The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Night Visitors

All three of my dachshunds love to RV.  They are ready to go at a moments notice, however, when they are home, they do have other activities to keep them busy.  Surprisingly Gretchen, the smallest of the gang, is the "guard dog" or maybe I should say "watch dog".  She takes excellent care of her large yard and spends a great deal of time outside "watching" over it.  She patrols as necessary or sits vigilantly on the back patio constantly checking for intruders.  And there are lots of intruders.  We have a lot of squirrels that delight in tantalizing the dogs.  Gretchen watches them and chases them when necessary.  She has always been really fast and still is--so catching them is definitely a possibility at any time. But she enjoys the chase, not the catch, so you can see her "easing back on the throttle" when they are foolish enough to slow down or forget to pay attention to the game.  She chases them up one of the trees or the fence and will sit there for ages without making a sound just to ensure they know she is watching them.

Harley, on the other hand, likes the backyard too but his primary goal is to get his people to throw the ball so he can chase it or leap up and catch it and then return it to start all over.  He can keep this up forever even when on really hot days. He likes it even better when our grandson Cameron is here and he can wear out a kid and an adult.  The people have to call a halt to the game because he won't.  When there is a game of ball going on, Gretchen generally comes in the house to take a break from her self appointed duties or she sits right next to me on the patio glider.  She does not enjoy the game of ball nor does she want to watch it or be near it.  I think maybe she got in the way of the ball a couple of times so she is very leery of it.  

Willy can take the ball or leave it.  Generally he leaves it but occasionally he feels it necessary to take the ball so Harley can't have it--just to remind Harley that he is still the alpha dog.  At three, Harley is the baby although he is about the same size as Willy who is eight.  Unless I am outside too, Willy just doesn't feel it is necessary for him to be out there for long stretches of time.  His job is to guard the chair inside.

Things are different, of course, if Gretchen summons assistance while she is guarding.  One particular bark brings Harley barreling out.  A different bark will have Willy and Harley knocking each other over to get out of the doggy door.

Last night Gretchen sent out an urgent summons.  The neighbor's dog behind us was also calling for backup.  There was a small possum on the back fence.
  

The dachshunds were pacing the fence line.  Numerous attempts to get them back in the house failed.  Willy did finally come in when the alpha mama called him.  Harley ran back and forth between the fence and the door when I called.  I finally had to go out and carry Gretchen back in and shut the doggy door to prevent further escapes.  This was a new and unknown intruder.  After much whining at the door, the gang finally settled down but they didn't get to go back outside last night.

Things were back to normal the next morning but Gretchen did a thorough reconnoitering of the entire yard the minute she went out the next morning.  She put Willy and Harley to work too just to make sure things were resolved to her satisfaction.

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