Training your Fearful Dog – Rack Rides In The Jeep and gets a Bonus Tornado Warning

I’m sitting here with my foot up on the arm of the couch like I am not supposed to do.   I catch myself doing it and put my foot on the floor.

Why?

We just had a massive storm come through.  It’s strange because April is the driest month.  There was a confirmed Tornado touchdown in downtown Fort Lauderdale, and confirmed touchdown at the Airport in Fort Lauderdale, or Hollywood.

Mind you, this is strange, and the last major storm that we had approaching this was back last year before the end of Hurricane Season.  I guess November or October.

Driest Month.   At least my grass will get watered.

You see that’s the thing.  All these atmospherics and the worst of it is that I’m stuck inside at the Dog Walk Hour with Rack next to me.  He’s not freaking out and shivering, just laying there on guard.

Much better than he was.

I still have video on one of my servers somewhere of Lettie, who predated him, running from room to room in my old house in a T Storm in Philadelphia barking at the skies at every thunder clap.

Rack is too laid back for that.   That is a good thing.

As terrified and fearful as he is, there are things that he just will push the fear aside and do.  That is something that speaks volumes.  You see, some dogs never get past their fears.  They sit in a corner and shiver at the slightest provocation.

I know some people like that.

One thing Rack likes is a Ride In The Car.

To say like is a gross mis-understatement.  It’s like the world likes its electrical gadgets and its internal combustion engines – an addiction that thinking people, even here in the US know, will come to an end… or else.  That’s the thing about Science, it is true whether you believe it or not.

Period.

If I mention that I want to go for a ride in the car in any context, Rack will proceed to

speak in tongues, vibrate, make unintelligible noises, and generally lose his … cool.

Since I only drive my own car very rarely, and normally to keep the battery charged, it only gets out about once a week.

Now, on his best day, Rack is still a dog.  I’m not delusional, but McNab Dog is as intelligent as many children I have met.  Toddlers not being very focused, and a good herding dog will be.

If I say lets go for a ride in the car, he is at the dog, speaking in tongues.  I open the door and he’s out to the regular car.  A Sedan.  And will sit next to His Door waiting to go in.  It’s not all smooth sailing, if a truck gets too close, he dive bombs into the back wheel wells and hides.

On the other hand, I say “Lets Go For A Ride In The Jeep” and he is torn.  He understands the Jeep-ness of the situation and isn’t quite so excited.

The last time I invited him to the land of Jeep, because as you know, anything else is just a car,

He took me up on it.   He walked to the Jeep and gave it the suspicious eye.  Opening the door he hesitated to step in but in he did go.  Parked himself on the Passenger seat and proceeded to give the look of fear that you see in dogs that are excited and terrified at the same time.

I drove out of the driveway and down the street to the first major intersection and he was fine.  I give him what he needs, a way to find success.

In this case it was to go for a ten mile circuit of the area and back.  Nothing special.  About 16 or so KM.

He managed to even relax.  Having him on two lane roads helped since there were few large trucks with evil diesel engines.  He will avoid those even on a walk.  He will try to tear my arm out of its socket trying to get away from those.

Once a few years back on a similar loop, he dove under my feet on the Interstate 95 which was actually terrifying especially since I need both feet to pilot the car.

Manual Transmission which means here in the US it won’t get stolen.

In the intervening years, he’s had plenty of exposure and while it didn’t look like it mattered, it did.

The solution is to keep exposing your dog in safe and small ways to things they dislike.  Eat some of your peas, kid, they’re good for you.

Rack found out, they are good for you, and he got to actually enjoy a ride in the Jeep.  He was still tense, but visibly happier at the end of the experience.

At this point “Do you want to go for a ride in the Jeep” is not a sentence of fear, but an invitation for excitement.  Sure he wishes it was a conventional sedan, but here he can go with Dad In A Ride In The Jeep!

And isn’t that all a kid wants?  Even furry kids?

