And then his brain fell out...

Today Vito's brain managed to fall, no it flew, out and slammed into the concrete wall where it remained lifeless for a good 30 minutes. We had a little adventure today, Lance, Vito, and I, as we went to Adam's swim practice to meet the kids he coaches and have some fun. I barely get through the door onto the pool deck when the unfortunate happened; I didn't even see it coming.

I decided to just let Lance go as I tried to contain the now out of control howler monkey. We managed to change Vito from barking to shrieking after he greeted the small group of kids and furiously eyed the deck for anything he could put into his mouth. Finally he spotted a tiny little toy, it may have been a wee Dora the Explorer actually, and fixated upon it with all his might. As I manage to pick it off the deck and put it away, my very helpful (not!) husband picks up a ball and proceeds to talk to the swimmers while waving the ball around in the air just out of reach of his snapping jaws. Before I manage to speak above the shrill sounds emerging from the beast Adam is now in the pool and encouraging the wild man to get the ball. Vito is completely over the edge now with the combination of water, ball, and kids and doesn't know what to do. He really really wants that ball, but has not mastered dock diving yet. Lance is edging Vito on with encouragement as he runs back and forth on the edge, barking and herding the kids to stay in the water. Finally Vito did a little bit of swimming but didn't really know what to do once he had the ball in his mouth as there was no way to get out of the water and hand the ball to mommy! Back on solid land, Adam had the brilliant (of course) idea to ask the kids if they wanted to see some tricks. After he managed to pick himself up from my laser eyes that knocked him to the ground, the kids did a mini set and I was left to deal with the brainless dog. I just leave Lance to herd the kids up and down the side of the pool as I deal with Vito.

Vito will not take any treats and is doing the toller scream at the top of his lungs. And of course I must not forget the intense trembling as my little howler monkey cannot contain himself even when I get him to lie down. Luckily I start to go into trainer mode and notice a hallway where I take Vito to.  It's out of sight of the the pool so the loss of visual stimulation allows me to try and give Vito a treat and get him to chill before going back out onto deck.  He shrieks before I can go 5 ft to the pool so we repeat about 20 times.  By then I become somewhat successful at getting Vito to do some sits and downs, with only a little bit of whining, and half the trembling. We then proceed back out onto the pool deck and immediately go back into the hallway, repeat like 50 times until Vito can now take a treat on the deck, do only soft whining, and...ok he still trembled uncontrollably.

The main thought that kept running through my mind was that "this is SO not under threshold!" Oh little Vito. We were there for about 30 minutes and by the end I could see that Vito's brain was at least conscious, even though it was still unattached. He did manage to do some of his tricks without intense screaming.

Unfortunately there are no pictures of the event. I had planned to take some but with the crazed animal I had on my hands there was no way! For those of you who had mentioned wanting to hear a toller scream, we plan on going to Minnehaha dog park again this Sunday and taking some video. It will (hopefully) not be as full force as it was today, but by hearing him you can all take pity on me.

Esther  – ( July 17, 2009 at 10:04 PM )  

Yikes! I've never heard a toller scream before but I'm not quite sure if I'm up for it quite yet ;)

Honey the Great Dane  – ( July 18, 2009 at 11:39 PM )  

Oh my goodness, I was on the edge of my seat reading your post!! But it sounds like you handled it so well - am so impressed with you. Those kinds of situations just make me cringe - when things are out of control (esp with kids involved!) and you're in a "strange" environment and the other humans are not helping and your dog is just like an unrecognisable wild animal! We don't really have them with Honey now but rest assured, we had lots when she was in her difficult teens so I know where you're coming from! In her case, although she remained (deathly!) quiet, it was the huge 70kg animal lunging in all directions and threatening to dislocate your arm (not to mention ram down several other people, cars, building, dogs, etc. in the process that was really frightening...)

I have to confess...I'm really intrigued now and can't wait to see this toller scream!! :-)


Mango  – ( July 19, 2009 at 9:41 AM )  

Oh dear. I did not know that those toller dogs screamed! EEEEE! I would like to hear that for myself.

Sounds like a case of total insane cracker dog, huh? Good thing you were on hand to use the old training skills to insert at least some brains back into his wee skull.


Crystal  – ( December 17, 2009 at 9:30 PM )  

Wow! Intense! And it's hard to believe that your very focused, attentive puppy was a screaming monkey only a few months ago! You've obviously done great work with him.

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