My dog makes the other dogs look good. You’re welcome, classmates.

What a weekend capped off by a trying Monday with the terrible trio. I’m now ready to go back to school. Thanks, boys.

Friday, Drake stopped jingling. We may be slackers here and left on some extra tags from Drake’s rescue days. It’s the same idea as a bell on a cat’s collar. The big boys really should get some warning before a Drake attack. Dad looked at Drake and discovered he was naked. Where was his collar? No one knew. My theory was that Haas was dragging Captain Wigglebutt around the yard by his collar again and managed to hit the clasp juuuuuust right. Fortunately, Dad retrieved the collar so we don’t have to replace his Smart Tag, name tag, and rabies tag.

Saturday was going to be much better. This was Percy’s group obedience class. I hooked up Percy’s training collar and we had a nice, well-behaved, walk to the car. He even sat nicely in the car for the entire trip without trying to wedge his head in my armpit.

We picked up Oldest Child from a sleepover and sat through the entry-level class with no problems.  My dog was being good! He did what he was supposed to and sat quietly, even when being fussed at by an adorable German Shepherd puppy. He was even calm when two Malinois came through and the owners addressed Percy by name.

You see, Percy is a bit notorious. Everyone knows Percy. This is not because he is the only lab in class, but because he gets called out in class. Like, a lot. Lately, it has been much better and he even got praise last week for doing really well with a new concept.  Way to go, Percy! We are getting this! Or, so I thought.

Class began well. Percy heeled like a champ, sat when he was supposed to, and responded to my cues. Then, we started on distractions. Just like we have been practising (with no trouble) for weeks, I put my leash on the ground, stood on it, and clapped. Percy took off, barking and having a complete freak-out. Ugh.  I could handle this, but still.  And he kept going….and going… and finally, the owner stepped in, couldn’t get Percy to calm down. He was sent outside for a timeout.  After a few minutes to calm down (and have an unscheduled potty break, ew), we went in and Percy did well for the rest of class. I apologized to the Mal owner next to me who keeps getting stuck with Percy and she said “It’s okay. We love Percy!”  It’s easy to love a dog who makes yours look like a dream.  I am choosing to look on the bright side and claim this as a service to other’s handler’s self-esteem.

Today, the trials continued with preventative pill day. We give our boys a combo chewable that is supposed to prevent heartworms, fleas, and other random worms and parasites that I would rather not witness. This can be a chore as it is the one thing Haas and Percy won’t eat without much strife. I decided to be tricky today. I buried it in the boys’ food bowls and locked them in their crates so they couldn’t steal each other’s pills.

I watched closely without looking like I was watching.  Haas gets shy and stops eating. Drake snarfed his food and pill and was released from his crate.  I checked the bottomless pit Percy and he managed to overlook his giant pill in the grooves of the slow-down bowl. I handed it to him and he dropped it and looked away. Apparently, there is a limit to what this stinker will eat.  Haas, in the meantime, had picked his pill out of his bowl and moved it quite far from his food bowl. There was no way he was eating it. Hmmm… what to do next.

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Haas doesn’t like these hard pills. Apparently, concrete is softer and tastier.

Oldest Child had a plan.  Just peanut butter wouldn’t work so maybe a treat of a peanut butter sandwich on unhealthy white bread would do it.  The big boys would get 1/4 of a pb sandwich with the pill in the middle. Drake, not to be left out, would get 1/4 of a sandwich with a treat in the middle. Percy’s disappeared in one gulp.  Haas bit into his, split the pill in half, and spit out half a pill while eating the sandwich.  Good thing we had another 1/4 sandwich.  Finally, it went down and the big boys could be free.

Fortunately, all is forgiven, and my faithful friends are by my side again. I’m so glad Percy’s classes are almost over and I don’t have to do pill time again for a month.

Hope your weekend and Monday was much more fun!  Have a wonderful week and we hope you stop by again next time.

Chaos is the new normal.