Now that the rain has stopped… Hey Rack, Hungry yet?  Time to eat!

Good boy!  Gooood Boy!

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Teaching Rack to Eat – A Slow Eater Gets Much Better With Water and Heat.

Rack is a fascinating character.

My dog, Rack, has some quirks.  Some of those quirks are endearing.  He greets me in the house, despite other people living there, first.

Mind you since I’m the one that tends to grab the heaviest bags from the back of the car, that’s not always comfortable.  That wet nose has found itself in places it never should have been.

He sleeps in his bed, but only until I have drifted to sleep.  Many nights, in the glow of the clocks and

Dogs live by their noses, and will curl up next to their favorite people, and barring that, their clothes so

that they are comforted by the scent.

lights in the bedroom, I open an eye and see that he’s moved to the bath mat I keep next to the bed and my boots.  I would have thought it is more comfortable in his bed that is chock full of foam rubber, but he’d rather curl up on a flat mat next to my shoes and my bed.

Ok, Boy, as long as you don’t chew anything.

But one of those quirks has bothered me since day one, and is something I will have to watch for the rest of his time.

Food.  He’s a terrible eater.

Many dogs are too fast.  They eat so fast that they bloat and you end up turning the bowl over, or get a Maze bowl to force them to slow down.

Lettie was fine, although she was a bit too quick on snacks.  Just watch your fingers, she thought her snout was shorter than it actually was.

In Rack’s case, Food is an Afterthought.

He has severe food allergies.  Grain and Poultry are a definite no.  We went through quite a few meals followed by projectile “Soft Serve” and diarrhea until we figured that out.

Cheap food is full of grain.  Dogs don’t need grain.  They are omnivores, but more toward being a carnivore than we are.  So cut out the grain.  Chickens and Turkeys eat grains.  So whatever was in that grain gets stored in the muscle tissue, and whatever else, that is used to make the dog food and more “Soft Serve”.

We found a couple of foods that he could eat safely, but the damage was done.  He gets extremely picky.

Since one of the foods was a dry kibble, he would take as much as a half hour or more to eat on a normal feeding.  Twice a day and I was spending an hour tapping and shaking the food bowl to motivate him to eat. I would get frustrated, start nagging him to eat.

Not good.  Nobody likes to be nagged.

So I hit on an idea.

Take the food in the bowl, ours is purple plastic, and add an ounce of water or so.  Just enough to puddle a little bit in the bottom of the bowl.  Coat all of the food with the water.  Shake and stir it around.

Then microwave it for 15 seconds.  Just enough to warm things.

The last dry day he had was 27 minutes of crunching.  Lettie would have had that done in short order and ask for more.

The first wet day he was done so fast that I had to do a double take.  It took three minutes.

So the rule is that he gets bored and needs variety.

The main rule is that even just an ounce of water to warm and soak things is a help.

Reading this you may say to “Give him 10 minutes then remove the food, he’ll eat when he’s hungry”.

No.  “I mean are you stupid? No.”

I have a dog with a very low prey drive, and a very low food drive.  He will starve himself.  As in “I’ll lose 20% of my body weight and still ignore that food.”

It simply is not a priority and removing food from a dog is unnecessarily cruel.  Better to try something positive and see if you can change things.
Of course we’re also dealing with a dog who was still growing when I got him from the rescue, so he

You see, Puppies are wonderful and beautiful balls of love.  However taking a dog away from Mom means that it does not learn what is acceptable in a pack.  Feeding is one of those things that is effected and you end up with a painfully fussy dog.

He was almost certainly taken from his mother early and not socialized properly.

When your pup is in a pack of 8 brothers and sisters, you eat or you go hungry.  Being picky means failure to thrive.  If you aren’t taught that lesson, it may linger.

In our case it did.

So a little water, and 15 minutes in the microwave may just do the trick.  It did with us.

The Colder The Weather, The Tighter The Dogball

Cold is relative.

