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The devil inside

Celosa has decided to become a challenge. I think it's probably due to having a weird sort of environment right now, since her cousin Zapata is staying with us until my parents get back from vacation on Saturday. It also probably has to do with being almost 13 weeks old and wanting to test boundaries.

I adore Zapata, but his presence in the house changes the dynamic. First of all, Athena and Zapata haven't met. I would prefer it if they met and he left shortly afterwards, but that didn't work out for this trip. So, Athena is closed up in the front room with her food, water and litterbox. She also has a flat screen HDTV, the computer, and a plenty of sunshine. But I know it grates on her to have such little access to the house she's used to. I go in there occassionally to sit with her for an hour or so and listen to her litany of complaints (she has complaints all the time, so this is nothing new). I think Zapata knows something's going on, but he can't pinpoint it.

The closed off room means that play space is a little more limited for Crianza and Celosa. They only have the living / dining room to play in, and they can't run as fast. And incorporating a third dog into play is hard without more space. Zapata lives in an apartment, and he doesn't have distractions of dogs and people and cats and squirrels walking by all day. So he barks at every leaf that falls that he sees outside our house. I shut the blinds in the front of the house to help him adjust to the house, but it makes for a dark room...

The first day that Zapata came to stay, Tuesday, he was covered in cockleburrs, and I spent almost three hours pulling them out, trimming some of his fur, and bathing him. My attention wasn't all that much on the other two dogs, and while Crianza totally understood what was going on, Celosa wasn't too happy about not being able to get involved with pulling burrs off of Zapata's coat. She howled in displeasure when Zapata and I went into the bathroom alone for his bath.

And with Graham gone for another almost two weeks, Celosa spends a good hunk of her day in her kennel. I go home every day at lunch to let them all out for 45 minutes or so, but she has a LOT of energy when she gets out (and when I get home at night).

So yesterday she tested a few things. First, she wiggled through a hole under the house and managed to get out of the back yard. I didn't actually see her do it, but Zapata alerted me to the situation pretty quickly, and we were able to catch her before she made it about 12 feet down the driveway. I patched as many of the holes under the house as I could find, and I think I got the one that she used. But it still makes me nervous.

She's also pissed that she doesn't get to eat the other dogs' food. We experimented with feeding them side by side, but she pays little attention to her own food and waits for the others to leave their bowls and pounces. I've started feeding her in another room, but she can still hear them. I think that I'll probably next just feed her at a separate time.

Last night we got into several arguments about wanting to get off the bed. I don't know if it was because Zapata was on the bed with us or because of a new independent streak she's developed. She's just too little to jump off the bed the dark, but I suspect that by next week she'll be able to do it. I don't trust her with full access to the bedroom if I can't keep an eye on her, so I insist on having her either in bed with me or in her kennel. Theoretically, she shouldn't pee where she sleeps. But last night, she had an accident, which meant for an unscheduled laundry run. Though it may have been on purpose because she was pissed off at me.

And this morning, while I was taking a shower she started gnawing on the cord to my heating pad. We're all fortunate that I turned it off at some point in the middle of the night, but it jarred me a little. I'm looking forward to her being old enough to give rawhide to. Right now, her tummy isn't big enough to handle that much of it, and she can't really digest that much protein. I give her bully sticks to chew on occassionally, but rawhide would much, much easier.

I know she's just a puppy, and I know very well that puppies are masters at getting into trouble. I also know that we'll get through this, just like I got through it with both Relampago and Crianza. Crianza's upbringing also included regular visits from Zapata, and she certainly spent more time in her kennel than Celosa will in her initial few months of rearing.

Part of my frustration is that she's been an exemplary puppy until yesterday. I've had very little to complain about. She's about 70 percent housebroken. She doesn't chew on that many inappropriate things. She's very good about listening to her name and coming when she's called. But, this strenghten's my resolve to put her in puppy school next week. I was thinking about delaying until Graham got back, but the next class wouldn't start until late April, and if she starts next Thursday, Graham would only miss one class.

Fortunately, the little miss is thoroughly adorable and loving and sweet and knows exactly how to wiggle her way into my heart. So I can't hold much against her. And I promised the dogs that I'm spending as much time as I possibly can with them over the weekend. She can help me clear out part of my garden. She likes that.

And with that, I'm off to free the pooches for a spell.


( 1 comment — Say something )
Mar. 26th, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
Did I tell you the story of coming home one night and my front porch light being off, as well as the little lamp just inside the front door ...and the living room overhead wouldn't turn on?

Yes .... Otis found a heating pad that was under pillows on the sofa ... plugged in (but off) and chewed through the cord. Blew the fuse.

Damn dog is lucky it didn't blow his lights out instead.

Cuteness saved him as well from the wrath of Momma.

(I need an Otis icon...)
( 1 comment — Say something )