Thursday, February 18, 2010

Devil Dog

Each day that passes, I hate our dog a little more. She is intelligent but intractable, stubborn, mischievous, recalcitrant, chewy, barky, whiny, and naughty. And, she pees in the car every morning when I take her to the dog park (or, in the case of this morning, pees and vomits).

I was complaining to my sister about the dog, and she (who has no children) patiently compared dogs to children and chided me for wanting my dog to "be perfect in a day" as I would never expect that of a child. This analogy holds no water for me. Daisy is the worst aspects of a 3-year old, and maybe a teenager rolled into one, which combination, by nature, does not exist in children.

1. I can't put Daisy in time out. I can put her outside, make her submit, put her in her kennel, but I can't say, "I'm making you lay on the ground because you got in the trash and that is naughty and we don't do that in our house." Well, I could, and I have, but it makes zero percent difference as, as soon as I let her up, she sneaks around the corner and gets in the trash again.

2. Daisy makes no sincere effort to try better. Even if sometimes Lillian's efforts are lame and token in nature, she usually does try. This morning, I was out with my lemon-water spray bottle. It went like this: BARK BARK BARK. *spray* "No barking!" _pause_ BARK BARK BARK *spray* "No Barking" _pause_ BARK BARK BARK *spray spray spray spray* "NO BARKING" and so on for about 10 minutes until I had to go inside to keep myself from delivering a swift kick to her midsection.

3. Lillian has not the size, strength, or speed of Daisy. I can easily chase Lillian down, hold her down, pick her up, or sit next to her nicely. With Daisy, I can do none of these things. I rotate watching kids with a group of ladies so that we can go to the gym. While the other ladies actually use this time to maintain their physical fitness, I take Daisy to the dog park because I've never made quite the spectacle of myself as I did when I tried to take my kids and the dog. One day, I was 15 minutes late to pick up because I couldn't catch Daisy. Even without the children, I tend to make myself look ridiculous: running around after the dog with my pregnant belly, frantically calling her, trying and failing to corner her. The dog park is probably about 2/3rd's of a football field, so it is no small amount of running. That day, there was no one else there. On normal days, Skittle's owner usually helps me out.

4. I have no natural affection for Daisy. Children do have a way of driving you to extremes and before I had children I never ever ever thought I would understand parents who put pillows over their kids faces. Now, I get it. I've been so physically and mentally ground down that I've had to put my screaming baby in her crib and take a bath with ear plugs to calm down because I wanted to shake them until they just stopped crying. But I didn't because nature builds in this natural love for your offspring. I do not have this towards Daisy. Before I figured this out, I was amazed at how quickly I would lose my temper with the dog when I hardly ever lose it with my kids.

I don't want Daisy to be perfect; I want her to listen. And, before you try to be helpful, yes, I have watched many episodes of The Dog Whisperer, skimmed Cesar Milan's book, read his website (and many others), and tried all the techniques for turning myself into the pack leader. We start obedience school this week... mostly because I signed a contract stating that I couldn't give her back to the shelter unless we completed a course.


Emily said...

I'm sorry she's such a brat. I agree with you on all counts. Good luck at obedience school, I'm not sure whether to hope for it to work or hope for you to put her up for adoption-I'll just wish you luck.

Belle of the Blues said...

Having done the dog thing myself not that long ago, I thought you were crazy to invite a dog into your already busy life. Don't feel bad if you decide to give her up. "A time for every season" and all that, you know. You might try craigslist if you want to skip the class and send her on her way. Not that I'm trying to influence you. Either way, good luck!

Carrie G said...

Children give you joy when they make progress. I can't imagine feeling anything close with a dog. I'm with Belle of the Blues- maybe some other time?

Natchel said...

Grrr. I'm angry for you. Give that thing away! It's not worth it! You can get another dog later! If you have to do the training to giver her back, do it! And then send her back!

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