The boys are in the doghouse (figuratively — they don’t actually fit inside Stump and Gypsy’s old house). They destroyed their pool. It started with a small puncture I thought I could fix but now it looks like it fell into a giant’s garbage disposal. No water play now unless it rains. What a long, hot summer it will be.img_2823

Maybe next year I can get them a metal watering trough or something. We had one for a summer when I was a kid that would work beautifully for these terrors but I am sure it is long gone. Should I have to buy metal everything?

How much can 3 dogs destroy? Everything. The answer is everything. There is nothing these dogs can’t decimate. I worry constantly about toxicity levels. It can’t be good to try to eat a sharpie (where did Drake find that?), or a soda bottle, or whatever I am about to pry out of Percy’s jaws.

They also ate my nativity set this last week. I have had to rescue the poor Mary in the past from Haas’s jaws but this is a total loss. I thought it was put away but I was so wrong. It is time to find a puppy priest for some canine confession. I’m a little lot concerned for them.

I briefly considered finding a yard ornament type made from cement or concrete or something like that for a nativity replacement. Then I remembered Haas’s taste for concrete as a chew toy. Could I try metal? Surely someone makes metal nativity sets that are small enough for a crowded living room. Maybe a framed photo of someone else’s is the right way to go. Maybe I should stop thinking about Christmas decorations in June. I really need to work on my other hobbies.

I’m off to quilt so I don’t use bad words at my boys.

I love my dogs. I need to keep working on house manners. I love my dogs.  I love my dogs. Sigh.

The end is near.

Percy and I had a rough week. I am certainly ready to start a new week and if he cared about time passing, I am sure Percy would be happy it is Monday and we are getting back to normal. Since this is Percy’s first spring with us, he doesn’t know the craziness/crabbiness of the end of the school year.

There are 10 days of school left and I am tired. No, not tired…exhausted, drained, frazzled, and bone-weary. It isn’t just that I am not sleeping enough (but that doesn’t help), it’s tired of fighting cell phones, missing work, and teenage hormones. I love all 127 of my kids BUT they are making my hair gray and I feel an eye twitch a-comin’. My boys don’t understand why I am perpetually annoyed and they have their own rough times.

On Thursday of last week, poor Percy experienced some gastric distress. This necessitated a bath, a kennel clean-up, and the permanent loss of his bedding. I was annoyed but not at my boy. He had to be feeling pretty rough to make a mess in his bed. I’m not sure why he thought rolling around in it would make it better. Percy didn’t get much comfort because of clean-up and clean-up of clean-up. (My tub looks awesome now, so there is that)

Baby Percy
Just over one year ago, my big baby was a little baby.

On Friday, I had to leave for 3 days and it is the longest we have been separated since Percy came to live with us. I am guessing it was harder on me than it was on Percy but I am pretty sure he missed me. My handsome boy stuck to my side for most of the evening I returned and shared his blanket scrap for 5 whole minutes! That’s a big step for the big baby.

Percy says hi
I will share my blanket if you won’t leave again.

I know in a few short weeks our training will get back on track, I will no longer look like Haas smacked me in the eyes, and there will be many leisurely walks and jogs in my canine companions’ future.

I can make it. Just a few more days and a few thousand reminders to turn in missing work. I will think paws-itively and have extra dog cuddles. I have made it through the last 16 years so #17 won’t be a loss. I promise to stop whining (about this school year) soon.

Our pack wishes yours a beautiful week and lots of carrots and happiness!

We all have bad days.

I have good boys. They are really good boys when I am holding some sort of food. They sit quietly and make eye contact. I am pretty sure they are also trying to communicate their “goodboyness” telepathically much like I try to telepathically get my husband to bring me ice cream on a Saturday night. (He isn’t a good boy and seldom brings me ice cream, but, whatever.)

I have had such good boys that I had even thought that it was time to maybe test letting them stay out of their crates when people were sleeping or at work. After the last few days, I still love them but they won’t be allowed free rein any time soon.

