Ugh. Daisy. That friggin' dog. When she's out in public, the best way to describe her is "always on alert". Bring her outdoors, and all of a sudden every bit of movement, every falling leaf, every passerby becomes her immediate prey. As a result, she's a HUGE pain in the ass to take on a walk.
Our normal walking route takes us past at least a half dozen houses with dogs. One bark from any one of them and Daisy's ears perk up and her body language screams, "I'm on that!!!!" God forbid one of those dogs happens to be outside. Suddenly it's like gravity has no meaning, and it's more like I'm flying a kite on a windy day than walking a dog down the street.
Speaking of windy days, those are the worst. Earlier this week we had some rain and wind, bringing the Fall season to our neighborhood rather quickly. Everything within sight or earshot become an object of Daisy's desire. "What's that??? A leaf?? I need that! Ooh, another leaf! Another! A whole bunch! Gimme Gimme Gimme! I need those! Squirrel!!! Aghh! Bunny! Get the squirrel, no wait...I need the bunny! Agh, what's that noise in the tree! Climb the tree! Climb the tree! Someone get me a ladder! I need a ladder! A rope! One of those mountain climbing rigs! Holy crap, a crow! I love crows! Is that a crow What's a crow, anyways?? I dunno, get it! Wait, did you hear that??? Was that another dog! I think it was a dog! It was miles away, but I know she's talking to me! Was that a dog??? Tell me it was a dog, I need to see it now! She wants to play! NOW!! Please Please Please Please Please Please! Ooh, hey, peanut butter treat! Sure, I'll calm down, thank..ANOTHER SQUIRREL! Get it! Hey, a worm! Never seen one of those, can I eat it? Can I? Can I? Hey, let's try it! Oooh squishy! Makes me want to leap in the air! Gotta poop! No wait, more leaves! Can't poop right now! Gotta hold it! Don't care if the poop's hanging out the back, I need that leaf! Get it! get it! GET IT!!!!!! AGGHHHH!!!
By the time we've gotten to the end of the driveway, I'm done.
(above dog portrayed by actor. Not actual dog.)
So that's the great outdoors. Let's talk for a moment about the inside of the house. Overall, she's a pretty well behaved dog when inside. Except when we leave. Man, this critter's got some issues. We keep a crate in our bedroom where she happily sleeps, but we also have been attempting to leave her in said crate when we leave the house. Yeah, that doesn't work too well. More often than not, we come home to a scene much like this:
What you are seeing here is the slab of carpet I laid UNDER the crate. Daisy spent her time gnawing away at it in frustration until there was nothing left but shreds of yarn. I'd make her suffer and not put ANYTHING in or under her crate, but I'm afraid she'd chew through the actual carpet in the room, only stopping when the crate fell through the kitchen ceiling below her.
Given how tired I was with having to vacuum the bedroom every time we came home, we tried a little experiment. I cleaned the basement out completely, and we set her up with a place to hang out there while we're gone. Her food bowl, some chew toys, even a radio with some Beethoven playing (heh. Beethoven. Unintentional dog movie reference. Damn I'm good. Of course I'll stop before I say something really corny, like "his Bach was worse than his bite, that sort of thing"). Additionally, we set up the camcorder in a quiet corner to tape the goings on when we left the house. Lo and behold, we've actually had some success. While we still come home to a freakishly lonely, shaky and nervous dog who, according to the tape, spends the first hour alone wandering aimlessly about the room howling like a coyote, she has yet to destroy anything major in there. Well, that's not quite true. Jessica made the mistake of leaving her dress shoes on the floor of the basement yesterday. Yeah,there's forty bucks down the drain. And the day before, a wooden letter "A" from a toy got left out, and we came home to what looked like what you find stuck in the gears of a wood chipper. But we've made progress, And as an extra bonus, if we keep this up the basement might actually stay clean for a long time. and that makes dad VERY happy.