Drake is a demon

Percy is a pain. He’s always been a pain. He’ll probably always be a pain. Percy’s obnoxiousness can sometimes distract us from the other trouble makers in the house. Drake is quickly taking over the rating of most terrible lately.

Drake and Haas are not nearly as voracious as Percy when it comes to food. They often don’t finish their meals and as Percy will consume everyone’s food, they have to be fed separately in their crates. If Drake and Haas do not finish their bowls, I hide them for later. It generally works out.  This is where the power play began.

As I was taking Drake’s food out of his crate, he sniffed the bowl so I offered him a bite for the road.  He grabbed a mouthful and, instead of going to eat in front the tv, he dropped the kibble in front of Percy’s crate and ate them one piece at a time while poor Percy watched. I figured this was a fluke and went on about my business.

In the meantime, when Drake decided he was ready to snuggle, he would climb up on the couch and sit on Percy until Percy left. Then, Percy would sit and stare mournfully while gnawing on his blanket.  I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure I heard Drake laugh.  This was my first indisputable sign that Drake might be a bully.

I knew he might need an intervention when it was time for the dog’s flea tablet. The medication delivery system is a part of a peanut butter sandwich. Haas ate his.  Percy ate his. Drake looked at it, looked at me, crossed his paws, and huffed. Fine. I opened his crate to tear it into pieces. Instead, he grabbed part of the sandwich, dropped it in front of Percy and ate it slowly.

Drake is such a punk. I’d like to say I’ll have him trained and in line by the end of this extended time at home, but I have a feeling it will be quite the battle of wills. Maybe he’ll have us trained!

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Mom. You are done grading. Pay attention to me and bring me candy.

We hope you are having the opportunity to spend time with family, even if it is virtual. Be safe!

Dogs, kids, and starting a long stretch at home.

It’s been a while since I have taken the time to write about the boys. We have had some changes in the house and between a few minor medical issues, life, and a strange calming of the boys. They were even quite calm for a while.

Here’s the quick update on all of the terrible four footed friends.

Haas — Still a giant goof.  Still tries to bring concrete and rocks in for snacks.  New to Haas is pretending to eat but not actually doing it.

Percy — Still on a “weight management” plan. Still tries to eat everything that fits in his mouth. New to Percy is the loss of his “spot” on the couch as he has been bullied by his brother.

Drake — Still pretty sure he is part shark as his fur has this really strange grooves that look like gills on his neck. Still has a terrible sweet tooth and tries to break into candy he really shouldn’t have. New to Drake is his claim on Mom. There are times when Drake refuses to let anyone, human or canine, sit next to Mom. Mom doesn’t always tolerate that, but sometimes it’s nice to have her own personal bouncer.

Fish front– all original fish are now swimming in the great toilet bowl of beyond (figuratively, of course, since one was buried in a matchbox). As I have acquired another citizen of Angstville (aka Teen Town), that child brought a new fish. I have forgotten his (the fish’s — not the kid’s) name. I want to say Marvin…

Meri — Cat is still a hag. She still hates me working on technology so, to gain peace from fuzzy animals who are thrilled Mom is home all of the time, I am sitting in a coffee shop, well away from other patrons. It’s a local business so I am trying to support them as much as possible and not have the back of my head bitten.

In our house, we are going to keep taking walks and working on leash and training skills. We’ll probably check in more often and we hope everyone is staying safe, calm, washing hands, and learning something new. Find something that makes you smile today. You’re worth it.

 

Haas tries a new snack.

We don’t treat our dogs equally. Most of it is for their own good. Some of it is because, like Haas, Dad doesn’t feel the rules apply to him, but whatever. For example, Drake doesn’t like the high quality, natural, probiotic, made-for-ginormous-mutts food we buy so he gets to eat cheaper food mixed in.  Basically, he wants the equivalent of chicken nuggets at every meal. Percy doesn’t get any junk food to avoid some fearsome flatulence issues. Haas is allowed to roam more rooms of the house because he doesn’t tend to eat socks. Against my wishes, Haas lets himself out of his crate and joins Dad in a 3:30 a.m. snack.

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I bet most people don’t find random veggies outside their dog crates.

After one post midnight munchie, Haas decided to retrieve a butternut squash from the kitchen and bring it to the living room. There he snuggled up with the squash, give it periodic licks, and just existed. Normally, I don’t find squash in my living room but it was a nice change from finding a random chunk of concrete. I’ll take a small win.

When I came home from school, the squash, only lightly punctured, was sitting on Dad’s end table. I was quite relieved as I was afraid by well fertilized back yard wouldn’t become a field of squash next year. The boys went out to play and came in nicely and Haas grabbed his butternut buddy and flopped down in his favorite floor spot.

