This weekend I spent all of my time battening down for Tropical Cyclone Bianca which was predicted to hit the coast somewhere between Perth and Bunbury as a Category 1 storm with 120kmh winds.
I trimmed more branches off the lemon tree, stashed everything that was outside away so that it wouldn't become a projectile, and then settled in to watch TV and wait. It never came, though there were a couple of thunder storms.
Bender is scared of thunder and went and curled up on my bed when the storms passed over. Barbie just stared in wonder out the front window at the rain cascading out of the gutters (oops, didn't clean them... again).
On Saturday morning before the storm, I took Barbie to her Canine Good Citizen refresher class. There is something about the building now that Barbie associates with training. She did an offlead loose heel the whole time. I practiced some down/stays with her and she was fine on the hard floor! She only started breaking after we'd practiced it too many times, then she progressed to the rolling onto her side and laying like that in her 'stay'. I am pretty sure they will pass her for that as long as she doesn't get up and move from the spot. I hope that since we will only do it once she will do it perfectly anyway.
On Thursday night the dogs had a challenge which they haven't come across often in their lives - toddlers! N's brother, his wife and their twin girls came to stay overnight as they live down South and needed to be in Perth on Friday. The girls are three I think(?) and are quite hyper. They like to just bounce around. They love cats but had much more limited exposure to dogs. Bender's reaction to toddlers has always been to lick them until they scream, and he hasn't changed his approach despite us discouraging him. He is such a pushy boof-headed dog that adults have to tell him to back off, otherwise he just stays way too close to the toddlers. Anyway after Bender had been put outside a couple of times for being too hyper, he settled down. Barbie is good with kids though because she will stand nice and still to accept pats and will back off if they say 'no' and wave their little arms at her. The problem with Barbie is she's a bit too 'soft' with the kids and ran away from them when they chased her. She then plopped down on her bed because her bed is supposed to be her safe space, and one of the twins jumped on her. Barbie jumped up and ran away and I put her in her crate where she was safe (it was almost bed time anyway).
They may all be moving up to Perth soon so the dogs will probably see more of them. I think once they are confident with dogs, Bender is going to be more of a playmate for them as they can climb all over him and he will love it. Barbie prefers quiet, kind kiddies who will give her cuddles and pats but not try to climb on her. Soon they will be old enough to understand boundaries properly I guess.
Frou cat is definately torn about children that little. She loves attention in any form but she doesn't like how they move around unpredictably and how they bounce. It makes her jumpy. A compromise for Frou was being under the coffee table where she felt safe, she laid down and let them pat her then.