Monday, September 26, 2011

If Only They Could Talk

Sometimes things would be so much easier if the fur kids were human kids. For example, children would not be expected to stay in the States for at least six months and require blood tests to ensure that they have acquired enough rabies antibodies before they're allowed back in Australia. And then, when they have returned to Australia, they'd be allowed to live with you straight away, not spend at least a month in Quarantine.

Chi has lost his collar. Now, this is not the little hunter who pushes through the garden jungle stalking big-game lizards; this is the homebody who potters around the house and yard seeking a secluded or sunny spot in which to snooze. We have no idea how or where he lost it. Maybe if Chi could talk we could quiz him on its whereabouts. Then again, maybe not—thinking is a bit of a strain for poor Chi.

So last Saturday we bought Chi a new collar and a new engraved tag. And here lies the problem. The tag makes a plastic, tinkly sound instead of a dull chink—a sound a bit like the bells on a cat's collar. Quila was convinced that there was an unwelcome animal trespassing on her property so was on full alert. Between the thunder of brewing storms and Chi's new tag, she was barking every minute or so and driving us insane. It was one of those times when I wished I could reason with her or at least send her to a naughty corner. No amount of calm reassurance or rousing helped—there was a stranger around who she had to drive away! How do you teach a dog to be quiet and reward them for not barking?

Luckily, Quila seems to have settled. She still gives the occasional bark when Chi vigorously shakes himself or when we pick Chi up and inadvertently rattle his tag. It's probably a good thing that the two of them can't talk. We'd be bombarded with ‘I'm hungry’s about an hour and a half before meals and be in serious trouble all those nights we arrive home late way past their meal time! I don't think I really want Chi to translate into words his little half-growl/half-yelp that he reserves when he is particularly hungry—I already know what it means!

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