Monday, May 8, 2023

The Story of A Dog


Let's talk about Rascal...

It was a year in mid-March that I met Rascal (and Rudy)(and Waldo) in person and it'll be year in mid-May that Rascal (and Rudy)(and Waldo) arrived to live in our home.

When I arrived in Oregon, the dogs had the run of the house and, due to her deteriorating health status, Mom was barely caring for them. They were not being let out on a regular basis, and I'll let you infer the status of the carpet from that...

But in I step--making sure all the critters were fed on a regular schedule and forcing the dogs outside despite the cold and wet to do their business. They liked the regular feedings; the going outside--not so much. But we finally wrangled a detente into place where they did their business outside during the day, but potty pads were left in strategic places at night.

Fast forward to Texas...

The dogs were taken outside multiple times a day and kept out until they did their business. At night they were crated. And slowly, slowly, slowly they learned. They still made incorrect choices, but as long as we got them outside within fifteen or twenty minutes of eating, we were usually fine.

Eventually, we left them uncrated with Mom overnight along with a potty pad and they mostly did well.

But there came a time when they were more irritation to Mom than comfort and so the little doggos were crated at night once more...

Fast forward yet again to August and Mom's passing. I really had no intention of keeping either dog. As you know, Rayna wasn't keen on other dogs and I had to keep a vigilant eye on things and we lived in a "gated community." Not fun.

Rudy, thank goodness, quickly found a home. He was very high maintenance.

But there were no takers for Rascal (or Waldo) and here we are nine months later, having accepted the fact that Rascal (and Waldo) will remain ours until they cross over the Rainbow Bridge. Sadly, between major weather disasters, the economy, and the post-covid pet dilemma, there's a glut of pets in the world.

And now, after all that, I can finally get to my point. Which is that Rascal has become a much better version of himself than the one I first met.

Mom was a perfectly fine pet owner. She cared for them properly and took care of vaccinations as needed, but it seems she wasn't one of those "extra" kind of owners. Not as extra as I am. And I'm not as extra as others.

Rascal has flourished under the love and attention he gets. He's also a very good watch dog. He likes to let us know whenever there are people in front of our house: the neighbors, the Amazon delivery driver, the mail carrier... You get the idea.

And Mom would just yell at him to shut the "F" up, which rarely seemed to work. So we started thanking him. After all, he's just trying to his "job," right? And that seems to work for everyone but DH and DD. I guess since they come all the way up to the door and then they come inside...

He doesn't bark at me at all, of course. I'm his person now, the hand that feeds him. But we need to figure out some way to get him to cease and desist or not bark at all once he identifies the two of them.

DH suggested that he and DD offer him a special treat when they arrive home. So I dutifully found some biscuits that only the two of them get to offer him. These treats are nothing like the ones I use to reward him for entering his crate each night for bed. Nor has he received one from my hand.

I'm not sure how it's working at this point. It's been a week and he still barks until they're in the house and handing him the treat. The issue is, I think, he's on the lookout for me and not for them. So when either of them arrive home, it's just someone trying to get into the house. On the other hand, he has seen DD pull up and walk up to the house and to the door, barking his fool head off the whole time. So I really don't know. We might need to keep working on this one. :0)

And that's the story of my dog Rascal.

Also it's Teacher Appreciation Week--so appreciate a teacher!

Have a super week.


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