Dog Mischief

This photo is actually from a few weeks back when I left a pillow we were getting rid of sitting on the back porch.  It pretty much sums up the past week of good dogs doing bad (or maybe just doggy) things. 

Maybe it’s the rain that seems to never go away as we here in Seattle endure one of the wettest Junes on record.  Maybe it’s the arrival of Emmett and the consequence that the two human parents’ top priority is no longer the dog babies but the actual baby? Maybe it all started with that damn pillow?  Who knows?  It’s been mostly comical so here’s the recount:

Just the other day I was sitting at my desk working away while Kelly and a friend were taking Emmett for a walk and the dogs were exiled to the back yard.  Fortunately I had the window open and heard a whine in the yard.  I darted back there thinking one of Sonny or Max were hurt or in danger. 

As I run outside I see Max, perched at the back gate, and Sonny, nowhere in sight.  Forgetting that just 30 minutes prior I had yelled out to Sonny to quit digging at the fence, I start towards the open back door to the garage thinking Sonny’s probably stuck under a pile of tools, ladders, and baby apparel in the disaster I call my garage.  Before I get there, I realize there’s a reason Max is at the back gate.  Sure enough, there’s a dog sized excavation underneath the fence not far from Max and exactly where Sonny was having such a great time digging shortly beforehand.  Long story short, I and Max run out the back gate and Sonny is nowhere in sight.  Thankfully, after shouting a query to my neighbor about whether he’d seen a Brittany, to which he promptly replied with something like “just the one right in front of you,” and I thought “geez, thanks buddy,” I fortunately turned around to see Sonny high-tailing it down the sidewalk about 200 yards down the street heading for “Who Knows Where.”  Somewhat amazingly, Sonny heard me and thankfully came sprinting back. 

After praising him for coming back, we made it back into our backyard and I promptly gave him a little bit of a “what for” while reacquainting him with his escape route.  Then I dropped a concrete block in the hole, covered it up, and figured this was an aberration and I wouldn’t be needing to dig a 300 ft trench around my fence line to fill with razor wire or concrete.  Well, sure enough, today I caught him digging around my concrete block (which was actually fortunate in that I could correct him while he was actually doing the misdeed).  Maybe this time the connection that digging at the fence brings dad’s ire?  If he isn’t getting the message then I’m going to have a heck of a time figuring out how to electrify a cedar fence given that razor wire and a concrete fence are out of the question :-)

And like a deal on a late night infommercial that includes much more than just the main “can’t live without” product, there is more to this story as well.

This afternoon, after taking the dogs to the dog park for some frolicking, ball fetching, swimming, and walking, we return home for dinner, baths, and for some R&R.  Not too much later I look out and see Max’s nose covered in dirt and see that he’s decided it might be fun to make a new crawl space access for our house!  Do ya think our dogs might need a little more work than they’ve been getting?

And now the cherry on top.  Tonight we were preparing for our first night out to go see one of Kelly’s favorite bands, Mates of State.  Her cousin had just arrived to babysit and the ladies (and me) are going through the Emmett Care Cookbook.  Probably five minutes in, we’re enjoying conversing in the living room and I hear the dog door (in the back door to the house/kitchen) open.  Max is already with us so I know our lead hunter, Sonny, is soon to round the corner from the kitchen into the living room since the baby gate that separates the two rooms isn’t closed.  That part, Sonny coming excitedly in, dancing about in the exhilaration of another unsuccessful hunt, has been replayed about 365 times in the last year and a half since we’ve had him.  Of course this has not been a typical week dog-wise. 

Tonight, he rounds the corner, like so many times, and I exclaim “STAY” to theoretically stop him from tracking mud into the living room.  But unlike the other 365 times, tonight he keeps coming.  And in 1/10 of a second my “stay” command turns to “oh hear it comes, $?^#!, #&((!” as I see the unmistakable 5 inch pencil sized floppy tail hanging from the side of his mouth (wherein the mouse is actually hidden) that he’s bringing me with the utmost urgency and pride.  Once I had the expletives out of my system and the mouse outside I congratulated him in all earnest for a job well done (sincere thanks to Kelly’s cousin for reminding me that he was simply bringing me his treasure he had worked so hard to claim).  

The week is not over so I think the boys will either be in their crates for the next two days or we’ll be going to the sporting goods store to purchase a treadmill for the dogs!  The former definitely won’t fly; and we’d have to DIY ourselves a new annex to the house to fit a treadmill; so in all likelihood, come tomorrow afternoon, I’ll actually be scratching my head trying to figure out how to redirect our mischief makers as I discover the next new behavior they’ve decided is perfect to unfurl during this “special” week.

-Matt