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Why have a new friend if you don’t share the dirt you bring in as well?

Minutes later, I feel a pathetic stare. Haas looks miserable and Percy the butternut are gone. Being nice Mom, I find Percy’s hiding place and retrieve Haas’s …friend? Baby? future snack? Whatever. If my dogs weren’t weird, I wouldn’t need a dog blog. Percy pouted at my feet and I wrongly assumed I could continue my 523rd viewing of The Great British Baking Show.

Crunch

NO

I was not risking squash poop on my carpet.  That was NOT happening. Mom confiscated Haas’s prized possession and discarded it. The boys bring enough dirt, mud, and twigs in as it is. For the rest of the evening, Haas sulked in the living room floor, refusing to make eye contact.  Maybe Haas needs a new nickname.

Haasquash

Pouty McBigBaby

The Butternut Butthead

Suggestions?

Just when I thought I could say “good boy” with a straight face…

So, it’s been awhile and I almost thought my boys were at the point where they were no longer terrors on four feet. I was wrong. We’re back after an extended break and as terrible as ever. To be fair and only slightly biased, but one of the original terrors, Percy, has been pretty well behaved. The other two, not so much.

Time for some backstory. Our boys don’t get beds. Due to destructive tendencies, we choose to no longer spend money on even cheap beds. Cleaning up the fluff and filling makes me a bit cranky.

Mom and Dad believe in second, third, and even thirty-second chances when sufficient time has passed. There has been minimal destruction lately and Haas and Drake have even had nights where they could roam free. Our delinquents may just be growing up!(Silly, optimistic, puppy parents)

Home came three new, but inexpensive, trial beds. There were carefully laid out, neat and tidy. Percy the Pain sniffed and decided the sofa snuggling with mom was better. Drake preferred to fuss at Percy and bully him out of the special seat. Haas flopped down in his newly redecorated room. Peace and calm settled with only a huff or two and all was well with the world, until Dad passed by the Haasasaurus and noticed the giant monster chewing a hole in his bed. What a punk. At least Mom still had two good boys who could rest in comfort.

It seemed like we were going to have a Christmas miracle and dog beds would last more than an hour. One day went by. Then, in the quiet, there was the faintest rip. Dog check time. Percy had his blanket and was trying to figure out how to fit his giant, smelly butt on Mom’s lap. Haas was rolling and writhing on his back, kicking random legs in the air and grunting. (I don’t ask as I don’t want to know.) Where was Drake?

Another rip sounded. Mom was suddenly sure this was the sound of dog bed destruction. As usual, Mom was right, mostly. Drake wasn’t destroying his own bed. No, not my demon. Drake had snuck into Percy’s crate and was having a grand time making sure neither of his brothers could have nice things. Then, Drake settled in his undisturbed bed, paws crossed and gloating.

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What a sweet face for such a stinker!

Percy and Haas had their revenge in the end. Percy dragged the sole remaining bed around, gnawing at it until Haas started ripping it to bets.

And that’s why Mom has yet another new vacuum and the boys don’t have beds.

Happy Dog Day!

If you have found us, you know that our house has a slight fondness for canine companions. My life revolves around four legged, frequently foul-smelling, but frighteningly friendly dogs. They don’t really let me do much else, which is my current excuse for being behind on my grading. Before the trio of terror, it was my kids. Now my kids are too busy for mom, but their neediness had nothing on my boys. Between training, watching for hot-spots, chasing Haas out of my bedroom, pulling inedibles out of Percy’s mouth, and trying to get Drake to stop slapping…everyone, they keep me hopping. They even make it hard to blog or grade online now that they have figured out that if they tap the touchscreen on the laptop, the offender immediately has Mom’s attention and big voice.

Regardless of the chaos, I wouldn’t trade them for all the cheese and bacon in the Midwest. Dogs (and cats, bunnies, hamsters, flying squirrels, or other pets, too) are so good for us. They make us better people by demonstrating how to be loving, affectionate, and that one should always be excited by the arrival of the one who feeds you. They help our blood pressure, keep us active, and are often our excuse to get out of events we would like to avoid. Dogs are good for us and we should be good to them.

This week, I got to see something heartwarming that made me smile for my entire 40 minute commute home. I suppose I should start at the beginning, which was the beginning of the school day. While running an errand to the office, I overheard another teacher telling the principal about a stray dog outside. This isn’t terribly unusual but I always perk up at the “d” word. Then, throughout the day, I heard from multiple kids about this poor, tick riddled dog who was following them around. I heard several different names for this dog and I assumed he would be gone by the time I left. I made a quick joke about adopting him to be our English department pet and then continued with my day.

