Saturday, February 19, 2011

Doggone It, Anyway...

How did I hit this jackpot? Not only am I raising a son with autism, I have a dog with A.D.D.

Seriously, I've never seen anything like this mutt. She just... doesn't... get it. She's 9 years old this month, and I still can't keep her from digging into the garbage to chew on used Kleenex. I took my son for a short car ride this morning, and came back to find a pile of chewed up tissue on the bedroom floor. Of course, when I confronted the dog she started shaking like a leaf. Just one word is all I have to say... "kennel!" She marches right into her little home away from home and stays there brooding until I settle down and let her back out again. When she gets out, it will be like nothing ever happened, and she'll start begging me to scratch her butt. Not gonna happen, but it doesn't stop her from asking. Ick. Just... ick. Oh, did I mention the bird seed? No matter how many times she's been warned, she still likes to lick up the seed that falls from the feeder in the front yard. She'll be throwing it up later, but it doesn't stop her.

Yes, it would be unfair to compare her to the dogs I've had before... Peanut, Snickers, or Rascal. Especially Rascal. She was our kid, at least until our son was born. My other dogs were exceptional. This one though, is just annoying. She has never been able to remember the simplest of instructions. If my wife or I tell her "no," she will stop begging about the third time she's told. But 2 minutes later, she's forgotten and she's right back at it. We've tried to reason with her. "Freckles, you're not getting my dinner. The answer is no, it's always been no, and it will always BE no!" Nothing. Nada. It's like talking to a brick wall. After 9 years, you would think she would finally get it! Nope. She still holds out hope.

And it's not like we don't take care of the mutt. We feed her well. We try to pet her and play with her, but she starts in on the butt scratching thing every time. She has her own singing treat jar that plays, "Who Let the Dogs Out?" It's the one thing she does understand. Whenever the jar opens, she tears toward the kitchen like greased lightning. She's allowed to sleep on the big bed. She has her own bed in the living room. But does she use it? No... she finds a pillow or blanket to curl up on and lick until there's a big wet spot. What's so tasty about a blanket?

I've tried to give her away. The answer I get? "Oh, she's cute. But I don't want her either!" Yeah. Now she's getting older. Can't give her away, and I'm too much of a softy to put her down before her time. But I have a feeling that this will be the dog who lives to be 20.

I'm just afraid she'll drive me to the nuthouse first.

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