No really, it is.

You ask someone who lives in a place where they get wild swings of temperature when you don’t, they may tell you you’re crazy.

But if your dog gets cold, it gets cold, no matter where you are.

In my case, my dog got cold, and so did my relatives.  Rack, the McNab SuperDog (TM), handles it in style.  He simply rolls up into a dogball and parks himself in the corner.

He does it wrong, but he doesn’t care.

Last night, watching an old sitcom, I saw the ritual of the nest.  I’ve got a mat for him to lay on to protect him from the cold slab that the house is built upon.  Yes, I know, Cold is Relative.  In this case, it’s relative enough for me to be wearing a pair of Doc Martins any time I am not in bed, or a shower, or shaving in front of a mirror.

But that’s normal for me.

The one time I tried to put my own Docs on my dog’s feet, he looked up at me with all knowing brown eyes and basically told me I was an idiot.  Taking one foot out of each shoe, he slipped away.

Good for me, I was able to finish dressing.  Sitting on the edge of the bed means that I generally have a 46 pound, badger black and white dog weaving his frame in and out of my legs.  Like a cat.  Which I can’t.  I’m allergic to cats.  That’s why we have a dog.   A Good Dog indeed.

Who’s a good boy?  Hmmm?  You are!

So as he’s pawing on a mat that has to weigh as much as a bag of flour, not having much luck, and basically making a mess, he manages to roll it up into a ball.  Then, Plop! He’s settling in next to it to sleep.

That Dog Sniffing His Tail position that McNab Dog owners are so familiar with.  The tighter the dogball, the colder the weather.

But cold is all relative.  My relatives.  One in the Philadelphia Area, My Sister Pat at least doesn’t laugh at me when I tell her it’s cold out.  She does remind me that while I may be feeling cold and it’s 50, I also went to Kelly Drive and would have a skate workout when there was ice on the trails in a T Shirt and Boxer shorts with a sweatshirt if it was windy.

Just a short workout, mind you, only 9 miles, but you can do it too.  Come on, it was only 25, and I wasn’t crazy.  Really I wasn’t.

The other one is in the middle of the great plains.  The Middle of Nebraska.  Les Nessman’s dream state.  Where it was minus-freaking-25 Farenfreakingheit.  Too Freaking Cold.

So cold that it doesn’t make too much sense to take the effort to convert the temp to Celsius because it is roughly the same.  And my mind may be going from all that cold anyway because I could be getting the temperature wrong, oh never mind, let me have my damn coffee, it’s too cold to think about that!

Replace Freaking with whatever intensifier you wish.  I have one in mind.  Four bold letters.  Describes the situation perfectly.  Survival gear to go to the mailbox cold.

No.  Just No.  I’ll take solace in that it will only get colder here, and we’re expecting two degrees above freezing.  Yes, 38F or 2C.

So this is the dry season.  How I know is that it has been raining for two days in a row, and my banana tree sprouted a flower that just popped open.  Just in time for near freezing temperatures.

The storm forms in the Caribbean, where the water is still warm, relatively.  It does that pirouette dance to spin up into what my Sister will be calling a Nor’Easter, and wondering if it will get above freezing before the storm hits there.

Dunno, Pat, I remember once riding my motorcycle this time of year through the NJ Pine Barrens with just a T Shirt and Jeans because it was 70 with snow banks on the side of the road and ice patches in the shadows.

Dress for the Slide, not the Ride.

So it’s all relative.  I will hide from my cold.  You hide from your cold.  Here, have some coffee.

Did I tell you that the freeze line is 8 miles north of me?  Yeah, Clint Moore Road in Boca Raton according to the National Weather Service is as far south as freezing temps get.

Take that Boca!  Hah!

Four Paws and Bored? What do you want, Rack?

I putter in the yard a lot.

When you have a string of pots with 25 species of plants in an average sized suburban yard, it tends to take a

little bit of time to do a yard inspection.

