berks dog

young Hiccup, Astrid and Fishlegs, are standing in front of a castle that Tuffnut, Ruffnut and Snotlout built on Berk and are now behind it ready for battle.

Hiccup: “HELLO!!!”

Tuffnut doing a silly French accent: “Who is it?”

Hiccup: “This is Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III and these are my friends. Whose castle is this?”

Tuffnut: “This is the castle of Lord-King-Overlord-Emperor-Ruler-Sir Thorston-ton”

Hiccup: “Go and tell him that we have been charged with a sacred quest to find the Dragon Eye and if he gives us food and shelter for the night he may join us in our quest.”

Tuffnut: “I’ll ask him but I don’t think he’ll want to. He’s already got one you see.”

Fishlegs: “Are you sure?”

Tuffnut: “Oh, yes it’s very nice.”

Tuffnut (whispers to Ruffnut and Snotlout on his side of the wall): “I told him we already got one.”

They struggle hide their laughter.

Fishlegs: “Well, can we come up and have a look at it?”

Tuffnut: “Of course not! You are Berkian yaks!”

Astrid: “Well what are you then?”

Tuffnut: “I’m French. Why do you think I have this outrages accent!?”

Astrid: “What are you doing on Berk?”

Tuffnut: “Mind your own business!”

Hiccup: “If you don’t show us your Dragon Eye we will be forced to take your castle by force.”

Tuffnut: “You don’t frighten us you silly Berk-ish pig-dogs!!! Go an boil your bottoms, you sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called ‘Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III,’ you and all your silly Berk K-nig-hts!!!!”

Tuffnut: “PPPHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PPPPHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Fishlegs: “What a strange person.”

Hiccup: “Now look here my good man-”

Tuffnut: “I don’t want to talk to you no more! You empty-headed animal food trough wiper! I fart in your general direction!!!! Your mother was a Terrible Terror your father smelt of elderberries!!!!”

Astrid: “Is there someone else up there that we can talk to?”

Tuffnut: “No. Now go away or I will taunt you a second time!”

Hiccup: “Now this is your last chance. I’ve been more them reasonable…”

Tuffnut to his friends: “Get the secret weapon.”

Snotlout: “What?”

Tuffnut: “The SECRET. WEAPON.”

Hiccup: “…If you do not agree to my commands, then I shall be forced to-!”

They vault a chicken over the walls.

Hiccup: “HOLY ODIN!!!”

the chicken lands on Fishlegs.

Hiccup: “Right. CHARGE!!!”

Astrid: “CHARGE!!!!!!!”

but the onslaught of poultry forces them to retreat.

(Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

So this is Sideline. He is a basset hound/black lab. He came to us 11 months ago after his owner (a co-worker) passed away from cancer. Before he moved in with us, Sideline was kept in a large pen outside. He had minimal human contact and then with only one person. He knew a few other dogs and some farm animals. However, he was never socialized and never left the pen.

We couldn’t even catch him in the pen. Sideline was very shy and fearful of everything and everybody. We finally got him cornered and I got a lead on him but he wouldn’t even walk. He just froze. He was so scared he defecated. We got him home. He acted more normal when we got him home and to our other dog, Berk. However, Sideline was still terrified of everything. Any sudden movements or new people in the house would cause him to pee in fear.

After a few accidents in the night, we got Sideline a crate. It was the best thing we ever did. He used it as his safe spot and we had no more accidents. Sideline also started being more calm around us. He still would startle if you moved to quickly or turned around, or even looked at him too long. Any loud noise would cause him to freak.

Slowly we began socializing him. Walking him to a local bar with Berk. Past screaming children (he was so afraid of them) and bikes and loud people. He was better at the bar, he could hide under our stools and decide if he wanted attention. Sideline was so unsocialized that he didn’t even know what pets where. Berk being at his side made him braver.

Sideline has been making steady progress. We now can leave the crate open at night without worrying about accidents. We started leaving it open because he would cry at night. Sideline has decided he wants to sleep in our bedroom or hallway.  When I turn my desk chair around, he may still jump up but he comes towards me instead of running away. At the bar he is still shy but he seeks out attention from the patrons he knows instead of cowering under the stool. When he needs to go outside during the day, Sideline comes up and noses my arm instead of whining or getting Berk to do it. In fact, Sideline has decided he likes pets so much he is a bit pushy when he wants them.

Sideline isn’t completely over his previous home, he is still fearful and timid. However, when he got spooked and out of his collar when we were walking him, he ran right back to the house and sat on the stairs til we got there and opened the door. (He now wears a halter so he can’t escape) He likes to go to the bar now, he looks forward to it and attention from his friends (and the occasional crawfish tail). He even initiates contact with visitors to the house. Best of all, he no longer pees in fear at every little thing. In fact, we haven’t had that kind of accident in months. 

I’m very proud of Sideline and the progress he has made. I think some day soon he’ll be a real dog. (That’s a joke. We said when he came home, that Sideline didn’t even know how to dog. Berk and my parent’s two dogs have been slowly teaching him how to dog over the past 11 months.)