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The view through Rosie-colored glasses*

I haven’t had time to take any pix of the actual Rosie-dog yet, so these’ll have to give you the idea.

Rosie: World’s biggest love sponge and cuddle bunny:


Rosie: As seen by the cat and heard by the neighbors:


It’s been an interesting couple of days.

Ava, to my surprise, is tolerating Rosie without incident. I believe this is because Rosie projects slavish submission every time Ava’s within 10 feet. “Fluffball of Doom” is an image of herself that Ava appreciates. I’m not appreciating the acrid stench Rosie squirts from her anal glands every time Fluffball of Doom gets too close. But it’s better than blood on the walls.

The cat’s a different matter. The first few hours Rosie was here she ignored the cat even when they had unexpected encounters. I thought all would be well with them. So did kitty. By evening she’d decided Rosie was a potential new friend. She attempted a friendly greeting. At which point, Rosie snarled and ran her into a corner. When I pulled the dog off, the cat was on her hind legs, milling the air with every available claw.

Since then Rosie’s been obsessed with her to the point where the poor feline is safer outside (where she has a lair under the house) than indoors. With the rains upon us, this is Not A Good Thing, but it’s better than the alternative. Unfortunately, the house is so open-plan that other than the bathroom I have no good place to separate the cat. Mostly I’ve closed off areas with shoji screens in the past, but Rosie can go right through those. I’ll be working on a better sort of cat-protecting barrier today.

Indoors, the mad barking has abated. I’m now allowed to go to the bathroom or walk across kitchen without distressed bays and yaps. Outdoors, though — one second alone and the whole neighborhood hears Rosie’s ceaseless protest. A spritz bottle of water gets the no-bark message across — for about 10 seconds. Otherwise, I don’t even know how the poor dog gets a moment to breathe, she’s so busy disturbing the peace. Sigh.

One very pleasant surprise, though: She sleeps peacefully at night. This may be due in part to heavy drugs; but hey, whatever it takes.

The first night I crated her in the kitchen, went to bed with earplugs in, and braced for a bad few hours. She never made a sound. I wondered if I’d overdosed her and killed her. At 3:00 I got up to check and found her happily wagging her tail.

After a brief, supervised, outdoor potty break, she came back in, sneaked onto my bed, and curled up right on my pillows. I decided not to enforce house rules this time. Around 5:00, I crawled in next to her, laid my head against her back, and we snoozed until dawn.


* H/T to ~Qjay for “Rosie-colored glasses.”


  1. Pat
    Pat September 13, 2018 8:02 am

    She may feel safer in the crate. Maybe leave it open for her (unless the cat decides SHE feels safer in it), and see if Rosie uses it when she thinks you’re gone.

  2. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2018 8:08 am

    She does feel safe in the crate and does go in there on her own if I leave the door open. That’s a blessing.

    You know, I hadn’t thought about crating the cat, but I do have a really big old crate out in the garden shed that’s probably big enough to hold a litter box and still give her room to move around. Hm.

    I’m surprised to hear from you, Pat. Although I don’t know exactly where you’re located, I thought you might have been evacuated ahead of Hurricane Florence. Wherever you are, good luck with that.

  3. Shel
    Shel September 13, 2018 8:40 am

    Rosie sounds like a good trainer.

  4. Pat
    Pat September 13, 2018 9:10 am

    This county has not been evacuated, and it’s a pretty good chance that we lucked out. The hurricane seems destined to land south of here in the Carolinas and move inland, so other than rain, some wind, and a few high tides, we may not get affected at all.

  5. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2018 10:25 am

    Thanks for the update, Pat. I’m glad you’re likely to be out of the worst of it. I know that several other members of the Commentariat are right in it — or hopefully well out of it by now.

  6. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2018 10:29 am

    “Rosie sounds like a good trainer.”

    She’ll be difficult to train. She’s hound-stubborn and has gone five years or more (she looks older than that to me, though five was what I was told) without any instruction or any limits being placed on her behavior (except the limit placed by the chain she was kept on). But she is sweet-natured, people-oriented, and I’ve discovered that she knows “sit.” So that’s a start.

