Sir Rodney the Neurotic
I’ve talked about our pets before. After all, I live in a zoo and have plenty of animals to write about. So it should come as no surprise that the time has come for me to introduce you to Rodney our 4 year old bully.
Raising a bully is no easy matter. They take a lot of time and handling. Thanks to my lovely wife Tina, he’s handled with extraordinary care. It’s like raising a child all over again and I’m completely serious. You would be surprised what has to be done to keep him clean and healthy.
To the point of this story; Rodney loves toys. More so than any other animal we’ve ever had. He loves them so very much that he can’t stand for anyone else to have them. He is a toy hoarder. Not many toys last long in his paws so we’ve had to buy industrial strength toys so as not to go broke.
Still the back yard is littered with toys, because if they are back there, no one else can get them. He plays with his older sister, Belle, our Golden Retriever and they mock fight over the toys. Belle just sometimes grabs it from him and runs away with small bully legs in full pursuit. What he lacks in gait, he makes up for in speed. When he gets the toy back, the direction of the chase changes, but Rodney has learned to get so far, then stop dead and fall over, feet in the air like a dead possum. His poor sister has no choice but to leap over him and double back, by which time Rodney is already on the other side of the yard in the opposite direction.
It wasn’t until a few months ago that we started buying toys with squeakies in them. Stuffies, balls, nylon ropes or anything that squeaked. On delivery of the first squeaky, we unleashed some dark hidden side of the sweet little bully we were raising and we were introduced to Beelzabobo – demon dog. Fluffies became fluff, ropes became threads and balls were small pieces of rubber or latex scattered to the wind. One thing became perfectly clear; he had to find and kill the squeak.
Being the good parents that we are, we bought him more to destroy and watched him in foolish delight. Then we did the unthinkable. We collected the small plastic squeaking devices from inside his fallen toys. We found that it’s pretty easy to drive our dog mad while three people, in opposite sides of the house, all have small squeaky devices. It starts simple with just one small squeak and then grows to a crescendo of harmonious squeakage throughout the house. Rodney immediately picks up the sound of the first squeak and begins to seek it out. Then another squeak follows and he changes track. Then another squeak until we are doing them at random and Rodney is spinning in circles trying to hunt it down. If he finds that it’s just too much, he’ll go for my wife and starting barking and chewing on her, I suspect because she is the source of all these neat ideas and he knows it all too well.
Because of the balls with squeakies, no other ball is safe. We recently put up a tether ball pole in our back yard for our youngest daughter. Rodney saw this as an opportunity bring down another opponent, but with a challenge. We put the pole 1 foot deep and another 7.5 feet out of the ground. When we first attached the ball, it hung too low and Rodney was able to bite it with no effort at all. So, we raised it high enough off the ground that all of us could still reach it, with the exception of psycho dog. Or so we thought.
We’d all play, with Rodney running circles around the pole trying to catch the ball and then running back the other way when the ball changed direction. After about 15-20 minutes of this, Rodney looked like a dog that had spent way too much time hitting the sauce. He couldn’t walk a straight line or stand for more then 2 or 3 seconds before falling on his side and rolling over. That didn’t stop him from trying though. This has gone on for about 2 weeks when finally, he became super dog and managed to jump high enough to get the ball and hang on.
We are currently looking for a new tether ball.