Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Cat is Out of the Bag

On Mother's Day Husband and I wanted to do some hiking with Barry. We decided we would head North West of the city. We have friends that live in the area where we wanted to go so I contacted them and they said to come on over. The plan was to stop by and then head out to do some hiking with Barry and with their cutie dog. They also have two kids, and a cat. More on the cat in a moment.

Here is Barry's new friend, Kingston. Excuse the latter end of Barry here.
By the time we got to their home the sky was slightly over cast. It was still nice out and the sun shone through for the most part, but the weather forecast was calling for a terrible storm. It rolled in eventually but I think we decided, once we'd heard the forecast, to just skip hiking and we'd hang out with our friends for a few hours at their home instead. They have a fenced backyard and we spent most of our time there. I wasn't too keen on the idea of Barry roaming their house so staying outdoors was more comfortable so I could keep an eye on him. He's a very nosey and fearless dog. He will go from room to room to sniff and find things. Which is exactly what happened once the rain started and we herded everyone inside.

Our afternoon was really nice. Mike and I commented to one another how Barry is good with small dogs and it was a nice feeling knowing this. We try to be cautious any time we have Barry meet new people and dogs. We've never had an issue with any of those things so far. Barry loves people first, then dogs, then food and treats. Well, it's possible the food and treats come before dogs. Definitely not people. He truly loves people above and beyond all other things.

While we were all inside Barry was starting to get snoopy. He was going from room to room and he was definitely looking for something or hoping to find something. He did well overall. I had him come to the room we were all in so that he would hang out with us and I could keep my eye on him. He stayed for a while then got up to roam again. I peaked into the room where he was a couple of time and he was fine, laying by the garage door flat on his belly, so I let him be.

The third time (what do they say about the third time again?) I went to check on him and he was no longer in his spot. I called him and I heard nothing. I went upstairs to the where all the bedrooms are and still heard nothing. He didn't come when I called him. I didn't hear his jingling tags either. Finally I decided I would walk into the master bedroom and I still didn't see him and he didn't come to me. When I walked to the other side of the bed there I saw only the back part of him sticking out from under the bed. He was dead silent. He was stalking their cat. I pulled on his legs to pull him out just a bit to grab his collar and then I heard the cat hissing and spitting. Barry backed out from under the bed, the cat flew into their bathroom and Barry followed clumsily knocking into everything on the way. The cat dodged out of the bathroom and down the stairs with Barry following. I flew down the stairs and my body wasn't keeping up with my mind so instead of my feet planting on each step as I went down I just slid down the steps (only a few steps luckily) landing on the floor at the bottom.

Husband and our friend's older child were able to grab Barry and hold him while the cat was put away. I can't remember my exact thoughts in that moment but I was so sick to my stomach and scared that Barry had hurt their cat. He could have killed her! Barry's eyes were red and wild, the hair on his nape was standing up, and he was in the moment, barely noticing that we were trying to calm him. He was focused on getting that cat. We couldn't snap him out of it as quickly as I'd hoped then Husband finally told me to get the harness. In my confused and upset state I didn't think about getting the harness. I was worried about the cat and the family (our good friends) that we just disrupted by bringing our prey-driven dog into their peaceful and happy home. Poor cat! I have to say, I tend to be pretty good in emergency situations that involve human issues/accidents. When it comes to Barry I'm totally nuts and I can't think straight at all. I've realized this as we've had a couple of issues with Barry where I lost myself in upset and confusion.

As far as we are aware the cat is okay. Our friends have given her a clean bill of health and Barry has moved on already, back to hunting city squirrels on his leash during walks.

That is the good news. However, it's pretty sad and upsetting to me that Barry isn't good with cats. I mean, I know plenty of dogs that can't be around cats but there are also plenty of dogs that are great with cats. Barry is one that cannot be around a cat, we know this now. It's just hard to see your dog get like that. Wild eyed and unstoppable. Well, he was stopped but he wouldn't have stopped had there been no intervention. I'm not going to say with total certainty that Barry would have killed their cat, but my gut is going with he would certainly have killed the cat had he gotten close enough. He is a terrier at heart and all terriers have the strong prey-drive that we see when Barry goes after squirrels and now cats.

I wasn't sure how Barry would be around cats. When we adopted him we were told he was good with cats. They did a walk-by with him where the cats were in their cage. In that setting Barry was okay with cats. In a real life indoor setting where the cat isn't in a cage Barry is not good with cats.

Even after Barry tried to eat our friend's cat, they still like us and have even told us that we'll continue to be welcome at their home. Thanks guys for being so understanding and so kind.

Here is our outdoor space at our condo. Barry enjoys laying on the balcony but I'm sure
he prefers a grassy yard.

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