Naughty or Nice? Who makes that decision? I’ve heard the name “Santa Paws,” and that seems pretty legit. I do believe that when the who is naughty and who is nice decision is being made I should have some part in that since I live it daily. I found the easiest way to come to a conclusion on that is to make a list for each of the dogs. I mean I can’t just make these decisions with no thought. Every one of them have done some pretty naughty and some really nice stuff this year. But, if I just say, “Ok Santa Paws, they’ve all been great and definitely belong on the Nice List this year,” it’s a total lie. I can’t do that! What if Santa Paws tells Santa Claus that I lied? I’m pretty sure they work together. That’d be really bad! You know, I haven’t exactly been perfect this year but I’ve been pretty good, sort of. Fine, I’m borderline so if Santa Paws snitches on me for lying, I’ll be buying my own stuff this year! I’m so not doing that.
Blaze’s Naughty List
-Random marking: Blaze has never marked his territory. Never. He’s so kicked back that I don’t think he believes he even has territory. Actually I don’t think he cares about territory. However, our foster Shelby randomly pees on the floor. Why? She’s working on that last nerve of mine. So about two months ago, Blaze decided he needed to mark Shelby’s pee. I wasn’t happy about it but I understood because this was a new thing to him (another dog peeing on the floor). Then there was a second and third time. Really? So now I have randomly peeing Shelby and randomly marking Blaze. All of a sudden and out of nowhere! Who does this? Nine years of life and now he decides to be a boy? Not nice.
-Fart timing with a purpose: He often, purposely times his farts to escape when he’s walking away from or past me. How do I know this? Excellent question. He will sit by me for an hour or lay on the floor at my feet and nothing. No stinky butt air. Then he walks away and I hear “pooshh.” I’ve just been crop dusted. He does this when he’s standing by me too. He might hang by me for several minutes while I pet him and while he stares at me. Again, he walks a few steps away and “swoosh!” He got me again. Not nice.
-Humping: Yes self-explanatory but I’m explaining anyway. He only does this to Crispie thankfully. I mean not for her but at least he doesn’t hump everyone. He just does it at very inappropriate times. Hmm, come to think of it, is there ever an appropriate time for dog humping? I’m not sure but I know when there’s a 3, 5, and 7 year old around, it’s definitely inappropriate. When there’s company over, it’s inappropriate. When my 80 year old in-laws are over, it’s inappropriate. When our family is over, it’s inappropriate. I’m just going to say that pretty much any time, it’s inappropriate. Not nice.
-Poop eating: Self-explanatory and super gross. Not nice.
Blaze’s Nice List
Blaze is amazing. He’s content to lay down and just be. He listens well. He’s always wonderful to new people, animals and all of our foster dogs we bring home. He doesn’t bark or whine. He’s a happy boy all the time. He will sleep anywhere he finds room. He doesn’t eat things (not mentioning the poop). He doesn’t dig. He only gives kisses when welcomed. He lets you cut his nails easily. He is great about baths. He doesn’t get into the garbage or surf the counters. He’s truly a sweet and loving boy. So, when I weigh out Blaze’s naughty versus nice behaviors, it’s clear that I will definitely tell Santa Paws that Blaze belongs on the Nice List this year.
Zoey’s Naughty List
-Roughing up the tortoises: She’s very mean to my torts. She’s broken into their pen and chewed on their shell. I feel so bad for them because their shell is like our skin, they can feel it. And it’s not like we keep them in a box on the patio. They were always on the other side of some type of fencing but it just didn’t matter. She’s a brat and very focused on them. Now they actually have a run; similar to a dog run but just for the torts. She cannot get to them now but she still tries. Not nice.
-Barking at the tortoises: She does not stop! She barks and barks and barks and drives me crazy and makes me anxious and makes me yell and I sometimes wish she didn’t have a bark box. It’s relentless. She so badly wants to get them and for whatever reason she insists on telling them constantly. Not nice.
-Ran away: Zoey running away was by far the naughtiest thing she did not only this year but in her whole life. She dug out of her new yard because she was scared and I never thought we’d get her back. I cannot explain the amount of gray hair I got when she was gone. I never knew what I wanted to do more, cry or be mad at her. I was on the lost dog sites every day, all day, no exaggeration. I’d go to the computer when I got up and left when I went to bed. We put up hundreds of flyers, I was posting her picture every other day on several Facebook pages for lost and found dogs. We drove the neighborhoods. We walked the shelters several times per week. We called the shelters on the days we didn’t go there. I just had to be doing something every day, because I felt so helpless. It was terrible. She was gone for over three months. Finally, we got her back. She was skinny, scared, had worms, and was filthy. Someone had kept her the entire time but didn’t take care of her. It still makes me sad for her. She was anxious for some time afterwards. I can’t explain what an awful time it was when she was missing. I’ve told her she is not allowed to do that ever again and I’ve grounded her for life. Not nice.
