Page 27 - LeMagSpring2015
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She is also learning ‘leave it, yuck!’ and comes along in spite of   When Harold cleans the weeds out of the pond, Decibel
the manure temptations along the path. What a change from the        helps. It involves biting into the weeds, and pulling and
trying to eat as much as possible while mom drags                    splashing and chasing the weeds as they get flung to the
you off...                                                           shore. Great fun! Oh, she does not go into the goldfish
                                                                     pond in the backyard. What a good dog.

Yesterday Decibel actually helped me drive the cows into a pad-      She does play with the frog Maggie killed. Oh, Decibel!
dock. She followed the heifers and when a cow turned to look         Toads we have learned to paw at, they taste bad. We don’t
for a way out, Decibel checked up but then kept going at her         eat toads. She learned that too from Maggie.
(with some encouragement from me) until they were through            And she tries to dive into the dog food bin and steal the big
the gate. These are visiting Jersey heifers, very tame and unlikely  dog’s kibble. Ralph showed her that.
to do more than chase Decibel for fun.

I can send her out of the chicken coop with a word, and without I keep checking her teeth, and not just to admire her new
a chicken dangling from her jaws. She is actually more interested    pearly whites. She is already good about not biting, nip-
in poop and feed than hens, but I prefer to think she is learning    ping, or chewing and can take peanut butter off fingers,
that they are ‘mine’.                                                without taking fingers off. This is an important skill in my

Ralph still has his grouchy moments, but now Decibel just yips, house.
runs to us, gets her hug and then she goes right back. Ralph does
not actually bite her; he has never done more than get her hair      Decibel can eat next to her siblings without stealing food
wet. Decibel used to tiptoe around him, but he is the only Briard    All minor things, but all things I take for granted. Little did
looking dog here, so she can’t resist him. Or she is convinced       I know that some of Decibel’s accomplishments would still
that he can’t resist her. In the morning she has to lick his beard, change. Grooming can be a battle of wills and nail clipping
and jump on him, and try to nip at his ears and such, until          is often accompanied with a little tantrum.
his lip itches. I praise him for not grouching and give extra
smooches while ignoring Decibel, and mostly that works. When
he does grouch at her, he gets timeout. He is learning. I think
there are times when he tries to play with her, but then his peo-
ple are not sure he means well and watch him so closely he gets
paranoid. It will work out.

New discoveries:
Cicadas are delicious. We call them buzz bugs. Decibel
loves them. Crunchy and good!
She also likes blueberries, peaches, and steak. (We just
butchered a steer.) Ice cream is also very good. Soap bub-
bles and balls are great fun. Both can be popped.

Helping mom:                                                         And play could become serious.
One day I found four tomatoes lined up in front of the
door. Decibel had picked them for me; teeth marks were
definitive. She had very carefully gotten them from the
potted plant, only one was not useable.

The Swiffer... brilliant dog entertainment. It squirts at you!       Decibel Part 4 will be in the next issue of Le Magazine!
The pads can be pulled off; then people chase you. Fun,
fun, fun. Better than the broom, although there you can                                                                                              25
steal dust bunnies and try to eat them.
Grabbing Ralph’s tail when he swims... he can’t get her
then, and she gets pulled along.
Her swimming is becoming very sure although the girl
finds it unnecessary to use her hind legs to paddle. She
loves water.

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