All your life, you will be faced with a choice. You can choose love or hate…I choose love. ~Johnny Cash
There’s always moments in life that just plain work your nerves. Sometimes it’s Kyle, my family, work, a trip to the grocery store etc. This time? The dogs!
I mostly consider myself a cat person, even though I’ve always had dogs my whole life. I appreciate those friendly barking beings and I most certainly love our dogs, Scooby and Seven, but they can sometimes be a pain in my bottom. Both are Labradors, Scooby blond and Seven noir. In truth, they are a couple of good dogs and I wouldn’t trade them for the world, but it would be nice to have a babysitter on speed dial, especially when their corks are heightened.
There are so many good things I can say about them and really mean it, like they are friendly (at least Scooby is with us), somewhat well-behaved (at least Seven is with me) and they are full of love (only Scooby with us, Seven loves playing with the neighbor dogs and kids). But then they have their hiccups too, so let me vent for a moment or two or three.
I’m sure my perspective is off slightly, since I’ve also been watching Nicole’s dog, Avery. I’ve had her for two weeks now and I still have another week to go. At least, that’s what I’m hoping for. I just found out Nicole may need to go out of town for work again, then after that out of the country for a month. Guess where that leaves me? Yep with a third dog. When did I become the dog whisperer? I’m going to have to add dog wrangler to my resume.
Avery’s a Rottweiler, pit bull, Doberman mix. (Something like that). She’s a little over a year old, so she’s still a puppy. A very vocal annoying puppy. Nicole took her to be professionally trained by those who actually train dogs for the CIA and such. Acorn (as I like to call her) knows how to listen and be good, but like all puppies (or kids) they know how to push major buttons. Avery’s major malfunction? She is constantly barking and whining, for no apparent reason and she chases my cat. Major no!
I’m sure having Avery here with Seven and Scooby has caused everyone to be off his or her game. Regardless, I’m going to speak freely about those actions that irritate me the most, mostly about Scooby and Seven.
There is the obvious, every time I go to lace up my shoes I get bombarded. Both dogs instantly jump up, start panting and breathing heavy in my face, with their noses not even two inches from mine. I can’t even get through their bodies to put my shoes on. They believe every time, and I mean EVERY time I put on a pair of shoes, it’s so I can take them for a walk or a hike in the woods. No! I am not your personal walker!
They used to only do this when I would put on a specific pair of tennis shoes, the ones I walk them in, but somewhere they decided any shoe will do. Then, they jump around barking and crying in excitement, LOUDLY. I can almost handle that, ALMOST. Until they start knocking things over and jumping on my feet. Let’s face it, a couple of nearly ninety pound Labs jumping in a small space leads to disaster, whether they are happy or not. Unfortunately now-a-days, they get in my face even if I’m putting on a pair of stiletto heels. Come on guys, I’ll let you know when it’s walk time! Sad part? They taught Avery to do the same!
Then, when I try to build the trust and give them some freedom to roam around outside in the yard, they all of a sudden disappear. Even if I’m watching and simply take my eyes off of the hounds for a moment. A SPIT SECOND! They take off for the woods for a four or five hour plus, walkabout. Forget it if they are spotted making their great escape. Once they’re at a certain distance away, I swear they give me the middle finger and continue on their journey, only to find them on the porch hours later, totally muddy, panting and exhausted.
I will admit, I am relieved when they return, I’ve been through Dog Gone and Dog Gone Irony! It’s also a great outcome upon closer inspection and they return with no signs of porcupine quills stuck in their noses or obvious injuries. But seriously, what is wrong with them? It’s not like they don’t get walks. Does it have to be when they decide they want exercise? Frustrating!
Moving on to the next pet peeve. I like how every time I don’t have the door to the bathroom shut completely, they feel it’s their right to barge in, leaving the door hanging wide open! Naturally, you are not able to get up and shut it at that particular moment. So you sit there, with the door flapping in the breeze and a dog starring you squarely in the eyes and breathing in your face. Love that!
