Crabby happened to have the video camera rolling last Saturday when I got home from work.
I thought it would be fun to show you what it takes for me to get through the door.
The title page to 1:35 shows what goes on while I’m backing the trailer up the driveway. 1:36 to the end (there’s a new closing strip at the end of the video, BTW), is what I have to go through to get inside the house. Watch it all or just the last part. It’s the next best thing to being at Run A Muck Ranch!
As you will see, it is impossible for me to sneak in or out of my own house!
A little blast from the past for you:
Remember back when Slugger was diagnosed as not just stupid, but incredibly stupid? Last year, 2 dog fights, within 6 months of each other resulted from Slug getting too excited. As per recommendations by the evaluating trainer, we had to alter how we did things around The Ranch to keep conditions at a lower level of crazy so Slugger would stay Slugger. Here are some of those changes and other tidbits:
1. Note that I am only backing up the driveway and the excitement level is elevating. Usually, when Crabby is home when I arrive, he makes the kids settle down. Most of the time, however, I get home from work before Crabby, and the pre-coming into the house shenanigans goes unchecked. I would like to point out, however, that when we’re both at work, the kids are not left loose together, but rather separated into groups in different rooms, and each group is let out separately. Leaving them all loose together is a recipe for disaster, Slugger or no Slugger!
2. I always check the neighbor’s yard before opening the door to see if their dog is out. He wasn’t for this video, but it he was, rather than stay inside after the last group was released, I would have gone outside to monitor. If the neighbor dog is out when the kids first go out, they all run to him and a pile up could result (fight #1). If they’re already out when he gets let out, only a couple go to the fence to see him, and it’s safe to leave them unsupervised until it’s time for the official “Mommy’s Home!” greeting.
3. A baby gate was installed at the entry way to the hall (the hallway now a/k/a “the chute”). This prevents The Hoard from bottle necking in the hallway. It’s nearly impossible to keep 12, I mean 14, dogs settled and quiet when walking through the door when I first get home, especially when Crabby isn’t there. Barking and bumping in the open area of the kitchen is preferred to the narrow, hard to escape, hallway. No one is allowed to linger in the chute, ever. The gate is kept closed except for when the kids are going in or out.
4. When I get home, instead of greeting, the kids are immediately put outside to work off some of their “Mommy’s Home!” excitement. Only when they’re calm do I officially greet. After 5 or 10 minutes, the kids come back in, much calmer, and everyone gets their official greeting.
5. Only a few kids at a time are let into the chute, then outside, and they have to move away from the door before the next group is let out. Slugger, Angus and Vito sometimes stayed at the door and jumped at others leaving the house (fight #2). Actually, as long as those 3 are away from the door, there are no issues with any of the others!
6. Note the Super Soaker gun I’m carrying. Any kid who lingers at the door gets squirted. This gives them great incentive to disperse when they’re let out. Initially, Slugger, Vito and Angus got pretty wet. Now, just seeing the gun in our hands is enough to make them move away from the door.
In this video, Slugger went out first group. First morning, evening and last night outs, Slugger goes out last, since those are his rammy times. A rammy Slugger who goes out first is a Slugger who might get too excited.
These new procedures are not temporary – they are forever. We should have been doing them all along.