I love my dogs. I really do. Some people will tell you that I am morbidly attached to them. But man oh man can they drive me nuts.
Lula, the older one, is a sweetheart. She was abandoned and obviously suffered an immense trauma in her babyhood, which has made her nervous and shy around people. She spent the first two years of her life hiding under my bed and barking at anyone who came near. That got pretty much sorted out during a year of intensive therapy with a dog shrink (I know, I know. But it worked. Although the one who really got their head shrunk was me). Now my only major problem with her is her relationship with the doberman upstairs. Mia. Boy howdy, does Lula hate that dog. Just smelling Mia in the hallway or hearing her bark is enough to set her off. It’s a girl dog issue/territoriality thing I suppose. Thankfully we don’t run into Mia too often but when we do, Lula practically tears my arm off lunging for her throat. And then my other dog has to get into the act as well and they both scream-bark (if you’ve had dogs you’ll know what this means) and lunge until I manage to get them under control. Given that I am weak and have the bones of a sparrow, this is an arduous and scary undertaking. Not to mention the fact that it makes me quite unpopular with my neighbours, who are big complainers at the best of times.
And then there’s Morgan. The other dog. He’s a Welsh Terrier and man do I wish I had done a bit more research before I brought him home. This is what the nice people at yourpurebredpuppy.com have to say about Welsh Terriers. They are “lively, bossy, feisty, scrappy, clever, independent, stubborn, persistent, impulsive, intense…They must be taught at an early age that they are not the rulers of the world. The toughness that makes them suited to killing vermin can frustrate you when you try to teach them anything. Terriers can be stubborn and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things.” Yep. That’s my Morgan.
As you may recall, I enrolled him in puppy school some time back. His last class is tomorrow. He’s done well and I’m proud. He’s fairly obedient and comes when I call–mostly, although all bets are off once he starts skirt-chasing in the park. That will end soon, although I am a bit conflicted. Italians are rabidly anti-dog fixing and every time I mention my plans to have him adjusted (which I often do, apologetically, as he once again shows the aptness of his nickname, Berlusconi Junior), they get upset. Especially the men.
But. And it’s a very big but. I can’t get him to stop peeing on things. He goes out for about a million walks a day so it’s not needs-based peeing. And he clearly knows what’s what since it doesn’t happen all the time or even all that often. When it does happen it bears the distinct whiff of acting out because his selected venues are extremely select: the dining room table and, most recently, my computer. Since when I sit at those two places I am generally not paying him much attention I get the feeling that he is sending me a little pee-scented message: “No eating or blogging for you my fine friend. I am the ruler of the world and you must play with me every second.”
I must remember to buy a shower curtain for the flat screen.