I don’t need a dog whisperer . . .

I don’t need a dog whisperer; I need a dog yeller! 

Okay, I know he’s from Texas, but that alone should not be reason enough for the bizarre behavior our wonderful pet displays.

We bought our tricolor collie off the Internet, which is maybe a bit risky given we couldn’t really see how he interacted with his siblings and parental units.  However, he has been a lover—an ideal pet and so perfectly spoiled!  That is until we changed the flooring.

When we took out the carpeting and put hard floors in, all of a sudden he became afraid of his dog bowl.  We really didn’t realize he wasn’t eating till a friend commented on how skinny he had become.  With his big fur coat, the gradual reduction in weight had not really sunk in.  Hubby thought I was filling his bowl; I thought he was. 

Panic mode.  Rescue mode. 

He went from only pure (expensive) dog food—no scraps—to food laced with eggs, feta cheese, and beef gravy!  (Okay, don’t tell my husband, but I did accidently regularly drop food he might like just a bit as I prepared meals.  But that is a secret!)  We coaxed and cajoled (Yeah, they are synonyms.  It’s for emphasis!) and got him to eat out of our hands, and eventually the bowl.  Problem solved.

At least you would think.

He got some kind of intestinal bug.  We think it’s from his disgusting habit of licking other dogs’ urine.  His tongue lolls out of his mouth, his eyes glaze over, and he drools as if in some kind of drug-induced stupor.  I’d say it is a doggie sexual thing except he does it with bird poop, too.  Like I said, he’s from Texas!  (Kidding.  Don’t throw things.)  The gas he got from his addiction made him think that he was being chased by demons.  Or else he’d look at me as if I’d poked him or something and take off out the door!

Expensive vet type pills took care of those demons, but amazingly the demons were cast out of his butt and into his water bowl!

Current dilemma:  He will lick water from the sprinklers and off the concrete, and occasionally even drink from his bowl as if nothing is wrong.  But more often than not, he will lie in front of his water and whine.  Or bark.  And look ever so pathetic. 

Solution:  By going over and standing by the water, he will drink.  But apparently some doggie demons only come out with exotic rituals, which in this case means you lean over (must hurt lower back or it doesn’t work), put a finger actually touching the side of the bowl, and then he will drink.  Or at least till the bowl gets about halfway down.  Then somehow the waves . . . or his reflection . . . or the dip in publicly traded stocks stirs the water and he jumps back!

So since Caesar the Dog Whisperer is not available, and I’m not so sure a whisper is what we need anyway, we are thinking of lacing his bowl with antidepressants for dogs (which come in little cat-shaped pills).  And if that doesn’t work, we’re back to yelling . . . at each other!

P.S.  Don’t tell us to get a stand for his food and water.  Done that.  Returned item.

Don’t tell us to buy a fountain that circulates refreshing water into the bowl, simulating a Canadian mountain stream.  Well . . . you know.

Don’t tell us he will drink when he’s thirsty.  Held out as long as possible, but the SPCA was doing drive bys.

Don’t tell us to change the bowl or get a rug or put the bowl outside.  Tried and failed. 

And remember:  This is the dog that was attacked a few days ago by a pit bull boxer type big muscular meanie, driving me into hysterics trying to club the dog with my bicycle and a pine tree!  Okay, I was trying to hide behind the pine tree.  When we get ready for our rides now, me armed with an 18” steel pipe that gives me hand cramps, he looks at me with the same jubilant eyes that he always has had.  Me, I’m still in shock and fighting nausea.   But give him a bowl of water to drink . . . and my neurotic goes into hysterics!  Help me!

About apronheadlilly

wife and mother, musician, composer / poet, teacher, and observer of the world, flawed Christ-follower
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37 Responses to I don’t need a dog whisperer . . .

  1. tootlepedal says:

    He looks gorgeous though. Put the carpet back down perhaps he is seeing his own reflection on your new floor.

    • It’s not that clean!!! 🙂 We’re thinking maybe something fell and clattered near his bowl or maybe just the skittering of his feet on the slick floor–who knows! It is a mystery.

  2. diane ulibarri says:

    You are so funny. He sounds like a horse that needs his salt block only worse. If you had a natriopath (spelled wrong) you could take him to them and see if he has some kind of deficientcy.good luck.

  3. reinkat says:

    Hmmm. Tongue lolling, eyes glazed, drooling = nausea. We have had much trouble with giardia, seen that, been there. It is a notoriously difficult parasite to diagnose as well as to kill. Have a vet check him, bring a stool sample, especially if there is a bloody or runny one. (How pleasant). As for not drinking or eating: I, too, have a neurotic dog. Larry hates change of any sort. It was a good suggestion to put back a carpet square for your pup. That might work. Also maybe putting a second water/food bowl outside on the patio or somewhere, where he might feel more comfortable making it his. Good luck! If only they could talk . . .

    • We put a mat under his bowls, but he still gets freaky. If he could talk, he would say, “Don’t ever leave me, pamper me, and hold my bowl while I indulge my fears!” But we love him.

  4. danitacahill says:

    Hilarious post. No hilarious for your dog, but funny to read. Sounds like he has OCD. I wish I had words of wisdom for you.

