Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cash for Muddy

P1040597Remember our dog Muddy?  I posted about him last spring when we got him … see here.   Anyone who’s been around our place in the last year knows how fond I was of Muddy … as a few of my other posts about him gave some indication to here and here.  Muddy tipped the scale when he decided to tear up our pool after Rob had just spent hours trying to clean it and taking it down to store for the winter.  For some reason we still hung onto him a bit longer, thinking if we could make it through the winter spring would come and we’d have an older more mature dog.  He still had one good thing left about him … he stuck around and didn’t wander off or go to the road.  And then he decided to totally tip the scale and stopped sticking around.  We couldn’t let him loose for more then a few minutes and he would try sneak next door.  By March we gave up.  Muddy was constantly in his pen because he was always trying to take off and even when the kids were outdoors we couldn’t have him loose as he would take their mittens (especially Matthew’s – even the kind with the strings attached – he’d just rip the string and take off with the mitten) and chew them up.  To say that Muddy had no brains was putting it mildly.  When we got him we just figured he was a puppy and needed some training … but nothing we did could get through to this dog (I will admit we aren’t exactly experienced dog trainers).  He continued to be over hyper and jumping all the time, he continued to chew up anything in his sight, he continued to bark for absolutely no reason,  he continued to take off from the property.  What was the point of having a dog if he was always in the pen and could never be played with.  So we posted him on good old Kijiji and away he went … hopefully his new owners have better luck with him!!  We had some sad girls for a few days.  I think that’s the only reason we continue to hang onto him … we didn’t want to have to deal with the trauma of getting rid of him.  But they got over it and we were all much happier to be without an annoying dog!

It was decided that maybe it wasn’t such a wise idea to have a dog.  Our lives are rather unsettled for the next years, we have no idea when we will move next or where we will move to.  Next summer Rob will be doing his practicum and we’re not sure if we’ll be home then or how much we’ll be home.  Always having to worry about someone taking care of our dog isn’t very ideal.  We figured since we had this nice pen in the yard maybe we’d do something a bit more useful with it.   We would get laying chickens.  At least then I’d get eggs for the cost of the food we were buying.  The idea was it would allow the girls to have a small income by getting enough chickens that they could sell the excess eggs.  In order to have chickens we needed a shed for them.  So the search was on for a free shed … if it wasn’t free it wasn’t worthwhile as then I might as well buy my eggs and save the hassle.  Layers only last about 1-1.5 years so then we could get rid of them next summer if we weren’t going to be around to care for them.  The plan sounded good … but getting the shed did not work out.  There were plenty of free sheds on Kijiji over the weeks, but we never seemed to be the lucky person to be the recipient of them – or when we were they were in such a state that they had to be taken apart to get out of the yard and then put back together … not something Rob had time for.  P1040906

We hadn’t yet dismissed the idea of chickens when I stumbled across a free ad on Kijiji.  What made me look at this ad is beyond me as there are plenty of free dogs on Kijiji every day.  But I did look at it … and it suits us so well that I sent Rob a message.  Five year old altered male lab/mountain bernese mix.  He said “go for it” right away.  And the next thing we knew we had Cash.  Why we took him home is beyond me.  We went to see him, he was an indoor dog and he ran back and forth and was quite hyper.  It should of made us walk away right away, but I guess something about him just made us decide to give it a try.  What a wonderful dog … except the name.  We had to do some name modification again (Muddy was originally called Buddy).  Cash has been renamed Dash … sounds the same, no issues with him understanding.  I did speak to the owner after we got him and she said he was named Cash after Johnny Cash.  At least that explained the odd name, we really were wondering why anyone would name their dog Cash.


