Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dogs, the replacment for siblings

When I lived at my grandma’s I used to be a cat person. The thought of even being near a dog scared me. The fact that I got cornered by a Rottweiler on my way home from school when I was six didn’t help.

On a side note, if you are an adult and you come across a child who is cowering on the ground clearly crying and terrified with a huge ass dog in their face, You don’t tell the child to man up after you have shooed the dog away. First of all, easier said than done. What was I going to do? Wrestle the damned dog? Punch it in the face? It was freaking barking four inches from my face! Second. What part of six was not clear to you? Big dog vs. little kid. I wonder who would be the winner?

I cried all the way home after that and THEN, I had to explain to my angry and worried grandmother why I was so late getting home. She gave me the goddamned LOOK!!! That is more frightening, but still, six.

Now that I am older, I know that you hold onto a dogs lower jaw and they can’t do shit. Ok, so they can try and break free but you lay on top of them and that solves all your problems. Whenever my dogs try to bite me I hold onto their jaw for a while to show them I am higher up then them on the food chain. Then again, my dogs don’t exactly inspire fear in me. Josie and Georgette are maybe an inch taller than a corgi and Sam is more grumbliy than bitey.

Although, dog claws do hurt when the scratch you. They aren’t as sharp as a cat’s claws, but they do leave nice long raised marks on your skin. I had a scar on my leg from when Georgette jumped off my lap one day.
I digress. I never imagined I would ever own a dog, let alone three. Today I am going to talk about what it’s like living with three very different dogs and how they became a part of our family.

Josie has the honor of being the first dog that stayed with us for longer than a week. The first dog we tried to adopt was a pit-bull who tried to eat the cats. Mom and I had to drive all the way to Connecticut to bring her back. It was not a fun day for us.

            When we decided to try again we went to a shelter closer to home. I remember walking amongst the cages of bigger dogs and nearly crying from the noise. Then we somehow made it to the smaller dogs cages in a different room and looking at them all. Josie stood out almost right away. She was standing on her hind legs and patty caking at us. That is when I feel in love with the small black two year old Schipperke. It was sealed, no other dog would do, I had to have Josie, then called Molly.

            On the way home with out new dog mom and I discussed names. Mom wasn’t too fond of the name Molly. Eventually we settled on Josie, naming her after the fictional band Josie and the pussycats.

            The next year we got Sam. We got Sam because that was the year I would be starting school in Old Orchard and be home alone for a few hours. Josie, an attack dog she is not. I wanted a big head in the window to make me feel somewhat safer.

            It’s ironic since we got the biggest baby on the planet. The workers at the shelter made it a point to ask if it was only Mom and I since Sam has a phobia of men.  We got Sam because I made a note that he didn’t pull as much as the golden retriever we had gotten to walk just before him.

I don’t know what it was that I liked in Sam when I first saw him. Our relationship is a bit strained. He is like a little brother, annoying but you love the idiot. I do care about Sam and would miss him if he were gone. Especially now that I am older and on happy pills.

            Georgette is the only dog I had no say in the matter. I went away to camp for a week and when mom and I are going to get ice cream she tells me we are getting a third dog. I promptly asked her if she was crazy. She told me not to tell our family yet. I became silent.

            I think I was about thirteen at the time. I was not to thrilled with the prospect of getting another dog since I already struggled to walk Sam and Josie. The fact the Georgette was from Tennessee did not help. I was jaded to the idea of crossing the state line to get a dog since our first attempt at it failed. That was the last year I went to camp during the summer because I couldn’t leave mom alone with Petfinder again.

            Georgette was packed into a dog crate and onto a bus. She traveled all the way to a parking lot in New Hampshire where Mom and I had traveled one Saturday. We waited with other families to receive the new additions.

            To say Georgette doesn’t like confined spaces is to say the sun is only slightly temped. I didn’t realize until much later but, we adopted a claustrophobic dog. The guy who was retrieving the dogs from the bus told me it was fine to reach my hand into the crate and pull my new dog, then called Rebecca, out. The dog that was pressed against the back of the crate as flat as she could become. The dog who was clearly not happy. The dog who had refused to come out of the crate when they had made a stop to let the dogs relieve themselves.

            I reached into the crate and Georgette nearly bit my hand off. I yanked my hand out of the crate and informed the man he could risk his limbs and walked away. When he finally got Georgette out of the crate and clipped a leash to her I was told to go back to the car with the viscous monster.

            I walked Georgette back to Esmeralda, mom’s green ford escort. I sat in the back seat with Georgette and a strange thing happened. I burst into tears because I was sympathizing with our new dog. I could feel she was scared and that made me sad. That is when the bond started to form and she licked my face. Before we started home she was pressed against the other side of the rear seat, by the end she was stretched across the back seat resting her hind legs on mine. She was my dog. MINE!

            We brought Georgette to the house and introduced her to the other two in the middle of the street so that an epic battle wouldn’t commence the moment I brought her in the house.

            We had decided on Georgette for a name before we went to get her. My grandmother had for the longest time complained she had no grandchildren named after her. So we named a grandpuppy after her. This amused Grandma. The joke is that not many people know that my grandma doesn’t use her birth name anymore. It’s not that she is hiding anything, it’s just a nick name that stuck. I think she legally change her name when she married Grandpa Pinkie.