Zoey’s Nice List
She is a loving girl. She doesn’t sit on me. She is so good about bathing and grooming. She will sleep anywhere. She doesn’t counter surf. She doesn’t destroy the yard with digging. She’s a great watch dog. She doesn’t pout about anything. She will move without being asked. She plays well with all the other dogs (well except Shelby). She rarely slimes me. She’s grateful for pets and scratches. She is great at entertaining herself as long as she has tennis balls. She begs less than most. She doesn’t jump on you. She loves me even when I’m grumpy. She doesn’t destroy toys. She is a happy girl. You know, when I read her naughty and nice list, the running away event has a pretty high weight for the naughty side. However, she’s a good girl. That is if I put aside the running away and the eating of the tortoises as well as the jumping on Shelby. So basically if I stretch the truth just a smidge then I can tell Santa Paws that Zoey should be on the Nice List this year.
Crispie’s Naughty List
-Stubborn, stubborn, stubborn: Did I mention that she’s stubborn? When she’s laying in my seat and I ask her to move she pretends she doesn’t hear me. When I tell her to move she may look at me but she does nothing except stare. That’s just bad manners. She looks away when I talk to her and no, it’s not my breath. When she’s on our bed she takes Marc’s pillow; which of course is fine with me. Then she tries to take mine; while I’m using it! As I tell her to move over she looks the other way. Unbelievably rude. Not nice.
-Counter surfing: This little girl can get to the back of our counter tops. How? No clue, but she does. Keep in mind she’s short for a lab. In fact, she’s the shortest of the group but apparently she’s also the most intelligent. She’s been the beneficiary of pork chops, chicken breasts (boneless skinless=not cheap), spaghetti, bratwurst, apple pie, turkey, cheese burgers (ground sirloin=not cheap), orange chicken, tortillas, my purses, paperwork, and numerous computer mice. So not nice.
-Dog poop: She not only eats poop, she also brings it inside. She will carry it in and put in on the dog bed or the sofa like she’s leaving us a prize. Lovely right? It’s so not pleasant to attempt to sit on the sofa and notice a nice sized turd sitting there. Now that’s if you’re lucky enough to see it; keep in mind our sofa color is Espresso. Yea, poop color. Not nice.
ADDENDUM: I finished Crispie’s Naughty list last night. Then, she stole a piece of chicken off the stove while I was sitting ten feet away! That will definitely influence my final decision. So NOT NICE.
Crispie’s Nice List
Crispie is so cute. She wants to be loved as long as it’s on her terms and that’s ok. She will ignore you and then be your best buddy. She is pushy when she wants to be near you. She doesn’t give kisses but will accept them graciously. She’s smarter than any dog I’ve ever had. She’s independent which isn’t a bad thing. She’s tough and always in charge and she never lets the others forget it. She fears nothing. She plays with Ryder even if she doesn’t want to. She only barks when there’s a need. She lets the little dogs bug the crap out of her. Hmm, she has stolen quite a bit of counter food and she brings poop inside, her hearing is not so good or at least that’s what she wants me to believe, and she’s super stubborn. But, she can be such a sweet girl when she wants to be so I’m thinking I’ll be telling Santa Paws to put Crispie on the Nice List.
Jax’s Naughty List
-Eats walls: Yes, he eats the walls. He will be laying down and apparently he decides that eating the wall is the thing to do. He starts licking it and then just starts biting it. I’ve tried bitter apple spray and some other nasty tasting spray for dogs but apparently no one has told him that he’s not supposed to like it. It doesn’t bother him at all, doesn’t slow him down a bit, I’m thinking he really does enjoy it. Not nice.
-Digs trenches: Jax is a digger. For an average sized dog, with average sized paws that’s not really a big deal. With Jax, it’s like have a backhoe in your yard. His paws are ginormous which means digging is done at turbo speed. What those giant diggers also mean is that the dirt disappears. There’s no pile from where he’s dug. There’s no extra dirt on the ground from what he just pulled out. It’s gone. Disappeared. Abracadabra-ed. How is this possible? Because his giant mitts make it fly across the yard. I’m not positive but I think it may actually land in the neighbor’s yard. This really frustrates Marc when he’s trying to fill the holes in with no dirt. Not nice.
