October 24, 2013
Life with A.J. continues to be an adventure. (I’m starting to really dislike that word.) The latest “adventure” is his counter-surfing. He’s gone up with his front feet on the counters a few times. We caught him twice and let him know that’s not acceptable. But he doesn’t seem to care while we’re gone. (He is a dog, after all.) He grabbed some brand new earmuffs off the counter a few weeks ago and chewed them up. Shortly after that he grabbed a knit hat (also brand new), but fortunately I was home and he just brought it over to me rather than chewing it. But yesterday was his best so far. He ate a cake.
Greg had made a sheet cake in a 9×13” glass baking dish. The cake was a sort of coffee cake, very dense with chocolate chips. We had eaten about a third of it. Greg rode bikes with me yesterday into town when I went in for my volunteer work. When he met me for lunch after my shift was over he obviously wasn’t happy. Quite often when he’s like that he won’t tell me why, but he did yesterday. I asked how his morning went. “Do you want to hear it now, or wait until later?”
It was obviously A.J. “You might as well tell me now. What did he do?”
“Your dog…” And he proceeded to tell me the story. When he arrived home A.J. jumped up, but instead of running to greet Greg like he normally would, he took off in the other direction. Uh oh. Greg went into the kitchen and there was the baking dish, face down on the floor. It had landed upside-down with about half of what had been left of the cake under it, and A.J. had apparently pushed it around the floor in an unsuccessful attempt to turn it over and get to the cake. The rest of the cake, of course, was gone. Oh, and there was a gouge in the hardwood floor where the heavy pan had hit.
So Greg was angry all through lunch. I asked if he planned on being angry for the next 14 years, and I got a lecture on how he never wanted a dog and this kind of thing is why. All the bad things that can happen to your life from having a dog have been happening with A.J.
He wasn’t in any mood to hear it yesterday, but even today he didn’t want to hear that dogs are opportunists and scavengers, and this isn’t unusual behavior. He just doesn’t want a dog, and he definitely doesn’t want this one.
To make everything worse, A.J. never calmed down last night, and he was up half the night. He needed to go out at 3 AM. No surprise after eating half a cake, I had quite the mess to clean up in the backyard this morning.
So now I’m tired and sad. I’m sad that A.J. did this. I’m sad that Greg is so unhappy with the dog I brought home. All dogs have issues, especially rescue dogs, but A.J. obviously just has the wrong issues.
I took him for a walk last night, and he was crazy. We saw a dog and I had a terrible time getting his attention. It was a long ways off so he didn’t throw a fit, but he was over-excited, as usual, and difficult to get home. This morning on our walk he wouldn’t calm down and focus. We passed by some people standing outside their house. A.J. was actually walking pretty nicely at that moment, and I said “Good Morning” to them. Then their dog ran out of their house. A.J. threw a tantrum. More neighbors I can’t ever face again. We came home and he was still crazy. I just wanted to lie down and sleep for a while, but A.J. was there running around, stopping to stare at me and bark, growl and whine. I eventually got up and took him outside to play tug of war. I had planned on taking him to day camp later in the day, but I couldn’t wait anymore. We got in the car and left. When I got home and walked into the house, Greg decided to joke about my awful dog. That was it; I finally broke down and just started crying.
I’ve been working so hard to train A.J. I see small glimmers of progress, but they are so small. I’m tired.
Update: Greg, after experiencing my breakdown, decided to be nice and tell me he isn’t mad at my dog or at me for bringing home this dog. Well, that’s not quite true. He’s not mad at me for what A.J. did yesterday. He’s still not thrilled I brought him home in the first place. And I’m still very tired.
And A.J. is lying at my feet asleep.