cactuswatcher: (Default)
( Mar. 18th, 2012 08:51 am)
My sister had been visiting and went home yesterday evening. She brought her dog with her, a dark brown cocker mix she calls Hershey. The dog is about seven and looks like a miniature cocker, but guessing from her general shape and behavior she's probably got a lot of dachshund in her, mixed perhaps with something even smaller. My sister got her from the humane society late last year. Unfortunately Hershey shows physical signs of serious abuse and is understandably skittish around new people. She has a minor problem with wetting in the house, which my sister keeps under control by keeping Hershey in a doggy diaper all the time. She's actually quite cute trotting around in her 'doggy pants.' She has a good disposition and while she was leery of me, she readily took scraps of food from me, and by the end of the visit would come up to me to be petted as long as it was on her own terms.

The real story is what happened between Hershey and my boy cat Sirius. Sirius doesn't like new people whatsoever. Last time my sister came (without the dog) he stayed under my bed for days. When my sister came this time he found a new hiding place in my room even I couldn't find. But by the first evening he was showing signs of being less frightened than the last time my sister visited. The third evening I got him to come to the door from the master bathroom to the patio. It has a lot of glass and I keep the shade up high enough that Sirius can always look out there. My sister was taking the dog out to do its business outside and I turned on the light out there so the cat could have a good look. Everything was fine till the dog spotted the cat. Hershey trotted up to the door with that friendly look, anyone who's been around a cocker knows, and the cat took off under the bed. A couple days later the cat was brave enough not to bolt when the dog peeked in the bedroom from the hall. That evening I picked him up and set him down outside the bedroom door. To my surprise he didn't panic when I shut the bedroom door behind him. Hershey really likes to watch cats, and Sirius was curious enough too.

The cat is taller; the dog is heavier built. They spent many hours staring at each other for the rest of my sister's visit. Sirius, being a cat, scratched at the outside of the bedroom door when he wanted to get away for some privacy and a nap, and scratched at the inside of the door when he wanted to come out and see the dog. Hershey mostly just sat and stared. The cat would stare back for a while then trot a little ways away, with the doggy trotting, not running to catch up. Sirius got brave enough to go up to my sister for attention, which he got. That made Hershey instantly a little jealous. But she didn't bark. She just frantically begged to be petted instead. For the rest of the visit the dog made a fuss when she had to go into my sister's room for the night, and when the cat wasn't out, she spent much time staring at my bedroom door. I think Sirius is a little lonely this morning.


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