I’m out there twice a day, at least, and every day regardless of the weather.

Ok, there really are exceptions.  I don’t think I went out there that day that Hurricane Irma was blowing her nasty head all over the entirety of the Florida Peninsula, but cut me a little bit of slack.

We have, all over the perimeter of the yard, plantings.  They have been discovered by my dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM), as well as Lettie who proceeded him and came down here with us from Philadelphia.

The plantings have also been discovered by the creatures that are trying to live in this yard.  We’ve got two species of lizard here on a daily basis.  They’re small enough to be entertaining and not a threat.  There have been rare snakes, opossums, raccoons, iguanas, and of course neighbor’s cats that come through here.

The cats don’t belong.  If you want a pet, keep them safe inside your home or on a leash.  Can’t manage that, don’t have one.  It keeps them alive longer.

For the most part whenever Rack explores, and I rattle around the plants, we don’t see anything out there.  They hear us and move away.

With all this propagation going on, I’m kept entertained.

Monarch butterflies spot the Mexican Milkweed and eat it all to sticks.  When the sticks get long, and begin to re-leaf, I take cuttings and stick them in pots.  If I get seeds, the park gets them scattered there to return the favor of the original milkweed plants from years back.

Orchid pots are designed to rot away so that the plants can eat the nutrients.  When they do, they need re-potting and you can split the plants into two or more.

Banana trees constantly regrow and are bursting through the pot I have them in.  I’ll need a better solution but frankly unless you want to live in a banana grove that won’t happen.  Pots it will be.  Bananas are growing too, so I’ll have a treat further down the line.

All the while that I am doing that I am being watched.  Granted, there are flocks of feral parrots that fly overhead screeching their call to flock, and a random scrawny squirrel that dines on Palm Nuts out of the trees on the property.  Those squirrels would be laughed at up North.  They’re about half the size of the ones up there.

No, I mean by my own dog Rack.

You see he goes through and does his own plant inspection and waters pots too.  Thankfully not my food crops, but he does have his spots behind the hedges and under the Podocarpus.

Sometimes he’ll want to start running around so I’ll get distracted from considering the pruning of the Condo Mango tree that isn’t supposed to get more than 10 feet tall but is getting close.  Usually we’ll get into our dance where he’ll run around like crazy to burn off steam.  When he does, he will make these sharp turns around the obstacles in the yard at a speed that a hockey player would only dream of, and with grace a ballerina would aspire to.

In a short blast of air, he vanishes into a wormhole and visits his alternate family in the alternate universe.  Coming back out of warp, he slows down to conventional speed and will run around some more.

Meanwhile, I’ve gone back to being boring and puttering around the yard.  Fretting over the black mold that will grow on the concrete in cold seasons, or debating whether to break apart the Lemongrass that is now over 8 feet tall and swaying in the breezes making me want to make Thai food.

This is when I will feel the weight of his eyes.  He will appear.  He will tell me that he wants something else.

Inside.

You see, instead of having a kid running around screaming at me, I have a four footed McNab Dog staring me down.  Smartest of all breeds, along with all the other smart ones, he knows how to get his point across.

If I ignore him, I do so at my own peril.

He was mistreated before I got him.  Most likely removed from his mother too early, and then the first owner tried to convince him to be a hunting dog, he was an owner surrender.  I would say that his allergies to grain and poultry based food had a lot to do with that.  He came to us with worms that had to be treated three times, and a crushing fear of everything that he still shows from time to time.

However, I am his main person.  Wherever he is, he is watching me, or at least where I am.  If I am doing something and he wants a change, I find two brown eyes staring holes through my soul.  He will sit at my feet and block me from moving on.

That is a herding behavior, modified.  As a result of his rough start, his play drive is warped as well as his herding drive.  If we are out and not going where he wants us to, he circles in front of me, looks up, and blocks my path.

Usually I give in, but that cuts my own walk short.