-Boxes: Jax boxes and hard. If he’s on the floor and you walk by him he swats his humungous paw (or two) at you. If you’re lucky he’ll only box you and not trip you, but either way it hurts. When he’s on the sofa with us, he’ll randomly sit up and bam! A right hook to the back of the head or the side of the face. He never does it when you’re looking at him or petting him. He doesn’t do it like some dogs do to “shake.” No; he does it to box you and you know what, he never looks sorry either. Not nice.
Jax’s Nice List
Jax is a big mooshy boy. He loves everyone. He gives hugs. He’ll come rest his head on your shoulder. He’s happy to lay up against you. He never turns away when you want to hug him or love him. He’s such a good big brother to Ryder. He’ll let him yank and tug on him and he doesn’t get mad. Ryder grabs onto Jax’s jowls and just pulls and Jax just pushes Ryder around a bit. Which is more than deserved. He’ll play for as long as Ryder wants to. I’ve no doubt there are times he’d really like to just sit on him but he doesn’t. Jax is also a fantastic watchdog. His ears are incredible. He isn’t lazy so he’s always in full on “what was that” mode. He’s so good that he barks at things that aren’t even there! He’s also really good at chasing thunder away. With his bark, size, and bite, he’s the gold medal of watchdogs. He never steals things and this is an important fact because Jax can literally lay his face on the kitchen table and counters. He doesn’t take things though. That’s pretty dang rare in this house. (Just ask Crispie!) You know, as I look at Jax’s lists, he’s definitely got a much greater Nice List than he does a Naughty List. I can easily tell Santa Paws to put him on the Nice List this year.
Ryder’s Naughty List
-Licks and bites windows: Yes you read that correctly. When we have the family over, the dogs are locked in the yard and also have access to the office so they aren’t stuck outside. The doors to the office are glass. Ryder licks them to let us know he wants to come be by everyone. Not a big deal; that’s what Windex is for. However, when the licking of the glass doesn’t work he resorts to biting the glass. First I have to say that it’s damn funny to watch him try to bit the glass. His snout is huge so it’s not easy for him to do it but he figures it out. I don’t worry that he’s going to break the glass, so what’s the problem right? Let me just tell you that when a dogs K-9 teeth scrape across glass it is an ear piercing, skin crawling, butt puckering sound. Think fingernails on a chalk board times infinity! Or silverware being scraped on china. Yea, it’s horrible. It’s a great way to make humans age three to seventy (those that can still hear anyway) jump and cringe all at once. It’s a synchronized “give me the chills” event. Not nice.
-Eats everything: So maybe that’s an exaggeration but not by much. He eats socks, towels, shoes, his toys, the kids’ toys, sprinklers, the tree, dog beds, blankets, sheets, cups, tennis balls, the hose, bras, undies, and pretty much anything else that I forgot. Not nice.
-Eats poop: I know, I know, many dogs do this. I have my own proof of that with our gang. However, Ryder adds a little something special to this behavior. He goes outside, eats poop, and then comes in to love you. Still not bad right? He’s just being sweet. Uh yah, that is until he burps in your face. I seriously cannot explain the horrendously, vile, stench that regurgitated poop and stomach acids make. It is truly the worst thing I’ve ever been forced to smell. It gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, gag worthy. It doesn’t just float away either. It lingers; just kind of hangs there as it engulfs you. There are times I’ve checked my face to make sure he didn’t get any on me. Not nice.
Ryder’s Nice List
Ryder is so kicked-back and whatever-ish. He will play alone when everyone else is being lazy. He’ll run around the yard tossing a toy that he then chases. He walks up on the sofa next to me and just sits there by me. When I look at him he licks my entire face in one swipe. When I talk to him he actually listens. He will always be my buddy no matter what he was doing previously. He just wants to be loved and to love everyone else. He’s ready to play anytime the others are willing. He is so good about moving when we tell him to. He doesn’t pout like umm, some of the others (Jax, Crispie). He’s just a lovey and sweet mannered boy. Well damn! I suppose I have to get him on the Nice List too. Even with that poop burp thing, I’ll make sure he’s on there.
There are five dogs in our house and their personalities truly couldn’t be more different. The girls are a bit high maintenance; the boys are pretty relaxed. Yet, each one has their own weirdness but I love that about them. Sure, there are things they do that I could do without. Who wants a poop burp in their face? Or your tortoises’ life in danger? Or your underwear in the yard? I’m thinking all of those get answered “no” unanimously. Even so, the negative things are definitely outweighed by the positive. Bottom line is, they can be bad and they can be good. No different than me I suppose. The big question was, Naughty or Nice? I’m going with Nice X 5.