Finally! A Cookie-proof Garden!

It’s been a big week for Cookie.  The LSH finally finished Cookie-proofing the perimeter fence.  At least, we hope it’s Cookie-proofed… we will know for sure the day she finds a cat in our garden and it escapes up a tree and over the fence.

The Cookie-proofing consisted of reinforcing a couple of weak spots and screening off the chain link fence at the back.  The neighbour on that side has a very large, female Dogue de Bordeaux which Cookie has decided to hate.  They’ve spent quite some time snarling and snapping at each other through the chain link fence and we’ve spent quite some time retrieving Cookie from the jaws of death (literally – the other dog’s head is about the same size as Cookie’s entire body) and bringing her back indoors.  Screening it off has improved matters greatly.  Cookie still goes galumphing up to it, growling and barking as she looks for trouble, but the Dogue de Bordeaux has taken to ignoring her since she can’t see her any more.

So this week, Cookie has spent hours and hours in the garden.  We’ve been working on her recall, which is getting very good, especially if there’s cheese involved.

Cookie's Cheesy Grin

Cookie’s Cheesy Grin

She already knew how to play fetch

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I fetched my bone! Now gimme some cheese!

but now she’s learning to play soccer

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This is Cookie dribbling the ball against the wall

and basketball.

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BOING!

She also went for an accidental swim one day, much to her disgust.  She hasn’t learned how to get the basketball out of the pool yet, but I’m hoping that that will happen in the summer.

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If only those jaws were bigger!

The lizards are waking up, thanks to the lovely weather we’re having, and Cookie and Cinnamon are both having endless fun chasing them.  Not sure it’s so much fun for the lizards… although the word endless is appropriate…

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I’ve never seen this before!

This guy ended up in the pool after losing his tail.  He was stunned by the cold, but recovered after we fished him out and planted him in the sun for a bit.

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Poor little guy! But at least he escaped.

Cinnamon remained intent on the lizards’ hidey-holes all the while Cookie was playing.

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She tried biting the rock

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biting the shrubs

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and then just plain old tugging on the shrubs for all she was worth (that’s about 4kg of tugging, then)

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It’s a real pleasure to see both dogs having such fun!  I can’t wait for summer – I know for sure that Cinny will be a swimmer.  Not so sure about Cookie, but we’ll see!

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Just checking for lizards. Not trying to look cute or anything.

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5 thoughts on “Finally! A Cookie-proof Garden!

  1. Cookie looks like a real character. The lizard may not think so, though. Lizards, when attacked, can detach part or all of their tail in order to escape the predator. The process is called ‘autotomy’. The tail continues to wriggle after it’s been detached from the body of the lizard, making the predator focus on the movement of the tail and allowing the lizard to escape.
    If left alone, the lizard’s tail will re-generate, but will never reach the full length it had originally.
    The problem is: lizards store all their body fat and energy in their tail. This carries them through a winter or a long drought, or through periods when they can’t find anything to eat. If they lose their tail in the fall, or if they lose the tail too often, they die.
    I’m not pointing fingers at Cookie, but…well, I am. But don’t feel bad, one of my cats found the same lizard over and over, every time the lizard started regrowing it’s tail, the cat got it again. I finally found it dead, unharmed but starved to death. Lizards are fairly stupid. They don’t know enough to avoid Cookie, so if you find the lizard again, try and remove her to a place similar to her home in the rock (and hope she’s not got eggs to defend yet) far from Cookie’s attention. Because Cookie’s no dummy-something Interesting lives in that rock and she will definitely go for it again.

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    • We do have lizards in Ireland, but they are tiny ones and you really don’t see them very often, so although I’d read about them losing their tails when attached, I’d never seen it for myself. The tail did exactly as you described, it wriggled and flipped on the ground and kept Cookie distracted. I’m not sure how the lizard ended up in the pool – I suspect it flew through the air after losing its tail!
      Unfortunately Darwin’s law is going to rule in our garden! There’s not much we can, with two little ratty terriers like ours. The warier, faster lizards (and there’s loads of them, by the way) will survive to breed and the slower, less cautious ones will be caught by little snapping jaws. Ultimately, we’ll breed a better lizard!

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