Sunday, September 06, 2009

Dog-Related Frustration

Scout has, thus far, been a pretty good dog as dogs go. But... she does act out, and she has caused us our fair share of destruction to personal property.

Like all dogs her age, she wants to chew and play with things. And she's got a toy box full of toys that she scatters all over the house. And because its part of the game, we pick them up and put them back in the box.

There are plush squeaky toys, rubber balls, nylon bones, skins of former toys of Mel's (that Lucy was never interested in), rope toys, etc... And she plays with them all.

We realized she was interested in shoes early on, something Lucy and Mel never gave two figs about, so we've learned quickly to keep shoes out of reach. But that doesn't mean I haven't forgotten from time to time and left shoes out when I've gone to bed. This has cost me laces off two pair of shoes and the life of two pairs of sandals. Both sandals went this week.

And then the other day, she discovered Jamie's magazines. This alarmed me, because for weeks, Scout has had free-reign of the first floor, day and night. I hadn't put the kennel up, but we haven't required she sleep in the kennel. And we've left her out when we've left for dinner, movies, work, etc... But magazines are paper. And I happen to keep a lot of folded and stapled paper products around the house, not entirely dissimilar to Jamie's magazines.

I spoke to her about the magazine incident, and hoped for the best.

This evening we went out to N. Austin to my folk's place for dinner. For some reason Scout escalated the interest in magazines, and several were on the floor in shreds. Along with three fairly premium-priced comics in shreds, several non-premium comics had been chewed on, and about another dozen or so were scattered around the house for good measure. And a couple of DVD's.

Sadly, it looks like Scout is going to have to start spending time in the kennel again when we leave.

I am aware that she could use more exercise, but she was run today, and played with repeatedly today. She's lacked not at all for attention or fun.

I just have no idea why, suddenly, she's decided to go after things that have been there all along. And while I do feel like as she's gotten more comfortable here, she's become a bit more bold with being pushy, I'm not sure what suddenly triggered her to change her attention to items she'd never seemingly noticed before. At least they're just books that can maybe eventually be replaced. I'm much more concerned about what she might decide to go after next.

As I mentioned, she's back in the kennel tonight, and she'll no longer have run of the house when we're not home or awake. Not for quite a while.

Even sadder, she doesn't understand she broke a trust. She just knows she's sleeping in that cage again. And I doubt she understands what the yelling and waving of books at her was all about.

For me, its not so much about the comics. I just really feel like we've been moving backward in the last week or so, and I need to figure out why, and what we can do to move forward again.

And poor Lucy. She is very bent out of shape about the yelling. And I almost have no doubt she watched Scout from the other room, as Scout dragged books all around the house, thinking "Oh, geez... are YOU going to catch it..."


rhpt said...

I'm no dog expert, but could it be anxiety at being left alone?

The League said...

Yeah, I think that's exactly what it is. I'm going to be reading up toda on how to work with that. In the interim, though, she's gonna be in the slammer.

J.S. said...

Yeah, I still think she's got energy to burn, and, sort of counterintuitively, I think that dogs sort of feel an absence even more acutely right after times when you've been spending even more time with them than usual and giving them more attention (say, on a weekend). Scout's smart, but doesn't mean she won't act out. Rmember how Cassidy used to eat stuff @ Mom and Dad's when she was left alone? Crate might make her feel more secure when you're gone. She also just hasn't been there long enough to know that you're always going to come back when you leave...

The League said...

It definitely occurred to me that I'd spent hours yesterday hugging and playing with her, which is pretty much exactly how she wants to spend her days. And then I bailed. So that may be why She went after stuff that might smell like me.

Which means I smell like comics. Which is awesome. And that Jamie smells like Entertainment Weekly. Which is hilarious and appropriate.