Fundamentalist dog update
The dog is still a fundie, in case you were wondering. Our attempts to deprogram her have been unsuccessful. In fact, her behavior has escalated, and I’ve started keeping a list of her behaviors in case, as my dad has suggested, she tries to fight us on Jerry Springer one day when she grows up.
Becky’s Big List o’ Fundamentalist Dog Activities:
- Hates disruption of routines. Shows displeasure with brainless, routine-challenged humans with high-decibel barking. Lance comes home from work before me? Barking. It’s raining at the Appointed Potty Break Time? Barking. Human napping on the couch past 8 a.m.? Barking. Put in crate before 9:30 p.m.? Freaking the heck out barking and pummeling of crate door. Humans awake and using lights past 10 p.m.? Well, actually that one only gets us the Hellacious Dog Stink-eye, but you can tell she wants us to know we’re only getting off easy because she’s tired.
- Development of stringent objections to previously unoffensive actions and items. Such as, she haaaaaaates the harness we use to walk her. Hates it. And if she thinks we’re going to get it out (you know, to TAKE HER FOR A WALK, the thing she desires most in the world), she hides under the kitchen table. And squeals and scrabbles at the floor like she’s being tortured when we pull her out. This has all happened in the past month or so. The harness used to not be a problem. But now? Child abuse. Clearly.
- The routines. Heaven help us, the routiiiiiiines. This is Sprocket’s ideal day: We get up at 5:30 when she barks, take her out to pee, and feed her. After this, one or both of us must lie on the couch with her until precisely 7:30, when Lance leaves for work, I commence to showering, and she commences to moping. Lying down must take place on the living room couch as the office couch is sole property of Sprocket and is reserved for Moping and Burying of Treats. At 8, I must again take her to pee, then pop her in the crate with a Kong full of peanut butter while she glowers at me. Between 8 and 5, she watches the televangelists. At 5, I am required to be home again. Upon my arrival, she will spend precisely two minutes and forty seconds leaping for joy and licking my nose, after which I am required to take her out to pee posthaste. On this trip outside, she will also greet her loyal subjects, HiHolaHey, and attempt to dig a giant hole in what was formerly our landlords’ kids’ sandbox. We then retire to the kitchen, where the lady requires one cup of kibble with a little milk poured over it, and will continue to alternately chomp her food and nip at my feet until I stop whatever I’m doing and devote my full attention to her. I am forbidden to sit down, read the mail, use the computer, or start dinner, as my services as Chew Toy are urgently required – at least, until lance gets home and the torch passes to him. All of this continues (with interludes of loud barking when we do something particularly offensive, like eat food without offering her any [and we generally don't feed her what we're eating, so I don't know how she got to feeling so entitled about food]) until we either go outside and put her on her tether while we sit on the porch being interrogated by HiHolaHey, or take her for a walk. It requires at least 40 minutes of walking to sufficiently wear out Her Majesty. After this, if we have appropriately followed all other protocol, Her Highness will nap, and we are free to turn our attention to other pursuits. A 10 p.m. curfew is strictly enforced. However, if we have failed to address any of these important points, there will be hell to pay. Last night, Lance had dinner with a friend and was out until about 9. Knowing the dog would be a pill, I walked her for an hour and twenty minutes up and down the two steepest hills in town. She still barked at me from the time we got home around 8 until the time Lance returned to his rightful place, and the poor guy walked into his house and found his wife in tears blubbering that the dog was BROKEN and needed to be given back. DOG ROUTINES. Be there, or be reduced to a weeping pile of emotions.
- Oh yeah, and the barking. It’s not just about routines. It’s also about how any item or action for which she fails to see an immediate purpose is Highly Suspect. The short version of this list includes vacuums, brooms, anything designed to be pushed across a floor, the flushing of toilets, and, as I found out last night, Humans Taking Baths. Because anything with that much water involved is not to be trusted. (Oh, and dolls. Dolls are some sketchy territory.)
- The drama… the draaaaamaaaaa… like, when we put her in the harness, she stands there frozen with one leg pulled up flamingo-style until we drag her out the door. After which she’s perfectly fine, except when she remembers she’s wearing the harness, and then she walks diagonally, leading her whole body with her right leg like a mildly drunken crab. For a while she was also limping when she wanted sympathy. And if the Current Favorite Human In The Room is failing to pay her the proper amount of attention, she holds her tail straight out and lets it droop at the end, like it’s broken.
- Okay, I’m having a hard time figuring out what that last one has to do with her religious leanings. (The others, I think, are pretty self-explanatory.) But still, what the crap, dog?