Thursday, September 25, 2014

Our dog has acrophobia

Our dog Molly has a long list of things she hates. It includes getting brushed, having her nails clipped, the mail carrier, anyone walking a dog on our street, anyone walking down our street period (with or without a dog on a leash), squirrels, rats, possums, skunks, cats and all dogs period (with or without a human leashed to them). She is extremely territorial, has no fear, and is bound and determined that she will be the only four legged creature roaming her yard.

The list of things she loves is bread, snacks, our friend Elliot, young children, all people except the mail carrier and people walking down our street, her dog sitters, our friends Jesse and Jeron, swimming jumping in the pool to get the ball, stealing socks, stealing underwear, stealing kitchen towels, smiling (she smiles like she's on something) and then some more bread, please.

So far as we know, she only fears two things: horses (equinophobia) and ladders (acrophobia). Horses are pretty easy to avoid - we don't live in horse country, not even close. But ladders, well that's another matter. We have a big yard, fruit trees with high branches, rain gutters to clean, and two unfinished outbuildings that are in serious need of work.

"Don't even think about it."

Early on after adopting her, we found out Molly freaks out when someone climbs a ladder or goes off the ground more than 5 feet. Once Ernst climbed the ladder to access the roof and Molly followed him up halfway, only coming down when he did. Then she proceeded to wrap her paws around his waist and hugged him for dear life, as if to say Don't EVER do that again, OK? She barks like mad when she sees a neighbor on their roof, even two houses away. We had to keep her inside when our neighbor Steve was having his guest cottage re-roofed. You know you have a problem dog when the workers the neighbor hired know the name of your dog and keep yelling, It's OK Molly!

"Climbing is for cats, not for humans."

Ernst has been asking for my help in finishing up the Honey House project, so I finally got my materials to tape up the windows so he could prime the outside. I found the painters tape right where it belonged (miracles happen!) and got some big garbage bags to cover the windows. I went inside the Honey House to grab my 7' ladder and hauled it out to set it up in front of the window. Just as I got it leveled, I saw a swoosh of golden fur out of my right eye. Then came the tackle - and it was NFL-worthy. Molly body slammed me with all 55+ pounds of her furry fury, and then wrapped her front legs around me and wouldn't let go. I was laughing yet mad, because she scratched my back with her unclipped nails, but I had to give her points for enthusiasm. So much for the window taping, I was afraid if I put her in the house it would be too hard for her little canine sensibilities to watch me risk life and limb taping up windows. Ernst, you can mask the windows, our dog is a ladder lunatic.