In this case, we’re in the yard. I’ve bored him.  Plants are for peeing on, not for propagating to make fresh herbs for a pizza.

Come on, lets go! I’m Bored! say the brown eyes.

Just like a kid.  “Ok, Rack, Show Me!”.

He trots to the door with a smile on his face.

“Show Me” is something I have always taught dogs.  They can’t talk but they surely are expressive.  They will take you to what they need or what they think you need.  It isn’t always treats, it can be just the door or the leash.  This makes things simple.

It also stops the bored dog by giving him a hand in what he wants to do.

Show Me, indeed.  “Ok Boy, I’m coming, let’s go in.”

“Anybody want to go for a walk?

Morning Tummy Rubs Are The Best

Anyone who has the pleasure of having a McNab Dog in their life knows the position.

On their backs, spine curled, one or more legs in the air, exposing their belly for all to see.

Have you no shame, Sir?

Nah.  Why?  It’s tummy rub time.

Actually in this case, it’s an every morning thing.  Even before I get out of bed, I am leaning over and rubbing a tummy.  The lights then get turned on, and the abbreviated morning routine happens.  Coming back into the bedroom, if he gets up, as soon as the door to the bathroom opens, he’s back down on the floor preparing to roll back up into his bendy self.

It is a comically common position with Rack, my McNab SuperDog (TM).

He does it anywhere he thinks he’ll get attention.  He has also fallen asleep under my hand while I was rubbing that tummy so I must be doing it right.

If he isn’t sleeping on his back, he’s bent into a dogball with his head on his tail.  It isn’t that he does that to keep warm, I live in Florida.

South Florida.

You know, below the Freeze Line?  Boca Raton gets temperatures down to 32.  The coldest it has been since I moved here was 34.  That’s 1C for those Metricated people out there.

He will do that in winter, summer, no matter when.  If he gets too warm being curled up in his bed, he’s going to come out and sprawl out on the Terrazzo floor and curl up there.

Bendy Dogs will do that.

Comically so.  In fact, those of us who follow the breed have decided that our bendy dog is normal, it’s a trait, even if he’s being visited by a parrot who may want to try to take over his crate.

Oh sure, they can flatten out like any other dog.  If they act like they are made out of latex, rubber bands, springs,  bits of string and other things that stretch and bend, they will sprawl out on the floor.  In fact I do believe that they will deflate partially, lowering their internal air pressure by half like I did when I used to take my Jeep off road in the New Jersey Pine Barrens near Chatsworth.

So I have an off road dog.   Wouldn’t be the first.  Lettie did it as well.  When she got older, she stopped bending so much and would be solar powered, letting her mostly black fur soak up as much sun as possible, recharging her for later.

But she used to sleep in a ball just like Rack does.  Like I said, it’s a breed trait, and an amusing one at that.

I guess it is one of those things to watch for.  As time goes by, Rack will choose to recharge in the sun, flatten out and stop his bendy ways but I bet he’ll always roll up for a tummy rub when it’s available.

And even when it is not.

How Do You Know Whether To Syringe Feed Your Dog Or Stop

Of all the things I wrote on this blog, the one that really grabs hold of me and forces me to think, critically, it was the time I wrote about Syringe Feeding my dog Lettie near the end of her life.

I made decisions, some were right, some were “right for me”.

It has been four years since, and I’m right around the anniversary that day that we let her go.  In fact, one day past.  April 11, 2013.

Yesterday, coincidentally, I got a comment on that posting from Holly.

My 16 yr old , rat terrier , Aggie, was diagnosed with renal issues by the ER vet on Sunday. She wanted me to put her down and when I didn’t agree, she sent me home with medication for her nausea and iron supplements. I will say they did give her subcutaneous IV fluids. I was provided a leaflet and told not to feed her protein….try oatmeal. I took her to my vet today and we have a plan. She is end stage, but at least he is trying to see if we can get her numbers down. I am feeding her via syringe with Hills A/D. He has started her on a phosphorous binder, antibiotic and more fluids. Thank you for your article. It’s calming to listen to others who understand the love we share for these creatures who only love us unconditionally.

