Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dogs Must Pee

After I ran out of gasoline for the heater and internet, M (and CK) had been nice enough to put me up "for two weeks," M said. A week into it, I was losing my mind. Besides our spending a day and a half hiding from the landlady, M had an enormously bad attitude

He has an elderly (14 years old) dog, Bear, and he obviously had some fantasy that my dogs were sort of like his - laid back, barely able to move because of the aches in her hips and quiet all the time. Well my dogs aren't like that. Zen and Bushi are four, and Karma's only one-and-a-half, and they're all used to being able to run loose and get out their enormous font of energy.

Living at M's they were forced to stay in a tiny 8x10 bedroom and could only be walked on leashes about three or four times a day.

To add to that, Zen is both a super alert-dog whenever something's going on, and has some seperation anxiety issues. He can't stand being away from either Quantum or I leave the place without him and is known to go into conniptions whenever Quantum goes off in the truck.

And they were in a strange place with strange people moving around, strange dog smells and noises from the other room. The dog's weren't allowed to interact with Bear. At first the story was, "she'll attack them". It later became "they'll attack her." Neither was likely. Especially if properly introduced, dogs (including pit bulls, folks!) tend to get along. 

And my particular dogs happen to like other dogs. Had they been allowed to meet, I'm confident that all four of them would have gotten along well. 

Then there's the fact that dogs (like most of us) do have to pee on a regular basis. Gods forbid that happen at say, 7 in the morning.
Also, walking three big dogs (only one of which (Zen) has learned not to pull on a leash, since I so rarely need to walk them on one, and since Karma is new) is no easy task. That meant any time I had to walk them it'd take CK and I together.
Here's how that generally works: In the morning, I wait till I hear noises that suggest CK is up and moving around. Meanwhile my dogs are bouncing and making, "I wanna go pee," noises. Eventually, I give up on waiting, since the dogs desperately have to go. I poke my head out of the door and whisper for CK or open the closet that divides our bedrooms and knock on his side.

Invariably, CK will wait until I've given up on him and then knock or call at the door. Zen (and possibly the other dogs, but usually just Zen) will be confused/alerted by someone on the other side of the door and will jump at it and scratch it with his nails. At this, M will growl and curse, I'll leap to grab Zen's collar, but generally too late.

By now, Zen's getting "bunctious" and the other dogs are starting to as well. CK asks what I want. (Umm duh, it's morning - dogs need to pee, what do you think I want? Yes they do that on a regular basis, I realize it's odd.) CK comes into the bedroom as I'm trying to leap for the dogs' collars. CK has to put Bear out on her chain before we can let the dogs out of the bedroom. By now they REALLY have to pee. Their claws are scrambling at the floor as they race for the door. (One day Karma didn't make it all the way, which led to M cursing up a storm while I cleaned the puddle from the rug.)

Even if it's not morning,the cycle's pretty much the same. Someone knocks at my door without warning, Zen goes nuts.
It finally occurred to me that I'd actually trained my dogs to scratch lightly at the door when they needed to go out. That may have been part of the trouble, but the real problem was that all the dogs were feeling displaced, and Zen especially, was concerned for his turf.

By the second day of this nonsense I asked, begged and pleaded CK not to knock at or yell to me through the door.

"How am I supposed to get ahold of you?"

 "Instant message me." It's simple, it's silent. It doesn't alert the dogs. I can grab their collars before they have a chance to scratch the door. A week later I'd made that request at least once per day. The day before I finally left, I said, "Please CK, I'm begging you. Don't knock on the door or yell to me through it. It pisses M off, the dogs freak out and I get in trouble."

"Well how am I supposed to get ahold of you?"

"IM me."

"Wow, I haven't even turned my computer on in a week."


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