Originally Posted: 2005-05-01 2:40pm
A Week In The Doghouse
Instructions for taking care of our dogs while we're away:
MEET THE DOGS
XENA a.k.a. Xenabean, Bean, Beanface, Face, Shepherdydog
Turn ons: Toys, bumping people/other dogs/cats with toys, barking at the basement ceiling, torturing the cats
Turn offs: The mailman, Sadie, anyone who comes to the front door
Xena is low-maintenance. She will be mopey and pathetic without us and will need lots of love. Love her.
The basement is Xena’s chosen realm. She would like nothing better than to stay down there all day barking at the monsters that live in the ceiling, but you can’t let her; she will become a mushroom. If we come home and find a mushroom in the place of our dog, we will be very sad, and you won’t be allowed to come and visit us ever again. To get Xena out of the basement, try any or any combination of the following:
Xena wants to eat the mailman. When he comes, she will stand at the front door with a toy, shake it menacingly and growl. DO NOT let her out when he is within two blocks of the house. We had an incident involving her launching herself at him through a broken window screen last year and didn't get mail for a week. It took a lot of ass-kissing to make up for that, and I'd rather not have to degrade myself that way again.
In general, Xena will act as if she’s ready to eviscerate anyone who comes to the front door. This is handy when dealing with solicitors – just point to her, shrug and they’ll go away. Even the most dedicated Jehova's Witness isn't going to risk facing the gnashing teeth of the fierce-looking shepherdy-dog for your whithered little soul.
Xena does not want you to leave the house. Ever. She will attempt to stop you by bumping you repeatedly with a stuffed toy and growling. Just remember that this is all an act; Gund-related injuries are rare. Go ahead and walk out the door.
SADIE a.k.a. Sadiebear, Babybear, Fatty, Beagledog
Turn ons: Food, pinkbellies, food, brushings, food, the itchy spot by her tail, walks, treats, snacks and food
Turn offs: Being bumped by Xena, not getting food
Sadie’s easy except for the pooping (refer to the section below titled: THE BUSINESS). She loves taking walks, and if you feel like walking, she’ll go until she drops. Her harness and leash are hanging by the back door. She’ll start to howl as soon as you make a move for them, and will stop after you’ve gone about two blocks. It’s her way of telling everyone in the neighborhood, “I’m WALKING! Look at ME! I’m WALKING, I’m SNIFFING, I’VE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE! Does it GET any better than THIS?????? I’m a BEAGLE by GOD and I’m WALKING! LIFE IS SO FUCKING GOOOOOOOD!. Bring lots of bags; you’ll need them (again refer to THE BUSINESS section). If you encounter children on your walks, feel free to steer Sadie in their direction for greetings. We used to live near an elementary school and I’ve seen her with as many as eight small children on top of her at one time – she loves the attention. Just be careful if they’re holding any type of food product. To a beagle, a child with food is simply a delivery system for nutrients – kind of like the stick part of a corn dog. Useful, but disposable.
GRENDEL a.k.a. Gendelfriend, ‘lil Friend, Friendly Friend, Woobie, DACHSHUND!!! Turn ons: His woobie, nesting, laps, bedtime
Turn offs: Not being in a lap
Grendel pees; it’s what he does. When he pees, he’s saying, “I’m just a tiny dachshund, go ahead and dominate me. See how helpless I am? I’m peeing! I can’t hurt you; I can’t even control my own bladder”.
To avoid the peeing:
When you come home, save the greetings until you’re outside.
Don’t try to pick him up, ever. He’ll jump in your lap when he wants to, and he’ll want to any time you’re sitting down.
Don’t put your face close to him and yell DACHSHUND!!!!!!!! (The Boy does it quite often, and the result is always the same)
Grendel will be in your lap as much as you let him. He especially likes if you cover him with a blanket and let him make a little nest there. Keep in mind that he is virtually naked, so he gets cold and depends on human body heat to sustain him. Please don’t freeze the dachshund.
CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?
Sadie and Grendel are in love; Sadie and Xena are not. Sadie and Grendel like to snuggle under blankets on the living room chairs and take naps together. Sadie and Xena like to have stand-offs that consist of the two of them nose-to-nose and barking and growling at maximum volume for up to ten minutes at a stretch. Remember that famous cat-fight scene from Dynasty with Lynda Evans and Joan Collins trying to claw each other's eyes out in the fountain? Or was it a hot tub? Whatever. It's kind of like that but without the Bob Mackie gowns. If this happens, the best thing to do is either a) just get up and leave the room or b) stand up, point to the door of whichever room you’re in and say “OUT” in a loud, firm voice and until they both leave the room. DO NOT try to separate them. Trying to separate them is bad.
Dogs go outside first thing in the morning, right before you leave for work, right when you get home, and before bed. Xena is perfect, she never has accidents. Grendel rarely has accidents and will want to go outside as often as you want to let him.
Sadie gets her own section here. Sadie is a bad, bad dog when it comes to controlling her colon. In her defense, we discovered after the last trip to the vet (when she refused to poop for three days because the grass was wet and she didn’t want to step in it) that Sadie has the longest colon in the history of Beagledom. According to the vet, it is at least twice as long as any colon she has ever encountered (professionally speaking, I’m sure). Possibly because it is so long, it is almost always full and this causes her to have accidents. You will master the art of picking up poop by putting your arm in a bag, grabbing the offending substance, then turning the bag inside out for tying/disposal. We get the newspaper every morning and the plastic bags it is delivered in are ideal for this job. The long bags allow you to cover yourself up to the elbow in plastic, decreasing any accidental fecal-to-skin contact. Occasionally, you may face a liquid spill. The mop is in the kitchen pantry next to the garbage can. Ammonia is under the sink. I’m sorry. She has a problem, but I love her anyhow.
You can decrease the chances of befouling by making sure Sadie actually eliminates when she is outside. Go out with her, point to the yard and say, “Go potty” in a high, unnatural voice. You may have to walk into the yard a bit, then repeat this several times. You’ll feel like a complete asshole, but she’ll listen.
Sadie likes to snuggle under the covers if you read before turning in, but she must go in her Vari-Kennel™ when you’re ready to sleep. Just open the door and tell her “Go to bed” or “Get in the box” and she’ll go (usually with a pathetically theatrical sigh), and will usually go right to sleep. If she whines, it means she has to go outside again because she didn’t go the first time you let her out. Very, very rarely she’ll wake you up in the morning – if she does, she’s got to GO. For the love of god, take her OUT. That vet visit I mentioned a couple of paragraphs ago? Ended up being a $400 emergency room trip at 3 a.m. for a doggie enema. I’m sure you can understand why I’d like it to be the last of its kind.
Bedtime is Grendel’s favorite time. He will bring his woobie and dive under the covers. He’ll make a nest next to you/on top of you/between two parts of your anatomy and usually won’t move until morning.
Xena likes to patrol the house at night, so even if she sleeps upstairs, she will be on/off the bed throughout the evening. Sometimes she sleeps next to the bed, but if she sleeps on the bed she prefers the spoon position, and occupies approximately the same amount of space as a 300-lb. man. She also hogs the covers and is often flatulent in the evenings, so if you’re missing having a long-term relationship, a week with her should cure you completely.
Thanks again for taking care of our family. It seems like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s worth it.