So today, a bunch of men showed up and fenced off the house with orange webbing.They trimmed all the hedges, then they papered over every window. It was like being in a cave.
The dogs were not pleased.
There were strange men surrounding our house looking through the windows and the dogs first tried to eat them through the glass then they cowered at my feet under the computer desk. After talking soothingly to them for an hour, I finally got them to settle down but they still couldn't totally relax.
Ringo was willing to partially lie down, but he was poised like the sphinx on full alert.
Rigger crashed on his side and started snoring, secure in the knowledge that Ringo and I would protect him from whatever was out there.
Ah, the security of youth.
Eventually, Ringo started whining to use the bathroom. I put his leash on, we shot out of the house past the workers, he watered the grass, and we headed straight back inside. Of course, Rigger was waiting at the door. If one dog goes out, the other one goes out. Them's the rules and Rigger knows it.
I snapped Rigger's leash on, made sure none of the workers were nearby and opened the door. Rigger saw the paper covering the screen door and backpedaled through the living room in terror. I tried to convince him to go outside but he was having none of that. A full bladder was not a bother as long as he didn't have to go near the paper.
A little while later, he started whining to go out again. He doesn't have much memory. I snapped his leash on him, opened the door, and tried not to get drug through the house as he ran away from the paper again.
Another hour passed, and he wanted to try again. I attached his leash, and leaned out the door. One of the workers was standing by the sidewalk. He was wearing a hard hat. Hard hats are a no-no around Rigger. "Would you mind moving?" I asked the man. "My dog is scared of hard hats, and I've got to get him outside to use the bathroom." The man looked at me like I was daft, but he obligingly moved.
Too late. Rigger had already spotted him. I tried to pull Rigger out the door but he promptly sat down and I nearly pulled his collar over his head. "Katie! Go get me a piece of pepperoni!" I called. Katie came with the pepperoni and tossed it to me. Rigger smelled it as it went overhead and decided the piece of pepperoni might just be worth the terror of passing the paper. He was halfway out the door when he suddenly changed his mind again and tried to retreat into the house. I held my ground, afraid that if I didn't get him outside, he would eventually just pee forty gallons or urine in the house somewhere. I looked around and spotted another hard-hat worker bemusedly watching me tug-of-war with the giant dog in the doorway.
"I'm sorry, but he's afraid of your hat. Could you back up a little?"
"He's afraid of my hat?"
"Yes," I explained. "He doesn't like hats, coats, backpacks, anything with wheels, or anything that has been moved out of its usual place. Could you just go hide for a minute?"
The nice man went around the corner and and I heard several men burst into laughter as he told them the story. I finally managed to coax Rigger out into the yard with the piece of pepperoni. He fled outside the temporary fencing and peed in the neighbor's yard.
It took all I could do to convince him to come back into our yard. There were large black garbage bags of hedge clippings sitting around which didn't help Rigger's confidence. I finally made it to the porch and he flattened himself against the steps like he was afraid of an air raid until I could get the door open. Once he made it through the front door, I had to chase him down to get the leash off of him.
I may never get him to leave the house again.