Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Blowing Off Steam

Look at Satan's Familiar! Isn't he precious?

Merrick. Squeeze harder. That choke hold has some real potential.

Yesterday, John bought and installed one of these:

Look at that dog on the cover! Obedient! Trained! Why, the Matron even detects a hint of joy. That snout is actually a smile!

You see, John is confident that Satan's Familiar can be retrained to understand that dogs go potty and poopy outside, not (today's list, so far!): on the stairs, in the hallway, by the dining room table.

When the Matron woke this morning to the revitalizing scent of doggy doo-doo at her feet, she reconsidered this solution offered by one of her readers:

This is wholly inappropriate and may offend.

Peter, do you have contact information?

Because Satan's Familiar will not use that door. He is afraid of its pretty compact flap. He cowers and runs now, from all doors, generally. He would like to be a permanently indoor on-lap dog.

Why, Satan's Familiar is just now planning his next bowel movement: hmmmm. Time to use that virgin plank near the second floor hall closet? Or if it's runny, should I deposit the love on some carpeted stairs? Or maybe work on the yellow pee pattern upstairs on the beige carpet?

He is overwhelmed with options.

Here are some of the Familiar's current bad habits:

  • Pooping and peeing in the house? Check.
  • Jumping up on the Matron's lap and sticking his snout on her plate during dinner? Check.
  • Sleeping under covers, between Matron and the human beings she wouldn't mind snuggling against? Check.
  • Able to open a child's backpack, remove lunch, open container and eat all contents? Check.
  • Puking wrappers from the lunch in the hallway, on the stairs, in Merrick's bedroom? Check.
  • Rolling in poop, licking self and then licking one of Matron's offspring? Check.
  • Jumping onto kitchen counters and eating any morsel of food or string of children's lunches left there? Consistently? Day after day? Check.
  • Yip, yip, bark, bark! Yip, yap, bark, bark! Yip, yap, bark, bark? Check.

The Matron's previous dogs had no bad habits. They required no firm hand or hired gun. Indeed, Jekyll is still with us, now deaf and blind and 15 years old this April. Happy Birthday, old man.

Because Jekyll is unable to see the new dog door, much less comprehend Change at his advanced age, the Matron must still assist this dog outside. So that new dog door? Pretty much just one big potential bee entry for now.

Does the reader know that the Matron is allergic to bee stings? In the adventuresome anaphylaxis way, because she doesn't believe in doing things halfway.

Here is the Matron's main source of transportation:

There are big bold yellow peace signs on both sides. She gets a lot of two-finger peace signs in returns, a lot of smiles. She cannot drive by a Volvo without receiving a honk or wave.

This love machine also has a single bumper sticker that reads: "What would Buddha do?"

And because the Matron is blowing off steam today (and thinking about how she steams, sometimes, generally), she understands the confusion she causes when she lays on the horn or throws up her hands in exasperation or drives by the offender with a searing, lethal look at Who Is That Idiot Driving That Car?

She knows that the next time one of her children particularly annoy her, are relentless in harassment or anger or outrage, she will step behind the offending back, stick her thumbs in her ears in order to wiggle those fingers and stick out her tongue: Nana nana boo boo!! Sometimes it helps to make awful faces or throw punches or shake your fist and stomp your feet. Quietly. Wiggling is good, too.

That way when they turn around you are calm, composed, present. Maternal.

And since the Matron is not much of a dog-killer (or even dog kicker, but do NOT tell Satan's Familiar; she is trying to keep him afraid) she supposes she will keep picking up poop or God forbid, train that creature.

Unless he wanders away?


Anonymous said...

We took our hound to a dog trainer who spends most of his time training drug squad dogs - he was very strict, and our hound equally stubborn.

She is very fond of doing her business indoors, if it's raining outside - as a result she isn't allowed in the sitting room - but sleeping on the sofa is still her aim if nobody is looking!

It's the rolling in fox poo I really hate! (The dog, not me!!)

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Perhaps he'd prefer to live on a farm in the country?

Heather said...

Yep, that pretty much cures any ideas I might have thought about getting a dog.

Jennifer S said...

I assume Jenn meant "live on a farm in the country" as a euphemism for something more least that's the way I'm taking it.

There is nothing worse than waking up and having to deal with dog doo first thing. Or second. Or ever.

