Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Great Drake Strikes Again

The Great Drake is a turd!  Oh how I love this dog but he is killing me!  First of all he has lived here for 3 months and he is still not used to the cats.  He wants to eat them and Aaron kind of wants him to.  My cats are mean and they taunt him.  When he is peering into the window they go up to it hissing and they box at it.  Something they would never do if there was not double paned glass between them and the dog.  Thank God it's double paned because I'm pretty sure he could go through it. 

Last night Drake was in the mud room (his room) eating and getting ready for bed.  Smee went up to the door and hissed and pounded on it.  I mean, really!  How rude!  That's his room!  His space!  Aaron wants to just let the door open and see how brave they are then.  In a way I get his train of thought.  It would serve those mean cats right but...he would eat them.  I would never see Drake the same.

One of my friends bought him a Gentle Leader to help him on his walks.  It works wonderfully!  It has immediate effects and keeps him from pulling.  Since the break, we had only taken walks to the bus stop and on our hill.  Today is beautiful and his foot is healed so I thought we would do the 3 mile loop we used to do.  Drake was so excited he peed on my shoe while I was leashing him.  Thank God he did not release the whole tank!

The Gentle Leader did it's job and Drake did not pull.  He did stop to sniff some things.  As an experiment, I thought I would see what it would take for me to pull him away from such a spot.  He was sniffing.  I held the leash and completely leaned back like a water skier.  It did not budge him.  He is so strong!  Anywhoo, we continued our walk.  Caren drove by and waved.  A few seconds later she called my cell.

"How'd we look?"  I asked.

"You guys looked great!  I'm calling to warn you though, there is a herd of deer between Laurel's and Victoria's."


"I just wanted to warn you.  You  might want to turn around."

"K.  Thanks."

"I just saw a blue truck drive by.  Maybe it will scare 'em."

I did not want to turn around.  We were only about a half mile into the walk.  I decided to just sort of test it out.  We walked on.  As we approached Laurel's I saw the blue truck pass.  I slowed down a little.  We were on a hill and on the other side of the peak I could just see the tops of the deer as they were crossing the street.  Drake did not see them.  I waited and "let" him sniff around a bit.  I was hoping to give the deer time to cross and travel on a little deeper into the wood.  After a bit, we pressed on. 

Drake started to pull some but the way the Gentle Leader works is that when the dog pulls, it turns their head.  Kind of like a horse lead.  So he would pull and his head would turn.  I could tell he could smell the deer but he had not seen them.  I did though.  There was one just on the side of the road but he was camouflaged pretty well.  I think Drake's struggle with the lead was distracting him too.  And so we made it past the deer with out incident!  Drake continued to walk by my side, loose leashed.  No pulling!

I was so thrilled and was penning a letter to Gentle Leader in my head, thanking them for their miracle product, when Drake started to pull a bit again. 

Oh great.  He smells something.  This time I could not see what it was.  He started pulling and looking back behind us so I thought we had passed whatever it was.  (In hind sight, I think he was looking back because the lead was turning his head back.)  We turned a corner and there they were.  About 6 deer in a meadow that is sort of bowl shaped.  We were on the top edge of that bowl and off he went.  I was not going to be dragged down the edge and so, once again....sigh....I let him go.

I finished my walk home, pissed, trying to figure out a way to convince my husband to let me enroll Drake into obedience school.  Pete saw me on the road.

"Didn't you have a dog with you?"


"Don't give up.  He's a great dog, just extremely strong."

"Tell me about it."

"If I see him I'll bring him in."


At the house I armed myself with sausage treats.  I got in the car and went out to hunt him down.  I called for him all over the loop.  (I drove from the house to the spot he got away and clocked it.  That's how I know we only had .6 miles left when he escaped.)  I saw a jogger and asked if she'd seen him. 


"If you see him, he's very big but he's a lover."

I drove all over and could not find him.  I asked everyone I passed and no one had seen him.  Finally, I talked to a guy in a truck who had spotted him.

"Big yellow dog?  All muscle?"

"That's him!"

"Someone tied him to some mailboxes up the road.  Just keep going around the loop."

"Hooray!  Thank you!"

I drove on and sure enough, there he was.  He was laying by the mailboxes, panting.  He didn't even get up when I pulled up.  I got one of my treats and walked over to him.  My guess is that the jogger found him because she had unhooked his leash from his lead and passed one end through the handle of the leash and then latched it back to the lead.  If you did not know Drake I think you would be afraid to approach him let alone get down on the ground and do all of that.  He ate his treat and I "untied" him.

"What am I gonna do with you Bud?"

I just couldn't resist those deer!

"You have to get over it.  You have to get over the cats and the foxes and the skunks and the deer.  You are going to break your foot again or get sprayed by a skunk or kicked by a deer."  Drake hung his head and tucked his tail.  "Come on.  I love you.  I just don't want you to get hurt.  Or to hurt me."  He slowly got in the car, either too tired or to ashamed of himself to move with any urgency.

We pulled into the driveway.  I held his leash while I opened the door.  As soon as I opened the gate to our yard, Drake jerked the leash out of my hands again and sprinted into the yard!  There were 4 deer in our yard!  They all leaped the fence.  It was beautiful!  I totally see why people would think they could fly.  They don't even need a running start!  Just gorgeous!  I was so glad that they were in the yard and not out.  Drake ran along the fence, frustrated that he could not jump it too.  (Though I'm surprised he can't.)

After he saw that they were not coming back, he returned up the hill where I had a huge bowl of water waiting for him in the shade.

*sigh*  What to do about Drake?

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