wouldn't eat easily even if I hand feed him.  I have to boil water, pour hot water over the food, and allow it to soak into the food.  This is all in order for him to get some into him once it cools.

All that took time. Place the bowl under his nose in his hiding place in the crate, I say cheerily "Hungry, Rack! Lets Eat!".


I go back to my own routine thinking the smells and sounds of my own breakfast will help.

May as well have set loose crickets in the house for all the good that did.

Giving him 30 minutes, he got out of the crate and parked by my feet.  Reaching over for the food bowl, I once again put it in reach.  One piece of spongy soaked kibble at a time to prime the pump.  He nibbled a little bit of food.

This is easier than wet dog food because you just don't want to get wet dog food on your hands while you feed them.  Too nasty.

As he finally began to eat on his own, the Duck and Cover alarm went off.  The front had come close enough to "throw an alert".  As I am listening to the weather radio telling small craft to come into port, it sounded another alarm, then a third.  It hadn't even finished the alert from alarm one.

Should be interesting.  Practically every town I could think of in two counties and part of a third that had ocean front were named.  Then they went onto the thunderstorm watch.  Yep, my town too.

Oh the food?  That was forgotten.  Time to prime the pump again, and re-feed.

He's in a small gap in the living room furniture and I am sitting in front of it.  He must have liked it because he gave me a wag or three out of that tail of his when I first arrived.  Here we were 15 minutes into the ritual and I was still tapping the metal bowl, grabbing lost pieces of kibble, and handfeeding him.

A little less fear would be greatly appreciated, I thought to him, as I continued the ritual.

15 minutes to get a cup of food into him that has been "rehydrated". 

All in the job feeding a fearful dog in a loud front of thunderstorms and all this at a time where people were just getting out of the shower in the morning. 

It will be a full day.

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