Two Dogs at the Lake

Posted by & filed under the puppy diaries.

columbus at the lake

It’s kind of interesting to me that my puppy diary blog postings have waned. I suppose it’s because we are all settling into a pretty routine existence. Faced with the knowledge that Columbus is an impulsive dog, he is kept tied up with a few exceptions – right before suppertime and when we are outside with him and focused on preventing him from running away. Nose on a scent leading into the woods? “Columbus, come, cookie, come, supper, come!” Food words. He knows his food words. They are icing on the come cake. If we are doing an outside task even – gardening, yard work – we tie him up. He’s near us, but he is tied up. And he seems to be pretty okay with that existence.

And indoors? He isn’t left unsupervised. But he’s mostly good when we are around, with the occasional waste basket snipe. He knows he’s not supposed to go upstairs or down into the basement and if access to those areas aren’t blocked he just looks up/down there as we close the gate/door instead of bolting at any chance. When we are upstairs or out of the house, he is closed in the mudroom with his toys. I got a really high dog gate with a door in it. One of my favorite dog-related purchases because my hip doesn’t hurt so much from stepping over the old high (but not as high) baby gate.

We go for walks most mornings, or a romp at the fenced in school baseball field. If I’m lazy, I run them outside in the yard until Columbus looks like he might run off. The zap collar really is a deterrent most times and he knows some of the boundaries of the yard, at least.

So, none of this has anything to do with the title of my post. Time for that. Was just catching y’all up.

This weekend, I decided to take the dogs up to The Cabins at China Lake, which we own with some other folks and had to get ready to open. I could have left them home and Koda would have been fine with a babysitter to come and feed her, but Columbus needs people around. So I decided to take them. Koda has been before. Thought she would be fine.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

I bought them each a nice meaty bone on the way up, and brought the super dog tie out and an equivalent for Koda. No biting through ropes when we weren’t looking. Our friend Dave’s husky came, too, and they all were tied in their own spot, with their own bones.

Columbus pretty much settled right in. He could see us, could see activity, all was well and he began to focus on his bone.

But it was all too much for Koda, who is used to the freedom of her yard, and running around with us and dropping the ball at our feet as we do whatever it is we are doing. Being tied to a tree was not something she was going along with. Forget the bone. No meaty flavor was going to entice her away from what became her weekend project. Whining.

Whining, whining, whining, whining, whining.

Oh yeah, and whining.

I thought I was going to go crazy.

That would have been bad enough. But on day 2 her leather collar broke and she went after Kya the husky. A dog fight ensued, as they are both alpha females and neither one of them was backing down. As I heard the commotion and went to the door of the cabin I was cleaning, I saw Andy grab at Koda and tackle her to the ground. Then Alex ran and pulled Kya back via her tie out. Dog fight over, but guess who lost? Andy, who wound up with a deep bite wound on his hand.

We all know it is not a good idea to get in the middle of a dog fight. Don’t we?

So, the bottom line here – what I figured out this weekend – is that mellow Columbus is going to be the perfect lake dog. The kids tied a long rope to him so they could catch him if he started running up towards the REALLY busy death road (far enough away from the lake that they figured they could get him in time), and threw sticks for him in the water. Columbus was in heaven. We will bring him up again, and hopefully one day he’ll be road smart and perfectly obedient so I might even be able to let him loose with us. (Not for awhile, I know.)

And Koda? Koda is going to turn into my stay-at-home dog. She has her yard that she guards (as I’m writing this I hear her out there barking at something) and is independent and will be much happier staying at home. And Columbus will get to come up north and be with his peeps, and ride in the back of the truck and chew on a meaty bone.

I have dreams of him being the perfect dog some day. After all, I did see that same look in his puppy eyes that I saw in Peppers’.

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