Now that her puppies have been adopted, Hera is not the least interested in being by herself in the dog area. At bedtime on the day Atlas was adopted, Steve led her to the nice dog cushion in the dog area and locked her in. Before he got upstairs, Hera was barking. With so many puppies and mom dogs coming and going, our house is rarely quiet. But we love our sleep. So I have an industrial size box of ear plugs. So when Hera wouldn’t stop barking, Steve and I each put a pair in.
P.S. I’m kind of neurotic about ear safety and have been known to hand these out to workers in my house – and even my neighbor’s yard – who are operating loud equipment without ear protection. I like this brand because you can use them many times before they lose their ability to be compressed and slipped in your ear.
Even with the ear plugs, we could still hear her barking. Eventually she settled down, but if she heard any noise in the house – such as our daughter Amanda who keeps vampire hours walking around – she’d wake up and start barking again. So the second night, we brought Hera and her cushion upstairs. Unused to being in the bedroom, she paced and paced. But once the light was off, she settled down on her cushion and went to sleep. It’s now been a week and a half and she’s quite content to sleep upstairs with us. Since it’s chilly, we throw a blanket over her and she happily settles down under it. Steve’s away this week visiting his parents. Our dog Wendy usually sleeps with Amanda, but last night Amanda was out very late. So Wendy ended up sleeping in bed with me (she’s over eleven now so she has privileges) with Little Dog and Hera on the floor near by so I had my own Three Dog Night.
One of the happiest discoveries about Hera is how well trained and disciplined she is. On a wet day last week, Steve put a towel in front of the sliding glass door for the dogs to run across as they came in. When I was letting Hera in I realized her paws weren’t just wet but muddy. So as she landed on the towel I immediately said, Stay! Not only did she stop, she sat down and looked up at me expectantly. Then she patiently and calmly sat as I brushed off each muddy paw. My girls would have been whining and fighting me with each paw. If only whoever trained Hera had trained Wendy and Little Dog instead of the slackers in this house 😉
Speaking of slackers, we probably don’t bathe our dogs as often as we should. In part because we put off a lot of chores that aren’t urgent, but also because both dogs hate getting baths (and it isn’t fun for us either). Wendy whines from beginning to end, thrashing and pulling, trying to escape. Little Dog being littler is easier to wash but she shivers and shakes and I end up feeling so sorry for her. So many things frighten Little Dog, poor thing. But both our dogs are hound breeds/mixes – Hera too – so they have that hound smell . And that hound smell doesn’t just stay on them but starts to spread to all the dog beds, blankets and throws. So every couple of months, when I realize I’d be embarrassed to have anyone who doesn’t adore the dogs or a have head cold come over we give them a bath.
Bath day is exhausting because not only do we wash both dogs, but also anything that smells like dog. That means all the dog beds (we seem to have two or three on every floor of the house), any blanket we’ve curled up with that a dog has lain on (that would be all of them) the pillows and coverings on Amanda’s bed and all the towels we use to dry off the dogs. Usually four or more loads of laundry.
The dogs get their baths in the walk in shower in our new bathroom. Our design/contractor suggested installing a grab bar near the floor on the shower wall so we could tie the dogs to it to give them baths. At first I didn’t like the idea of using my beautiful new bathroom for dog baths but once I thought about how much easier it would be to wash them there I changed my mind.
To secure one of the dogs to the grab bar, we run a spare collar around the bar, through the dog’s collar and then fasten the spare collar. Wendy still whines but she doesn’t bother trying to escape anymore.
Last Saturday was one of those days we broke down and cleaned everyone and everything. After washing Wendy and Little Dog, I had to tell Steve I thought we should wash Hera too. He agreed and we brought her to the bathroom. She stood calmly while we fastened her to the grab bar. And she continued to stay still and calm while we hosed her down, washed and rinsed her. With Hera having such short fur and no undercoat, it went quickly. After a short toweling off, we were done. By far the easiest dog bath I’ve ever given. A half an hour later, Hera was completely dry. Meanwhile poor Wendy and Little Dog were both still damp, likely wondering where their dogs beds had gone, wondering what had gotten in to us that day.
P.S. Isn’t she a beautiful girl?