When I moved into this awesome little dream house I came with three cats and two dogs. One cat split a few weeks after we brought him here. The two dogs are smaller, like 15 to 20 pounds. So. We HAD two cats and two dogs. Until this one day in the middle of November. My daughter is a lover of big dogs. Actually she’s a dog lover. I’m the cat person but I will say I have grown to really love the dogs that we have now.
Sadie the Cocker Spaniel was given to us by a homeless man that was hanging out at the Branson Landing. She’s a pure bred dog. She has one blue eye and one brown eye. She’s also very small for a cocker. She wasn’t potty trained and we didn’t have a fence or a dog door at my old house. Yuck. I ended up tossing my most favorite rug in the world. A prayer rug, a big one, made by the Kurds in Afghanistan. I cried. Need I say more?
A year after we got Sadie one of Lauren’s friends had a long haired Chihuahua that they didn’t know was pregnant when they got it. Oh boy. Could be please get a puppy? Sadie was about 3 when we got her so of course I said yes. Enter Eleanor the awkward puppy that is SO not a Chihuahua! Her dad must’ve been a bird dog. The vet said she looks like a miniature Pointer and she does. She also has epilepsy and has to take meds twice a day. Who’s the one that distributes that pill on a more than regular basis? Yours truly. I do so wish that we could’ve got Lauren a puppy when she was younger. She’s so busy now.
Back to November. I pulled in the driveway and saw three kids out back. Three kids and a big dog. Immediately Lauren said, “Mom. Don’t be mad.” Mistake number one. Not getting mad. Mistake number two. Allowing this dog to stay here until we could find the rightful owner. The kids had gone to Target one night. One night when it was like 3 degrees. Low and behold this dog was running around the lot and they captured it. Lovely. We now have a 45 lb. dog that we knew nothing about.
I immediately shot pictures and posted ads on Craig’s List, Leah’s Lost and Found and anything else I could find. Time passed and no one claimed him. We had to work and be at school. Would this dog hurt the little dogs? Being dog stupid and totally unprepared we locked him in the laundry room.
Lauren came home sick from school that same day to find this. Luckily she was home at 11:30. I even had to replace the window blinds. I had a glass jar of laundry detergent that I’d just made. Broken glass, torn up jackets and towels, you can pretty much see the carnage. I immediately spent $100 on a crate on the way home. A few evenings later I left him out of the crate while I was gone for 2 hours. In that time he ate the book I was reading, a box of Kleenexes, a fall floral arrangement, a cool slipper from Japan and whatever else you see pictured below. He started chewing on the plastic crate so I sold it on Craig’s List for $50 before it got too trashed. Then I purchased a wire Kong crate for $145. Good thing my boyfriend has a good job! The next time he was home alone he tore up the back pillow on the sofa. Ok. So the couch is super old and the back pillows do suck. Another time he completely shredded the other one so as of the moment, we have a couch with a cowhide rug on it and no back pillows.
We continued to crate all day and leave him unsupervised for a few hours at a time and all was well. Well until he shredded the side of my chair. This was rather disheartening. I was just in from teaching yoga when this one happened. And I’m certain if would’ve happened after I returned from doing anything else, this dog would probably be dead. My sister custom made those slipcovers for two chairs that I got at a flea market. Yeah. They’re really old chairs but they’re comfy and they WERE in perfection condition. Not only did he destroy the fabric, he also chowed down on the wood on both chairs. Nice.
I called a dog trainer. She came over and gave me some great tips but the main thing was do not free feed and change their food. That has made a world of difference. She said to use a bitter spray on things you don’t want him to chew on. Wish I would’ve known that in the beginning, it works wonders! Next up we are going to puppy classes. I make Lauren take him. He has a name, it’s Apollo. She takes the dog and her buddies to class on the night that I teach yoga. He’s had three lessons so far and only one was a good one.
The vet said he’s not more than 2 and he’s a Shiba Inu/Lab mix. He is a gentle dog and Eleanor LOVES him for they are probably the same age. Sadie can really take him or leave him and I’m thinking leave him most of the time. One night he was being rough with the girls so I locked him outside for 15 minutes. He totally destroyed the flap and the bar on the dog door. Of course this had to happen when it was SNOWING and my beau was working out of town. I glued it and it lasted one week. Luckily my awesome boyfriend who can do anything repaired it this weekend. It should hold up for a long while. In the meantime I have new parts on the way. For $36. So far without replacing any furniture this FREE dog has cost us about $700.
But you know what?
I’m determined. I’m in love…..with my dog and with my boyfriend.