Maybe it’s the weather, but several bad habits have resurfaced in the last few days. Three pieces of mail have been shredded, a kitchen towel (how in the world did they get a kitchen towel when they aren’t allowed in the kitchen??) has been ripped to tiny pieces, and they absconded with Dad’s yicky, dirty socks.

Today was a stormy mess and so they weren’t able to get rid of some of their extra energy. Maybe, just maybe, they aren’t incorrigible and the storm is why they have gotten grounded for life today. Before Dad went to work, they had the opportunity to stay out of the crate for 10 whole minutes before Mom and younger humans came home. That didn’t happen. Instead, the terrible trio stole one of my shoes and ran outside. This caused Dad to have to go outside and be the angry participant in a game of keep away. (Here, I have to be honest and admit that I would have liked to have seen that and had a bit of a giggle.) Because of this, they lost 20 minutes of freedom and had to go to bed.  Bummer.

We’re sorry, Mom! Let us in the kitchen and we won’t eat anything we aren’t supposed to eat!

And then Percy regressed. I don’t know it was Percy, to be fair, but based on the offense, it’s pretty likely.  Frustrated youngest child came in with two dollars, or rather one full dollar and pieces of another dollar that had been retrieved from Haas’s droolly face. Oldest child wasn’t missing money. Youngest child stashes the money in a secret hiding place. Where did the money come from? Very mysterious. Also, as a teacher, I could use a mysterious source of money. I could buy so many pencils and books, and… oh wait, youngest kid pulls another dollar from a slobbery dog face.

“That’s three dollars! Where did they get three dollars?” kid asks.

Then, I remember. I had three dollars floating loose in my purse. I never have money, and apparently, I still don’t. Those stinkers went through my purse! Ugh.  These boys.

(Don’t) Let them eat cake.

I am not sure which is more frustrating, teenagers who are required to read The Tragedy of Julius Caesar in February or a group of stinky, over-sized dogs. Both of them are driving me to my favorite, wonderful, most excellent, slightly-scary-but-beautifully-decorated-hair stylist for excessive amounts of hair dye to cover the grey. (I go see her in a few weeks, so Hi, Sis! See, I appreciate you lots!) Currently, it is a toss up as to which group I would want to spend the rest of my week hanging around.

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Haas
Drake

On Monday, we had a snow day. It was perfectly timed. Percy went in for the big snip so the new boys and I had a lazy morning. Then, because it was Monday and I have a standing dinner date with my grandfather, I was able to get a little work done and bake a spice cake. The house smelled amazing and looked pretty good for having two kids, three dogs, a cat, and a husband. It was a good day…until I went to get Percy.

For once, Percy didn’t immediately forgive me for taking him to the vet. A month or so ago, this guy forgave me immediately every time I held him down and put multiple cream medications in his eye for what looked like pink eye when it happens in my students.  Apparently, this trip was less than pleasant and required some time apart.  He went off with Haas and left me to start dinner.

When I came back into the kitchen after an absence of about 6 heartbeats, the Teenager was chasing the big boys out of the spice cake 15 minutes before my grandfather was set to arrive.  P-awsome.  (The big boys are still alive.)

Spiced sadness

Teenager saved the day with chocolate mint cookies and life was good. Life was really good until Percy ate a cookie. That required some unpleasant clean-up the next morning but Dad helped with that one. Since I am not 15, I’ll spare you the description, but, ew.

Tuesday, I had the joy of starting my least favorite Shakespearean tragedy with teenagers who are done. They were much more interested in getting out of school early than investigating the political intrigues of ancient Rome.  I couldn’t blame them.  An hour early is still an early out with the possibility of a snow day the next day, too.

We didn’t get a snow day. There was much sadness. Looks like a full rest of the week filled with

“I don’t get it!”

“What page are we on?”

“Can I go to the bathroom?”

“Do you have any toys you don’t immediately shred and make a mess all over the living room floor? I just vacuumed!”

“Don’t eat that!” (To be fair, this one I say to both my dogs and my students)

So, M-, I’m gonna need the industrial hair color and maybe an extra hour in the chair. I’ll bring extra tea. Love you!