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Phoning it in: My dogs are hilarious.

May 14, 2012

I have a much more entertaining “full-recount” of the move from our 2 bedroom house in Bryan to our tiny 1 bedroom apartment in Lufkin, as well as a hilarious story about my new job, on the way to you later in the week. But for the time being, I’m laid up with a cough I contracted from my husband. He’s generous that way.

(It’s a terrible cough. It hits in spurts, like at 4AM the night before Matt starts work. Or when I was sitting at Personnel this morning and I coughed so loud and so long that I didn’t hear the woman ask me to give her two forms of identification, so when I finished coughing, we both sat there, me with streaming eyes and hands meekly in my lap, for a full 3 minutes before she tentatively repeated the instructions she had given me at the beginning of my coughing spell. I win at being employed.)

So because I’m feeling yucky, here are two pictures of our dogs. These pictures capture their essences, and how they deal with new environments.

Mater is in love with our new home. Our apartment is right by the pool, and our patio has an excellent view of the sunbathers, tattooed men, and tiny children who enjoy splish-splashing. So, because he is a friendly dog, he spends most of his “outside time” looking like this:

Please note the blurry end of his tail. This is due to a permanent state of wagging. "Hey guys! Be my beffriend? Pwease be my beffriend??"

Please note the blurry end of his tail. This is due to a permanent state of wagging. “Hey guys! Be my beffriend? Pwease be my beffriend??”

Good thing he’s the guard dog. His bark is still terrifying, though, so I’m not too worried. Most people won’t come close enough after the bark to realize that what he’s trying to say is “HEY YOU! If you come over here, I’ll sniff your face from thisclose and then whack you with my very skinny tail when I turn around for a buttscratch.” This does not apply to intruders, however. Intruders: he will eat you.

Daisy, on the other hand, can’t see out the patio, as she’s one foot tall on a good day. So she spends her “outside time” staring at flies, barking at clouds, and begging to be let back inside.

Daisy has a demonic side to her, possibly due to some rat terrier, so she occasionally has spats of extreme high energy. These usually involve destruction of something, though since our first tussle over a couch cushion at 3 months, she’s contained her destructive episodes to doggie-approved toys.

Her response to our move?

Race around the living room like a hooligan, rip Clifford the Big Red Weenie Dog's guts out, and pass out in a glut of fuzzy madness.

Race around the living room like a hooligan, rip Clifford the Big Red Weenie Dog’s guts out through his throat, and pass out in a glut of fuzzy madness.*

Not shown: Daisy’s inability to eliminate (read: poop) in normal, healthy places (read: the grassy area in our complex designed for this purpose) due to an anxiety disorder she seems to have contracted upon moving to our new home (read: schizophrenic reaction to anything in her category of “fear inducers.”). These “fear inducers”Β  include, but are not limited to: Grass. Motorcycles driving through the parking lot. Motorcycles parked in the parking lot. Strangers. People she knows. Funny shaped trees. Regular shaped trees. Cars, assorted. The leash. Any walks that do not include Matthew. Any rooms that do not include Matthew. (Are we noticing a trend?) The sound of the poop retrieval bag being opened, which never happens since she refuses to poop outside. Wind.

Given that she’s a shelter mutt whose history is unknown (she was found wandering the side of the highway with her little belly full of worms), she could have ended up with no end of psychological problems. So, if all we have to deal with is a bit of toy-destruction and inappropriately positioned bowel movements, honestly I’d call it a win.**

In all, we’re happy and comfortable in our cozy new home. It even has a fireplace, which I’m dying to use, but can’t because this is East Texas, y’all, and it’s gonna be hot as blazes until October. Maybe I’ll put candles in it for now… Nah, Daisy’s probably also scared of fire.

*Safety note: as with small children, pet owners should monitor toys very carefully, as eating this fuzzy stuff, and other parts of destroyed toys, can cause intestinal blockages and worse. We usually clean up very quickly just to be sure, but Daisy’s never shown an interest in swallowing anything she shreds – it’s mostly a comfort habit, and her enjoyment comes from the act of shredding itself, rather than eating what she shreds. So don’t worry – she is safe. πŸ™‚

**Editor’s note (which is dumb, because I am the editor, and this whole thing is my note) to Rescue Pet Owners/Volunteers: if any of you have had any success with helping skittish puppydogs become more comfortable in a new environment, I’m all ears. For the moment we’re just trying to get her on a schedule similar to what we had in Bryan. She’s got her own toys, her kennel, and her blankets all around, to try to show her we’re still at home, and that seems to be working while we’re inside – it’s only outside that she seems stressed out. Any advice would be appreciated!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Allie permalink
    May 14, 2012 9:47 pm

    Since you asked, I’ll leave a bit of ass-vice: if you’re not already doing so, spend time daily training Daisy to commands. Just simple things like sit, stay, down, etc can give nervous dogs a sense of security and lessen their overall anxiety. Even if she already knows and obeys commands, daily training can reinforce her instinctive reliance on you as the source of her security.

    For what it’s worth. πŸ˜‰ In any case, glad that you guys are safely moved and settling in! Can’t wait to hear about the new job!

    • May 14, 2012 10:22 pm

      Oooh, thanks Allie! She does so well with commands now we haven’t been training, and I totally think this will work! Thank you, both for reading and for commenting! Will give this a try.

  2. Susan permalink
    May 14, 2012 10:47 pm

    Love your descriptions! Alas, I didn’t think poor Clifford would last long! Glad Mater’s enjoying the his observation point of the pool!!

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