Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When Good Beagles Go Bad

January 5th on the left, April 6th on the right.
What a difference 3 months make!

  Daisy and Baxter will be 5 months old Friday. For the past 3 weeks, I’ve been taking them out for morning walks around the block and Kathy and I have been taking them for a half mile walk in the afternoons. The last 2 Sundays, we took them on a mile and a half walk to the Jiffy for a beef stick treat. On Friday and Saturday, Matt and Kathy took them to walk around a pond on the south side of town. Walking on grass is good for Baxter. When he walks for a long time on cement, he drags the toenail on his foot with the one toe against the sidewalk and the nail gets all bloody.

  Aside from going potty away from the potty pad on occasion, Daisy and Baxter have been very well behaved. They haven’t chewed too much stuff, but it’s not for lack of trying. I’ll be sitting on the couch working on my computer and if I’m not paying attention, one of the beagles will dart up, grab my mouse, dart away, and commence to eating. I’ve only lost one mouse this way.

  When you have young dogs, you have to let them know when you are disappointed in them no matter how adoringly they look at you, but it’s not something I’m very good at. I’d much rather just enjoy my beagles than get mad at them. So when they wake me up in the morning whining, I’ll just go in their pen and lay down with them rather than try to scare them into being quiet and when they make a mess on the floor, I’ll scold them a little and just clean it up. Sometimes I think they’re training me as much as I’m training them.

It seems quiet...maybe a little too quiet....

  Yesterday, I got home from work at 6 and no one was home. The pups were in their pen in the kitchen and they had torn their potty pad to shreds. It looked like a diaper had exploded over their area. Kathy left me a note saying she had gone to Newton to watch Ben play tennis and the beagles were whining and wagging for attention since they had been alone for at least 2 hours. I opened the pen to let them wander around the house like they get to do when someone is home and started the tedious process of sweeping up the shredded potty pad and cleaned up the pee they made on the floor after tearing up their pad. Once I cleaned up, I gave them their bowls of dog food and checked my email on my computer. They finished their food and went to the other room while I got the salad Kathy had left for me out of the refrigerator, put some dressing on it, and started eating.

  I brought my salad out to the living room and saw that the pups had gone potty on the wood floor in the dining room. I put my salad on the table and cleaned up the new mess. When I put away the cleaning stuff, I started eating my salad and noticed that the pups had gotten a photograph off the end table and were fighting over it and tearing it to little pieces. I put my salad on top of the couch and started gathering all the little pieces of photograph. I left the room for a few seconds to throw out the photograph pieces and when I got back into the living room only a few seconds later, there were Daisy and Baxter snuffling and fighting over what was left of MY SALAD, which had been knocked onto the floor, devoured by the beagles, and was all gone except for some remnants of lettuce and some smears of salad dressing on the carpet that the pups had left for me to clean up.

A re-enactment of the attempted getaway.

  This looked like a planned caper to me. Chew up the photograph to distract Hank, and then make a run for his salad. I lost it. I picked Daisy up by the scruff of her neck, rubbed her nose in the salad dressing on the floor gave her a whack on the snout, and put her in her pen in the kitchen. She gave a howl when she got her whack, and I turned my attention to Baxter. He was hiding in the next room, looking at me with his big puppy eyes. I picked him and gave him the salad dressing nose rub and a whack on the snout also, and put him in the pen. At first they looked scared because I was so upset, but once they realized that was the end of their punishment, they started edging up to the wall of the pen where I was standing and started wagging their tails. I gave them some pets, but left them in their pen while I cleaned up the salad and relaxed by playing a couple of games of chess on the internet. When I looked back at them, they were asleep.

Doing the time for doing the crime.

  Kathy came home a half hour later and the puppies woke up and greeted her enthusiastically. We took them for a walk and all was forgotten. Forgotten by everyone but me, that is. I’m thinking about how I can get back at them for scamming me out of my salad, but so far I haven’t come up with a response that doesn’t include me getting an appetite for Purina products.

After having their sentenced reduced to time served, Daisy and Baxter took a walk to visit Mindy, the Cairn Terrier that lives down the block and plot their next caper.

  When we took the dogs on a walk this afternoon, Baxter got scared, wriggled out of his collar and ran all 3 blocks home, crossing 2 busy streets on the way. I was so scared he was going to get run over, but he was faster than me, bum leg and all. I was so happy to see him stop on our front steps that I’m going to forestall my revenge. For now...