Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Shame! Shame! Chuckit!

Let's just say the day got better for Liam.  You see the story in a nutshell---or should I say all over the carpet in the photo above. 

Yes, Bill had left, and, yes, I was upstairs talking on the phone to my friend and former student, Monty.  

I knew there was chewing going on downstairs, but Chuckit Ball chewing has as many distinctive sounds as crows do language.  

Many, many times, since Liam's recent obsession with the Chuckit ball I've thought he was chewing on furniture only to see his chewing was legal as can be with that orange and blue ball. 

So, during my phone conversation, I put worry aside and just enjoyed the talk. 

Was I in for a surprise while rounding the corner from the staircase. 

NO! NO! NO!  BAD DOG!  BAD, BAD DOG! (I learned we're not supposed to say their name if they've sinned; that could give them a complex). 

In a split second Liam had retreated to his safety zone under the dining room table. Foster sat happily in the middle of the living room with the Chuckit ball in his mouth and a gleeful expression emanating from his little brown eyes. 

"Ha. Ha. He got in trouble, and I didn't," Foster's face clearly revealed his thoughts.

Almost immediately I began to gather up foam rubber and other stuffings from the couch cushion but then . . . 

. . . the doggy shame calendar, I thought.  I've been giving my sisters the doggie shame calendar for a couple of years.  Not so much that their "red devils" ever do anything wrong but more to illustrate that some dogs do behave badly when parents are on the phone or not around. 

So, I took the stuffing back out of the gaping hole in the couch and dropped it back to the floor where Liam had left it.  

Out came the camera.  I snapped a photo and then resumed putting stuffing back in the couch, all the while reminding the bad dog that he had been bad and trying not to let that grin on my face show. 

Part of that grin that refused to go away evolved from years ago when Mother had her living room furniture re-upholstered.  I believe Mrs. Rojan, the famous cinnamon roll cook at Sandpoint High School did the work on the furniture. 

Mother was pleased with the results.  During that time frame, a new cute, black mutt had joined the North Boyer Tibbs family.  His name was Clyde, and my sister Laurie took ownership of Clyde. 

Not long after the furniture came home from Mrs. Rojan's, my parents went for a weekend trip, probably to Montana. 

During their absence, Laurie had invited a couple of friends, Liz and another Laurie, out for the afternoon.  I believe they were in the barnyard looking at horses when my folks pulled into the driveway.  

Nobody had been in the house for some time------nobody but Clyde, that is.

Well, when Virginia Tibbs walked into her living room and saw the destruction---all those new ruffles chewed to bits and scattered around the living room, Virginia walked out of the house and let out such screams and shouts that maybe even Mrs. Best, who had long since died, could hear her. 

For sure, Laurie's two guests heard her and thought it wise to make a quick exit from the Tibbs property through the woods.  I'm not sure if they ever came back to visit again, 'cept for when Liz grew up and had daughters of her own who took riding lessons from Laurie and Barbara.  

Another time. Another place.  No furniture mishaps. 

So, thinking back on that day and my mother's eruption, I somehow stifled my inner anger, somewhat like Bill does when Liam continues to eat his slippers.  No toes left there. 

Anywho, Liam didn't get in too much trouble, and after stuffing the stuffing back into the couch, I put Liam in the chew-proof kennel outside, found a needle and some green threat that kinda matched, used my Eleanor Delamarter-taught sewing skills and sewed up the cushion.  

It looks kinda lumpy right now but much better than yesterday morning. 

Liam had an okay day, and it got better when Bill suggested we try one more time letting him loose in the yard to play Chuckit.

We tried that about a month ago, but Kiwi kept taking all the balls and not relinquishing them so we gave up.

Well, Liam has developed a Chuckit ball skill set inside the house, and, like the smart Border Collie he is, was able to transfer that skill set to the out of doors.  He brought back balls and dropped them for Bill.  

Kiwi kept the same ball in her mouth throughout the session and simply ran really fast every time another ball was chucked through the air.  Meanwhile, Foster played hard to get with each of his retrievals but eventually relented.  

So, after last night (short session thanks to those mosquitoes with clodhopper feet), our Border Collie Nation Plus One is sorta mastering the game of Chuckit. 

I learned later that over in Colburn, the grandpuppies and the red devils were enjoying a Chuckit game of their own.  So, I've suggested that one of these nights we need to have the Grand Chuckit tournament. 

In the meantime, we'll keep working on polish with our gang of black-and-white ball chasers and hope that the excitement will make Liam forget all about how good the furniture tastes. I still haven't figured out where to send the "Shame on You"  picture!

Happy Wednesday. Enjoy the highly competitive Chuckit game highlights below. 

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