Cleta-Phobia - Home on the Range Blog at - 250224

Home on the Range

Sep. 15, 2011 3:02 pm 
Updated: Sep. 22, 2011 7:51 pm

Cletus, who answers to the name 'Potamus', has claustrophobia. He is 110 lb of quivering white fur when it comes to going through a doorway. It took some real creativity to get him inside of a 4-horse stocktrailer when we had to take him to the vet. He won’t even step inside the workshop which is open and has a high ceiling and a 15-foot wide, open doorway. Seriously, he has a problem. Or should I say, “had”. He cured himself.

Bruno has taken to coming into the house during the day and sleeping. It’s cool in here and no big deal, since Cletus has always been outside on chicken duty.

Once or twice Cletus has stuck his head through the door only to fly backwards at the slightest hint of noise or movement. We have caught him looking in at us, but the moment he sees us looking his way, he instantly disappears. No way is he going to get caught where he could be reeled in.

The other night we barbecued a couple of rib steaks. They smelled amazing. So amazing, that Cletus had to get a closer look. There is a magnetic screen on the door right now, so the other dogs can go in and out at will. His nose appeared through the screen. Then a pair of eyes…some ears…pretty soon there was an entire dog's front-end standing inside, with a big, white, pointy muzzle laying on the table next to Randy's plate. If power of the mind was capable, that dog's eyes would have levitated that steak right into his mouth. If a 110 lb dog is able to put on a cute face, Potamus did.

Unable to resist, I handed him a bite.  A bit more dog appeared on this side of the curtain. He begged what he could get out of us, then went slinking back outside. The experience was life changing for him. Apparently, as he returned to his outdoor post, it occured to him that life on the INSIDE of the house, held a great deal of promise.

The next day, Cletus began his self-prescribed therapy. Instead of napping on the lawn he laid in front of the door. An hour later, he bravely stuck his head inside the door. I found this very disturbing, as looked a bit like something out of the Godfather. Every hour, a little more of his body was on THIS side of the curtain. Within days he was actually inside the house. I stared at him, dumbfounded as he looked around, turning his head right and left. To the chagrin of all of us, he nosed around and found Cider's food bin, then he hunted down Randy's secret stash of chips by the chair. He wandered into the living room, emboldened by his discoveries of this canine version of the land of milk and honey, searched out a favorite spot and flopped down. The problem is, it was Bruno's favorite spot.  Taking offense at the pre-empting of his piece of rug, Bruno promptly marched over and sat on Cletus the Potamus' head. This started an extremely physical disagreement. Cider and I stood on the couch as there is little room in our tiny rock house for 200+ pounds of arguing dogs.

I was not anxious to have another hairy muddy beast living in our house. Even one is too many, but Randyman and I have been together a long time.

Now I seem to have large white rugs laying in the kitchen or living room most of the day. 

