Where I Sick My Toddler on Our Obnoxious Dog

img_4303
Douglas pretends to be okay on a leash when we first meet

So we’ve had Douglas the chihuahua/terrier/something for about a week now and I have to tell you, he’s driving me nuts.

Don’t get me wrong. He IS sweet and adorable and will cuddle up to you at night and really, really means well, but I’m having a rough time with his berserker dog energies.

I’m beyond certain this has something to do with me being a cat person.

I’m used to calm, clean kitties who like your approval but don’t NEED it, whereas Douglas goes into approval-seeking seizures so violent they’ve actually drawn blood.  He wasn’t even trying to be mean… he just goes into such a licking, head-whipping frenzy that upon seeing me, he woodpeckers his face against my hands until his teeth accidentally break the skin.

And he has other problems, like:

  • He chews EVERYTHING. I have two kids under five, which means there’s a wave of toys constantly enveloping our house. I was hoping the threat of dog ingestion would help me train my kids to pick up after themselves, but so far, the dog keeps on crapping Legos and trying to wrestle Bridget’s blankies away.
  • He isn’t leash-trained. Approaching Douglas with a leash makes him instantly pee all over the floor. Then he stubbornly sits there while you pull at the leash until he’s choking and vomiting.
  • But if you remove the leash, he won’t respond to commands AT ALL. When I took Douglas and the girls out to get mail from the mailbox, the FIRST thing he did was run straight out into the street and into oncoming traffic. He not only didn’t flinch when we called his name, he bolted away from us for the next half hour while we tried to grab him.
  • When we let him inside, the first thing he does is find a sweet corner of the house to crap in. We tell him NO and put him back outside for a decent interval before bringing him back in. Then he instantly craps again, like he’d been holding it. He’s THE OPPOSITE of potty-trained. He WANTS to crap inside.

Despite all of his issues, there’s NO WAY we’re taking Douglas back to the shelter because that would break his little doggie heart. He truly loves us and was so happy to become part of our family that I just can’t do that to him.

But what to do…

img_4295
Brontë bosses her stuffed lemur around

The other night, it hit me: Brontë not only loves animals but, like many 4-year-old girls, she’s incredibly bossy. She bosses her little sister around all the time, tries to boss around John and me, and managed to train Frodo the Cat to stand up on command, just cause she was bored.

So, I turned to her while she was eating some graham crackers at the kitchen table. I told her in a very serious voice: “Brontë, I’m making you the Official Boss of the Dog.

She stood up, nodded, and said, “I’m also the Boss of the Minnie Mouse blanket.”

“Yes you are. You are the Boss of Minnie Mouse and also the Boss of the Dog.”

How did I not instantly see it? Brontë’s hyper control needs and an out-of-control little dog is a match made in heaven. She even has infinite time on her hands.

And she’s been taking her duties very seriously. Everywhere I go, I’m hearing Brontë whip Douglas into shape:

“No, DOUG-LAS! People are NOT for biting. We are NOT DOG TOYS. Kissing us is an okay thing to do. You can kiss but you CANNOT BITE!”

“Douglas, you are NOT ALLOWED TO PLAY WITH BARBIES. Here… you can play with your squeaky duck.”

“Douglas, STOP GIVING THE CATS MEAN LOOKS! Raj will smack you in the face and he will be RIGHT.”

“You do NOT poop in my room. Rooms are NOT for pooping! You can poop in the potty or outside because you are a dog but you do NOT poop in the living room or my room and you DO NOT poop next to Ariel because SHE IS A MERMAID.”

Okay, so maybe I set Brontë on the dog because I knew it would be funny and that would kind of help me deal with all the frustrations he’s caused, but I still think it’s a good plan. She seems to have the essential training idea down and I somehow think a four-year-old mind could maybe brain-hack a dog.

 

 

 

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Where I Sick My Toddler on Our Obnoxious Dog”

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about all the craziness, and I recognize the frustrations.

    About this time is when people normally give advice “why don’t you try this, or why don’t you do that” – but I’m going to refrain. Because sometimes people want to post about things without getting advice, and I want to soak in the idea of Bronte the Boss riding roughshod on that rascal Douglas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, true– this is the point where everyone offers advice! I may end up needing it…

      Of course I plan to do more than hand Brontë the reins (like maybe try the crate training method). But I thought it was funnier to talk about a toddler in charge 🙂

      I’ll keep an eye on her too, because he’s still a little dog. Dogs are crazy though. They are.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Aw, pugs are cute! I’ve always liked them.

          He’s got a regular leash. My husband seemed to think that would be better than a harness, but maybe we should give the harness a shot. He is a pretty small doggie.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Friends of ours had a chihuahua-corgi mix, small yappy dog. He’d also choke on a leash, so they got a little harness, and it worked fairly well.

            (Not trying to push my harness agenda… I am sure you’ll make things work out.)

            Liked by 1 person

            1. No, no– it’s good advice! I have little experience with dogs and my husband has only had really big dogs.

              One awesome thing about Douglas is he rarely barks at all. He’s not yappy like so many little dogs. Hyper yes, but not loud 🙂

              Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s