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In Which Wacky Dog Annihilates My House

January 31st, 2007

You really do not want to read this if you are eating, or have a weak stomach. Or if you hate pets. Or if you love pets, for that matter. I do not love pets. I wish I’d never brought pets home and into my life.

I made the mistake of going to a meeting yesterday — school stuff — then we had a school music event to attend a couple of hours later. But we couldn’t go home because it would stress out Wacky Dog. I plan my days around, “Will this stress out the dog?” I am fed up with this lifestyle. I want to plan my days around, “What do I need to get done today?” not, “Will this inconvenience my 85-pound black lab who is reminding me more and more daily of an uncle who showed up for the holidays and then never left? And he’s starting to stink.”

Sure-fire bets for making the dog flip out:
1) Fireworks, and we’re not home
2) Feeding him, and then we leave (he knocks over his bowl and scatters the food all over the kitchen floor, then refuses to eat it)
3) Gunfire
4) Anything that sounds like gunfire (bubble wrap, a car backfiring)
5) Someone coming to the door and we’re not here

Recipes for disaster:
1) Leaving garbage in the can under the kitchen sink — he will pull it out, dig through it and scatter it throughout the house. I could babyproof and fix this one, but I am tired of having a babyproofed house.
2) Dirty dishes on the counter — he must forage for toast crusts, then knock them on the floor and break them. He’s broken two butter dishes, four pyrex bowls, a bunch of my Franciscan apple dishes which I’m telling you are not cheap, various plates, cups and glasses. He’s broken so many dishes — we could have provided a starter set for a college student, it’s that many dishes.
3) If my husband comes home and then the four of us immediately leave. This stresses the dog beyond belief and he will break dishes, eat books and magazines (goat tendencies) and/or puke to relieve his anxiety.

It’s like living with goddamn Sybil here, he has that many neuroses.

Why do I not take the dog everywhere with us? We used to. Then he started losing his little puppy brain and expressing his anal glands in my car. It’s like a skunk made an appearance. Plus it’s disgusting to clean up. It’s January — we can’t take him with us and leave him on a leash outside the store, movie theater, restaurant.

So yesterday, I’m trying to outwit the dog (my first mistake). No, I take that back. My first mistake was petting the cat, who was curled up on my favorite warm brown fuzzy blanket on the couch. I scooped him up, because there is nothing sweeter than a sleepy, sun-kissed kitty. Then I saw the worms he’d left behind on the blanket. I put him back down. I’ve been giving them their monthly flea medicine, and I just wormed them a couple of months ago, but no matter. And worms for one means worms for all three. They’re like the Three Musketeers that way. Plus, when you check them for fleas? No fleas. Ever.

The kids and I went out for dinner, Hockey God met us at school for the music thing, and when we got home, happy and content, looking forward to having the next day off (teacher planning)… well, geez. There is no polite way to put this.

It looked like a crime scene. And the more you looked around, the more you found.

The dog had the runs all over the rug in the entryway. He’d thrown up all over the dining room. He’d had the runs upstairs, all over the hallway. It was horrible. The smell was horrible. Trying to steer the kids away from the carnage was a challenge. I finally guided them around the haz-mat and the three of us hid in the bathroom. I about cried. The kids were getting grossed out and asked for clothespins for their noses.

The dog was moping around, looking sad; I put him in the backyard because, you know. I didn’t want Round Two of this.

Hockey God and I have a deal, and last night I was especially grateful for it — when I’m here, I’m in charge of clean-ups. When he’s here (which is a lot less time than I spend here) he’s in charge. So that meant he was the one breaking out the paper towels and carpet shampooer, not me.

Thank you, sweet Jesus, for favors like this. He ended up throwing away a rug, the dog bed, the dog’s blankets — all ruined. I read to the kids and tucked them in.

Then we spent the rest of the evening talking about what we should do with this craziest, wackiest, sweetest, most horrible dog I’ve ever known. He’s on thyroid pills. He takes anti-depressants to try to manage the separation anxiety. We don’t walk him enough in winter but we do the rest of the year. It’s not two walks daily, but he does get attention. And we have a huge yard, with enough room to run him and throw tennis balls for him (his favorite). He won’t stay in the yard though. He tries to break doors to get in, he digs, he howls, he chews through the fence, we find him on the front porch waiting when we get home. He rolls in dog crap. If there’s not a pile out there, he’ll make one and roll in it.

