In ascending order:
1. The Cheque Incident – I wrote about this shortly after it happened here. We still have no idea exactly how the cheque ended up in her crate. Just one of Shiva’s little mysteries.
2. Tangled Blind String – Occasionally we experiment with leaving Shiva outside her crate when we leave the house. This time, my practically husband was only going to be gone a minute. In that short time, Shiva managed to jump on top of our foot-foot-high dining table, tangle herself in the string for the window blinds, and then jump back down again, one leg high in the air. This was how my PH found her when he returned, tail wagging away. Our lovely table (that had been a very new purchase at the time) still sports the the dog scratches.
3. Teeter – In agility, Shiva is well-known for preferring to design her own courses. Last summer, she met the teeter obstacle for the very first time. In all her excitement, she neglected to realize most dogs step on the teeter from the end touching the ground. Pulling out of my grasp, Shiva dove towards the obstacle. She jumped high in the air and planted her front feet on the high side of the board. Gravity kicked in and Shiva and the teeter slammed into the ground. I was unable to react before Shiva then merrily walked along the board and exited on the other side. As far as I know, she is the only dog
dumb brave enough to perform the teeter backwards. It’s amazing to me we have yet to rush her to the emergency vet.
4. Crate Destruction – I’d read somewhere that dogs find it difficult to relax if they can see everything. The article recommended covering a wire crate with a blanket in order to create a more cave-like atmosphere. Willing to try anything to help Shiva’s separation anxiety, before going out one evening I did just that. Big mistake. Upon arriving home, we confronted a tragic scene. In the middle of the living room sat our freaked-out dog. The blanket I’d thrown over sat beside her. The top of the crate covered them both. The bottom of the crate was on the other side of the room.
5. Kibble Distractions – Many of Shiva’s moments of chaos occur in agility class. This one happened just two weeks ago. The tire jump was the obstacle at the end of a simple standard run. Even though it is something she has performed without incident dozens of times before, this time Shiva decided to change it up. Instead of jumping through the opening of the tire, she jumped at it. The whole structure fell to the ground, pieces flying through the air. Most dogs would be upset by this. Not Shiva. She dug through the plastic debris until she found was she was looking for – a tiny piece of kibble some other dog had left uneaten on the ground.
6. Cupcake Wars – If counter-surfing was a sport, Shiva would have a world title. One afternoon, after setting a batch of cupcakes on the counter to cool, I headed downstairs to put in a load of laundry. I was gone about ten seconds, my foot had just touched the bottom step, when I heard the sound of paws hitting the floor. Crap, I thought and ran back up the stairs. As soon as she saw me, Shiva ran into her crate, cupcake crumbs spewing out of her mouth. I checked the kitchen and saw that in the time it took me to walk the ten steps, Shiva had imbibed eight cupcakes. Paper wrappers and all. Surprisingly, she didn’t even get a stomach ache.
7. Two for One – Shiva hates to collect herself while running an agility course. It’s so much more fun to run full-out rather than think about where her feet should go. During one sequence, the instructor had set up five jumps in a row. The point was to teach the dogs how to jump properly without knocking bars or injuring themselves. Setting the last two jumps eight feet apart, the instructor directed me to send Shiva out down the line. Shiva leapt over the first three perfectly. When she reached the fourth, she saw the gateway to freedom. Shiva leapt into full extension mode clearing the two jumps in one easy movement. Realizing how much fun it was, she proceeded to do it again and again. It was only when the instructor moved the last jump over ten feet away, that Shiva was forced to take them separately.
8. Dock Dog? – This story was related to me by the PH so I can’t vouch for its validity. The two were hanging out on the small dog by the river at the dog park. The PH decided it was time to move on and crossed the bridge to head back down the walking path. Distracted by something, probably dirt, Shiva didn’t notice he was on the other side of the river until he called her. Panicked at being so far away, Shiva ran forwards, diving straight off the dock and into the water. Half the way across she seemed to recall her massive fear of swimming. Turning around, she struggled to get back to the dock. She must have been exhausted from fighting the current as she stalled with her front legs on the dock, unable to pull herself all the way up. The PH swears her tail was wagging under the water as he pulled her to dry land.
9. Shoe Disaster of 2009 – This event competes for second place with the day Shiva pulled everything off our shelves and flung fish food so it covered every inch of the living room floor. But the death of my shoes hurts my soul just a little bit more. Note I say, my shoes. For whatever reason, she left the PH’s completely alone. Before that day, I think I owned around twelve pairs. After that day all but one pair, the shoes I had been wearing, were destroyed. My collection hasn’t recovered since.
Shiva’s top infamous moment is…
10. Getting Acquainted – I’ve told this story many times before but I still think it is the most memorable. Perhaps because it was the day after we brought her home from the shelter. Perhaps because it foreshadowed what was to come. After worrying about her all afternoon at work, I dashed home to see how Shiva had survived the few hours alone. I knew the PH had checked on her periodically throughout the day and hoped she wasn’t too stressed out. When I saw the door of her crate was wide open and there was no dog to be found, I freaked and called my practically husband, praying he had her with him. While speaking with him, I heard a muffled sound coming from downstairs. I went to check it out, expecting disaster. There was the cat, laying in the hallway with his tail flicking, staring toward the bathroom. I then looked over to see the poor little Shiva cowering behind the toilet. From that day on, it was very clear just who was in charge of the house.
This is the last post I will ever write on WordPress.com. Tomorrow I begin the process of switching over to a self-hosted website. I am not sure how long it will take but this blog may be down for a little while. I will do my best to get back to the action as soon as possible. Thank you so much for all of the support this past year! I couldn’t have done it without each and every one of you.