Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Mollie and the Foxes - Part One

Apologies for being a tad quiet over the last few days, I've had a crazy few days at work that ended pretty late, so I've been coming home and collapsing into bed. But enough about that, I shall end the silence with a tale about barking at foxes.

A pose that leads my dad to  lovingly call her "The Imperious One".

Mollie is a pretty vocal dog when she wants to be. I'm sure, if you're a dog owner, you know the different types of barks very well. Both of my dogs bark in very different ways though; there's Bingo, who didn't bark at all until we had him for a year. Up til then, he'd just been making weird monkey sounds in the back garden when he saw birds, which is both bizarre and hysterical. I'll post a video of it sometime, you'll love it. He also barks when someone's at the door, which is a low "if you're a bad person, then GTFO." type of sound. For the gentle giant that he is, he has a pretty menacing bark, which I suppose is quite good in the event of a burglary or something.
But that is as far as Bingo's vocal repertoire goes, apart from his grunting and whining when he sees a creature outside that he'd really quite like to chase, but I won't go into detail about that. Mollie, on the other hand, has a far more varied barking sounding board. Here are a few of her choice vocalizings:

  • There's the "I want something and know that I have to ask YOU to get it for me" bark, which could be to get a particular toy that's too high for her to reach, or to let her outside. It's high pitched, very 'ladylike', as she knows she has to ask to receive. If it doesn't work, repeat. It's hysterical to hear my mother responding to Mollie when she does this ("Oh, do give it a rest!!").
  • The "Someone at the dooooooorrrrr!!" bark, which is deeper, more 'authorative', and just generally more 'I'M A BIG TOUGH DOG!'
  • The 'Half-Bark', where she's not 100% sure that what she's hearing is something that needs to be barked at, but she'll acknowledge it with a bark that sounds a bit winded, as though it's not all there.
  • And of course, the dreaded 'rolling bark,' where she spots something outside, like a hedgehog, or an old lady, and the threat must be eliminated with a bark that carries on through the ages. Kind of sounds like "RUHROHROHROHROHROHROHROHROHROH...etc, etc." Hideously loud, and menacing at first, now it's just a pain in the bum, as it's usually directed at people who have the sheer tenacity to walk past our house.
You see, Mollie has a special vantage point that she uses to keep an eye on whoever dares to cross the threshold of our house, sort of like a really annoying, over zealous security guard who would probably take your I.D. and inspect it for twenty minutes before begrudgingly letting you pass. She sits up on this window ledge that we have, which used to be a lovely feature of our house, and now serves as Watchtower of the Beast. My mother used to try her best to discourage this, but after the lure of the outside proved too inviting for Mollie to ignore, my defeated mother eventually just covered the scratched up wood with a home-made soft mat.

"You're so lucky that I'm here to protect the house."

 Anyhoo, we used to let Mollie sleep downstairs in the living room, where the ledge is. We put Bingo in the utility area because of a one off toilet incident that my parents didn't want to risk a repeat of. But Mollie's always been fine in that respect, no trolling in the toilet department. Unless you count the whole 'weeing while excited' thing, but that's another story for another time. But I think she feels that toilet humour is beneath her, and so sticks to the more sophisticated stuff. So, back to the story, where we get back to Mollie sleeping. We set her bed up just before we go to bed, but sometimes she'll leave it and do a night shift up on the ledge. Sometimes she just watches from there until the wee hours of the morning, and I've even come downstairs to find her still there, sound asleep. This used to be fine. Until Mollie decided that she *hated* foxes.

"Did you just say fox?? I swear I heard you say that. You definitely did. WHERE IS IT?"
Now,  I mean a serious hatred. I've never heard her bark more viciously than she does at a fox, and I seriously think that if a fox were to wander in our yard while she was in it, things would be bad. Thankfully, that's never happened, maybe because of territory marking or whatnot, but let me tell you, foxes are just as big trolls to Mollie as she is to me.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Not an easy feat.
Thursday is garbage collection day, which means Wednesday night is put-your-garbage-out time. In the US this can mean it's raccoon party time, but in the UK, our raccoons are sleek, ginger, and out to ransack your garbage. And troll my dog. The first time she spotted one in the wee hours while perched on her ledge, the whole house was treated to the raucous sound of what roughly translates from dog into 'YOU COME HERE AND SAY THAT TO MY FACE YOU GINGER SUCH-AND-SUCH,' and various other expletives. I was latest to bed that night, so I ran downstairs to shush the dog and check what the heck she was roaring at, expecting maybe, you know, a burglar, or Satan himself judging from the amount of noise that was coming from my dog. She was clawing at the windows, which, quite rightly, infuriates my mother as she's torn the net curtains before. So I pulled her down and peered outside. There was the fox, just standing there, not bothered. There was almost a grin on his face. Mollie ran to the closed door, begging to be let out to chase the fox. Haha. No. Upstairs to the spare room she went for the night, until the next day came. We let her spend the next night down in the living room, where we expected no more foxes, as the garbage had been taken out. But no, our furry ginger friend had caught on to the thrill of seeing the lion at the zoo rage and roar from a safe distance, and I was seriously not amused to find that there were actually TWO foxes peering back at me when I went downstairs to shut my dog up a second time.

So, now she sleeps up in the spare room. She barks (the high pitched one) for about twenty minutes, but compared to the late night version, I'd take this anytime.

I suppose she just feels she's protecting the house, as opposed to doing this for any other reason, but good god. For a dog that loves rolling in their poo (hold tight for part two), she really REALLY hates foxes.

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