Ivy Scarlett has issues with obedience. She is driving me crazy. She’s decided to stay out all night, sleeping in her dog house, which doubles as my garage, instead of in the house, keeping me company. She has a wing chair out there to sleep on, but she prefers the puffy, down-filled bed beside the chair.
Ivy Scarlett, for newcomers to this column, is a German Shepherd/Husky mix Bing and I adopted from a rescue organization 11 years ago. She was a year old then, which makes her 12 now. Though my math skills are weak at best, I am able to figure that out. Barely.
I thought for awhile the reason she wouldn’t come in was that the three low steps up to our back porch had gotten to be too much for her. So I upped her arthritis meds and daughter Meg sent her a harness, which has a handle on it like a suitcase, with which to give her a little boost. That worked for a while, until one day when it was sleeting (she hates sleet in her face) she bounded up the steps unaided. Nothing wrong there.
So I figured out that she simply prefers to be outside. Perhaps she never read her job description, which is to lie at my feet on a winter’s eve and look adoringly at me whilst I read. Or do a crossword puzzle. Or listen to music. Or whatever.
She’ll come in briefly to eat (loves Parmesan cheese sprinkled on her dry food, in case you think she’s not spoiled enough). However, she pays no attention when I tell her it’s impolite to eat and run – instead, she bolts for the door as soon as she’s finished. So rude.
I even tried turning a fan on her to keep her cool. I did that all summer for obvious reasons, but having it on in the winter didn’t seem necessary. However, when she is inside, she lies right in front of the fan, so I guess it really is a temperature thing. I did mention, did I not, that she’s part Husky. So I suppose I could import an igloo and set it up in the living room, but that does seem a bit extreme.
The wing chair in the garage, since I know you all are dying to know, was the first piece of furniture Bing and I bought when we were married. That was in 1963 and it’s in surprisingly good condition, except an earlier dog chewed both arms down to the bone. Hence it is home in the garage.
I have no intention of getting used to her not coming in at night. I’m just going to think of more ways to entice her. Treats don’t work because she just sits and looks hopefully at me until I finally relent and give it to her without making her come in to get it.
I know, you all are thinking she has me well trained. And yet, I took her to the dog obedience classes the Algona police offer each year. She obeyed the officer perfectly. Me, not so much. Maybe if I put on a police uniform, she’ll do what I ask.
Might be worth a try.