Then there you are, 11 p.m. on a school night, bathing the dog and scrubbing down the bathroom. We’ve done that six, eight times? I lose track.

He is the kind of dog who will loyally wait on the front porch. He would wait there for a week if he had to. Because if he’s there, he will see you sooner than he would from the back yard. He wants to see us, be with us, every second of every day. No grocery store trips, no doctor or dental appointments, no errands, no job for me, no leaving him all day if we’re going somewhere dogs aren’t allowed. He has to sleep in our room at night — if you try to lock him out he tries to break the door down. We’ve tried tranquillizing him (during fireworks season) and he fights the tranquillizers and it makes it worse. The vet says some dogs have this reaction to tranks.

In the winter he doesn’t get enough exercise. It is next to impossible for me some days to get both kids dressed, with coats on, with hats and gloves, and get out the door. I know this is lame, please don’t give me grief. But my kids fight me and fight me and somedays, most days, I am too wiped out to fight back.

We’re taking the dog to the vet today, for a check-up. They won’t have any answers, other than referring me to $125 an hour animal psychologist. We tried crating him; he broke the crate. He is the kind of dog who would break all his teeth out, trying to escape.

The last time we left him at a kennel he broke the lock and escaped. “It’s the first time we’ve ever had that happen,” they told us. They found him out in the yard. Looking for us, I’m sure. We’re looking into putting him up for adoption. I don’t want to put my dog up for adoption. You think this won’t happen with someone else? Of course it will. I don’t hate anyone enough to wish this on them. I love my dog too much to have him go to some asshole who’s going to try to “break” him. He cannot be broken.

The Daisy Hill Puppy Farm does not exist.

And if one more person tells me my dog is neurotic because he got it from me? I’m going to slap them.

I don’t want to have him put to sleep, but I can’t deal with this. I hate those crazy people who have horrible animals that spray, pee, poop and puke all over their houses and their houses stink. I swore if he ever got incontinent (this is the fifth incident, including two times in car) I’d have him put down. He’s not in pain, or suffering. I am, though.

What would you do, Internet?

(Ed. to add: Hired a dogwalker — our neighbor — to walk him once a day, Monday-Friday. She brought a tennis ball over, in her pocket. Wacky Dog is in love. Will love be enough? Please advise.)


  1. Zipdodah says

    After spending almost $2,000 in the last month on our Lab, I am at a loss. Our 80 lb. Lab/Aussie Shepard, WAS an outside dog. Very content chasing squirrels and birds all day, and howling at sirens, 1/2 acre to run…Nice cozy igloo with lots of warm fuzzy blankets. Now she HAS to be an INSIDE dog. Why? The years of eating grass, poop, pinecones, sticks, rocks, sand, shells, tomatoes (she picks, peels and eats them), chives, and, well basically ALL of my herb garden, has finally taken it’s toll. Vet says she has “digesitve issues”…she needs to stay indoors so she doesn’t have “access” to all these snacks. We’ve tried all the training, believe me. So we shut all the doors to the bedrooms and she has full reign of the tv room, including takeover of the futon. I have missed countless hours of work, due to the fact it has fallen on me to be the caretaker. The trip to the vet has become a monthly ritual. Oh, and the obsessive compulsive behavior is starting to rub off on me, rub off on me, rub off on me. She has rituals for eating, going to the bathroom etc. I found myself following her around the house the other day for no apparent reason. You see, she has taken it upon herself to stick close by my side, as in so close, she actually trips me at least 3 times a day. I think I’m going to start taking the medication the vet has prescribed for her. All I can say is I sympathize with you WM. I could go into more detail, but I think you’ve pretty much covered what we have goin on over here in Zipville. Arf.

    January 31st, 2007 | #

  2. WackyMommy says

    Oh geez. I am sorry. What you said in your post is exactly why I’m dreading the vet visit today. Yeah, Wacky Dog does all the compulsive behaviors, too. Too bad for him no opposable thumbs so he can’t repetitively wash paws.

    January 31st, 2007 | #

  3. Himself says

    “The dog had the runs” doesn’t really even begin to cover it. <AACK!>

    January 31st, 2007 | #

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