Jo the Dog-Owner
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#1: Jo the Dog-Owner Author: JennieLocation: Cambridgeshire PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 1:47 pm
We know that Jo had two big dogs, Rufus and Bruno, but why did she never train them properly? Even big dogs can be trained not to jump on people, (mind you, I can just mentally hear Katarzyna saying, 'She's never had to deal with Rent-a-mob') but it can't have been pleasant for people to have been knocked off their feet by a St Bernard, or been slobbered over by the dog, yet she still makes excuses for him without doing anything about training him.

#2:  Author: MichelleLocation: Near London PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 1:49 pm
Jo did notice when Samantha was scared of dogs, and held Bruno back so he didn't jump on her. But I'm sure there were plenty of people who weren't scared, but would rather not have been knocked over.


#3:  Author: Sarah_LLocation: Leeds PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 2:37 pm
I'd definitely prefer not to have been slobbered over. A friend's St Bernard slobbered on my skirt once and it needed to be washed. Can you imagine all the poor new girls coming home from Jo's with dirty clothes but not being allowed to change them because they'd already had their two/three tunics for the week. And how about if the dog knocking you over ripped your clothes. I bet Matey would still have made you mend them, rather than blaming Jo.

#4:  Author: LizBLocation: Oxon, England PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 2:44 pm
I think big dogs do tend to be slobbery though (in my limited experience). Some friends of mind have a Newfoundland, and she is definitely slobbery - I have learnt (especially after she has had a drink of water) to put my hand on her head and tell her to keep off if I am wearing clothes I particularly want to keep clean.

She also had a habit of jumping up on people from behind, easily putting her front paws on the shoulders of a tall person and they could be knocked over by her weight if it was unexpected (despite scoldings etc.). This was only cured after she'd had an operation - I think a hysterectomy.

Possibly shutting Bruno in a room (Rufus didn't have that problem as I recall) until the guests were in and settled and then bringing him in to introduce them calmly would have been a wise move.

Perhaps it was partly keeping Bruno puppy-like for longer that his behaviour was portrayed as it was.

#5:  Author: leahbelleLocation: Kilmarnock PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 2:58 pm
I love dogs, but I would most definitely not want to be slobbered over by one! Our neighbour has a rottweiler. Its a gorgeous dog, but like Jo's dogs, when it rushes out to meet you in the street, you do tend to find yourself in the middle of the road trying not to let him eat your skirt! Its not the first time I've had to get changed at lunch because he's licked a skirt to death!

#6:  Author: Laura VLocation: Merseyside, UK PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 3:10 pm
perhaps Jo's attitude towards looking after the dog was the same as the towards the children - get someone else to do it Wink

#7:  Author: jenniferLocation: Taiwan PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 3:17 pm
I think Rufus was fairly well behaved, possibly as his training would have been overseen by Madge. I don't recall any cases where he bowls people over, eats people's food, or escapes from his owners.

Bruno, on the other hand, would be one of the reasons I'm not a dog person. I like well trained dogs - ones that *don't* jump up on you, swipe your food, try to knock you over or yip uncontrollably. I'm perfectly happy to have them sniff my hand and give them a good scratching behind the ears, but having to defend myself while the owner stands indulgently by is not my idea of fun.

In fairness, I find little dogs tend to be more poorly trained than big ones, I think because an untrained big dog is dangerous, while a untrained little dog is mainly irritating.

#8:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 4:14 pm
I'm not keen on dogs - especially my next-door neighbour's two Alsatians!- I must admit, and I hate it when a badly-trained dog jumps on me!

Isn't there something in one of the Tyrol books - I think it's Exploits -about Eva von Heiling being "Pets Prefect"? It says something about Cornelia having had a chameleon last term but there "only" being dogs, cats and rabbits this term. Does this mean that loads of the girls had dogs and cats with them, chasing each other round the school Rolling Eyes Laughing ?!!

#9:  Author: ChangnoiLocation: Milwaukee, USA PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 4:40 pm
I think, as has been mentioned, that it's a case of Rufus being a different kind of dog than Bruno. Rufus seemed to generally be a good and obedient dog. Of course, he didn't live with Jo in his puppy/young dog days, if I remember rightly. He was at Die Rosen with Madge and Jem. So possibly they trained him and Jo didn't realize dogs didn't come already-trained.

Then, when she got Bruno, she wasn't really ready for him--he was a gift; she was still kind of depressed-sounding about Rufus' death--and he was a naturally more exuberant dog, and she had no idea that he needed to be trained, and she just never trained him. She then got used to his being disobedient and rambunctious, kind of like the way I get used to my house being dirty, and stopped noticing it.


#10:  Author: KathrynWLocation: London PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 4:49 pm
I'm definitely with Jennifer on this one - I would have done anything I could to avoid having to go the Maynard house because I am completely terrified of dogs. Even if by some miracle, Joey managed to hold him off me, dogs always seem to show an uncommon interest in me and the idea of being sniffed or slobbered over is enough to give me nightmares!

#11:  Author: MiriamLocation: Jerusalem, Israel PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 7:56 pm
Changnoi wrote:
Rufus seemed to generally be a good and obedient dog. Of course, he didn't live with Jo in his puppy/young dog days, if I remember rightly. He was at Die Rosen with Madge and Jem.

He lived at the Chalet until Madge married Jem, which was a out two yeaqrs after Jo rescues him. Most of his training should have happened in this period, but there might e room to question who did it. Jo would have been in lessons a lot of the time,and had relativley little time, so someone else could have taken over that job.

It does say in Princess though, that Jo had specifically thrained him to move around and drop to the flooor silently (thus facilitating their escape from Cosimo), so she must have had something to do with it.

