I love my dog. I love my dog so much more than I ever thought I’d love a dog, in fact. I never disliked dogs, but I could totally do without them. And there have been days lately when I thought for sure I could do without Scooter.
Richard started his job on September 4. Scooter is crate trained, but we don’t like to keep her in there all day since that’s where she sleeps at night, so I put Scooter in the backyard that day when I left for work. Out deadbolt on the back door wasn’t working, so I just locked the bottom lock and left. When Richard returned in the evening (I had a class that day), the door was open, and Scooter was in the house. Nothing was destroyed or peed on; she was just hanging out inside.
“I need to fight harder with the deadbolt tomorrow,” I convinced myself. Eleven years in residence life has given me above-average skills for locking and unlocking tricky doors.
The next day, I tried the deadbolt again with multiple keys (mine is a copy) and still failed, so I put Scooter in an empty bedroom with her bed, a water bowl, and Jamison the giraffe. I raised the blinds a little so she could bark at dogs walking by or delivery trucks rolling down our street. When Richard and I are home, she spends most of the day in our office space sleeping on a chair and looking out the front window, so this seemed like a good idea. But Richard came home to this:
Woah. So not cool, Scooter. Fortunately, we were already contemplating the purchase of new blinds in the next few months, but this was sooner than anticipated. (We have since replaced the deadbolt.)
After the blinds day, I decided to crate her in the morning and put her in the yard for the afternoon. That seemed to work, but driving home to do that and hang out with her (she is needy!) was taking a big chunk out of my day that could be used for running or even just eating lunch at work so I could go home sooner.
Once the deadbolt was fixed and she could no longer push the door open with her paws, Scooter started knocking over plants and making a mess on the patio, so by Thursday, I was done with her nonsense and decided to drop her at Camp Bow Wow on my way to work Friday. Going from home to CBW to LSU takes almost an hour, so even that is time consuming. Fortunately, Richard picked her up, so I didn’t lose an hour twice.
Anyway, having a dog isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but in the grand scheme of dog behavior, she’s actually very good. She’s potty trained, and she doesn’t bark too much, beg at the table, claw at things, or tear up the furniture. She is generally chill, but she also gets appropriately excited for things like going on a walk or trip to the dog park, taking a ride in the car, or Richard or me coming home. (How did I live without someone barking at the door as I pulled in the driveway and then running to the kitchen door to meet me?)
Today, I took a self-defense class at LSU from 9-4 and decided that whatever Scooter destroyed was something that was left at her height anyway, so I deserved it. (We lost an envelope and a sheet of labels from a box of office supplies.) I picked up Scooter and took her to Richard’s work so we could get some notarized papers that I needed to FedEx today so they’d go out first thing on Monday. I told Richard that I really didn’t have the energy for the dog park and that I would probably just take Scooter home after the FedEx store.
At the FedEx store, I cracked the front windows of my car and ran in to mail the items. (I discovered that my back windows are not going down right now, thanks to trying and failing to roll down the windows so Scooter could talk to Richard. She’s helping me find so many broken things!) Nobody else was in the store, so I was in and out in roughly three minutes. When I came back out, Scooter was in the driver’s seat, hanging out and not barking at anything. I asked her to move to the back, but she didn’t cooperate. I’m sure I was an awesome sight to see in the heat of the day, begging/commanding my dog to get in the backseat through a crack in my window.
After a few tries, I decided to open the front door and move her to the backseat, hoping with all of my might that this wouldn’t turn into a cartoonish scene with her getting into the back only to hop into the driver’s seat again before I could shut the doors and sit down myself. She sometimes gets distracted and wanders away, but she is not a dog who bolts off, so I didn’t grab her. Today, she was wandering at a faster pace than usual, so I had to rush to grab her and shove her into my car.
I had made up my mind that I was not taking her to the dog park until I saw the leash in my passenger seat and knew that she knew she was going on an adventure. So I asked, “Do you want to go to the dog park?” And her ears perked up, and she wagged her ax tail like she always does when we say “dog park” or “walk.” Then she smiled, and I took this photo. We went to the dog park after all.
Our dog park adventure was short-lived because it thundered, and she is terrified of thunder, but I felt better about my dog mom skills for at least taking her out there. Then we went home, and I yelled at the TV during the LSU game (no technical football terms, don’t worry), and Scooter rested beside me on the couch. She didn’t bark at the TV, not even once.
She’s still the best dog I have ever had, and the worst things she’s done are pretty moderate, but she has certainly done things that have made my life harder. It’s a good thing she makes my life better, or I might have to do what my dad threatened me with when I was bad and “trade her in for a dog.” Oh, wait.
Something that made today great: Richard and I got to spend a few hours together this evening (as opposed to one hour).
Time I woke up: 7:30. Boom goes the dynamite.