Remember, I am not a Vet.  I’m just some blogger sitting in a chair in South Florida writing about my own experiences…

However.

I will say that everything that the vet told Holly was true to what I was told.  Low Protein, Low everything.  I had to wonder what on earth Lettie was getting in the prescription food.

This is basically what happened before mankind discovered Dialysis.  You flush the body with IV fluids, mostly water, to get the things out of the body that the body considers waste.  Dialysis machines are frighteningly expensive, and here in the US in this day and age, it’s well known how obscenely expensive health care is, let alone sending your dog or cat through this treatment.

Then you get a reprieve.

We went through three cycles.  You will know when it is time to stop.  Lettie told me.

Lettie was a McNab and Border Collie cross.   She had The Eye of a BC, but the webbed and cat like feet of a McNab.  She also knew how to get her point across.  Through the feedings she never bit.  I tried all sorts of foods to try to keep her energy up.  Finally one Friday morning, I knew.

Lettie stopped eating, looking at me, she stepped away from the syringe.

A Herding Dog can understand a lot more of your language, body and verbal, than you would realize.  I asked her if she wanted more.

A dog looking away but not walking away spoke volumes.  It was her saying “I’ve had it, I will do it if you want, but I don’t think it is for the best.”

That was the day that I made arrangements.

I had bought her fully almost a year.  The last month was for me to get ready.  It was time, I knew it too.

So that’s the thing.  You have to really KNOW your pet.  They do love you unconditionally, even if you’re not doing right by them.

It will test you and your resolve.  They may be a bad candidate for this treatment.  Dogs or cats may scratch or snap or just otherwise back away.

Some people are wrong for this – their view is that “the dog is just a pet”.  I will hold back comment on that mind set.

It is a lot of prep work to feed your pet this way.  Not for everyone.  It was for me.

In the end, you will make your own decision, and it will be right.  No judgement.  Especially if you try and don’t manage to get the feedings to work.

Lettie understood all this.  She taught me when it was time, and she told me when she was done.

By going through the treatment, you are buying time.  You are purifying the blood of a dog under Renal Failure.  You are partially resetting the clock, but you can’t completely replace what is lost.  All this will weaken them, but it will buy time.

Bottom line, yes, I absolutely would do this again.

Two weeks after I lost Lettie, I was told by someone who is very close to me this:

“Bill, it hurts too much, give another dog a chance, Lettie would want that.”

I did.  Rack is here at my right elbow while I am writing.  He is his own challenge with all his fear issues, but at four years on, we’re learning.

So I have a feeling I have around 10 to 12 years more with him learning me.  Why not, Lettie did.   She was a dog of a lifetime. She knew what I was up to at any given moment.

 

Rack? Yes, he knows that I don’t give him an ice cube until the second time I make coffee so don’t beg until then.

Good luck with your feedings.  Buy the time.  It is worth it.

If you’ll excuse me now, I have to give a very good dog a cookie.

McNab Dogs Are Just Too Polite

I don’t really have a dog.  I have a shadow.

Rack is my rescue.  Actually his full name is Rack The McNab SuperDog (TM).  He told me to put that TM there.  I’m on the fence about that.

Thing is that I’ll be in a room doing my thing and I notice he’s watching.  The bedroom door is across from the bathroom.  His mat sits there so he can watch both.

I’ll get up off my chair doing whatever it is that I do in the course of the day and wander into either room.  Do my thing, and turn around and there’s a mostly black with white accents dog looking back under all seeing brown eyes.

Watching.

If I happen to go into that bathroom in this little house and close the door, and I do close the door if there are other humans here as a polite man is wont to do, Rack will make his presence known.

He’s worried that I may Fall In.  I hear paws on the tiles. Walking.  Pacing.  Back and forth.  Too long sequestered, I have heard some gentle little whining at the door.

