Wednesday, July 14, 2010


What do you think of doghouses? I've always thought of them in three ways.
#1 as a pretty feature in the garden. Like a hammock. Nice to look at but probably never used.
#2 Ridiculous indulgences of the RICH.
OR # 3
a Dog's worst nightmare.

I've NEVER thought of having an actual functioning dog house for any of my dogs. I remember at a meeting at work when a representative from a drug company was talking about Heartworm and Flea preventative and when a question was asked about the proper dosage for a dog over 150lbs. The rep made a comment about how a dog that size would probably be an outside dog. Before I could say anything the veterinarian said in a shocked voice. NOT BLUE! and everyone laughed because they knew it was true!  Of all my dogs, Blue has to be one of the most easiest and well mannered of my gang. (a couple of my little ones are near perfect. Like my Ruby. ) But I do have two terriers.
First I adopted Jimmy Chew. He's part Boston Terrier and part Cairn (?) terrier.

I got him thinking he could be a friend for Blue ( and he was So cute and needed a home.)
But Blue doesn't really LIKE other dogs. Oh sure, he tolerates them but he doesn't want to play with them.
He LOVES people!
He lets Twinkle, my Chihuahua sleep on him but that's the only one he REALLY likes.

Then Jimmy started acting up, challenging Blue. Barking and growling at him and trying to pick a fight.
One day Blue had enough and held Jimmy down on the floor by his throat with his mouth. Jimmy fought for a moment and then started to whimper. In the meantime I was running across the room to pull Blue off of him. You CAN'T yell at a deaf dog to STOP! Well,  Jimmy was fine, a little bit slobbered up but fine and from that day on he never bothered Blue. Sometimes he will walk by Blue and Blue will give him the "LOOK" and Jimmy will walk a wide circle around him with his head averted and making sure he didn't make eye contact. I guess going through a moment like that isn't something a smaller dog forgets.
So what to do?
Some people thought I should try to find Jimmy a home. I had one woman inquire about him but I didn't like her. Sure she SAID the right things but..........NO.
So, I went out and found a buddy for Jimmy. Enter Ralphie.
He loved Jimmy (and my niece Lily, instantly)

The problem is, now he is challenging Blue and HE won't back down. I have to run interference and I'm constantly sweeping him up and away from a battle. He also LOVES to terrorize my cats. Well, not my Harry. Harry won't have any of that and puts him in his place! But he chases Charlie all over the house and he was so MEAN to Horton that I took Horton to the clinic to live. (Horton's just too fat to run fast enough).

Then there's the issue of him raising his leg. He's gotten better and he's so crazy that I can't get a belly band on him. But I'm constantly washing the sheets that cover my furniture and mopping the floors.
I am finding that with the nicer weather, when I am home, I leave everyone outside in the backyard as I am gardening or whatever and it seems to help. He burns off more energy out there! He LOVES chasing the squirrel that lives in the tree (or maybe it lives under my roof soffits) and he's even jumped and ran so hard that he now can get partway up the weeping willow!

Notice how long his hair has gotten!  I have a tranquilizer from work that I plan on using on him so that I can try to shave him down again. The groomer at work prides herself in being able to groom difficult dogs. She loves the challenge. After trying to trim Ralphie's nails, she said that he was NUTS and refuses to groom him.
So here's my Question...Is a dog house inhumane? I can't really imagine it!
I've tried Googling it and I just keep finding tips on how to keep your dog warm/cool.....
I did find a very attractive doghouse that looks like something I might consider -
It was featured in Fido Friendly magazine by Cindy Hodo

It's very Eco, with flowers on the roof and I think that's rain water that runs down to the bowls....
I would HAVE to put Jimmy outside with him. Is that fair to Jimmy?  My friends think the dogs would like it. They wouldn't be chained. The fenced area of yard is probably at least 30 ft by 30 ft. and he'd have the willow tree...I am having a BIG problem with this...of course they would sleep inside at night...
Even if it's to tell me that I'm an awful person to even consider this.
In the meantime, I will continue transporting Jimmy and Ralphie everyday (along with Blue) to work with me. I have to admit though, somedays when it's been a long exhaustung day, I have left the two little "terrors" at the clinic overnight. I guess that I'm very lucky to run a boarding kennel and have a place for them to be kept when I'm tired and stressed. They do like running in the play area and barking at ALL the other dogs.


yoborobo said...

Cindi - you have a three-ring circus there. :) Dogs are funny people. Sophie would LOVE to be outside all day. I actually bring her in because she barks at the squirrels (and the birds, and the air - haha) and I think it might drive my neighbors nuts. But still, she is outside a lot. Gizmo doesn't like to be outside unless I am with him (he's a little neurotic :). In CA, we had 3 big dogs. They basically lived outside, and slept in when they felt like it. I think some dogs love to be outside. The only problem will be winter, I think. I don't know what you'll do, then. I sympathize with the lifting leg thing - Gizmo is sneaky and waits until I am not looking. lol! Pam

PS You need Caesar (Dog Whisperer) to come visit you! :)

sassypackrat said...

Wow you have your hands full! I've always been opposed to doghouses cause I've seen so many poor dogs chained to them but in you case it might be just the right thing. I've seen on "It's me or the dog" cooling pads to place in dog houses that help keep them cool in the summer. It really sounds like maybe you should try it and see. After all they would be together with freedom to roam and it would give you a break. Perhaps you could do it only 2 to 3 days a week which would be just enough to give everyone a break. Something to consider anyway. Good luck!

Georgina said...


Love your animal stories. Our "babies" always keeps us on our toes. Sr. Cacahuate thinks he's Nanook of the North and has to challenge everyone or thing that comes through our door. He has no fear of size, so he reacts the same to large, hu-eg dogs as he does little ones!! Miss Maya, on the other hand, is a complete "pussy dog!" She'll bark when someone she doesn't know comes into the house, but from behind the couch or under our bed.

We love our puppies, don't we!! And lest I forget our kitties too, but I have no kitties...Sr. Cacahuate would leave us if I brought one in!!


The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I never interfere when my dogs challange each other. I´ve never had any real injuries either. I would let Blue show who´s in charge, after that I think that problem is solved.

I have my dogs in their dogyard all day when I´m at work and it works great. My dogs run there every morning showing that they like it. So I think Yours will too :-)
Have a great day now!