Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Time to Call in the Reinforcements

After 6 weeks I'd love to be able to say that the mutt has settled down, but I'd be Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire if I did. In fact, things took a turn for the worst there for a moment. Lots of biting for fun, nibbling everything from rugs to base/skirting boards and carrying poop around the garden.

I have had to concede that this isn't going to be the year we win any gardening prizes. She has chosen a spot on which to bask, where once I had tall green and white striped grass stuff. It's now brown and flat. There's a path between the flowers where she races around with whatever she's nicked from the house, and nothing is growing there either. Fortunately the plants on either side of her mud moat are tall enough to hide the worst of it.

What is really painful however, is her penchant for stripping bushes, giraffe style. Last week we found leafy branches all over the place and I couldn't figure out where they were from. We have a couple of tall weeds down by the potting shelf so I thought she'd been there. It took about two days to dawn on me that one particular spot in the garden was looking extremely bare. And then I noticed them: -

Those two stumps sticking up were once a beautiful Summersweet bush. It took me 7 years to get it to flower nicely, and now it's gone.

It used to look like this.

 She has now moved onto the nearby small tree, but my mother has come up with a foolproof deterrent of leaning all my metal trellises up against the trunk to stop her jumping, (the dog, that is). Personally, I think it's a matter of days before she figures out they're a potential stairway to heaven.

Anyway, I have engaged a nice dog lady who is going to help with "behavior reinforcement" in true American fashion. Plus, she takes the dog to the dog beach wth a handful of other dogs to wear her out and get her socialized. I love my hourly walks (twice a day) and it's doing wonders for my gluteous maximus, but that's a lot of time to hand over to a mutt. And, in Chicago, it's illegal to let your dog off the leash so I can't run her around anywhere. (Not that I'm at all confident she'd come back.)

On the brighter side, she's stopped peeing in the house, and we get stopped in the streets by men and women alike because she's so darn pretty.

The culprit, with branches.



  1. I was feeling sympathetic for you until I saw her picture. She is adorable - let her eat what she wants ;-)

  2. Ah the joys of new dog ownership!

    It took my little girl a long time to get acclimated but once she was fully at home with me her bad habits, like chewing mommy's only pair of nice shoes to bits, seemed to fade away.

    Give your little girl time, patience, and strong leadership and she will be just as well behaved, as she is beautiful. Dogs, like children, can be a handful sometimes but soooo rewarding in the end. :)

    I am sort of biased though as I am madly in love with my girl.

  3. Awwwww how could you not love that sweet innocent face!

  4. I said it before, I'll say it again: A DOG!!! What were you thinking? ;)

  5. aw...but over time, she will bring you such, love, fun, exercise, laughter, more fun, loyalty...and oh if my dogs were still here to hug me...they sense when something is wrong and come see you...

    unlike kids and husbands they don't ever leave you...unconditional has a new meaning with dogs...
    once they are trained properly...go get a short course with her...she'll love you even more for the discipline..

    saz x

  6. "I am cute and innocent. I don't know how these branches got here."

  7. She certainly is cute...

    I like the idea of a dog beach, I imagine all the mutts lying there applying factor 50 and drinking pina coladas....

  8. A dog beach sounds so Hollywood! What a cute dog you have - despite the trashing of your garden!! Oh dear!

  9. Oh, my! I feel so bad for your garden and all your hard work being ruined. But yes, your dog is adorable!!! So darn cute! :)

  10. She is beautiful..... bless her cotton socks!
    However...... don't you think a rabbit is less trouble?!
    Takes me about an hour a day to dote on ours/clean/feed and train him.
    He uses his tray to pee in now & often uses it for little poos.
    In return he is friendly, cheeky and gets us all laughing and is fairly cheap to feed once all the equipment has been bought. We watch less TV as we are watching him!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  11. But she's saying 'sorry' in the photo. Can't you see that? She's trying her best!

  12. But she looks so sweet and innocent! Our garden is not in the best of health and we don't even have a dog as an excuse!! I should probably make more of an effort.

  13. Just come home to large hole in lawn that my far from puppy has dug. I am resigned to lawn looking like the backdrop for the old fashioned type of war games with trenches and pits. Husband however is less forgiving and so I had better rush out there and camouflage the crater. Fortunately I love the dog and he does have redeeming qualities - he loves me, is always pleased to see me, eats what I give him with delight, and runs round with my knickers on his head - what more could a woman want.

  14. I planted strawberries in big pots at the front of the house this year and come out the other day to find my dog eating the newly ripened berries right off the plants!
    There is no hope, at least I put the bluebery bushes behind a gate.

  15. She is gorgeous but I remember how difficult it is having a puppy. It's like having a new baby in the house. But oh, so worth it..just like a baby! My 'puppy' is now my faithful 9 year old shadow. Where once she peed in my shoes, and poohed on the rug, now she is a faithful friend. I couldn't possibly leave her behind in NZ, I brought her and her feline 'sister' with us when we moved here. It was worth it. xx

  16. That must be exasperating. Lucky for you she's pretty!


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