Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sure, she can stay for a while. No problem.

This is Cleo. She came to stay at the House of Nebulopathy for ten days while Scrawny Mike and his family were on vacation.

After some initial hysteria Ginger, the little dog, accepted Cleo. As usual, Molly, the ancient larger dog, doesn't give a damn. Frankly I'm not sure she's even noticed Cleo is here despite the fact that she constantly runs into her butt when we're out walking.

Cleo's a pretty nice dog in general, but she has one big problem -- she's not good with cats. That problem is multiplied by five at my house, so Cleo needs to be either 1) outside, 2) in her crate, or 3) on a very short leash next to me. I feel bad when she gets stuck in her crate for too long, and she doesn't like to be in the yard unless I'm out there, so I've been making an effort to take her and Ginger on longer, faster walks in the daytime. (Molly still gets her usual slow stroll around the neighborhood in the evening, but we ditch her at home when I'm trying to give the agile dogs some exercise.)

Naturally it's been hotter than heck in Woodland lately, and while Ginger just keeps trotting along no matter how far we go, Cleo eventually gets to the point where she flops down in some shade and won't get up. If you try to make her get up she growls and flops back down again. I actually had some old guy tell me to get off his lawn the other day. The cliche is alive and well in Woodland!

While I knew after a couple of days that Cleo would never be safe to leave unsupervised around the cats, I was hoping that at some point she would stop losing her mind every time one of them comes in the living room, if only for my neighbors' sake. But no, we're seven days in and she still barks, growls, and lunges in her crate whenever a cat comes in sight.

The cats initially were a little offended and stayed away, but they acclimated after two days and just started ignoring her. Even worse, Cleo likes to dump her food dish and fling mouthfuls of kibble around the room, then bark at Ginger as she scurries around eating it.  The cats think it's loads of fun to sit one foot away from the dog and bat pieces of kibble under the furniture while Cleo throws a tantrum next to them.

And then there's this:

Yes, that's Ripley sitting on top of the crate. It's become the new favorite place for at least three of the cats this week.

I think I may owe my neighbors some baked goods...

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