Friday, 2 September 2011

Major Poohead

Butter wouldn't melt.

This is our dog Major. He also goes by the name of Poohead. Major is a rescue hound sent to us from Broome. He arrived after 2 years of half-hearted contemplating - I really did not see myself as a poo-picker-upper kind of gal. If only I knew then that this was the easiest of jobs when it comes to owning a hound.
When we first received Major he chewed anything he could get his chops around. Or on. He even tried to chew his way out of our gate.

Determined much?

Funny huh?! Not so much for the owner of a lovely new garden bed, self-installed retic and freshly rolled out Sir Walter turf. Major found a way to destroy our entire back yard. The retic that I installed myself was ripped up. 3 times. Established Sir Walter turf wound up with holes dug halfway to China (I did not know a dog could dig a hole THROUGH lawn). And clearly I left nothing outside that wasn’t pinned down. I’ve heard these stories of dogs ripping through pairs and pairs of shoes and gardening items. I just never left such items outside. He also ate an entire Frangipani tree. It was a baby but a tree nevertheless. Ruthless. He also sniffed out and chewed the only thing chewable on our BBQ, the igniter button, the very first night we got it.
There were days I contemplated sending Poohead back, I truly did. A friend once asked “surely you would choose your Poohead over a garden, wouldn’t you?” …I would? I knew sending the dog to destroy someone else’s entire yard would break my son’s heart, and Major’s. The little bond those two share is priceless. But clearly I had to do something. We got him lots of toys for amusement, played games, gave him attention, daily walks, quality food, bones, more attention. Nothing worked. So I called a dog trainer who essentially came out and trained me. I admit I was clueless about dog psychology; I have always been more of a cat lover than canine. Cats are just too cool for school. They aren’t needy and they couldn’t care less if they have your attention. Dogs on the other hand, and ESPECIALLY Major, need attention and love and attention and love 24/7. I don’t do needy.
The trainer came around one afternoon and taught me how to become the ‘pack leader’ (I thought I already was?!). It took consistent discipline and I tell you what, there were moments when I thought a sibling would have been much less work than a pet! I felt like a complete ogre with the incessant 'bah-ing' and training. Over months however I started to see a change in Major’s behaviour.  I could walk him without having my shoulder dislocated (now he even pees on command), the destructive behaviour settled down and although he spends almost every waking moment staring at the back door just waiting for one of us to go out and humour him, he knows his place in our pack.

Best buds.

The garden bed he destroyed is still a patch of sand and the lawn looks dismal, but the laughs we get out of Poohead are worth it. At first I struggled with admitting defeat and letting him ‘win’ but making that choice to adjust my yard to suit him was the only other option to giving him up. And how could I not love this character?

"Take that sun!"

I will have my dream garden soon enough. 


  1. I must admit, he is a handsome dog and you know that I'm not a dog lover either!

  2. Gorgeous.
    They quickly establish themselves as part of the family, don't they?

  3. Oh what a lovely post. Poohead is adorable and he kind of reminds me of the pooch in the Marley & Me movie. He has character though, which I guess is better than a boring doggy ;o)
    Love the photos, especially the one with your little boy. That is just so sweet xo

  4. He is a handsome dog Mum, he has a sweet little character. And very funny! He has definitely grown on me that's for sure. xo

  5. Definitely Shar, he became part of our family pretty quickly. Funny when we were waiting for him to arrive I was wondering if he would like us. :)

  6. Jules, I swear when I saw that movie (pre-Poohead) I was saying to my hubby 'Why don't they just get rid of that dog, he is CRAZY!'. I cringed when it started destroying stuff. I didn't get it then as I hadn't had a dog since I was a kid. Major definitely has character, he makes us laugh, a lot!

    My son and Major were watching some kids play footy in that photo. Major was itching to run and nick the ball! xx

  7. Love it. Ahh the joys of being a pet owner huh! From someone who knows your pain and hopes to have a happy ending with my chicken sausages like you have had with Major Poohhead. Even the name just makes me laugh out loud. xxxx

  8. Yes it totally suits him! 'Poohead' was my watered down, kid-friendly version. He has been called worse let me tell you!

    Chicken sausages will outgrow the destructive behaviour, before you know it you will be laughing at it all (I can almost work up a giggle at some of Poohead's antics, but back in the day not so much).

    Thanks for dropping by Sonia. :) xo


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