  5. Well, if you find a solution, tell me! Our dog is quite afraid of our kitchen floor. And it is the only way to get out the back door. He always wants to take a running start, which will have him sliding every which way. And sadly, metal bowls have crashed to the floor, too, so that sure didn’t help.
    Sometimes we will place treats around the kitchen floor for him to find. It is funny watching him because he will keep his feet planted and stretch his neck as long as possible to reach the treats. We’ve been told to lay mats around the floor, but that is nuts and would be a trip hazard for the people.
    Some days he is fine, but then there are others. Most often if he wants to get from the back door to the other side of the kitchen, he will tromp up the set of stairs by the back door and run across to go down the other stairs.

    • We put hard flooring in the kitchen, dining room, living room, halls, bathroom, and my office. So on the bottom floor, he only has the bonus room and the library where there’s carpet. Poor thing. We have a big area rug in the living room which helps, and one by the front door, but he probably feels like he’s skating most of the time. He’s a bit neurotic anyhow, so we haven’t helped his plight! And now he’s upset at the snow and won’t go out. This is the same dog who plays in the sprinklers when it’s freezing. Silly dog.

  6. Cath Howell says:

    That’s a tough one Lilly! I hope you get things figured out. I know what it’s like to worry and not have the slightest how you can help!!!!!!
    One more suggestion…have you tried changing the location of his bowl in the house?

    • Yup. First we took it away from the “scary” place and put it by us at the table. Then in the kitchen on the rug in front of the sink. Then near our eating place on a rug. Now he’s back in his original spot, but on a rug. 😛 It’s not as bad as it was, but he still spazzes on me.

  7. Dor says:

    I wish there was a “Love This” button instead of “Like This”. Very few things make me laugh out loud but you did it here. Your beautiful pup’s bizarre behavior reminds me of our paranoid dog. I feed her in the living room (she’s very neat), where I tell her to lie down first and then put the bowl between her front legs. Then I have to pretend I’m not interested before she will eat but I have to sit with her through the process. When she is through, I add water to the bowl. So, you are not alone. I think these canines have figured us all out.

    • What we do for our dogs. We have loved all our dogs, but this one–well, he lives in the house, he vocalizes with me when I warm up to sing, and he reads my mind. 🙂 We cater to his quirks because he is not just a dog.

  8. Christine says:

    I have a suggestion for the water bowl demons: take a clove of garlic and run it around the edge of the bowl. (Well, it works for fish.) Fish love their pellets garlic soaked, so maybe the smell will change his mind about the water.
    Or better yet, try rubbing the rim with a bit of fresh cat-mint or lemon balm. He’ll think a cat just peed near his bowl. He should love that, given his present tastes.

    • Mmm, good suggestions. He is a bit weird, but he loves Neosporin and Vicks Vaporrub. He licks it off me! Maybe I should put that on the rim. . . . but something on the rim is a good thought.

  9. Misslisted says:

    I have no advice, but I loved the post and he is a beautiful creature! My significant other has just returned to a full time job after a short 2 year “retirement”, and I have had the pleasure of spending more time with his beloved dog Sophie (my step-dog), a 100 pound german shepherd/black and tan coon hound mix, who now knows she is my dog too, and not just his….I am so lucky.

  10. I am not really sure what else you can try. All I can say is you are trying your best and that counts for a lot. It is obvious you love your dog very much. Thanks for sharing your stoy and you have a beauticful dog!

  11. What we do for our dogs, indeed! 🙂

  12. LOL.. ah yes… collies are unique. Sounds like he has a big heart and a soft one too. Advice? I’d say you have it in hand… lots of loving understanding and interaction which you obviously do. 🙂 We have had some of the wildest and some of the most timid collies one can imagine. Each is unique. Your collie is absolutely beautiful!!!!! We have learned collies do not like change unless they make the change… LOL…. You are doing great in caring for him. 🙂
    Love your blog!
    God BLess You!
    the collies and chuck 🙂

  13. Reblogged this on Apronhead and commented:

    ***************Funny dog. He is back talking and whining to his bowl again. 🙂

  14. Mona says:

    This is hilarious! Love your writing!

  15. dorannrule says:

    This is hilarious! And it’s even funnier because I have a similarly paranoid dog, who refused to eat in the kitchen where her bowl was. Solution: I prepare her food (laced with bits of American cheese for color and scent). Then I sit down in my t.v. chair in the carpeted living room and coax her over with a piece of the cheese. Then I urge her to lie down and I put the bowl between her front legs. I then have to cross my legs as if I’m there to stay and after she looks all around to case out the joint, she begins to eat. I also have a glass of water at the ready, so when she has cleaned her bowl of food, she gets water (all in the same lying down position). This might work for you too. I think it’s a security issue – maybe mine – maybe hers? She’s also on the antidepressants (which I also wrap in the cheese). 🙂 BTW -Your dog is GORGEOUS!

    • He is a love! We have gone through so many paranoid issues with him, and just when you think you have him figured out, he changes. The floor change was definitely a biggy though. Right now, he is better so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  16. Cheryl says:

    When our dog stopped drinking her water (for whatever reason) our vet told us to stir in a little ketchup … apparently dogs see more with their noses than their eyes. It worked.

  17. Good luck with that dilemma; I have not a clue …I am interested i the outcome.
    You are too funny!

  18. Oh the poor guy. Hope it all works out. Good story though.

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