Puppy Dog Tales
The following are stories about some of my foster dogs in the past, usually taken from emails in which I talked about them.

Buster busted out!
Buster is incredibly dexterous with his paws (he will actually catch your hand in mid-air between his forepaws and pull it back to him to scratch his belly).  At the back gate he had moved each of the bricks out of the way and had dug a sizable hole under the fence.  Mind you, this is the one spot in the yard where I don't have 2x4s screwed into the bottom of the fence all the way to ground level to discourage digging.  The bricks had previously proved to be a sufficient deterent, but I guess Buster assumed he had been abandoned when Lucky and I disappeared for the entire afternoon.  I don't expect any further "great escapes" since the bricks are now held firmly in place by a series of stakes run through them into the ground.

Runaway untrained
My foster dog Teddy turned out to be an exception to the "always coming back when I called him" streak I had been having with my fosters.  He snuck out the front door the other day and just stopped and looked at me when he called.  Realizing that calling him was a futile approach, and not wanting to chase after him, I instead went inside and watched him through the venisian blinds.  He looked around and noticed that he was completely alone on a cold and dreary street in the middle of suburbia.  He suddenly made a mad dash back to the house from across the street and several homes over, and ran right up to the front door, which I casually opened and he briskly walked through.  He tried to pretend it never happened.

Buster busted out again!
A while back my foster pug Buster made it all the way out of my yard once again by removing the bricks blocking the gate, in spite of the fact that I had all but a few staked into the ground with rebar rods.  This dog is a unique blend of ingenuity and tenacity.  I introduce him to everyone as a four-legged genius.

Since his last escape, I have (re)installed an electric wire around the bottom of the fence to discourage digging (even the general proximity is avoided after the first shock).  I had this in place for my own dogs, but took it down months ago because it was a nuicance to mow and weed whack around.  Originally, I never even had it extended to the present troublesome area.  What's remarkable is that not one dog I've ever fostered had successfully escaped prior to Buster.  This guy is amazing.

Beetle the fraidy dog
You wanted Beetle stories, you got 'em!  One night my ex-wife was watching Ghostbusters.  I was getting ready to walk through the living room on my way to the kitchen.  The movie was almost at the end, and they were beginning to play the music that continues as the Ghostbusters triumphantly walk down the streets of New York.  I started walking through the room like the Marshmallow Man with big steps in time with the music.  This is apparently a good way to scare my dog.  He started whimpering and tried to crawl under his mommie's leg on the couch.  It was hilarious.

He is also occasionally freaked out by the hood on my sweatshirt.  Sometimes I'll come into the room and he'll start growling.  If I talk to him and take the hood off, he's fine.  I just got glasses the after not having a pair for quite a while (my old ones had broken and I usually wear contacts).  He saw me in those and was a little disturbed by that as well.  At least he was attentive to details.

Dog psychology
Here's something fun to do if you have a dog: Download a bunch of dog barking, whimpering, etc. sndfx, them feed them into Winamp to play in a row (hell, put it in shuffle mode to go on indefinitely).  Your dog will go nuts.  Beetle did anyway.  He really paid attention to noises.  I was taking a bath one day and I kept putting a cup in the water and letting the air out slowly.  Whenever I could see his interest was beginning to wane, I would let the whole mass of air out all at once and make this huge sound.  It was great because he couldn't see where the noise was coming from (we had shower doors instead of a curtain).  Also, if I jumped up and down in the living room, he would get really freaked out.  Sometimes he would act excited and sometimes he would act really scared.  I should have had him evaluated for mental stability.

Beetle the dog
Here's a Beetle story.  Every once in a while I download some sound effects and play them to see Beetle's reaction.  It's amazing how far he can turn his head sideways.  Sounds of dogs barking and/or growling are, of course, the best, but you can occasionally find something else really strange that gets to him.  I had this one of a kitten meowing that really got to him.  Sometimes I'll play a series of the same growling effect or something like that and he will start running around under the computer desk trying to figure out where we put the dog.

Dogs and other nuts
My momís dog Busch was learned to crack open and eat nuts.  My dog Beetle developed this habit, and even went so far as to bring pecans in from the yard in order to snack on them while sitting in the living room.  He even got upset when I took the shells away from him if he didnít feel like he was finished with them yet!

My foster (part)pug Buster sounds good for just about anyone who isn't looking for a "playmate," one of those dogs that will bounce around the room.  Buster's just a great tv watching buddy.  He isn't apathetic, however.  In fact, he's totally ready go for a walk or to jump in the car with me any chance he gets.  The other night I went outside to load up the car with eBay junk to go to the PO.  Buster snuck out of the front door behind me and jumped in the car when I wasn't looking (I had left several doors open when I was loading it).  He didn't want to leave it either!  I had to carry him back inside even though he would otherwise follow me anywhere I tell him is okay.

Talking to my pets
I usually tell them I love them and how they're my best friend (even though this means I'm usually lying to one of them since I foster a couple at a time).  I also narrate whatever I'm doing if they're in the room.  Imagine Julia Childs if there wasn't a camera: "Now I'm making a  turkey sandwich.  I have always liked turkey.  And I'm going to put just a little bit of mayonaise on the bread like this..."  And yet this is apparently the most amazing thing my dogs have ever seen.  I guess that's the definition of unconditional love.

Copyright 2007 Alexplorer.
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