Maybe if you put really good dog treats on the other side of the doggie door for a while?

Suburban Correspondent said...

I think you should call in to that NPR program "Calling All Pets." But, please, let us know when you're on.

JessTrev said...

We also are quasi-crunchy parents of a barfing, rolling in foul-dead-animals-in-the-woods, counter-surfing, fixed but inexplicably perpetually dog-humping, pee on strange men (twice!) in the dog park kind of animal. A large animal, who generates tumbleweeds of fur, who barks *on purpose* to try to wake sleeping babies up so perhaps the crying will start and he can get a soothing-child walk out of it. We keep hoping that a)he might wander in front of a bus or b)the horrid pollution in our watershed resulting in his 18 lumps might swiftly remove him from our lives. Kidding! We love our dog...

Ari_1965 said...

Deb Schneider at AllBreed Obedience might be able to help. 651-704-9785 The training center is in Woodbury just off where Century Avenue turns into Lake Road. She also does one-on-one consults in your home.

She was extremely helpful one-on-one with my last dog, Roddy McDowall. She's no nonsense, but in an upbeat way.

Mrs. G. said...

I found that video wholly inappropriate and offensive-thank you!

laurie said...

honey--get a kennel. a little rubber kennel, with a door. or a metal cage-like one. doens't matter. put satan's familiar in there. he will not mess his kennel.

take him out. let him outside immediately. wait till he poops outside. praise him beyond belief.

play with him. put him outside again. praise him when he pees. put him back in the kennel.

it won't take long. he'll learn.

Bonnie said...

Hi Matron - I second Laurie's suggestion! Keep the sucker in a kennel until he learns to poop outside. It may feel mean at first - but I understand that having it's own little spot (or den) is quite comforting for a dog. This is what the Humane Society has to say:

Hope it helps!!

Love the minivan - I must take a photo of my own and share it and its Peace Sign with the blogging world!


Angie said...

Thank you for the inappropriate video, made my day.

I'm relating to your dog woes. Even though ours don't poop in the house, they continually find not only their own feces, but the feces of any animal that crosses their path and proceeds to roll in it over, and over, and over. Then shows up at the front door wagging and panting as if to say, "hey, look at me? Can I come in and cuddle up on your bed now? The mudroom where they sleep is truly unbearable, we have keep a candle lit just to be able to survive.

Give them a bath? What the hell for, they will just repeat the routine the very next day.

Today, Beagle #2 came trotting by me as I worked in the greenhouse with the head of a raccoon in his jaws. Just his afternoon snack and then he will give it a good rolling in for good measure.

Animal love or complete insanity?

Nora said...

I LOVE that first photo. I hope the raccoons don't figure out that pet door :-)

Bonnie said...

Actually - I read the whole article - and it sounds kind of arduous.
Perhaps the angry mailman is a better way to go...

; )

Minnesota Matron said...

Great ideas! I'm going to definitely call Allbreed -- that's very close to us, neighbor. And I know, I know, we should kennel the dog. Grandma Mary kennels her dog so the children interpret that as one kind of torture.

Anonymous said...

As funny as the stories are about Satan's Familiar, I have to agree with Jenn @ Juggling Life. A nice home in the country with acres to roam (read: destroy & defecate upon). I'm glad you have a good dog memory so you're not turned against their entire species because of SF!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
You know our dog has a kennel, he came to us with one and he voluntarily goes into it - it's not a punishment place and it's like his indoor dog house. It's his territory, though our bold/bossy cat has been known to go in and snuggle in it too and Edmund is such a sweety about it. It's worth a try just for the sake of not having surprise poops all over the house which you have been way overboard patient about - and SF will not poop in a kennel... at least we would hope not?

Kimberly said...

That photo made me snicker.

I agree with the other posters who suggested a kennel. We had a cat who had similar issues and we built her an outdoor home for a while. Guess what? She figured it out.

Karen Jensen said...

Killer letter carriers. Mrs. G is right. Wholly inappropriate and offensive. And funny.

Jocelyn said...

The Volvo line is hilarious.

I think the dog on the box is smiling because his boy parts are VERY COMFORTABLY resting in just the right spot.

Anonymous said...

If you have a fenced yard, you can put SF outside, and the only ingress would be the pet door.
That is, if nobody caves and lets him in.