“We were eating outside at Islands, and I received a message that a twelve-week-old German short-haired pointer was available.” This announcement by our neighbor was greeted by a stunned silence as our eyes widened and our eyebrows traveled north. We were both thinking about our very own German short-haired pointer rescue named Frazier who had been a high-maintenance ball of energy who never met a fence he couldn’t jump. “But then I came to my senses,” the neighbor added with a sigh.
Back inside, we were greeted by the doxies like we had been gone ten days instead of ten minutes. I looked at our doxie babies, and I thought, We are really coming along. People owned by dogs less than two years old should never ever think this. It is tempting the mischievous canine imp who keeps impatient humans in their place.
But we humans love looking back and seeing steady improvement—on anything. So I was thinking about how long it had been since we’d had a toileting lapse. Teddy’s brief foray into marking furniture has stopped, and I can’t remember when the last “potty accident” has occurred. Seeing steady progress in that arena, I thought, They haven’t chewed on the furniture or any other verboten item. Not only that, but at night they go right to sleep. Of course, we still have barking and walking issues, but there really is a light at the end of the kennel.
So when Teddy was sniffing the leg of the couch with a ruminative gleam in his eye, I was alarmed. I scooped him up and said, “No, no, Teddy.” I know he hadn’t done anything yet—but better to be proactive. The next morning, Sadie had a little excited accident just before we took her out. It wasn’t really a lapse, but pee is pee, and the sheets and mattress pad went in the washer. Obviously, they still sleep with us.
Sadie and Teddy’s energy seems to have doubled lately. They play hard inside and out, go on a daily walk, and usually are pretty exhausted by bedtime. So I was surprised when, last night, we were visited by the bedtime crazies. This doggie wrestling match was played on our very high bed that no doggie ramp will accommodate. A fall would be perilous. The only thing to do was try to calm them, separate them, or let them get their energy out on the floor. All three of these options would have required patience and stamina from two humans who were “done” by the time the games commenced.
Still, life is pretty good. This morning Sadie and Teddy accompanied me upstairs while I took my morning shower. While rinsing my hair, I thought, I did close my closet door, didn’t I? They have only destroyed the edge of one shoe, and I pretty much trained them that shoes are off-limits. But to be safe, I peeped out the shower door and was relieved the closet was closed.
After the usual morning routine, I went downstairs and discovered black-and-lavender rubber in the dog bed and all over the kitchen. The dogs were lying on a blanket, looking nonchalant. Underneath the table I discovered the remains of a flip-flop sandal. I was unhappy that they had chewed up a shoe, but I was also puzzled. I went upstairs to check my closet. The other door of my closet was open about five inches, and sitting in the gap, looking nervous, was the other lavender sandal.
Okay. We are a work in progress. Sadie and Teddy have not worn off all our edges yet, and we have certainly not “civilized” them. This afternoon we took them for their walk. This is also known as our “daily penance,” and they surprised us by being perfect walkers—well, almost perfect. As we came up our street, we saw our neighbor. He yelled across the street. “Hey! I changed my mind. I got that puppy.”
Oh, little does he know …