Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Just How Much Trouble Can A 5-Pound Dog Be?
In 2008, we celebrated New Years Eve with Lola, my son's 9 week old 5-pound Mini-Schnauzer. Lola was spending her new family's holidays with me and my husband and our two dogs and cat. My son knows my weaknesses. He said he and his family were going away over New Years, and since Lola was so young and new, he was very hesitant to entrust her to a kennel or anyone who might be less experienced with dogs than I am. (Yes, flattery will get you everywhere with me!)
Lola arrived bag, baggage and crate on December 26th. A cuter critter never lived. She was feisty, funny and oh so tiny. Lola and Harry (my 90 male dog) formed an instant bond. They were soon chasing each other, chewing on each other and engaging in the most rambunctious behavior I have ever seen. I felt a slight prickle of apprehension over their antics, which included Lola falling into the fish pond with Harry right behind her within 10 minutes of her arrival at our home.
Lola enchanted Harry. She looked like the most perfect girl dog who ever lived to him. Honey, the absolute most perfect girl dog who ever lived, (and my other canine), was less thrilled with her appearance and behavior. In fact, we had a couple of occasions when Honey had Lola by her pretty and furry throat and was showing us that all of this could be over very fast if we would just let her take care of this vermin in her own way.
Thank God for crates! Lola could be protected in her little playpen for dogs. It is also said that the crate is wonderful because puppies won't soil in them, making housebreaking a snap. Uh huh. That's what they say.
Lola spent equal time in the yard with Harry, in the house with us, (when Honey was out in the yard,) and in her crate. She yelped, screamed, and squealed at the top of her lungs if we walked out of the room when she was in her crate. This made it necessary for us to transport Lola and her crate from room to room, so that Child Protective Services would not be called by one of our well-meaning neighbors.
I would separate the pups when meal times came. It was the cowardly but most reasonable course to follow, since Lola had no idea about boundaries and felt the other dogs would not mind in the slightest if she came over to sample the different meals being served. After eating, Lola would scamper from one place to another as fast as lighting to deposit a treasure for us. These perfect little turds appeared in almost every room of the house, along with the little wet spots. In seven days, we used about 2 gallons of Pet Stain Remover.
At night, we put her in her crate in our bedroom. Harry and Honey found their own spaces and Lola would drift off listening the the snores of her two companions. By 3 AM, my husband would awaken me and ask "Do you smell that?" Never mind. You know what "that" was. I was inclined to let her sleep in her mess, but my husband insisted that she be cleaned up, even at 3 AM. Not really that hard to do, since a small sink is all that was needed to perform her ablutions.
We soon realized that as a young puppy, she needed trips outside every 2, 3 or 4 hours, day and night. While this did not completely solve the problem, it was a start. Setting the alarm for every three hours, we began to wonder if the year, and the visit, would ever end. Lack of sleep began to affect our judgment. I let Lola and Harry play alone out in the back yard and heard a splash. Lola was back in the fish pond. Oh, and Lola couldn't swim. She had to be fished out every time, tossed in the sink to make her look less like a "swamp thing" and dried. I have never washed so many towels in my life.
Lola chewed up a table's legs, a duvet cover, three pairs of shoes, two rugs, and a Victoria's Secret Miracle Bra in the first two days we had her. In following days, she ate most of a Gucci bag, two pairs of wool socks, and the stick shift in our car. Damn she was cute! We took her to a New Years Eve party at a neighbor's house and they found a couple of her treasures the next day under the dining room table and under one of the kids beds. She had a wonderful New Years and came home happy from all the attention. We tried to give her away to numerous people that night (yes, we were drinking) but had no takers.
A couple of days after New Years, we packed her belongings and she went home to her loving family. We kissed her goodbye and wrapped her up warmly in her new pink sweater for the trip home. Oddly, the house seemed so quiet without her.
Lola was here for Christmas Eve this year. After she went home, I found that she had left two perfectly formed little turds under the kitchen table for me. Oh, and the leash that Harry had loaned her had been chewed in half. Happy New Year, Lola! You come back now!