The biggest challenge with Dash has been the fact that he was an indoor dog … one that really only went outdoors to go to the bathroom and when on a leash.  He was lucky that we brought him home in the pouring rain on a miserable, windy cold day.  Originally we had said we would just start him outdoors right away and get him used to the new concept immediately … we didn’t have the heart to leave him outdoors and so indoors him came.  The first days he spent mainly indoors, the weather was miserable and he was adjusting.  I was just looking back in my e-mails and realized that we’ve really only had Dash for a little over a month, it seems so much longer then that.  With time he progressed to outdoors during the days and coming in later at night … and then last week we progressed to outdoors all the time.  The first couple nights were rough when he barked to let us know that it was getting late and time for him to come in … but now he’s does good.    He’s such a sweet and good dog that I feel guilty for leaving him outdoors when he’s been used to be inside all his life, but I just can’t cope with the hair!  I would be completely fine with continuing to allow him to sleep indoors at nights (and somehow I have a feeling I’ll be seeing him back indoors come winter nights), but it’s unbelievable the amount of hair we sweep up just from the hours that he sleeps indoors.  He is only allowed in the entrance hall-way and Rob’s office, but we find hair throughout the main floor area, especially the bathroom and our bedroom.  If it weren’t for the hair we wouldn’t even bother training him to be outdoors at night … although it is also good that he’s always outdoors for when we go away.

Dash has brains, he is very trainable, learns quick and listens well.  He learned where he was allowed and not allowed in the house and the only time he came in our bedroom at nights was when we had thunderstorms, which was understandable, and even then he just lay quietly at the end of the bed.  Being part Mountain Bernese means he’s a big dog.  He looks mostly lab, except the white on his chest, but he has the size of a mountain dog.  He’s calm and great with people and kids.  Matthew loved to lay down with him in the mornings before he would be put outside.  He is strong also, having broken through two of the ropes (leashes) that we used to tie him when we were gone.  He refused to go in the dog pen at first, but was fine with a leash.  So we had him on a leash by the house.  He wanted to be near us and we sort of liked seeing him laying by the door.  The problem arose when he kept scratching the door, and ringing the doorbell, and scratching the window and ripping the screen, of Rob’s office.  He wanted in.  So we moved him to the pen … on his leash.  He’s quite content to be in the pen on his leash … and quite smart about getting out of the pen if he’s not on his leash.  So we still have to work on Dash-proofing the pen (stones around the base so he can’t dig out).  The one things that we haven’t been able to train Dash on yet is his attraction to the road … not sure if it’s because pavement is familiar to him being born and raised in the city … but he has this attraction to the road and no fear of vehicles.  The vehicles have to stop for him!  Hopefully this does not mean a short lived country life.

He’s a keeper!!



 P1040908  P1050023

So while we didn’t actually get cash for Muddy we did get Dash for Muddy!


amymom24 said...

Well, that worked out quite nicely! Glad Dash is a much better fit for your family!

Anonymous said...

He is a nice looking dog and Matthew looks like he enjoys him, hopefully it works out this time.
Have fun with him, I am sure the kids were excited again about having a dog.
Karen DeJonge

Justine said...

Is it something about Bernese Mountain dogs? Our dog is part Bernese as well and is gentle and obedient, with not too much training on our part. He does like the garbage though:( but he stays far from the road.

Steph said...

Yes I believe it's the Bernese part of him that makes him so calm, gentle, cooperative and obedient. We did a bit of research on bernese mountain dogs before we got them and learned that they have a very favourable nature to them. The biggest downside to this type of dog is that they have short life-span of only about 7 years on average ... we're hoping the lab part of him kicks in on this end of things. At the same time we didn't do our full research on lab dogs before we got our, but just went by the looks of them and thought that they were a relatively calm good natured dog. While they are know for their friendliness they are also know for their stupidity and hyperness ... as we found out the hard way seeing as once we had Muddy then we began to hear everyones stories on their not-so-bright lab dog ... and that labs usually take until they are 3+ years before they calm down. We didn't have the patience to find out if that would be the case, seeing as we figured even if he were calm it wouldn't make him have more brains.