            I eventually trained Georgette to listen to voice commands. For instance “Cheese” means, “treat.” “Georgette” translates to “Come here!” “Georgette come here” equals “You are dead meat.” “Bathroom” means “go into the bathroom and lie down on the dirty clothes dog bed.” “Outside” means “Walk.” “Gotta go pee?” means “Outside.” “sit, lay down, what do you do?” means “OMG FOOOOOOOOD!”
            The down side of teaching your dogs how to sit via dog treats and cheese is that they thing that whenever they sit the likely hood of getting some of what you are eating is increased.  Which, it is in my house.             We tend to share whatever we are eating with them. I throw food up into the ir and watch them jump for it. When I am absolutely done with a plate I put it on the floor and let them have at it. Wow, my dogs are kind of spoiled.

            My dogs have all has there share of idiocy. For instance Sam is the smartest dumb dog I have ever met. He managed to open a closet and take a pair of shoes out of a box and eat them. Mom promptly killed him.

            Sam has this little habit of chewing on things when he has to pee. He used to have an orange rubber ball that he would chew on but it has since passed through his digestive system. It’s like living with a teething baby who weights seventy-three pounds… and already has teeth…

            Nothing is safe in the house when Sam has to pee. He has chewed through many leashes, hence his nickname Leash Killer. Heck at one point his leash was just a yellow rope with a clip on the end. We have leashes that have huge knots in them because Sam tried to eat them.
            I have caught the idiot eating tin cans. Yes, the kind of cans you find in the grocery store. He even discovered a way to open the kitchen drawers. I came home one day and saw the drawers open and ramen noodle wrappers scattered across the kitchen floor. I wanted to kill him.
            How do I know it was him? He is the only one when standing on his hind legs can reach the top drawer. I have caught that dog eating things off the top of the stove. Though that is still not the stupidest thing one of our dogs has ever done.

            Whenever I see dog toys I look at them and ponder how long it would take for Sam to eat through them.
Rubber squeaky bone- four seconds.
Real bone- a month
Plushie- ten minutes

            Josie on the other hand likes to eat stuffed animals. She is the one you can get to play fetch with and be more likely to bring it back. It is quite entertaining to watch her spazz out at the dog park when you have the chuck-it in hand.  She gets all twitchy and mean.

            The mere sound of a squeaky toy makes her come running towards you ready to play tug of war and fetch. Josie is so obsessed with getting the ball or toy out of your hands she will clamp down on the object. I have actually lifted that dog off the ground via the object in her mouth.

            Josie also has this odd habit of tearing paper into confetti. She doesn’t do it as much as when she was younger but when she does do it It’s kinda mesmerizing. She tears off a piece, shakes her head a little freeing the paper from her mouth, then goes back to tear another piece. Over and over and over… My dogs are weird.

            Other than her obsession with tug of war fetch and tearing paper into tiny pieces she isn’t very playful. Lately she has been doing the leg thump when you scratch her. I have poked her repeatedly in the back and it sent her into a fit of leg thumping. Georgette will do it but only if you put a lot of effort into a belly rub. And it’s still only a slow motion.

            Josie’s true moment of idiotic glory was when she decided the electrical cord on the A/C looked yummy. I was not home at the time, but mom informed me when I returned home that Josie chewed through the electrical cord while the A/C was plugged in. My dog got electrocuted. After that she started to get seizures. My theory is that the shock threw off the electrical impulses in her body and from time to time she goes on the fritz. It is just a theory because I am to lazy to look up the causes of seizures in dogs and as long as my dog isn’t having one every day then we don’t worry about it. We worry more about them eating entire boxes of brownie mix. *Cough* Sam *Cough*

            In my years of owning dogs I have learned the valuable skill of inducing vomiting. I have had to make two of the three dogs vomit, once when Georgette ate double chocolate mix. The other time is when I thought Josie ate a bottle of Tylenol. Like I said, dogs are dumb.

            Having to drag your dog to the vet is not fun when they are as big as Sam. The moment we walk into the building they want out, however some parts of a visit can be comical. Georgette was so anxious to leave the vet one day that she ran right into the door. The cone around her head stopped her just short of bonking her head on the door.

            I had to bring Sam to the vet the other day and he was so scared he tried to hide under the chair in the corner. Sam is a black lab… that was not an easy feet.  He ended up on the floor with his tail between his legs. Poor baby.

            Josie’s personality is kind of hard to describe. She has mellowed out and at the same time gotten crabbier. Don’t ask me how that works, believe me I am just as confused as you are.  She loves people, but has a short temper when she is tired. She tends to stick close to mom at the dog park only venturing away to relieve her self. I kind of picture her as an older lady overflowing with dignity. She is the only one who will stand up on her hind legs if you want to pick her up.
            She is the one dog that my youngest male cousin hates the most out of all six of the dogs in my family. He was young and stupid and got in Josie’s face. So, she bite him on the nose. Yeah, she doesn’t like people getting in her face unless you live with her.

            Sam is lazy and possibly bored. Whenever I walk into the room he is either dead on the couch or the floor. I think he is either dumb or trying to see if he can get away with things. He is always hungry, or bored. He is the type that only wants to play fetch if Josie is spazzing.

            Georgette hates strange people. Once she gets to know you she is the sweetest dog to ever try and eat little kids. Yeah, little kids annoy her. She is a fur ball of sugar under a layer of hot sauce. She also doesn’t mind spending a few hours as a mini space heater.
            Something I don’t understand about some dog owners is why put there dogs in crates and lock them in a side room at night? Why have a dog then? Dogs are naturally messy. We tried crating for a while with both Josie and Sam and gave up after a night. We didn’t even try with Georgette, she just slept on my bed with me.

           Well I have rambled on enough for one day.... Time to prepare for my last day as a teenager ^^

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