Thursday, February 19, 2009

Puppy Love

Dogger is being a brat. She is eating me out of house home, literally by eating my house and home! There is a lyric that says You are never fully dressed without a smile, the version that I sing around the house is You are never fully dressed until you soak you shoes in bitter apple . It just doesn’t flow nearly as well.

I do this because Dogger chews on my shoes, she doesn’t bother just waiting for me to take them off to spring, she’s very happy to attack them while they are still on my feet! And I say No. Bad Girl! Stop It! StopitStopitStopit! and pull my feet back and she thinks this is just too much fun! I’m yanking my feet back and she’s thinking that we’re in the middle of the most fun game of tug ever!

So. Enter Bitter Apple. I can (briefly) get her off my feet but this does not keep her from shredding magazines and book jackets that she happens to find around - Well, book jacket actually, its from a book that’s binding broke and the cover became detached and Dogger just thinks it’s the bestest toy ever. The fact that I keep taking it away from her makes it all the more attractive.

And then there is the cookie issue. Dogger is eating something I do not want her to eat, like a section of the newspaper I saved. I tell her to PUT IT DOWN and to LEAVE IT while I chase her around the dinning room table. The only way to keep her from completely destroying whatever it is to offer her a cookie.

I give her a cookie and she gives me back my thing. No cookie, no thing and it doesn’t work the other way around, she won’t give me the thing until I give her the cookie. Period.  I know she has something she shouldn’t because I can hear her chewing. If she has an approved of toy, she very quietly gnaws on it, but give her a TV remote or a copy of Vanity Fair and you can hear her chewing outside. She has it all worked out. She holds something hostage, throwing out a finger every once in a while to remind me she means business,  until I give her a cookie and she frees her hostage.. Lather, rinse, repeat.

She’s doing this because she’s bored. She doesn’t get the exercise she once did and now that she’s healing  her energy level is increasing and she wants to have the run of the house and not be cooped up in “her” room all day. I understand this and I would love to have her out wandering the house all day because I think it’s a good deterrent to have a huge dog face looking out the windows. I locked her up (again) after a period of house wandering freedom after she hurt herself last summer and she’s slowly over time graduated from being in her crate 24-7 to being crated only during the day, to no crate, to her dog bed and finally to the futon. All of these things being in the office, her room. She’s got cabin fever, I get it but that’s no reason for her to turn into a canine Cuisinart  the minute she gets her liberty.

All I want is for my seven year old dog to stop acting like a teething puppy. I would like my dinning room to not look like a ticker tape parade just passed though. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad, thrilled even, that she's healed enough and strong enough and that she’s even up to tearing around, chewing stuff up at all, but geez, can’t she be happy with tearing around chewing up her own stuff?

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