While we’re on the topic of bathrooms, let’s continue. Our dogs believe the rug in the bathroom is another bed for them to hang out on, again while you are doing your business. Now since that is their self proclaimed, temporary bedding area, it’s always covered in dog hair, ALL THE TIME. Then, every time I get out of the shower and my wet feet hit the area of cushion, I look down to find hairy hobbit feet where mine used to be. Gross! It’s not like I leave the rugs go for a month to be washed. In fact, before I wash the hair catchers, I have to take them outside to give them a good shake first. YIKES!
That’s the one time I can get a break from the dogs, when I’m in the shower. They are terrified of water. Funny, right? Labradors who are afraid of water. Yep, they hate baths! They don’t even really enjoy doing their business in the rain. Scooby will hold it until he’s ready to burst like a rain cloud, which is ironic, because my cat loves to hang out while I’m showering. She’ll sit on the toilet (with the lid down) and stare in my direction. She’s also the one who will go outside and walk around in the rain. Comical!
Usually our Labradors are pretty good when it comes to their own bathroom time. Usually, they try and go in the weeds or closer to the woods, keeping their piles of business out of direct line of my foot when I’m walking in the yard. However, when we have to babysit my sister’s dog, who thinks it’s her right to crap next to the deck or by the front steps, things start to change. The other day, I was getting the boat ready to go fishing Catfish Hunter and low and behold what did I step in? Avery crap! Which is not petite in the slightest. I was beyond livid. That’s the one thing that totally grosses me out and I can’t stand.
It’s very true I can do what every other American does and go out and clean up the crap to avoid such matters. But then again, that’s the perk about living in the country. We have the woods for them to do their business without clean up time and I don’t have to leash the dogs to take them for walks. They are able to run free in the woods, which makes everyone very happy.
Going back to my previous thought, why is it when dogs actually have a good habit, it’s automatically turned to the dark side when the bad example is set by another dog? Couldn’t the dog with the bad habit learn good? Nope! I guess the force is strong with Avery because when she visits, our dogs find it a need to crap closer to the house, apparently to show who has the bigger pile.
On a side note, I noticed my cat has been meowing to go outside, and now sometimes she uses the restroom near the dogs’ areas. Nice! I’m liking that Storm! a.k.a. Lady Fluffington.
Next item up for discussion, the kitchen. I don’t particularly like cooking with dogs in the kitchen, not only because they always get in my way and are constantly begging, but because … well that’s usually it. And the fact that their hair just flies through the air with the greatest of ease. I can’t control where it lands. Another gross!
How is it, when you say ‘Move! Get out of my way?’ they instantly align perfectly centered with your body and stay a half a paw in front of you, so you’re walking on their heels? This talent is particularly evident when I have a hot pan in my hand walking away from the oven. Same goes for a pot that is too full and I’m rushing to the counter to only have a dog or two, instantly appear out of nowhere to trip me up. Dangerous for all parties involved! Stop that!
On the opposite note, my dogs insist on walking on my heels, literally. When I’m wearing flip flops, that’s when I notice it the most. Of course, there have been several occasions when I nearly shot myself forward due to a paw tramping down at the back of my shoe.
Personally, I never said it was acceptable to walk past me while I’m wearing shorts and lick my leg either! Or when I’m lying on the couch and the tongue drags (usually Avery) across the bottom of my foot. Double gross! This ambush is effective when I’m carrying groceries and I don’t have a hand to push them away, or worse wipe the spit from my leg, allowing it to just dry there as a reminder I need to jump in the shower and scrub.
Again, I do like dogs, but I’ve never been a fan of dog kisses, licks or slobber, whatever you want to call it. My old dog Jill, who was part Colly and part Coonhound, was the best! Instead of lapping up my face with her tongue, she would do the gesture without ever making contact. It was the thought that counted and I appreciated her for that.
However, when the dogs are fast asleep, they are pretty peaceful and worth it. Especially when I’m having a bad day. Even worth the effort to coddle Scooby when it’s storming out. He is frightened of thunder and lighting (which is funny because that’s Scooby and Seven’s nicknames respectively) and he’s too fat to fit under the bed. It is worth it when Seven cuddle’s up to me at night and it’s definitely worth it when I bring my sidekicks along for hikes. Yep, I guess the dogs are alright, even Avery. Well, Avery in small does. They are apart of the family.