Sunday, July 28, 2013

Taking Bogie to the wash was a bad idea.

My house backs up against a wash.  For non-Arizonans, that's a required, undeveloped area with depressions intended to capture rain runoff.  We don't get much rain, but what we get comes in torrents.  The washes, or retention basins, are there to prevent flooding of streets and houses.

Our wash is bordered with a 2-rail metal fence to keep motorcycles and four-wheelers out. When I had my other dogs, Rags, Peanut, and Angel, we would go out into the wash once a week.  I would let them off-leash and each dog would explore at its own pace.

After Peanut died, Angel didn't want to go to the wash any longer. When I first got Bogie, his leash training was negligible and I couldn't trust him off leash. So we hadn't been out in the wash in over a year.

Someone recommended a long lead leash for Bogie to see how he would react.  It sounded like a good idea. I bought a 50' leash.  Today seemed like a good day to do it.  Angel's knee was recovering nicely. The weather was decent.  I took Bogie on a normal two mile walk to tire him a little.

We were all set.

The walk went well at first.  Bogie was aware he was on a leash and behaved accordingly.  The lead only got caught on a low shrub twice.  And each time Bogie came to the 2-rail fence, he turned away.  He turned away even at a low spot where he could have gotten under without much ducking.

As we got to the end of the metal fence where we would turn back to our house, Bogie decided to crouch and go under the fence.  That's when I realized that a 50 foot lead is not an effective deterrent.  Too much delay.  By the time I stopped him, Bogie was on the wrong side of the fence.

In the Cholla cactus. 

I kept the lead tight as I moved hand over hand toward him.  He didn't want to come back to my side of the fence and fought me.  Which got him into more Cholla. 

When I finally got him to come back to me, I pulled the green, fleshy Cholla pads off right there.  Thankfully I had put on leather gloves so the leash wouldn't hurt my hands.  Some of the spines stuck in my gloves, but that was better than sticking to the skin of my hands.

I took him back to the house, kept him on the leash while I went out to the garage for pliers and to the kitchen for a bowl.  I kept him on the leash so I could prevent him from trying to pull the spines out with his mouth. 

Out to the patio to remove the spines – from all four paws, his right hip, and his tail.  The pliers were useless on the small spines.  I used my fingers. 

He fought me part of the time, but I wouldn't let go of the paw I was holding.  Finally, he gave up and laid down.  Until I switched paws and we struggled again.  And he laid down again.

I ran my hands over his body until I was sure I had all the spines removed.  The last spine was a tiny piece in his tail that took several tries to get.  Not once did he whine or cry. 

I think that is our last visit to the wash.  

No comments :

Post a Comment