I Did a Terrible Thing

August 29, 2009 at 6:36 pm 9 comments

I did an unspeakably terrible thing today [hangs head in abject shame].

I wore a hat.

A tan baseball cap with a dog embroidered on it to be exact. It was a cool morning (52F) and along with the warmth the cap provided, I needed something to cover my unwashed hair. I put it on without a thought and I went out to the kennel where Charlie is staying.

Charlie likes me. In fact, he seems to like me a lot. But when I walked into the room wearing that baseball cap he saw me as some kind of ungodly, depraved beast. And he reacted accordingly.

Because he’s small and in a sturdy kennel and I’ve been around a rather large number of staring, snarling, slavering beasts I reacted to his castigation by calling his name out sweetly.  He paused briefly, obviously recognizing my voice – then continued his tirade. ‘Cause, you know – I had done this terrible thing.

I took the hat off and calmly, quietly walked to the kennel door. I didn’t affect a passive or assertive posture. I was as completely neutral as I could be. When I got to the door I turned sideways and crouched down. I spoke softly to Charlie and let him decide when he was ready to approach and sniff me. In seconds he was the soft, happy, wagging teenager I know once again.

I stood up and gauged his reaction to my change in posture. Soft and welcoming. So I opened the door, went in, petted and leashed him and walked him out. When we were out of the kennel I made of show of picking up the Hat From Hell and presented it to Charlie. He stood quietly – but suspiciously – at my side and I calmly held it out to him.  He slowly stretched his nose forward, feet still locked in place, and tentatively sniffed the rim of the hat. I remained motionless and said nothing. He sniffed The Evil Thing again, then sniffed my hand.

I saw wheels inside his pretty little head click into place as Charlie realized that the hat smelled like me.  His posture softened and he grinned up at me with a look that said “Okay, I get it”.  So I put the hat, which was now just an ordinary hat, back on my head and took Charlie for a walk.

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Entry filed under: dog training, dogs, rescue. Tags: , .

Parsing a Sneeze Watching Paint Dry

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sandysays1  |  August 29, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    My human wears hats of all kinds. Generally they smell like him, that’s Sweatty Channel #68. Personally, I don’t mind. In fact, I can tell what he’s going to do by the hat he wears. Straw hat with wide brim = fishing. Felt cowboy hat = bluegrass festival. Baseball hat with short brim = cut grass. Baseball hat with long brim = golfing. Dopey looking sailor hat = do something dopey!
    visit me at http://www.sandysays1.wordpress. com

  • 2. Jan  |  August 30, 2009 at 3:49 am

    One unforgettable Halloween I saw a side of my wimpy dogs that I never want to see again. Snarling and slathering happened.

  • 3. H. Houlahan  |  August 31, 2009 at 5:19 am

    On Monday, when I went to fit Charlie with his travel collar, I was wearing my straw narrow-brimmed hat.

    Charlie was indulging his inner jackass that day, and kept mentioning the evilness of this hat in quite intemperate language.

    After several unproductive minutes sitting in his stall while he hurled invective at the ebul hat and declined to be collared, I removed the hat. And Charlie completely changed his tune.

    Now everything was unacceptable because I had become a completely different person upon removing the hat. The kind who stealthily teleports into a poor little doggy’s stall and abducts him up to the mothership, say.

    Oh. Wait. I kind of did that. Nevermind.

    Anyway, do not believe his stories about hats. Many of his previous caretakers indulge in hat-wearing.

  • 4. SmartDogs  |  August 31, 2009 at 5:29 am

    I put seeing photos of you with the hat on at ONB with Charlie’s reaction to my cap together and wondered about that.

    Being a fellow Daughter of Satan I have elected to wear a new, strange item of clothing each time I go out to see Sir Charles. A poncho, an umbrella, a large straw hat, oversized mittens and my hubby’s size 13 ice fishing boots. He now gets that this odd clothes thing is a joke.

    So now we move on to other things.

    And what is it with English Shepherds and foul language? Are they all born to be the Lenny Bruce’s of the dog world?

  • 5. Dorene  |  August 31, 2009 at 11:56 am

    Is NESR still adopting dogs or just looking for fosters? I’m handing out seed stock garlic to the local farmers for fall planting — if they don’t have a dog, I’m talking up English Shepherds and handing out the NESR url.

    Pepper had/has her eccentricities, but the hat thing was never one of them. Considering how many different hats I have, that’s a relief!

  • 6. H. Houlahan  |  August 31, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Yes, dogs are still available for adoption!

    And dogs that are in foster now will be adoptable later.

  • 7. Christopher  |  August 31, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Please discontinue use of bloglinker!

    My blogger account has been shut down due to malware which infected my blog via the bloglinker code. I’m trying to get it put back up now, but I didn’t even know I had bloglinker code on my blog.

    I did a search through my e-mail and found this from over a year ago.

    “Your site BorderWars: A Border Collie Blog (http://borderwars.blogspot.com) has recently been linked to by SmartDogs (http://smartdogs.wordpress.com) using the http://www.blogLinker.com system.”

    You’re using wordpress so I don’t know if it will hurt your blog, but this is from a google employee:

    “Also, it seems now that many of the reported URLs have a ‘BlogLinker.com’ code snippet in them- *please* stay away from this widget in the future; it is completely nefarious. Thanks again for your patience.”

    – Christopher

  • 8. retrieverman  |  September 1, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I remember one evening approaching a the horses that are pastured here while wearing a broad-brimmed hat. Now, these horses are normally docile and love to be petted, but when they saw me, it was as if some demon had entered the pasture. They snorted and ran, then stood at distance of hundred yards so with their postures tense and erect, ready to head for the hills if this hatted menace approached with harmful intent.

  • 9. Push | diaryofadogpusher  |  September 23, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    […] to practice bad habits, the easier it is to push them beyond those bad habits. Pushing can be an uncomfortable process, but it’s worth every second when you have a dog that is capable, reliable, a joy to be […]

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