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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Can We?

The dudes are currently obsessed with all members of the canine species.

Maybe it's because #3 spends part of each day barking like a dog.

Maybe it's because it's creeping (unbearably slowly) up on springtime, so all of the neighbors are out, with their 4 legged BFFs in tow.

Or, maybe it's just because they want one. Or at least they think they do.

#2 suggested that we give #3 away to another family so we can get a new dog instead.

I guess #2 has an issue with his short term memory because apparently he can't remember what happened to our first dog, Jaco (pronounced like Taco, but with a J).

About this time last year Jaco entered the canine relocation program and was subsequently placed with a new (better equipped to handle a psycho) family. Really, we just gave him to a friend of a friend.

We originally purchased Jaco from a Beagle breeder in the fall of 2006.

Right from the beginning we knew that Jaco had a couple of personality issues that we found to be a bit troubling.

The main issue was that he had a pretty severe case of food aggression. Never heard of it? Well, it freakin' sucks, because it involves you (or any one else who's around) to risk losing a limb if you are foolish enough to attempt to interact with the dog in any way while he is eating.

Basically, once we put his food down in front of him we had to stand back, way back and stay or he would growl and snap and basically go nutso on us.

Not a safe situation for small children (#1 was 5 and #2 was about 18 months).

We wanted to work with Jaco to help him become a successful member of the family, so we spoke to out vet extensively, signed Jaco up for obedience training, and consulted the Dog Whisper (via Internet of course).

The vet suggested we just separate him for all meals to prevent injury to the family and hope that he grow out of it. We did not find this practical for a long term solution. And, who wants to live with a dog who may bite you if you reach down to pick up a dropped morsel?

The obedience classes were a bust b/c the teacher was a psychotic control freak who I'm pretty sure had inappropriate, intimate relations with her canine assistant. Oh, and Jaco tried to bite like two other dogs so he was essentially expelled.

The best advice came from the website of Cesar Milan who suggested that we remove the dog's bowl and hand feed him all meals (or call in a pro which was so not in the budget).

Worked like a charm, for me anyway. I could feed that dog from my own tongue (not that I did) if I wanted to.

However, no one else could. The other members of the family could still not go any where near his bowl without risking amputation. Even Hubby was unable to calm the savage food beast.

He was the most aggressive towards #2. He would knock him down, bite him, scratch him, and hump him (and #1) relentlessly.

In Jaco's defense, #2 (as you all know) was a rough roommie. He spent a lot of time exploring each of Jaco's orifices, pretending Jaco was a horse (note that he was a 25lb Beagle), and trying to perfect his Guillotine Leg Drop from the couch onto his back.

When #3 arrived, we were all exhausted. A combination of Jaco's food paranoia, his loathing of #2, the new baby, and #2's habitual torture, led us to seek some new digs for our four legged frenemy.

After 3 months of no luck, just as we kinda, sorta decided that we might be able to spend the next 10-15 years as Jaco's fam, a nice old man, who lived alone with an older, calmer basset hound, contacted us through a friend of my father's. He seemed like the perfect match for Jaco, and despite the profuse tears shed by myself and #1, we thought it best to send Jaco to a happier place (which apparently it is b/c he updates us regularly on his progress).

So, as I sit here considering whether we should give the dog thing another go, I'm reminded of the things that I didn't like about having one.

Not to say that we'll never get another dog, because we will, I'm sure of it. I actually love dogs and would hate to have the dudes grow up without ever knowing the companionship and responsibility that comes with owning another mammal.

We will just be waiting until every member of the family is ready and willing to pitch in on every aspect of care. I don't see why I should be the only one administering enemas and hand feeding entire meals.

I told the dudes we would table this discussion until Michael Phelps races for Olympic Gold again (they were obsessed with the Olympics).

That was before the whole bong debacle.

Hopefully he will hit the pool again for 2012 and then we will be ready to erect the baby gates and get out the chew toys to bring home a new furry friend.


Anonymous said...

This story could be mine. We had to give away our psycho boxer after 18 months of torture. We had another boxer before that who was an angel. We waited 6 months after giving away the boxer and then got 2, yes you heard me 2, Westies. It was the best decision ever! They are wonderful. I think it was timing as we got the horrid boxer when Matthew was 3 months. That was wise! :)

Ms Cupcake said...

Howdy sitsta! Happy Wednesday. Checking in on Hump Day. Tonight begins Passover. Only 4 days until Easter. Celebrate!
Zen Cupcake

otherworldlyone said...

Yes, put it off until they're old enough to clean up after it. Smart.

Kelly Deneen said...

I am so sorry you had to re-home Jaco, but you are wonderful for trying so hard with him. If your whole family is ready for another dog, I would suggest going through a rescue. The dogs are in foster homes already, so the foster parents know what types of personalities the dogs have. It is really nice to know what you are getting into ahead of time, and then you also don't need to go through the puppy stuff if you don't want to.

Thanks for stopping by my blog this morning!

Kathy B! said...

Oh, wow! I can't even imagine brining another living, breathing, pooping creature into my household. My hat's off to you for even trying.

Anonymous said...

Dude .. I am so dealing with this right now . My Nikko loves me , hubby , but hates anyone childlike .... He has become my 4th baby.

Ps. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your blog rocks !

Christy said...

your kids are CUTE!!
Leavin some love from SITS!!

Tiffany said...

A long range plan for getting a dog is a great idea. Dogs are too much work with little people, I think.

joanofalltrades said...

Love the dog whisperer. I was a little concerned when I heard my sister doing the Cesar's little "che" thing to her son though. LOL!

parentingBYdummies said...

It totally works on kids! At least until they get used to it. I think it's the surprised confusion it in instills that stops them in their tracks.

Anonymous said...

"#2 suggested that we give #3 away to another family so we can get a new dog instead."

I think we should get your #2 and my ONE together and just listen to them talk. I think they'd take over the world in half-an-hour

Lori said...

I had my dog before I was married and she is a huge part of my boys lives, but let me tell you I would NOT bring a puppy into the house until all children were out of diapers... who wants to potty/house train a dog and children all at the same time?? not me!

RamblingMother said...

Stopping by from SITS. What funny kids!

Giving away two copies of the movie Extract starring Jason Bateman and Ben Affleck. Contest ends 4/2/10.
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