DISCLAIMER: I absolutely love my dogs. I do. Seriously. I love them. Yup.
I just don’t get it. They have a bazillion toys, a pool, can play outside, are well fed, get tons of attention, I mean they basically run the house. Please don’t tell them I admitted that. Yet they eat everything. Fine; not everything but it’s a lot.
Diamond and Ruby…they are testers let me tell you! Ok let’s start with the black chair, my beautiful recliner, the bookshelf, the weather stripping from the doorway, Marc’s industrial sized extension cord, a workshop extension cord, an in the house extension cord, THREE new, large, uncheap (remember, if you can pronounce it then it’s a word) dog beds, and two sets of window blinds that our foster girls, Diamond and Ruby, have destroyed. They’ve also killed two lamps and I honestly don’t know how many blankets. Then there’s the four holes in the walls of their room. Two of the holes being large enough that you can put your hand in them and touch the drywall of the OUTER WALLS because they not only ate the wall, they pulled all the insulation out as well. And let’s not forget the two holes in our brand new sofa. Right? Two weeks we’d had it. I still swear it was some type of “Pitbull in your house” initiation that no one told me about. Oh, gotta add the one and only tree in the yard that they work diligently to destroy. The tree has become a test of wills. You see, in the beginning, Marc planted two trees but, Crispie pulled the other one out of the ground and killed it; quickly. Back to the remaining tree, Jax used to eat the bark, then Ryder did it and of course Crispie participated as well. Marc ended up putting a short, light-weight fence around the tree so none of them would go after it. It worked fantastically for our dogs. For Diamond and Ruby? Not so much. When they get caught inside the fence, a scene from the movie Beethoven quickly ensues. In his movie, he digs out of the dog run and when he’s caught, he digs back in. My two get in with the tree by sneaking under the fence and then when caught that’s how they get back out like they think maybe I didn’t see them as I’m standing on the patio. Then they just stand and look at me like, “What?”
Then there’s Crispie (my grand-dog). I feel like she’s having a “3/4ths of the way through life” crisis. She’s too old for it to be mid-life. Anyway, when she was younger she was so freakin’ bad. She counter surfed better than our two Saint Bernard’s put together! We used to joke that she had those Inspector Gadget legs that extended when needed. She’s not a tall dog but she could get things from the very back of the counter. Over the years, she’s likely had twice as much chicken and beef than we have; of course hers is usually raw and sometimes frozen solid but she consumes it. She’s stolen my purse a time or four. It now sits on the top of the refrigerator. We actually have baby locks on our kitchen cabinets; not from when the kids were little, not because I have young nieces and nephews. Nope. It’s because, well, Crispie. We had some locks (wait for that story) but had to add more because of her. But, but, but, about a year ago she calmed down a lot. It was so amazing. We’d finally turned a corner with getting her out of her obnoxious stage. We didn’t have to worry about things on the counter or anything like we used to. Oh we were still cautious but we’re getting more relaxed about it. We figured it was because she turned eight so she was over her shenanigans. It was so wonderful! Well, the joke’s on us! She’s back at it and in full-on puppy-like mode; I mean what the hell? This isn’t fair is it? There must be a rule somewhere that says dogs can’t do this. I mean she’s 8! Even with the baby locks, if we don’t make sure the food is away from where the cabinet doors meet in the center then she can and will steal things. If she can’t steal them then she smooshes them! I’m serious! She has gotten chips, cookies, so many loaves of bread and burger buns all through a 2 inch crack between the cabinet doors. It is absolute insanity and frustration and I think the worst thing about her stealing all these things is, she doesn’t care. She doesn’t feel bad, she doesn’t have remorse, no guilt, nothing! Yes, of course I can tell.
Rylee and Hayden; so bad together. Prior to having the above mentioned cabinet locks, we had a major snafu which if I remember correctly is actually what caused Marc to put the first locks on. Anyway, we had five dogs at the time. The Cocker Spaniel and the Golden Retriever tag teamed one of the cabinets. I know this because they were always partners in crime. They didn’t get food or Tupperware or anything like that. Although I wish they had but no, they got two cookbooks. Not a big deal right? Wrong. My cookbook was given to me in 1987; this truly wasn’t a big deal. The other one was Marc’s great-grandma’s cookbook. This wasn’t a “buy it off the shelf” type book. No, his had handwritten recipes in it from generations before. Little notes his grandma had written next to some of the book’s recipes; things like that. The book was published in the 1800’s. Yea! And we come home and it’s in hundreds of pieces and all over the kitchen, dining room, and living room. When I say shredded, it’s not an exaggeration. I imagine it tore pretty easily since it was over a HUNDRED years old! All the dogs had that, “Wasn’t me,” look going on. It was then that we decided two things: 1) We needed cabinet locks and 2) Never tell Marc’s mom about the cookbook. We did both.
My Ryder boy, not so sweet. Ryder recently claimed my son’s very expensive Ray-ban sunglasses right off the counter. I’m not positive that it was my Ryder. Yes, it was his mouth that they were found in but that doesn’t mean he stole them. I think Crispie stole them, took them outside, chewed on them, got tired of chewing on them, and left them there. Ryder was probably quite innocently walking by and said, “Hey, a toy.” Then he started chewing on them. It’s not his fault but he got blamed for it. Seems so wrong. It probably wasn’t him (and Jax) who ate my son’s $145 archery target either. Even though Jax had a blockage of the T-shirt type material that’s in the target and Ryder brought some of the material in the house, it wasn’t my boys. I’m thinking it was Blaze; he’s always stirring up trouble.