Watching.

This particular day was a very active one.  My normal routine was a bit upset.  You see my elbow got hurt.  If you have a foam mattress you may find yourself in the same position.  In my case, I was in a bowl.  Sleeping on that foam mattress, I found myself sinking down into it slowly until when I wake.  My elbow was hyper-extended by sinking so I will try to re-position.  Back to sleep.  Elbow wakes me up in pain again.  It got to the point where my elbows were both in pain all day.

I went to get a new mattress.  It was not an option, but a requirement.

I put this new one on the bed and flattened it out.

Mind you I am a very creative person.  I realized that inside the old mattress was one inch of memory foam and another five or so inches of upholstery foam.  I started carving it into shapes for future pillows and so forth filling the master bedroom with oblongs and rectangular shapes, odd specks of foam hitting the floor and bouncing over the distance to land near Rack’s nose.

Yes, he came in and was busy watching me make a mess of things.

I realized it.  He was doing his job.

He also has a bed.  That bed needs to be replaced a good six or seven times over.  Sure, he has mats that I can toss in the washer on Hot Wash Day to kill whatever is inside, but he prefers this slightly bowl shaped contraption that is a hand-me-down from a long since moved away neighbor who insisted that Rack would like it.

I got the bright idea to take some of the smaller scraps and filled the dog bed with it.  Eventually he will learn to like it as he melts over the side in a position that only a Bendy McNab Dog would enjoy.  Never complaining, melting over the side like a Salvador Dali painting of an impossible clock, he would find a new position.

All the while I was breaking the one cardinal rule of having a herding dog.  I was changing routine.  Listening to a radio station called 4TO in Townsville, Australia for their coverage of Cyclone Debbie, they sounded the hour.  I looked at the clock here and realized that it was already Noon.

Lunch would be late.  I had to make a pot of rice and warm the curry.

Putting the rice cooker back on, I looked around and realized that he had moved into the kitchen and was watching for some food.

“Sorry Rack, chicken makes you sick and this curry has onion in it.”

I got a disappointed look and he circled around to lay down, Sphinx-like from the little hallway.

 

Once the rice was on, I asked “What is it, Rack?  Show me!  Show me what you want!”

Nose in the air, I responded “Sorry, boy not for dogs.  How about something else.  Come here!”

Gently, he padded across the tiles on his cat like feet and wagged his tail at me.  I bent down to his ear and whispered the magic word:  “Yogurt.”

Got a solid wag there.  Never a bark, those are reserved for the intruders like UPS Guys and those rather insistent Duck that roam the yard.  I started to pour out the yogurt, he was going to get a treat…

OOPS!  A solid pint of home made plain yogurt?  This should be interesting.

I set him back on his way.  He downed the yogurt as I went back to stuffing his bed.

The rice cooker, later, snapped to the finished position.  I put the curried chicken on top and sat down at the little rolling table.  Rack was well tall enough to be able to bend down to eat right off that plate, but no, he got a conversation instead.

“Rack, you know this is chicken and onion!  Curry is too spicy for you.  Not for dogs, I’m sorry”.

I got the most plaintive look back from him.

“Rack it will turn you into a soft serve dispenser.  Let’s not have any of this here.”

Sad expectant look walked away slowly.  I was able to finish the plate of Chicken and Chick Peas, Onions, Sauce, Peanuts and Rice without an issue.

Watching.

Of course he was.  That’s his job.  Me.

If anyone tells you that you can’t have a McNab dog in the city, just tell them that they simply need a job.  You can be their job.  Best job a dog ever had.

Oh!  And as for the beds?  Both are fine.  My new one helped my elbows out greatly, it’s amazing what a good mattress will do for your back too!  Rack is still on the fence about it, but I took a giant cartoonish kitchen knife and cut the foam inserts I made down to one half thickness.  He’s on the bed now.