There are times when Bruno is shown as being obeidient, and he is certainly well ehaved when Mary-Lou and Vi take him around collecting money during the Sale in Prefects. I think Jo found his trick of exuberantly jumping all over people a usefull trick in breaking the ice with new girls, so she never really tried to train him out of it. It's possible that had the series continued, he would have calmed down.

(It's also possible that he wouldn't. Our dog was generally well trained and well behaved, but nothing stopped her going wild whenever someone rang the doorbell. If it was someone she really liked - especially my grandmother - she would sometimes jump right over thier shoulder from excitement. Strangers were - fortunately - let off with a few sniffs. This behaviour lasted until she was around fifteen - and she didn't last much longer.)

#12:  Author: TaraLocation: Malvern, Worcestershire PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 10:43 pm
I still remember with a blush the day when the Health Visitor, coming to check on me and my very new baby, was leapt upon by our young and exuberant Boxer, and all her papers knocked to the floor. She was very disapproving, and clearly thought he was going to eat the baby, but he was just young, and in the process of being trained. He was actually wonderful with my daughter, used to push her around the garden on her plastic horse when she was a little older, so there's hope for Bruno. I find it difficult to remember what he does in the actual books as compared to the drabbles! We've all latched on to him as being very uncontrolled, but is that just compared to the elderly and well-behaved Rufus? Have just recalled that, in Richenda, Miss Annersley won't have him at the school while Jo is away because he's not well enough trained, and she doesn't want all the girls distracted by running around after him.

#13:  Author: KatarzynaLocation: North West England PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 9:22 am
Ok, from what I recall, Rufus, who lived with Joey/Madge from being a couple of weeks old was a singleton pup - who tend to be better mannered having learnt everything from their mothers - and in his case Zita appeared very sensible. Joey did do a fair amount of training with him, as did the other girls i would have thought.

As for Bruno - giving a puppy as a gift is really not a clever thing to do in the first place but to a woman with that many children, a busy family home and no support it's an accident waiting to happen! She probably did the basic training with him, but, not very much - i seem to remember he not only jumps up but pulls on the lead 0 not good for a dog that big!

St Bernards then were not as big as they are now, they also had tighter flews - which made for a less slobbery dog, however, fully adult he would still have weight in the region of 12 to 15 stone.

We see Rufus from tiny puppy through to very old (in fact unbelievably old as the average age for a St B is about 10 years) whereas you only really see Bruno as a puppy and adolesent male - when all dogs are horrible (take it from someone who knows!)

And Jennie - nope she wouldn't have stood a chance with rent a mob

#14:  Author: LesleyLocation: Allhallows, Kent PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 9:48 am
Yeah but rent a mob are so cute!!!! Laughing

BTW, for anyone that doesn't know, 'rent a mob' is the generic term for the dogs (think there are about 6-8 *shrug*) that Kate and her partner own and show (sorry, can't remember the breeds) they are absolutely wonderful but, just a little over-exuberant!!! Laughing

#15:  Author: ChrisLocation: Nottingham PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 9:58 am
My sister has just got a St Bernard/Newfoundland cross 8 week old puppy and is trying to show me how cute she is! (We both lost our retrievers last September, although she also has a 9 year old Alsation cross in poor health and a toy poodle). Just imagine the slobber - although she was told that Newfoundlands are so big they don't tend to jump! Let's hope so.

#16:  Author: AliceLocation: London, England PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2006 10:09 am
Having recently read Prefects I decided that Bruno is my least favourite character. I'm not a dog person but I don't mind them too much if they're well behaved. I would hate to have a dog jumping up and slobbering on me.

#17:  Author: Róisín PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 11:54 am
Does anyone find that the dogs are a little over-anthropomorphised (right word?) in the books? There is even one book (can't remember which now) when Rufus 'speaks' - he finishes a chapter I think by 'thinking' something. I've just finished Prefects today and the way that Bruno 'solemnly takes his place at the front of the procession' at the Sale is very 'human' too. And when he walks around with the collection bags strapped to him 'clearly expecting people to donate'.

#18:  Author: KateLocation: Ireland PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 11:55 am
I think there's "Woof," said Rufus, "I quite agree!" or something of the kind alright. It's never as bad as Timmy in the Famous Five though!

#19:  Author: KatLocation: Kingston-upon-Thames/Swansea PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 3:05 pm
That's at the end of Exile I think Shocked

#20:  Author: LollyLocation: London PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 3:21 pm
Bruno is pretty well-behaved in 'Rescue' when Joey tells everyone that he will only accept food from her, or from people he knows!!!!!

#21:  Author: Róisín PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 3:22 pm
Isn't it Rufus in Rescue?

#22:  Author: LollyLocation: London PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2006 3:24 pm
yup. Embarassed

#23:  Author: JayBLocation: SE England PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:02 am
We've all latched on to him as being very uncontrolled, but is that just compared to the elderly and well-behaved Rufus?

He doesn't walk to heel - there's one occasion when Phil Graves is bringing him back and he breaks the lead with pulling on it. And in New Mistress he jumps on Kathie and 'washes her face'. Eeeew - how unhygienic - and I don't recall Joey showing Kathie to the cloakroom after that!

I suspect that Bruno doesn't get enough exercise, and that's why he's so uncontrolled. He should probably be getting walks of several miles a day, and what he gets is a morning stroll with Joey and the current baby in a pram.

Jay B.

#24:  Author: Alison HLocation: Manchester PostPosted: Wed Jun 07, 2006 9:07 am
Rufus had a very interesting life, really Laughing - being rescued from drowning, helping to rescue Elisaveta, rescuing Robin in Head Girl, apparently "wandering" from Briesau all the way to Bordeaux Rolling Eyes with Jockel, then being taken to Guernsey by Frieda and the others (when did he get to Armishire?), etc. Bruno's life was quite boring by comparison!

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