Tag Archives: puppy

You are there, but where is there, and can you call?

When she ate my socks, I just thought she was expressing the thought that my feet were so beautiful, they didn’t need cover. When she ate the letter I had ready to send to a book agent, I thought maybe she was expressing a literary critique on my work. When she ate the Christmas presents, I assured myself it was simply her silent protest to the commercialism of the holiday.

But when the dog ate my address book,  the fun was over. She ate it in pieces; I had plenty of warning. She started on the leather cover and chewed out a couple of addresses for people I didn’t contact anymore anyway. But I was careless once more and left the battered book where my intrepid billy goat dog could, by stretching herself up onto the desk, retrieve it, and my communication notes became her endive salad!

It was so angering—all my addresses, telephone numbers, important dates—gone in a flurry of ripping teeth. I banished the dog to the basement, but that did not recover my address book. And for a woman with the memory of a kitchen sieve, this became a real crisis.

I knew from the start that it was serious. Not only is my memory notoriously unreliable, but I have a real mental block when it comes to numbers. It’s true; you can ask my high school math teacher—oh wait, his telephone number was in my address book. Well, take my word for it. Although I might remember that my daughter lives on Green Street, even though I’ve been there, I have trouble conjuring up the  house number.  I don’t remember zip codes, and as for street, avenue, drive, boulevard, etc. and S, E, NW, SE, forget it!

Telephone numbers are even worse. I didn’t realize just how much I relied on the address book to call people. Since the dog’s impromptu banquet,  I have  had occasion to need to call my sister, and I had several short and apologetic conversations with the people I called before I finally hit on her telephone number. My children’s numbers are all in my husband’s cell phone, but I’ll have to wait until he has more time to assist, so I can retrieve them. By then, I’ll have acquired them some other way—perhaps I’ll write and ask them…no, that’s not going to work is it?

The author of all this misery, is of course, living at my house so I don’t have to call her or remember her address. She’s clever enough to know when I’m thinking about that lost address book, because as soon as I start squinting at the ceiling with the phone in my hand, muttering, “That’s 857…or is it 587..or, oh, I don’t know,” she puts her tail between her legs and slinks down to the basement.

Eventually, I’ll get my address book back together and this time the pages will be stainless steel with a lead lock. In the meantime, I’m going to do a lot of driving around, trying to use the GPS I call a memory to find the people whose addresses are presently in the digestive system of a dog who seriously did not get any nutritive value out of my records!

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Bringing up Josie

She was a cute and pudgy little puppy, rolling around in the grass with her brothers and sisters. When we picked her, we were sure we were getting a mild and easy to manage dog.

We brought her home, named her Josie and prepared to enjoy our puppy. And she was sweet and mild and calm….for about four days. That’s when it finally hit home that she wasn’t so calm and mild.

She desperately  wanted to sleep on the furniture, so we bought her a bed. She promptly ate the bed and continued to climb on to the furniture. She ate a pair of my glasses…well, she didn’t really eat them, she just chewed on them until I couldn’t wear them. Explaining that mangled mess to the eye doctor was fun!

She loves paper most of all..anything from toilet paper to books. So far she has eaten the address book, my Nancy Drew collection, a Christmas present for my daughter, the password book, two books of check-blanks and so many napkins, paper towels and random papers I have lost track.12247164_983928861645544_8685450468341935516_n

The house looks like the aftermath of a hurricane all the time and the only glass items that have been broken are the family heirlooms I didn’t have the foresight to put away. I have stripped the house of all the things I think she might go after, but it is true that I have less plastic canvas, balls of yarn and shoe strings.

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Hurricane Josie!

Magazines are a favorite for Josie to take apart, she especially devours the Popular Mechanics and Sports Illustrated papers. She positively devoured a travel book on New York and has consumed a great many of my crossword puzzle books, that I always thought I’d never finish!

My beautiful old Christmas cactus, to large and fussy to be moved from its southern exposure, has taken a particular beating from her. No matter how often I shouted at her, she could never resist the urge to bite at the leaves and it was looking pretty sad. Now, I have chair all around it and while it looks like it’s in jail, it at least is making a recovery.

We were selective in what we put out for Christmas decorations, knowing she would be a factor. I put up the old Christmas tree instead of buying a new one as I had intended. I used all cheap, glittery plastic bulbs, so she couldn’t ruin my good stuff. The tree is unplugged half the time because apparently Josie doesn’t think lights are necessary and the bottom third has been relieved of its bulbs while Josie walks around with a permanent glitter mouth.

I truly believe that Josie will grow up and get better. This is what has kept her alive through bouts of jumping on the cupboards to help herself and growling matches with the cat. I look forward to the days when I don’t have to see her wandering into the living room with a butter paper hanging out of her mouth and my good lint roller stuck to her foot.

Until then, I’m just trying to survive “Hurricane Josie” and hoping that all the glossy magazines she is consuming don’t cause us an even more unpleasant reaction!

 

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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A Simple Walk in the Park…Dark.

It was going to be so simple. I was going to be the good wife and get the dog’s walk out of the way. Roy has been working some late nights, so I have been coming home early enough to get the dog’s walk in before it is too dark. Simple, right? Well, you’d think so.

