Sunday, September 06, 2009

Morning in The Canine Kingdom

It's 6:15am on what was supposed to be a sleepy Labor Day Saturday morning. Instead, I've been up for an hour trying to get the smell of Lysol out of my lungs after having cleaned up this morning's disaster.

Lately, mornings have hit their stride in terms of routine. Typically I'd wake up around this time and grab a shower while Daisy relaxed patiently, locked away in her crate in the corner of our bedroom. After my shower, I would let her out, she'd grunt a few times, stretch, and then crawl into bed with my wife and stay there for another half hour or so til someone brings her outside.

Today was a little different though. At around 5:30 I woke up to the distinct sound of an excited dog waiting for a certain child of ours to "quietly" unlock the crate without waking her parents up. "Natalie, just open the crate and let her out already" I mumbled. But it turns out I was off base. Instead, it was my wife trying to get the crate open in the dark. She told me Daisy was making some odd noises. A second later, Daisy was released and leaped onto the bed, but rather than snuggle in she continued to act a little crazy. In an instant, I knew the problem.

Anyone who knows me is aware I've got a nose the size of Maryland. And with all that real estate comes a sense of smell not unlike that of a bloodhound. Alright, maybe a bloodhound with a sinus infection. In any case, despite the fact that my head was buried in the pillow, I noticed an oh-too-familiar scent wafting through the air.

"She pooped in her crate...get her off the bed!"

"What how do you...?"

"Trust me! Get her outside"

I immediately got up while my wife delivered the dog to the outdoors. With the lights on low, I began to search the crate and the blanket within it for the offending material. Unfortunately, I found it with my hands and my knee rather than with my eyes.


So here I am, done scrubbing the crate and carpet, wide awake and blogging. I can only blame myself for this instant, being too lazy late last night to spend more than 38 seconds on the final dog walk before bed. Daisy looked embarrassed, and I couldn't blame her.

But here we are, the American Family, two-point-four kids and a dog.

Life with Daisy has generally been enjoyable. She's an endless source of playtime for the kids, she's generally low maintenance as far as dogs go, and when we take her to the dog park we get comments about her speed and agility like "Holy crap that mutt can corner better than my BMW" and "I thank you for bringing your dog here and tiring mine out for the day." Yeah, she's pretty freaking fast. I'd like to get a radar gun on her.

Daisy's got her issues like any dog, but none of them are insurmountable. Her razor-sharp teeth have helped her chew through two leashes, a Gentle Leader harness, a couple of our kids' necklaces, and a leg of the kitchen table. But overall she's not destructive, unless she's left alone. When we're in the house, she's mellow and happy, but when we put her in the crate and leave she completely freaks out as if we were slowly lowering her crate, with her in it, into a molten volcano for a canine sacrifice. One time she managed to break out of the crate and, though I missed the cleanup, I understand it looked like we'd taken a direct hit from Katrina. When we take Daisy for walks, she goes on immediate alert status, attempting to bolt after anything that moves, be it a human, another dog, a leaf, or an airplane. We're working on these, even enlisting the aid of actual dog trainers.

Okay, an hour has passed, and Daisy's decided to wake up and start her day for real this time. Gotta go for a walk now.

Wait a minute...wasn't this supposed to be the KIDS' dog?

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