As we were leaving, a faculty member who knows my appreciation for pooch pals checked to see if I had a leash and collar with me. I always have dog stuff, even when I don’t have dogs. I also have everything from sewing kits to pliers to toothpaste, but that’s another whole obsession I won’t get into. I went to get my leash and leftover lunch and noticed how many faculty and staff members were intent on rescuing this dog. In addition to those 6 or so adults, there were several students and kids as well. Two of them were former students who were intent on capturing the dog and taking him to the vet. There is no town animal control or shelter so I was concerned about what we would do with him once we had him. If I brought home another dog, I’d have to kick out a human so, it really couldn’t be me.

This boy was very skittish after having been chased around for who knows how long during the day so I was a bit afraid it wouldn’t work. Our school also butts up against a highway so there was also the fear we would see an unpleasant end to our new friend. Luckily, with a bit of cooperation, we were able to catch the sweet boy and transport him to a vet. He has been fed, bathed, vetted, and posted on social media with a back up home waiting. I love that the kids and adults were willing to stay at school after required hours to save a boy I suspect doesn’t have a loving home or people to share his picture on Facebook and Instagram for National Dog Day. It’s nice to know that one more boy is closer to a happy home. I’m so glad I got to be part of that rescue.

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Off to the vet and a good meal. I don’t know what this guy’s name is but he deserves a Dog Day shout-out.

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How many pets are too many?

I think I may have a new pet. I really didn’t want another one. Oldest Child has been begging for a rabbit, hamster, lizard, frog, or a turtle. Dad is allergic to the rodents and I am adverse to reptiles/amphibians so Mom says no every time it comes up. The extra pets are so much work! Don’t get me wrong — I love pets and think they are beneficial to our mental and emotional health. There’s nothing like caring for another creature and if it can care for you, even better.  I would be miserable without my boys. Sometimes, though, we have to set limits.

While this new pet could be incredibly beneficial to my physical health, I’m concerned about the drawbacks. First, the smell. We already have to be careful with what the dogs eat because their emissions are dangerous to our environment. Thanks to probiotic foods, that is mostly under control, so do I really want to add something else stinky to my house? Second, what if my children reject it? They aren’t always accepting of new experiences.

Microorganisms are not something I would have thought to cultivate.  You can’t really pet a sourdough starter and if you name it, then your family starts talking about “stress levels” and “cutting back on the caffeine”. However, I have a bit of an attachment to the stuff that is transforming regular old cabbage into sauerkraut on my counter. I have decided that it must be a “he” and I check on him constantly.  I have been careful to burp the jar multiple times a day and attempting to ascertain if it is mature yet. This is my first ever batch and I am like a fussy new mom. Is it okay? Have I done everything that I can? Will I like it? Will this help my gut? What else can I ferment that isn’t alcohol?

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This is my new friend. I am trying not to name him so it is easier to eat.

I may have a pet problem or a new obsession for the next few months.

An awkward conversation

22 July 2019

Dear Haas,

We need to talk. There is this thing called “personal space” that you need to accept. I know this is hard for you because you can’t conceive the idea that someone doesn’t adore you or want you up in their bubble. What you did today just put your behavior over the edge. You absolutely cannot sit on a stranger’s lap when you are out in public. It’s just not done.

I know the gentleman was kind enough not to say anything but, still. That’s not okay. You have gotten too heavy and your hygiene lately has been sub par. No one wants a hairy, stinky giant they don’t know plopping his big bony rear down with no warning. All he wanted to do was wait patiently for the vet with his shih tzu. The next person may be frightened and then won’t want to be your friend.

Look. Dad and I love you. The kids love you. We’ll take your hugs and snuggles, but please stop sitting on strangers’ laps. Also, stay out of the trash. It’s just gross, dude. The groomer isn’t going to keep being so happy to see you.

I know you are a good boy and I love you. I just want you to give people their space and maybe don’t take up so much of a small waiting room. Also, leave the hot spot on your neck alone so I can take a week off from paying the vet. We’ll talk about you removing your sutures on your own another time and why that’s no good.

Love,

Mom

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Mom. You’re blowing this way out of proportion.

Dear Mom,

If he didn’t like it, the man could have scooted over. Also, if you kept treats out on the table so I could have a late night snack, I would stay out of the trash. The next step is to call grandma and grandpa. Now, turn off the light, I’m trying to take a snooze.

Love taking up the whole bed,

Haas.