I've shared PITA's endearing and enraging activities, so no reason to stop now. For those who do not know who PITA is she is one of our numerous "drop-off" dogs who came to us about 6 months old on Thanksgiving Day two years ago.
Our best guess is she is some type of large hound (maybe blood hound) with Labrador mixed in. By now she has reach 95 pounds plus and I am not going to weigh her to be more accurate.
Her first name was NO but we eventually gave her the name PITA which was an acronym for the way she behaved. (You fill in the words)
She seems to be incredibly smart but "driven" at the same time and it is that driven side that keeps her in trouble. Her driven side is mischievous to the point of destruction.
That means my potted plants are always being re-potted, my pots are constantly being customized and new things outside are free game. Trying to cover the firewood to keep it dry is a never-ending process unless I want to build a permanent shelter.
She loves to plop down in the middle of the goldfish pond, even now and freely admits her responsibility for doing things even when the damage is not immediately visible.
This morning I came into the greenhouse and she was whimpering for forgiveness so I knew she had been up to something. But the plants were all where they were last night, the pots still on the shelf, so what?
It was not until I went outside that I saw the reason. The new plastic cover over the firewood was in shattered pieces.
I've come to chastise her in a fashion she understands immediately. No shouting, no physical antics, just a low growl under my breath and a stare.
The growl is so low that Debbi can not even hear it so she was wondering why PITA would back away from me and run out the door without the least bit of reaction from me. PITA knew.
But her endearing side is an understanding beyond her clumsy, goofy look. She can read my mood in an instant, not just the growling. She is the one who always accompanies me to our pet cemetery for burials and even laid on top of one of our cats grave as if to say goodbye.
She has loved to chase the deer from our yard but recently I asked her to leave them alone and now she just goes out to sit and watch them. They are sometimes within 20 feet of each other, but both seem to understand.
I have no doubt that if they start bothering the garden and I ask her to shoo them away, it will be done, but for now there is an easy peace. A doe and her fawn are regulars and they even let me come out to visit.
I am also fascinated watching the dogs communicate among themselves. Two nights ago PITA walked out to the edge of our lawn, sat down and made a three bark sound like Morse Code. (bark,bark...bark)
The other two flew out of the greenhouse and ran to her. As soon as they reached her she got up and they walked into the woods. No more barking, no hurry, just off they go. It was as if she called them to go for a walk-about. No fuss, just a walk-about.