Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Desperate Housewife Finds Refuge in Animal Behavior Hotline

I did it.  I called.  I had to.  This is no Dear Abby situation.  I needed professionals.  Let me explain.

As a preface, let me assure you that my husband has done a fabulous job training this dog  our dog.  He does all the basic tricks, never begs or suggests that he wants human food while we are eating, and plays well with others.  He is no puppy.

Episode #1:  Mr. F. & I were having a lovely breakfast with eggs and toast and bacon.  The bacon was the first bit of a three-lb. load I got from Wegman's butcher the previous day.  At breakfast, we were enjoying ourselves and lost track of time.  There were no more public transits to take my love to work on time, so I drove him and was back in the house within 10 minutes.  And the remaining 2.75 lbs. of raw bacon were gone.  All that was left was the wrapping and Desmo, licking his lips.

Lesson learned.  Do not leave raw meat on the counter.  Ever.  Especially with a home alone dog.

Episode #2:  We were not eating our blueberries fast enough, so I made blueberry pound cake.  Oh my my, it is delicious.  Mr. F. took some to work.  One loaf was here on the high counter (you see, I learned my lesson).  I came out of the shower to find an empty loaf pan on the floor of the kitchen.

Lesson learned.  Do not leave food on the counter.  Any counter.  Even if it is 5 ft. high.

Episode #3:  Mr. F & I were at a friend's house for dinner.  We were starting to feel like we couldn't trust Desmo to be by himself for extended periods of time, so I put him in his kennel.  We came home kind of late, stepped into the house, and as I flipped the light switch, was shedding light on the wreckage.  Half of our recycle bin went through the shredder, aka: Desmo.  I walked toward the kitchen to find the pantry open:  ziploc bags spread across the floor, spaghetti splayed like pick-up sticks, a half-eaten roll of plastic wrap.

This just doesn't even make sense!  I understand the bacon and a delicious, warm, homemade cake, but plastic?  Whaa?  And how did he get out of his pen?

...You get the point, right?  Crazy things are happening here.  There are more, but I'll skip to the most recent episode:

Yesterday's episode:  A dear friend of ours took Desmo for a romp in the dog park.  Des loves it.  He rolls around in mud, gets to play with all the other dogs, play catch--you know what happens at the dog park.  They come back, and Desmo's hot and pant-y for about an hour.  Then he goes and eats ALL his breakfast that he neglected in the morning and drinks ALL the water in his bowl.  One second after his last lap of water, I hear one great wrenching heave.  splat.

I don't think it could be categorized as vomit.  It was just water-logged, swollen dog food and bile.  It took up four square feet on the floor.

Now, you may be thinking, "Poor Desmo, he was still too hot to eat."  Yes, I was thinking that too.  And also, "Poor me, I have to clean up that mess."  And while I am sure that he didn't do that on purpose, a part of me still feels like Meredith Blake, the fiancee from The Parent Trap that the girls are trying to get rid of.

She just got mean.  And it didn't work out.  So I called an Animal Behavior Hotline in San Fancisco.

And basically here's what they said, Desmo is acting out because he doesn't sleep with Mr. F. any more, and he doesn't feel bonded with me.  Rather, he feels pushed back to the back burner.  Why do I have a friend take Desmo to the park?  Why don't I take him?  I should be looking for ways to bond with D.

I suppose I knew that's what they'd say.  I wish I'd said, "I'm trying here.  We go on walks--long walks.  But that's not enough!  He wants adventure.  And that's kind of hard in the middle of the city.  And it's not like you can just fabricate a bond, and presto!  a dog (which you have never really bonded with any animal, let alone one acting out like this!) loves you and behaves for you."

But I just said, "Ok, thanks for your time."  I suppose this is a good exercise in being selfless and getting ready for kiddos.


  1. Oh my gosh!I'm laughing so hard my stomach hurts, especially after the description of park, eating, drinking, splat!!!! Do I remember those days with all our dogs. You are a trouper Mrs. F. When I first got married, I wasn't a dog person at all. It took a little time but you know where I am now. I have to say, you have a talent for the written word. I can see you writing a book like Erma Bromback. (hopefully you know who that is.) You're the best!

  2. I'm keeping my chin up. Thanks for the encouragement!


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