We have had Cassius for almost three months now. He’s come a long way since he’s come off the racetrack. For the most part he’s a good dog. He certainly does try. It’s just that he finds our ways to be confusing sometimes.
For instance, what’s with this waiting for food thing? We feed twice a day. Around 9:00 am and again at 6:00 pm. For about two hours before each feeding he is an excellent herder. When we get in the vicinity of the food can (a 32 gallon plastic garbage can with lid, our house was built in 1830, read-keeps mice out!) he tries his best to herd us in the direction of the can. And he herds us better than any of our shelties do. Of course the shelties are not into herding their pack leaders. Much. Cassius is a large dog, around 70 lbs., so he is pretty effective. You have to push him out of the way to walk any where else. We won’t give in to him because we are afraid that he will want fed earlier and earlier and who knows maybe even more often.
Most of his mishaps do seem to center around food. At first his food drive was so intense that it was scary. I discovered that he had a tape worm and after I treated that his food driven lessened to a more bearable level. Woe to anyone who leaves any form of food substances within reach though. This includes the kitchen counter. One week we were on our third loaf of bread because Cassius took up counter surfing. We discovered on the second loaf that he would even reach all the way to the very back of the counter. Another week we lost a three pound bag of apples from the kitchen counter. He took the apples, still in the bag, removed them from the bag, and rather than eating one, took a bite out of each apple. This reminds me of a story of my daughter when she was a wee tot. Dogs and kids can have a lot in common.
But we can’t complain too much about Cassius. He is a dog with an excellent and very tolerant temperament. He never snaps or growls at the other dogs. Even when they are chasing after toys or running over him. He is very accommodating with the cats as well. One time our old, senile cat Lacey fell off the arm of the couch and landed on Cassius while he was sleeping. He did wake up with a growl, but once he recognized Lacey, he put his head back down and went to sleep. We think he is great, and we are never biased!
Now, rest assured that when no humans are home, Cassius does stay in a crate. This is as much to keep him out of trouble with food and safe from other harm, as it is to make sure there is never an incident with the cats. Cassius may one day earn his freedom while we are away, but not any time soon.