Beavis the Golden Retriever. No we didn’t name him, he was a rescue boy and the rescue named him. Ok fine, we kept the name because it fit him. Anyway, Marc and I were painting the inside of the house. We took a break to eat lunch. When we finished we got back to it. However, when we walked back into the living room, Beavis was laying against the wall, which happened to be the last thing we painted, and when he got up, his fur was stuck to the wall. I almost wet my pants from laughing so hard. To me, it looked so gross. I mean it was only fur on the wall but well you decide. Now besides his fur being stuck on the wall there was also pretty thick paint on his fur. It seemed to take forever for that paint to come off him.
This group of dogs that we have now, foster and personal, are the most destructive ever. I have no idea how many dog beds they’ve killed. Most recently we got Shelby a nice throw pillow from Costco. It was perfect for her. She didn’t even have it 24 hours before it was attacked and the stuffing thrown from the living room to the kitchen! Oh, and Ryder steals my underwear! Jax used to do it but apparently since Jax died Ryder has taken over the task. The biggest problem is not necessarily taking the underwear. The bigger issue is that we have two story homes next to us, they can see in our yard and what do they see? My underwear randomly scattered around the yard! Sometimes he’ll put holes in them like I imagine peek a’ boo undies to be or he’ll chew the butt cheek area out. I don’t usually see the destruction because it’s Marc who gets them and puts them in the dirty clothes. It then becomes a surprise as to when I’ll grab a ruined pair from my drawer. It’s sort of a game. I grab a pair and sometimes it’s a whole pair, other times I put my foot and leg through nothing but air. I actually hear “swoosh.” At times I’m pretty confused because no material is touching me. I’m not drunk. I’m not high; but I just missed the two legs and rear of my undies. How is that possible? Well, it’s possible because usually there’s only a partial back left or just the front and a waste band. Most often, it’s not funny. So sorry for the many visuals that likely occurred in that paragraph.
My Saint Bernard boy Benson. Yes he was a destructive boy! The greatest destruction from him wasn’t my phone that he ate, not the table he chewed on, not the shoes or socks he destroyed. His biggest destruction was putting his ginormous butt and hip through the wall. Yes, you read that correctly! It happened right where we have one of the wooden gates I’ve spoken of. My son was shutting the gate and Benson decided to try squeezing through just before the gate closed. What Benson wasn’t aware of was his own size and the fact that he weighed 205 pounds. Needless to say, he couldn’t “squeeze” through anything smaller than about a door sized hole. He definitely had no chance of getting through the six inch gap he rushed for. Thankfully Marc can fix anything.
Socks. OMGosh the number of socks Benson ate. Now I know you’re thinking, “Well dumb ass why didn’t you keep them out of his reach?” I get it. I’d say that too, but here’s the thing, I did! We moved our laundry to our closet and kept the door closed at all times. He’d still get socks. I swear that dog could open drawers because I would make sure there weren’t any socks anywhere and then Marc would find a poop sock! (That’s a sock found in a poop pile). Sock poops became a regular conversation topic between Marc and me! I was so afraid he’d get a sock stuck (Benson, not Marc) but I didn’t know what the heck to do. Finally, he either got tired of hunting or lost interest; but he stopped!
Jax and walls, moldings, and baseboards. I’ve no idea how many repairs have been done over the years that we’ve been in our house. Jax was very guilty of causing the problems but thought he was really sly about it. What gave him away? Well, as most dogs, Jax had certain areas that he called him own. You guessed it, that’s where the moldings, and baseboards were eaten. He didn’t always eat the walls; most of the time he’d lick holes in the walls. Now that’s a lot of licking!
There are times I’ve had to laugh at the stuff they’ve done. I think the funniest thing is when we come home and something that they’ve tried to take outside, got stuck in the dog door! It could be a throw pillow, clothes, books, or most recently was the placemat that Crispie stole from the kitchen table.
My favorite bad dog story. That sentence doesn’t even make sense but I’m sticking with it! Here’s a story from several years ago but one that will forever be fresh in my mind. When the kids were younger they went to the same small school. Each year they had a Thanksgiving Feast and parents and family were invited. Each year we offered to bring a turkey. At that time I had a Cocker Spaniel named Ted and he was my buddy. We played together, he was always with me, and followed me all over. Except for the day of the Feast! Nope, that day Ted hung out in the kitchen because we were cooking food to bring to the school. Besides the standard turkey, we had side dishes to bring also. Once everything was cooked, I went to get dressed and yes I’m sure you know where this is going. While getting dressed I heard the unmistakable sound of a pan hitting the kitchen floor. I rushed to the kitchen to see that it was the turkey pan and yes, the turkey. What an absolutely horrible mess it was. Turkey grease seemed to be everywhere; the ceiling, windows, cabinets, dishwasher, the dogs, it was just awful. Ted however, was standing quite proudly in the kitchen near his latest kill and the rest of the dogs got in on the excitement of having turkey on Thanksgiving Feast day. Funny then? Not too much. Funny now? Definitely.
Right now just seems to be a crazy time for these dogs. Maybe it’s the awful Arizona heat. It sure makes me crazy(er). I really don’t know but what I do know is that recently, Ryder has eaten his 5th hose. Zoey and Ryder dug trenches in the grass that are so big I could hide in them. Foods been stolen. Dog poops have been brought INTO the house. Rugs have been taken outside. Shoes have been destroyed. Laundry was stolen off the dryer. Toys have exploded. Crispie has gotten into the garbage for the 178,983 time. And the moody girls aren’t playing nicely! It’s just insanity at times.
With all of that said, when we leave the house, I’m so cautious about what is and isn’t left out that I feel like I’m covering up a crime scene. No I’ve never done that but I’ve seen it done on TV! I make sure doors are shut, food is away, nothing is on the counters, cabinets and gates are closed, papers are out of sight, remotes are hidden, dog toys are all over so that when boredom strikes they only need to look down, and nothing-absolutely nothing else is on the floor.