I am preparing to serve them their eviction notice. Someone needs to guard the chickens!
Sep. 15, 2011 3:17 pm
Looks like you need another dog outside to guard them chickens:)
Sep. 15, 2011 3:47 pm
Aww, but look at those sweet faces! You could always rearrange the furniture to make room for them and then you could stay outside and watch the chicks while they sleep.
Sep. 15, 2011 4:17 pm
haha! Great ideas, both!...NOT!
Sep. 15, 2011 4:27 pm
Love the post, love the pets. I think Cletus deserves a big meaty bone for showing such initiative. One thing I always's much harder to trip over a large dog than a small one, although with a little effort it can be done. But still, it's a plus to having large dogs. :)
Sep. 15, 2011 4:32 pm
they do make a nice soft landing when you do though, don't they?
Sep. 15, 2011 5:07 pm
Now, Petey! Shame on you! Every steak should have a beer to go with it. Poor Cletus! Got short-changed. ... Actually, I was ROFL with this hilarious post!
Sep. 15, 2011 5:22 pm
he jumped right on past the beer to the 'hair of the dog" LOL
Sep. 15, 2011 6:12 pm
lol~seems like they have you trained pretty good, petey! Isn't that the way it goes? Great blog, as usual!
Sep. 15, 2011 7:01 pm
And you thought you were through raising kids - NOT!
Sep. 15, 2011 8:25 pm
And why did you want him to over come his fear of the "inside"? Who is watching the hens? I can just imagine 200 lbs of white fut fighting over "their space". Who's boss here anyway? :) We know the answer to that! ;-)
Sep. 16, 2011 4:20 am
awww.... he is just adorable... and I bet you are kicking yourself for handing over that bite of steak!!! :)
Sep. 16, 2011 5:10 am
good one. Careful what you wish for, huh? Mine was 6 months old and I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't bark, not once. I unsuccessfully tried to teach him (we all need a guard dog right?). A single night at the vet, and he found his bark. Then I got to teach him not to bark :)
Sep. 16, 2011 6:47 am
aww that is just way too cute :) what a brave, and smart, dog!
Sep. 16, 2011 6:52 am
I haven't really caved...they are allowed in for snack time and huggin's but I broke the news to them they are on duty otherwise. :)
Sep. 16, 2011 7:09 am
Hey Petey at least you know how to get him into the trailer if he needs to go to the vet.
Sep. 16, 2011 7:27 am
Hey Rocketwoman, you should write a book. I'm serious. You have a folksy compelling style that reads like soft butter cookies eaten with hot foamy chocolate eaten on Christmas Eve when I was 10.
Sep. 16, 2011 9:09 am
Raedwulf - we've been telling her that for what seems like forever...and I'm sure there'll be a line around the block WHEN her book finally comes out ;) Great blog, as usual, Petey! I had to LOL when I saw the pic of Cletus' head sticking in under the screen. Hilarious! Isn't it funny how we can try and try and try to get our animals over some silly little fear and then they just go and take care of it themselves after we give up trying?
Sep. 16, 2011 11:40 am
I'm with ya Raedwulf and Keri - I'll stand in line for the book signing- of course I'll have a snack in hand while I wait (lol) - nothing better than a homemade snack & a good book! Come on Petey - hint, hint!!!
Sep. 16, 2011 11:45 am
you guys are awesome!
Sep. 16, 2011 4:22 pm
Another dog-gone hit of a blog, Petey! I'm glad to see you are still master over all your animal kingdom out west! Now, for the book signing: I think your approving, supporting, loving buddies from here at AR should have dibs on the option for first edition, autographed copies. Just compile all your blogs, get a publisher, and do it. This could be/is your retirement income?! Do you need a publicity manager or anything?? (Seriously, you do have a gift for writing. Suppose you know that by now, though.)
Sep. 16, 2011 4:34 pm
LOLOL! I was thinking of you today and croissants. Your homemade butter and me making croissants with it. I know that has nothing to do with the white furballs but the blog is great again and so would those croissants with your butter :)(:
Sep. 16, 2011 9:01 pm
haha! you guys are great.
Sep. 16, 2011 9:32 pm
Love your blogs Petey! Makes me feel like I'm a country girl for a few minutes rather than a city girl, thanks!
Sep. 17, 2011 6:25 am
Aww Petey! Every good Guard Dog deserves a break now and then! Again, another awesome blog to put a smile on my face. I ditto the others: When are you going to write a book?? Keep them coming girl! =0)
Sep. 17, 2011 8:37 am
I love dog stories and this is an excellent one! They have such adorable faces. Cletus will expect a seat at the dinner table every night now with a steak cut into bite sizes just for him! ;-)
Sep. 17, 2011 8:45 am
And a glass of bottled water with it!
Sep. 17, 2011 3:40 pm
Such a very fun blog ~~ as usual!! We have a rescued greyhound who has had issues w/ going through doorways, "avoiding" ceiling fans, etc. Fun to watch them progress. Those pics are too cute!! Thanks!
Sep. 17, 2011 6:12 pm
I will gladly send you my kitties to guard your chickies . . . um . . . okay - maybe not (=
Sep. 17, 2011 6:30 pm
Why Petey! You're just big ol' softy aren't you? I can just see you standing on the couch watching and giggling as Cletus was trying to claim interior territory! It is so much fun to read your blogs. Thanks.
Sep. 17, 2011 6:31 pm
BTW, those dogs are gorgeous!!!
Sep. 18, 2011 6:29 am
Hi, Petey! Great blog, as always. The dogs are beautiful. Loved the story and shared it with my husband. He wants me to ask you how you like your magnetic screen door? Do they keep the flies out?
Sep. 18, 2011 9:57 am
It actually works pretty good cookie monster...if you don't happen to have a STEEL door in front of it! ...dogs who stand half in and half out of the house seem to be a glitch in the operation too....
Sep. 18, 2011 11:58 am
i spend half of sunday morning "reading" your blog-- lol- actually- i love your dogs- and i spend the first hour just looking at them- they are beautiful(not to mention your other farmhands) then i get to read what you write- sorry you come in second place- but i had to fess up & send your babies a love pat-judy-
Sep. 18, 2011 12:28 pm
Petey, as usual an amazing blog. I encourage you to get busy on a book or at least put these out to newspaper publishers for a column. Your blogs are incredible!
Sep. 18, 2011 3:25 pm
you guys have encouraged me so much, I am gonna give it a shot...I'll write it, but then SOMEONE has to tell me what the next step is! LOL
Sep. 18, 2011 6:20 pm
publishers will line up - - then it's your call - - believe me - it will be who gives you the best contract. Does EmmaLou and the pups travel well? Book signings will be very interesting.
Sep. 18, 2011 7:17 pm
they probably do travel well, but i don't LOL I am a homebody for obvious reasons :)
Sep. 20, 2011 4:42 am
Organize your writings. Print the blogs, including pictures, probably in sequential order, so you will have something to discuss with a publisher.
Sep. 20, 2011 8:14 am
ok, I'll work on it :) Thanks. You guys are the best.
Sep. 20, 2011 9:34 am
You are awesome to be so patient with her. I have a odd bassett hound, seems to be afraid of plaid pants, crazy but true.really reacts to our sleeping pants,at any time of day, also afraid of my husbands work helmut,neon orange.We love him but he is a hoot.
Sep. 20, 2011 8:20 pm
that is too funny!!!
Sep. 21, 2011 1:15 am
How cute ~ they really do look so adorable.
Sep. 21, 2011 8:27 pm
Type in "how to get your writings published" on Google or Mozilla Firefox. There are some likely-looking information leads.
Sep. 21, 2011 8:29 pm
I have a relative who is a book nerd. I'll ask him. He write a column for a newspaper, and used to own a bookstore.
Sep. 21, 2011 9:11 pm
oh wow, thanks mamaw. You are a pal!
Sep. 21, 2011 10:36 pm
oh wow - good job mamaw! Keep writing Petey - - I'm getting my snacks ready - and my sleeping bag - just in case I have to wait in line over night. I also want my book to have a paw print by the pups and a moo-kiss from Emma.
Sep. 22, 2011 7:51 pm
Reread Raedwulf and Mauigirl's comments. 1)Your writing style is the vehicle for the topics at hand. 2)I, too, thought this would be a great weekly or monthly newspaper column.
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Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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