Before I go into the whole escapade of yesterday, let me make it clear: I am a dog lover.
I’ve loved dogs since I was 8 when my parents dog decided my arm would make a great chew toy. Yes, I know, it’s twisted, but let it go. Just know that the incident helped me get over my crazy fear into being the dominate in the doggy world. They can’t scare me no matter how long or loud they bark or how big they are. Trust me, many have tried…
Now, let me tell you about the players in my little drama. I give you me, which doesn’t need much explaining, and then there is Hera, our black lab puppy. Next month she’ll be a year old. She’s adorable, loving, playful…. and too damn smart for her own good. We got dear Hera around Father’s Day because my husband had been asking, begging, pleading…blah, blah, blah…for a puppy over a period of 2 years all because our old lady Chelsea (she turns 11 in May) converted him from cat lover to dog lover which is another story all together.
I had resisted all that time because of my saving grace: Our lease agreement for the house said, specifically, 2 pets or pay more money…. until we got to Ohio. Thanks a lot to the organization that owns our area of housing!
So I caved despite knowing that I’d be doing 90% of the house training since I stay at home with so said puppy. For anyone who hasn’t been the primary trainer of a puppy, let me explain that there are some consequences. The first, and probably the worst, is that you get painted as the bad guy all the time. Unlike kids where you can say “Dad and I will talk about it when he gets home and we’ll let you know your punishment” with dogs the punishment has to be immediate or let them get away with it. So, I’m the bad guy.
Okay, fine, sure, I can handle that. I make a great bad guy in the puppy world so be it. There are more, but I’m sure you get the idea…
So, now that you know the players. You also know that Hera has been with us for 9 months and she’s settled down for the most part. No more chewing up my shoes or the furniture, she only tries to jump up on brand new people these days and she loves kids. When kids are playing at the play ground next to us, she goes insane because she wants them all to pay attention to her because she’s so cute!
BUT, there is one part of her puppy mentality that still remains. Getting her inside from the back yard is not simply a matter of calling her in. Now, I’ll admit, part of this is my fault as I tried to use treats to train her to get in. The problem is that now she expects a treat. No treat, no entry. She’ll scratch, scratch, and scratch at the door to come in until you’re insane, but won’t come in until you have the treat in hand.
Yesterday, it was raining, it was muddy…and she wanted to come in. I spent 30 minutes trying to get her in, but to no avail until I had to tease Chelsea with the leash to drag Hera in. Got the leash on, lead Hera inside, grabbed her collar and Hera, realizing that she had screwed up, did the only thing she knew was in her bag of tricks. Dropped like a dead weight….
Now, what she didn’t realize was that if she had just sat down so I can take off the leash, the worst that would have happened was that I would have grabbed her jaw and talk to her sternly about coming in when she was supposed to. As it was, since I was holding onto her when she dropped and my arm is only so long, it decided to try to lengthen and inflamed my shoulder problem, which triggered my anger. She also didn’t figure that Mom isn’t smart enough to just let go or that I wasn’t willing and able to drag her butt to the kennel.
She quickly learned otherwise.
Hera was grounded for three hours until my shoulder stopped pulsing with pain and my wrist, which suffers from carpal tunnel and tendonitis, also throbbed around with it. The grounding prevented her from getting the loving she wanted from Dad when he got home. She didn’t get the chance to play with him either until I was willing to let her out. When she was out, she came to me to ask for forgiveness by licking my sore hand then turning around expecting me to scratch her back.
I caved and did because, after all, I do love puppies…..
- Training your new puppy (ajpetsupplies.wordpress.com)
- Happy puppy day! (ourpeaceablekingdom.wordpress.com)
- House Training Your Puppy: How to Get Them to Stop “Going” in The House (gomestic.com)