Saturday, July 2, 2011

Tire-Him-Out Tuesdays aka My Dog is a Jerk

many weeks have passed since our training has come to a close (and, yes, i know that i have not yet posted about the last three lessons & what exactly we did for the down-stay, come, or heel sessions. i'm working on it, but i'm mad, and you're about to find out why.) and our dog is still crazy. not a little crazy, like i advertise in our blog description. no. he has surpassed "a little crazy" and landed squarely in "deranged and fully bonkers" territory. our trainer's promise that his obedience methods would calm desmond down and make him understand he has to wait for us to come home--and that's his job to do in a relaxed state--has not come to fruition.

Wacky Wednesdays have become Wacky Whenevers. desmond has become entirely unpredictable in regards to what he will and will not do while left alone in the house. and it seems to be that the main thing he will not do is go the f to sleep and not destroy our lovely home. why?????????

OK, i know why. separation anxiety. SA is going to be the death of us all, or probably the death of our very precious television if desmond's recent antics are any indication, and we are at our wit's end. we have no idea what to do about it at this point.

i have stopped taking pictures of every single thing he has chewed up, because i'm too frustrated (and sweaty, now that it's basically july, and we walk almost a mile from the train) when i get home and discover the damage. i'm also too busy--because he has taken to pooping or peeing or both in the house on an almost daily basis. again, he never does any of this stuff while we are at home with him, and he is fully housebroken, so these accidents must be bouts of losing control due to anxiety.

here's a list of the stuff he's gotten into since we last discussed this:
  • pipe insulation
  • the wire that connects our ipod speaker dock to the outlet (not plugged in, thank goodness)
  • the wire that connects an A/C to the outlet (again, not plugged in)
  • an old, broken printer (not plugged in, has no ink)
  • plastic wire covers (that were meant to be used to cover our TV wires once we had the thing mounted on the wall)
  • plug-in air freshener (this is probably pretty stupid to have around anyway, with a dog, but he had never cared about it before--same as all these other things)
  • a photo-frame box we used at our wedding to hold note cards (in lieu of a guest book. it functions in our house as a place for Wii games, remotes, batteries, etc.)
  • the spare room door--twice. twice as in two doors. he ruined the first one, we replaced it (we had to) and he's already started on that. 
and here's photo evidence of some of those things:

spare room door #1

it took him some time, but he finally got through

we came home to find him not in the spare room, but in our bedroom, in his bed. so...he went into the spare room (probably to get to his food), knocked over our garbage can (which we stash in there while we're out) while trying to get to his food container, chose NOT to eat any of the garbage (not even the leftover pizza crusts that were now on the floor), never got to his food, and then just took a nap in the next room? um...ok...

i was kind of amazed that he was able to fit through that hole, actually, because it wasn't all that big. not that he's so huge, but still. we also were able to deduce that he started tearing up the door and then stopped and walked around the house, because there were wet pieces of wood all over the house, on the couch, etc. obviously, desmond went back and finished the job, but we found that a little odd. odder still? this happened on a sunday morning when we were out of the house for maybe 4 hours at most. he seemed totally unfazed by the whole thing and was just happy to see us when we got home. as i said, we replaced that door. we got a new door to match the new bathroom door (seen on the right), and because he never again touched the bathroom door after we replaced it, we thought we'd be all set. apparently we were wrong. he seemingly really wanted to get at either his food or his bed (which he really really loves) or both. the new door does not have nearly as much damage on it, but it's enough that we will probably have to replace that one, again. however, we have not yet painted either the bathroom door or the spare room door, so maybe (and that's a big maybe) we can fix it with putty or spackle or something and paint over it. who knows. we're not even going to attempt to fix any of the doggie damage in the house now until, like, next april. not worth the trouble and money, just in case.

here is some more evidence:

"oh, you weren't hoping to feel cool air on your skin this summer, were you?"
keep in mind that the plug was folded up and shoved between the A/C and the windowsill. and the curtain was closed. and it was not plugged in. what a jerk, right?

"oh, you weren't hoping to listen to music anytime soon, were you?"

by the way, here is what he had to get through to get that wire--also not plugged in. the wire was wrapped up behind the bose player (the gray speaker on the shelf), which was facing the front of the shelf. that big case on the left was pushed up against the shelves and the empty pot was pushed up against that. so he moved the pot, case, and bose to get at that wire. nice, right?

i may be forgetting stuff. it's amazing to me that it's things he has never cared about/noticed before. and we keep removing things from the living room in hopes of curbing this behavior, but that seems to just give him reason to focus on new items to chew that do remain there. this is why we are convinced the TV is on its way. it must be on his chew-to-do list somewhere. and it's one of the only things left in the room, so how long will it be before he gets mouthy with it? and what will happen then? will my brain explode? will joey's? will i cry? will joey? (i'm voting yes on all four counts this time!)

oh, and we have another reason to think the TV may be in danger: reflections. desmond has recently decided that he is afraid of his own reflection. there is much barking and some lunging to go along with this, as we randomly learned just the other day while i was getting ready in our bedroom and he was relaxing in there with me. i have no idea what sparked it, but all of a sudden, he jumped up from his bed and ran to the other side of the room where our full-length mirror is (a mirror he has been next to many, many times). then he stared into his own eyes, silently, menacingly. then, barking. so much barking. and growling. and lunging. then he realized he could see me in the mirror's reflection, too. he started barking in my reflected direction--not sure if he was trying to say, "hey, stupid, don't you see this strange dog here to attack us? don't just stand there!" or, "HEY, STRANGE LADY THAT I DON'T KNOW! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY PARENTS' ROOM!" either way, it was damn funny, but once we realized it could become a problem if it became a habit, we felt a little...unsettled... the only thing we have going for us is that the TV isn't really too reflective. famous last words, right?

angry dog

obsessed with himself
(pardon our mess, but we wanted to get the pix in a hurry, and i'm just trying to keep it real)

so, with all of this stuff going on, we've started to feel a little...desperate. we know we need to call our trainer back and be like WTF? especially since he said that we have a lifetime guarantee if the dog ever reverts back to old behavior. we're working on that. in the meantime we had decided to initiate Tire Him Out Tuesdays, because we were having so much trouble on Wacky Wednesdays. we were taking him on extra long walks/runs on tuesdays and spending a lot of time playing with him. that apparently needs to be kicked up a notch. so THOT is over. now we are starting THOED--tire him out every day. or at least every weeknight, since he usually gets pretty tired out over the weekends anyway. we began this plan a little bit last week, but are going to go full-focus starting on tuesday after the holiday. desmond will now being going to the dog run every night after dinner, since playing with dogs is one of the only things that really gets him exhausted.

we have also gone out and purchased a few more treat-dispensing puzzle toys, as well as a spray that allegedly makes the dog stop peeing and pooing in the same spots in the house and a spray that allegedly keeps the dog away from "forbidden" areas. we are spraying that on the stairs and pipe/insulation that he seems to like, as well as all around the TV stand.

in addition to that, we picked up one of those dog-appeasing-pheromones diffusers. will it work? who can tell. all we can do is try. i hope it does work, though, since it was freakin $52. if it works, it's still going to be costly, since you have to replace the oil every four-six weeks and the refills are about $30 (or, these are the petco prices anyway. i haven't shopped around yet.) but that's still gotta be cheaper than replacing all the crap he keeps destroying. we should know in a week or so if our new plan is working. so, if everyone could go cross their fingers and whatnot for us, that would be great. i really really really like my TV.
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