Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bad Dog

Yesterday was not one of Beulah’s finest. Before leaving my sister’s house, I had cut myself a nice piece of fresh blueberry scone, wrapped it tenderly in paper towel, and put it in my raincoat pocket. After loading the car, I told Beulah to hop in, and off we went. My mouth already watering, I reached for my pocket, only to discover someone’s snout already in it, busily finishing off the last delicious morsels of paper towel. After a sever scolding, I insisted she ride in the back, where she sulked the whole 90-minute drive home.

Then last night, I went over to the old homestead at Rutledge Place, drank frozen mojitos with mint from the garden and watched a riveting game of ping pong. Vince had made mashed potatoes with truffled salt (Oh my GOD, so divine. Every time I opened the jar, I had, special moment. I may have to go buy my own jar until Simons gets back.) and salmon burgers. Yum! All of a sudden Vince yells up from the backyard grill, “Beulah just ate two salmon burgers that were cooking. Do you think she’s okay?”

Beulah was better than okay... until I got to her.

So that was breakfast and supper. I dragged her away from her feast and went home, very hungry, embarrassed, furious. I thought a nice hot shower might soothe my temper. It did, but I had a nasty premonition while I was drying off, and sure enough, when I got out, I went immediately in search of my Invisiline trays, only to find them mauled into a thousand pieces next to the couch. The scream alerted Beulah to my wrath so I had to root her out from under the bed with the mop, howling with fury and hatred. I promptly flung her outside for the night.

Today, I have emailed our dog trainer, Susan Merritt, of Purely Positive Dog Training. “Why, Susan? WHY IS MY DOG SO BAD?” She eats stuff that can’t even TASTE good! She eats sponges and toilet paper and dental floss.

Last week, Beulah climbed up on top of the kitchen table and drank two shots of espresso I had blearily forgotten to take to work. Beulah was shrieking and hurling her body against the sliding glass door and walking around on her hind legs when I got home. Well, that was actually pretty funny, but I DON’T CARE! MAKE IT STOP!

Hopefully Susan will have some good advice. Or a taser. Or a shovel.

This just in:
"Who is your veterinarian? It might be a good idea to speak with him/her about these issues. She sounds a little anxious and obsessive to me. You might want to speak to them about medication (antidepressants). I would expect Beulah, as on older dog, not to engage in these behaviors so much. However, she has been successful at it, and that's enough reason for any animal (human included) to keep engaging in it.

I would crate or confine her more for about two weeks -- she needs more management. I would also keep everything out of her reach; take absolutely no chances and assume that she will steal everything. Also, do increase her exercise if you can do so safely in this heat. If you have any other questions, we should probably set up a private session. Let me know about your vet.

Best, Susan"

Susan is the goddess of dog training, so I think it's time to have a special lesson with her and figure out how to show Beulah that things out of her bowl do not belong to her. I'm not so keen to have her on antidepressants though, but I'll definitely talk to my vet. Perhaps switching families is still bothering her...although come to think of it, she did all this stuff with them too. She gets tons of exercise already, at least four walks a day, plus tons of ball throwing at the park, beach and marina, but maybe when we move I can start taking her running again. She hates that (grin).

I will admit that I am loathe to throw a lot of money at this problem, buying Scat Mats and Dog Alarms and such, which ultimately inconviences us as much as the dog. You have to plug these things in when you leave, move them when you want to put something on the counters, put them away when company comes over so your house doesn't look like an altar to your dog's bad behavior. Maybe I can just hogtie her when I leave in the morning. Now, THERE'S a good idea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but is it okay if I laugh? Ok, well, stifle a giggle here? Ok. I'm not. I'm not laughing. I'm really not.