Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Mighty Thor

Good news folks:  today the temperature is supposed to be a bit more "normal."  Allergies seem to be coming into full bloom for many, which means that mine cannot be far off.  For now, I'm good and avoiding the need to medicate, but it can always change quickly.

Yesterday was not terribly exciting for many reasons.  That is, until Thor decided to kick it up a notch.  For the new readers, Thor is my parents' two year old Jack Russell Terrier.  He is about the sweetest little guy you could ever meet and goes by many nicknames:  T-Hor, Tius von Bius, Spicy T, T-Bag, T-Money Nice, Buddy Munch etc.  You get the picture. 

By nature, Thor is a lover and not a fighter, although he does give off a pretty scary "fierce purr" when you try to disturb him in the evening when he is tired.  However, he does have one strange neurotic fixation with flowing water, especially when it is in his backyard.  This typically manifests itself when my mom is using the garden hose.  He will BITE at the water as it flows from the nozzle, usually resulting in one drenched dog and mildly amused humans. 

I don't think that this is completely unusual for a dog as I have heard others tell similar stories.  He has also been known to pursue sprinkler streams, but usually our in ground system goes off too early in the morning for him to do this. 

With all of the hot weather, my mother has become concerned that the grass is getting dry.  For this reason, she asked my father to turn on the sprinklers yesterday evening to supplement the normally scheduled run.  He complied with her request and the watering began.

It didn't take long for us to realize that this could pose a problem for the canine contingency of the household as it was still daylight and these dogs perform their bathroom functions in the yard at this time.  Like fools, we reasoned that they would be fine and let them out.  Indeed, Pippi and Lena simply went out and did their business, carefully avoiding the spraying water from the three active sprinkler heads.  Thor did not.

Rather than take care of business, Thor began to slowly circle the yard, clearly assessing the situation.  Then he attacked.  Seriously, he ATTACKED.  For the next ten minutes, Thor was a sprinkler hunting machine and was entirely soaked.  After the first two minutes, I still thought it was funny.  Then I decided to get him inside to dry off and realized that there was a problem.  All of the usual temptations (treats, food, visitors) were not enough to break his focus. 

Before long, both of my parents joined me in the yard.  My mom brought a towel to receive the wet and now shivering dog, but he was not interested.  Finally, I bit the bullet and went out into the cold and muddy fray.  Unfortunately, when I approached Thor at the first sprinkler head, he expertly dodged my advance and retreated to one of the other spray sources.  This game went back and forth until my mother joined us.  She stood by the "favorite" sprinkler while I blocked him from the other two.

Meanwhile, my father went after the problem at the source:  he shut off the sprinkler system.  Just before the water spray ceased, Thor finally acquiesed to reality and accepted his fate by slowly approaching me.  I scooped him up and promptly handed the soaking pooch off to my mom and her towels.  It turned out to be a two towel situation and the poor boy was shivering for quite a while.

Eventually he dried off and we thought that was the end of it.  We turned the sprinklers back on and kept the dogs inside.  Unfortunately we had forgotten that in his madcap psychotic sprinkler pursuit, Thor swallowed a LOT of water.  Sure enough, for the next hour, Thor kept signalling that he needed to go out.  We assumed he wanted to resume his antics and ignored it.  Until he proceeded to urinate about a gallon of pee all over the tiled back entry area.  Poor guy.

If only that was the conclusion.  Oh no.  After the entire household had retired to bed, just as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard the creak of footsteps in the hallway.  As I was nearly asleep, I ignored it. 

This morning I was informed of the reason for the disturbance.  I am not certain if it was his stomach or nervous system (the little dude always gets carsick), but whatever the cause, he vomited shortly after bedtime.  As my father had the dogs in bed with him, he was responsible for the aftermath and cleaning. 

The moral of this story is that while watching the dog try to kill a shooting stream of water can be wildly entertaining, it is likely not worth the messy fluid dispersal that follows.  I am certain that my veterinarian brother would have some harsh words for us on the subject and he may relay it to us upon his arrival this weekend.  Maybe we just won't tell him.

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