Tag Archives: behaviour

Killer Macadamias

Little Monkey was eighteen months old when I adopted her; young, strong and full of life. She was slowly learning the ropes from the older two dogs, and starting to settle in. She had only been with us a few weeks when she gave us all a fright one night.

Soon after the dogs had all been out in the garden before going to bed, I noticed something seriously wrong with Little Monkey. Her back legs suddenly collapsed, and her breathing was rapid and shallow. I checked her gums and found them very pale. She was obviously in a serious way. It looked like she was in shock. I couldn’t understand it, as she had been perfectly fine half an hour before!

It was now about 21.30 and all the vets were long shut. I took her to the all-night animal hospital.  We sat in the waiting room a good twenty minutes before she got to see the vet. (I think possible emergencies should be assessed at once!) As we sat there, her breathing gradually became easier, and she regained the use of her legs. In effect, she had cured herself while we waited for the vet.

A check up found nothing wrong – now! So I took her home again, with a considerably lighter purse! She was back to her usual bouncy self, full of life and perfectly healthy.

It took me some time to think of a possible cause. Then I remembered that earlier that day I had put out in the garden some old macadamia nuts for the squirrels to eat. None of my other dogs had ever been able to reach them, but obviously the Idiot had; reached and eaten! The suddenness of the attack was scary. An older, weaker dog may well have died from it.

Luckily, Little Monkey recovered fully, with no ill effects, to continue to eat anything and everything that she could lay her paws on.


Mr Spaghetti Legs has a bad day

Mr Spaghetti Legs

Mr Spaghetti Legs

Mr Spaghetti Legs came to us about seven months ago. He was paw-picked by Little Monkey. She knew exactly what energy would be compatible with hers, so she picked a dominant old boy, with a calm energy, to off-set her anxiousness.

He had been at the animal rescue centre for nearly eleven years. No-one wanted to adopt him. Why? I don’t know.  He is white, with large brown spots on one side only, sort of like the markings of a Jack Russel, except that Mr SL is more of a collie cross. According to my vet, he has a pinched nerve in his spine, which may explain the wobbly back legs. (Hence his nick-name.)

I have never chosen a dog based on its looks, but rather its compatibility to fit in with our existing dogs and lifestyle. This was the first time I let my own dog choose, but that was vital, as Little Monkey is dominant-anxious, and my whole life is spent in calming her down. Any help I could get from a ‘new’ old boy, would be priceless.

The other night I heard Mr SL yapping and snarling and my first thought was that the dogs were fighting. I rushed through to the lounge, only to find that he had got his dew claw *caught in a ring on a tag on his collar. He couldn’t get it loose and it must have been jolly sore.

*How did he do this? He tends to clean his face like a cat, by licking his front paw and passing it over his ear.

As I stood there trying to grab the collar to take it off him, Little Monkey came rushing through from the kitchen, where she had put herself to bed already. She went straight up to Mr SL, and I could see instantly that she was about to attack him. I grabbed her and marched her back to the kitchen and shut the door. This was all done in silence; no barking, no words. By the time I got back to  poor Mr SL, he had managed to extricate his claw. We stood there together, and I hugged him, while our heart rates gradually fell below 200 again!

Why did Little Monkey want to attack the old boy, having shown no aggression towards him so far? She is a hunter. In her mind, she came to investigate the yelping, and saw a wounded animal writhing around on the ground, giving off all the signals of prey. This triggered her hunting instincts and she moved in to attack him.

I was not angry with Little Monkey; after seven years together, I understand her. She acted purely on instinct. She and Mr SL are the best of friends again. Though I have since removed Mr SL’s collar!


Horse sense

So you don’t come across horses everyday, which makes it interesting when you do.

The first time my rescue dog Mr Spaghetti Legs saw a horse, we had just got back in the car after a nice long walk. A  horse and rider appeared, and decided to canter in circles on the field right by my car. Wow, thought Mr SL, and started barking to tell me how audacious this big animal was. I told him to stop, and tapped his neck. He then growled every time the horse circled past the car. Another tap and he sat there totally relaxed with a big grin on his face. (long walk and balanced dog.)

The first time Little Monkey saw a horse, we had also just finished a nice long walk and were sitting on a bench when a horse and rider approached. Anything new is scary to this rescued dog, so she leapt up in excitement, till I got her to sit still. The horse passed by us and the Idiot simply watched. However, when the horse was about 20 metres away it started to trot, and something clicked in Little Monkey’s head. It was quite obvious, that moment when Little Monkey saw the horse as prey. I snapped her out of it. If she had not been on a lead she would have chased after the horse and I wonder what she would have done once she got nearer and realised the horse was actually massive, not the tiny animal it had appeared to be from the bench!