November 18, 2009

Bad Doggies and a Question for Ya

Gooooooood Morning!

Now that the coffee and Allegra-D have kicked in and I've cared for my pretend farms on Facebook, I guess you can say my day has officially started.

Our beloved, lucky-to-be-alive boxer Aly has made the 'naughty list' for the day. Apparently, Aly knows more than she lets on. Boxers are tricky when it comes to learning things. I read an article somewhere that said that, while they can learn things very quickly, they can just as quickly 'unlearn' them. They seem to have a very large capacity to learn, but the thickness of their skulls get in the way just the same. Aly can learn things quickly. With the help of a clicker trainer and a couple of treats, I had her lying down on command in a matter of minutes. But, at the same time, she still forgets to answer to her own name!

So, why do we choose a breed of dog that can be so totally frustrating? Because, even with all of that, they are amazing dogs for families. They respond really well with children and can come off quite intimidating to strangers. Even though it's not a good idea to be right in a dog's face with your own, that is where Aly prefers you to be. Her favorite moments are when her face is mere inches from a person's face so she can stare lovingly into their eyes. Her eyes tell such a story! They make the anger melt away, even if she did just steal another five pound bag of apples and sneak them out the dog door to spread them all over the yard, rendering them no longer fit for human consumption. She does the same with loaves of bread and my yarn. Yes, MY YARN. Her favorite yarn is sock yarn, which can also be some of the most expensive yarn I own, not to mention the most difficult to untangle.

Some days, that stupid dog is lucky to be alive!

Then, just as I'm at the end of my rope with her, she finds me sitting somewhere and lays her head in my lap and looks up and me with those eyes. THOSE DAMN EYES, I TELL YA! They work like a charm on me. And she knows it.
(See above picture if you don't believe me. The face and body have changed significantly, but she still has those SAME EYES!)
I just wonder how long her eyes can save her. It has come to our attention that Aly knows how to work a zipper.
A few weeks ago, we had gone somewhere for a couple of hours and my new camera was sitting on a table in the living room, carefully zipped up in its case. I swear it was! However, I came home to the camera bag sitting on the floor next to the table, with my camera sitting a foot or two away. There wassn't a single scratch or mark on the camera to be found, yet it wasn't where I had left it. Though I KNEW that I had left the bag on the table zipped closed, I couldn't bring myself to believe that a dog could have unzipped it. In addition to the whole 'no opposable thumbs thing,' I'd just assumed that she would have sooner chewed through the bag to get to whatever was inside. (And my best guess as to why she would even want the camera is that it smells like me and had been regularly attached to me in some way a good portion of the past couple of months. I mean, who doesn't love a new toy right?)
So, it bothered me that I didn't know for sure how the camera had gotten there, but I got over it just the same. After all, nothing had been damaged and I learned to keep my camera someplace else. Someplace HIGHER, to be more specific. Plus, are dogs even capable of learning how to use zippers?
This brings us back to this morning, when we awoke to find the backpack that David keeps his laptop in unzipped. David had left it zipped up, sitting in the living room floor when he went to bed last night. (Which also proves that he might 'unlearn' things just as quickly as the dog!) A Ziploc bag full of random little 'extras' that David likes to keep with him while he's at work was missing, but quickly recovered from the backyard. (Who said men don't need to carry purses?) The most aggravating part of the whole thing was that the power cord for his laptop had been chewed on. This caused various expletives to pour from David's mouth, which caused the dog to to hang her head and hurry out the dog door before he'd even uttered her name or made eye contact with her.
I've read a few books and Googled the topic a bit, and I'm pretty sure that we need to get a larger crate that we can start putting her in when we're sleeping or away from the house. While she's completely housebroken, she's still only nine months old and cannot completely be trusted. Poor Aly lacks any sense of impulse control. While she loves children, she usually ends up knocking them over at the sight of them. She even does that with our children...the ones she LIVES WITH. She would never hurt fly. Wait. That's not true...she actually eats flies! But she lives in the moment so much that she ends up being a giant pain in the arse most of the time.
Then, she looks at me with those &#%$ eyes.
We chose to get a boxer because of Hogan. Hogan was awesome! However, Hogan was around eleven years old when we started letting him come into the house. He had been an outside dog all of his life, happily living with his companion, Hercules. After Hercules passed, we knew it wouldn't be fair to leave him outside all alone. Instead of getting another dog that he may or may not bond with like he did his old friend, we started letting him into the house. He was the perfect dog...with the exception of the the smell! He was a old dog that began to be covered in tumors (which is another 'boxer thing'...YAY!) and he just got this smell about him. But he was an old man, he still had the 'puppy-like sparkle' in his eyes but he was the picture of calmness and self control. While neither David or myself never knew Hogan as a puppy, I get the feeling he might have been almost as obnoxious as Aly can be.
So, I guess a new crate and some obedience classes are in Aly's near future. I mean, so we can ensure that she'll actually have a future here!
Speaking of Hogan, I was watching some old videos I'd uploaded to YouTube a few years ago. This one video grabs my attention and, evidently, it grabs the attention of others. Around 126,000 others, to be precise. This video has been viewed more than 126,000 times. And I have no idea why! It's nothing special, really! 3YO (who was 1YO at the time) has the phone in her hand and she's talking to Grandma. I try to get the phone back from her, and she resists. Hogan makes an appearance. The lighting is dim, the video quality is atrocious, and it's not even all that interesting. I think I only uploaded it so I could share it with my mom and maybe post it on my blog when I had nothing of interest to blog about.
So, here's the video. If you know something I don't about this video, like where it could be linked to be getting such an obscene amount of traffic, I'd love for you to share. In the meantime, this is certainly no 'Charlie Bit My Finger' but...enjoy!

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