Tonight, I was finally too late for a pleasant stroll in the daylight. But I knew that to leave that wild, rambunctious dog with no exercise would just lead to grief…and random chewed up items around the house. So, I got out the walking in the dark supplies and let the dog out of her room.

Before we left for the walk in the dark, I needed to take care of myself – bathroom, snack, etc., so I let the dog outside to take care of her peeing issues while I got ready. I also had to change the batteries on the flashlight, since, when I turned it on, I couldn’t even see to the end of the hall because the beam was so weak.

Having taken care of that, I picked up the lighted-up collar that flashes in the dark and went to put it on Josie. She misunderstood when I opened the door and rushed into the room. She saw the flashing collar and knew a walk was in store. That’s when I found out she had not gone downstairs to pee. Instead, in her excitement, she peed all over my floor.

After a quick mop job, I tried to put the collar on the dog. She wanted to go for the walk, but she didn’t realize that she had to stand still for me to get the collar on. The struggle to get her collar on went from inside the house to outside. I tried to get the collar on and clipped, but it kept slipping through my fingers as she tossed her head and wiggled about. In the end, I laid on her on the porch step and cursing and swearing, finally managed to get the thing clipped on and the lights on.

She tore off down the steps and I followed more slowly, flashing my flashlight around, praying I didn’t run into a skunk or something. The dog joyfully flew about, looking like a fast moving Christmas tree and the lights were the only thing that kept her in my view.DSCN2296.JPG

I walked quickly in the dark, flashing my light from side to side, trying not to think what might be out there, just beyond my beam. The dog had no such qualms, her light trail could be seen moving from side to side, stopping just long enough for me to get close.

Then it happened: She disappeared. No matter where I looked, I could not see her. All I could do was keep walking along and looking. All at once, there was a set of beady little eyes, there in the dark, not moving, engaged in a stare down with me. I knew it was a skunk; my worst fears realized!

I began to slowly back up, when suddenly, the “skunk” relaxed its shoulders and the lights around the neck reappeared. It was the dog, who had covered her own collar as she took care of her bathroom business.

Normally, we walk a little farther, but tonight, that was enough for me. I took my pseudo-skunk decorated with Christmas lights and went back home. That’s all the walking in the dark I plan to do for a while…but the dog may have different ideas. We’ll see who wins!

 

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Bringing Up Josie

Raising children was a complex and interesting process. As a parent, I can honestly say that I will probably never think I am done raising my children. But since I have taken on the task of raising a puppy, parenthood may seem like a picnic.

Josie on a rare occasion - chewing something she's supposed to!

Josie on a rare occasion – chewing something she’s supposed to!

The first thing I have discovered is that there is nothing so energetic as a small puppy like our Josie. This dog can take a walk around the yard at a dead run, pull everything she can find out of the garbage cans and chew it up and still have the energy to run a mile and a half on a half mile walk. She wants to play constantly and for a couple beyond their play years, this can become problematical for us.

Of course, everything she gets, she chews. So far she has eaten my address book, two books I was attempting to read, my glasses (it’s alright, though, because I have nothing to read) and every plastic canvas creation I have attempted in the last month.

We have the bathroom situation figured out. She goes outside…unless she goes inside. So far, my screaming at her when she starts to pee on the rug only means she pees faster to get me to stop screaming. She hasn’t figured out  yet why something we praise her for doing out in the grass is something she gets in trouble for if she does it a few feet away on the living room floor.

As a typical puppy, it is second nature for her to bite everything she plays with. She can start out licking your hand or foot but biting will soon follow. I read somewhere that the best way to train a dog not to bite is to roll up some paper and slap her sharply on the nose every time she bites. Josie bit my foot and I slapped her sharply and said, “No.” She sat back and considered it a moment, and then tried again. Again, I said, “No.” and slapped her with the paper. She settled down at once, lying down and looking very cute and innocent.11896253_10100576420082496_4848608320393750555_n

Satisfied with my attempt at doggie discipline, I went to get her a treat from the kitchen. I returned with the treat, only to find that she was chewing the rolled up paper to shreds. I didn’t give her the treat, but I did have to give her some points for problem solving.  The problem she hasn’t solved is how to get rid of all the paper in the house so I can’t roll up anymore!

My rugs may be taking the hardest part of bringing up the puppy. They are being constantly washed after Josie uses them for her bathroom breaks and when she’s not doing that, she is chewing them up. She especially likes the one I have under my small desk in the living room. I wasn’t too worried about the rug because she couldn’t get it out from under the desk. I found out I was wrong the day I heard the crash from the living room and Josie came running with the rug in her mouth and the wreckage from my desk tipping over strewn out behind her.

I had thought she was getting better, but today, while working in the basement, I could hear her, running madly around on the main floor. She must have heard me on the stairs, coming to check on her, because she met me at the door of the basement and flopped down on her belly to give herself a more innocent appearance. The innocent air didn’t help, however, since she had a string stuck in her teeth and hanging  from her mouth and streaming out to the rug that she was slowly unraveling.

Josie on the move!

Josie on the move!

Yes, bringing up Josie is a challenge, but I take heart from the fact that our children eventually grew up under our guidance, surely Josie will too. Right? Right? Josie, spit my shoe out of your mouth and tell me I’m right!

© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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