Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I'm done with these dogs; you can have them back now

Why I hate puppies #1 (yesterday morning)
Why I hate puppies #2 (yesterday evening)

Why did I think I ever liked having dogs? Or that I had a clue about training them?

Why I hate puppies #3:
Sunday afternoon, I arrived home after running errands just after the housemate arrived home, to discover that the housemate had spread paper towels over a wide swath of the kitchen floor and was in search of Nature's Miracle. Turns out that not only did Boost pee after she'd been told not to jump up two or three times (an occasional repeat problem), but then she threw herself to the ground upsidedown and wallowed in it to get her stomach rubbed. So I hauled the stinky puppy out to the back yard and mowed the lawn (it was getting long and I didn't want it too wet when I tried running the manual mower around) and hosed down and toweled off the puppy.

Monday morning, puppy WOULDn't pee in the yard before going upstairs to help me get dressed. She wrestled with Tika on the bed a bit, during which I discovered a large wet puddle in themiddle of my bedroom carpet. I don't know when it was done--I could've sworn she leaped into the room right behind Tika and went right at it.

Monday evening, while I was sitting at my desk working, I never even noticed her near me until she started making cautious sniffing gestures at the dog mat I keep beside me for Jake to lie on: Sure enough, saturated with dog pee.

Tuesday morning, puppy WOULDn't pee in the yard before going upstairs to help me get dressed. I kicked her off the bed several times. I headed around the corner into the bathroom and noticed her popping up onto the bed behind me. I turned around as she started sniffing--and, sure enough, she squatted and started to pee. (Another occasional recurring problem.) I yelled NO! and BAD DOG! and grabbed her and hauled her all the way downstairs and out to the backyard, where she DID pee when I asked her to. Then I had to undo the comforter cover and spray it with Nature's Miracle and, that evening, dragging in from work late and exhausted, wash it (fortunately I caught her before it was saturated enough to get down to the allergy cover and the down comforter itself) and remake my bed, which I had just made a couple of days earlier.

Tuesday evening, puppy WOULDn't pee in the yard before going up to bed. I insisted, I walked out with her, I waited for her to have a huge drink of water and then walked her out--but no, she wanted to go into the house and go to bed. So she went into her crate, I zipped her up, I got cleaned up & undressed and into bed--and MOM I REALLY REALLY HAVE TO GO POTTY ***NOW****!!! came from the crate. So I got dressed, took her downstairs, unlocked the doors, walked her out to the yard--where she peed enthusiastically--and then reversed it all. This has been happening more and more often at bed time, and it's extremely frustrating.

This morning, puppy WOULDn't pee in the yard before going upstairs to help me get changed (we must've been out there for 5 minutes with her looking at me like I was crazy). Once again, I kicked her off the bed several times, then Tika tempted her up there and they started wrassling noisily and enthusiasically. So, while I was trying to break a decongestant pill in half in the bathroom, I suddenly realized that it was suddenly quiet-- I turned around to see Boost heading cheerfully out the bedroom door and a huge wide and long juicy puddle of pee all over my bed. Went through the cover AND the "fragile don't wash if you can avoid it" allergy cover and down to the down comforter itself, although just barely.

She's almost 7 months. Isn't she supposed to be housebroken by now? What have I missed? What have I done wrong? Why all of a sudden won't she pee on demand in the back yard? ARgggggghhhhh-- I was bawling so loud this morning with this yet another demand on my time and interruption of my schedule and absolute frustration that I managed to throw up a bit. Yes, I'm upset.

OK, That's Boost. Tika has gotten into this thing where, when I'm trying to play with or train her in the yard, every time I let go of the toy, she turns and runs off to go looking for squirrels. Or every time she's in a stay and I release her. Or every time I toss the toy to reward her. I can't begin to tell you how extraordinarily frustrating it is. I mean, there aren't even squirrels THERE 95% of the time, she just goes to LOOK. And I've called her and been ignored, chased her down and given her what for, chained her up and played with another dog for a while (and immediately upon releasing--she chases off to the trees again), screamed NOOOOOOO at the top of my angry lungs, to which she mostly responds, but I think I'm spending my valuable "This is very important" gold very quickly. I've tried making coming back to me more exciting and rewarding; I've played my heart out; I've praised and praised when she sticks with me or looks at me; I've put her in down stays when I have to do something without her for a moment (and we know what happens when I then release her.) I'm not sure whether it's getting better or worse. And furthermore she's doing it in class a lot now, too. What worries me is that that's going to start translating into doing it at agility trials.

I don't know why she's doing this. It didn't start immediately when I got Boost. I dont' know whether it's related to the puppy or not. Puppy is usually tied up when I'm working with Tika. I am at a loss.

Jake: Well, he's Mr. Grumpy Pants a lot. Hasn't really landed on Boost much lately (she's heavier than he is, now, although not by much). But he growls and snarls CONSTANTLY if he has a rawhide and she's anywhere within his sight. CON---STANT---LY!!!! The only solution is to take the rawhide away, then he starts licking his feet or something obsessive like that.

Can I please have my REAL dogs now? These can't be the ones I signed up for--

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