    I won’t have her long enough to do much training. I’m taking her on leash walks, explaining the meaning of the word NO, and a few other things, but not making a big, comprehensive effort.

  7. ~Qjay
    ~Qjay September 13, 2018 10:30 am

    🙂 Give the Kitty a few secure shelves to look down upon the yappy dog from on high, and the Kitty will soon be fine.
    Something with carpet or rope on it is recommended for fast escapes and flying leaps.

    I’m glad you like the idea of Rosie colored views. Reversed or not. 😉

  8. Shel
    Shel September 13, 2018 11:33 am

    I meant Rosie is doing the training. I was once well and carefully trained by a friend’s Beagle named John. He accomplishe it in sequential steps over a period of a few days.

  9. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2018 11:45 am

    Oh, LOL. I missed that. So far she’s training me very well in how quickly to grab the spritz bottle and point it at her menacingly when she’s embarking on a bark-a-thon. She’s also teaching me why I haven’t fostered much lately.

  10. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2018 1:07 pm

    “Something with carpet or rope on it is recommended for fast escapes and flying leaps.”

    Eight years ago, when I had three dogs, a bigger house, and the cat was just being introduced to the household, I had something like that. Two story. Several hidey holes. Very impressive. (Also bought from a friend for $10.) Now I have a considerably smaller house crowded with construction supplies and tools — and alas I have no friend wanting to get rid of a cat house. So for the three weeks maximum I might have Rosie, we’ll have to cope in other ways.

    But that old thing was invaluable in introducing the cat to that long-ago pack of dogs. Two of the dogs are gone now; only Ava remains. But I remember how impressed I was with the cat. Although Ava was far and away the most reactive of that pack, and most likely to kill a cat, the cat took to her from the beginning. While Ava was still at the stage where she’d have liked to kill her, the cat would descend to a platform at about the three-foot level, reach down, and playfully bat at Ava’s tail until she finally won Ava’s heart.

    They are still fast friends — all thanks to the cat’s efforts. Ava still sometimes seems to wonder why a feline is so very attached to her.

  11. Comrade X
    Comrade X September 13, 2018 1:46 pm

    Hopefully you run across a used cat tree in a yard sell.

    OK some people will not like this but it’s a necessity if you have a dog that if the cops are called for his barking while you are away they may have to shoot him to keep from being eaten. A bark collar. I bought one from Walmart that was cheap but was pure torture to the dog even if he didn’t bark, my dog didn’t like me for a solid week even though he only wore it for a few minutes but I bought a better one at Petco that has worked fine and ain’t torture unless he actually barks which he doesn’t for long if he has it on and he still loves me.

  12. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2018 1:58 pm

    I’m planning to ask if the rescue group has an anti-bark collar on hand. And agreed, it’s important to get a good one. Some people think they’re cruel; I think they’re less cruel than many alternatives.

    Also, rest assured that I never let that dog stay outside more than five or 10 minutes at a time and never, ever at night. I wouldn’t want a neighbor to inflict that on me and I won’t inflict it on them. (OMG, I can’t stand incessantly barking dogs, both for the poor critters’ sake and my own.) I’ve also told a couple of the neighbors what’s going on and that Rosie won’t be around more than a few weeks at most.

  13. Christine
    Christine September 13, 2018 3:12 pm

    Sorry guys, we don’t use any type of aversive training methods on our dogs, especially shock collars. Dogs in this area are only at risk of being shot by cowardly neighbors with a breed bias, and certainly not in any danger of being transformed into a rice-topping meal (really, eaten??). If she’s only out for short periods and the neighbors are aware, I don’t see a problem, especially since she is making great progress with the vocals indoors. It takes patience and kindness. Shock collars exacerbate the issues. Every time. Thank you so much for taking her in, Claire, all of us appreciate this more than you know. <3

  14. Claire
    Claire September 13, 2018 3:22 pm

    Well, I guess that answered that question (and unsurprisingly so).

    Although I do think anti-bark collars have their uses, Rosie belongs to the rescue group — and Christine is the coordinator for all foster care, so her word is law.

    Thanks, Christine.

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