Once again my lovelies, you are more than generous with your thoughts of helping and ideas to solve the situation. I so appreciate each one of you taking the time to comment with leads, thoughts, information or like me hands up in the air saying I dunno.
I did some investigation from leads you gave me and also have a call into my traveling vet Dr. Barbara. But in my heart of hearts I know the answer without ever having asked. We can't change a tiger's stripes and we can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Huh? We aren't gonna be able to make Ellie Mae quit being a terrier.....it's in her blood. I have treated her like she is a mini St. Bernard and that has been the main problem.
We had a Saint one time, her name was Annabelle. She was a stubborn bitch, literally. She would listen to anything and do anything that Sweet Man said, but me, well she looked at me with her big brown eyes as if to say, "dearie, you are foolin' yourself if you think I even care what you are saying" and continue doing what she was doing. However, after having to take over the job of taking her to obedience class because of a change in SM's work schedule.....she started listening to me right away. Great dog, but stubborn. My friend found a turtle in her front yard and gave it to us. We put the turtle in a separate back yard area surrounded by an 8 foot fence where I had my rose garden. Perfect place for a turtle.
It drove Annabelle nuts to hear the movement of the turtle moving around. She worked at opening the gate to the separate yard until she had rubbed the top part of her nose off. She was bloody and determined. And until we did some brainstorming, I had put that memory in the out of order part of my brain. We ultimately had to take the turtle and move it to my parents home because, the dog would not quit the destructive behavior.
We are not quitters on this one. And I think the only possible action we have is for the people to change how we let the animals interact. No more just putting the dogs out into the yard and letting them be. We have to accompany them out and back in. Odin the other dog won't mind, he is not an outside dog. He fancies himself, king of the loveseat and the only sunshine he wants any part of is through the glass doors of the front patio. Ellie Mae is gonna miss her "let's torture the smelly neighbor when he is outside smoky his Gawd Awful cigar time". Me too.
But for now that is our answer. Separation. But I have to tell you.......this in and out every 20 minutes stuff is quickly coming to an end. I know she was probably out tracking the turtles breath holes and whoever is already up but no more honey. The lazy humans are now going to be on guard if we are to keep both dog and turtles. Otherwise the only answer is to find another home for Ellie Mae. The kids know they have to help as well if we are to be succesful and I believe we are all motivated, no, let me say yes we are all motivated because the alternative is too hard to think about.
Thank you all for being a part of our thought processes. It helped to have other rational adults suggestions for our family to read and process. I'll keep you updated on the "success story".