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Destructo Dog

I let Amber and Molly in this morning and discovered a trail of drinking water bottles and labels all over the front yard. Amber had only been able to open one of them and get the label off another, but I cleaned up the yard and put the rest of the bottles that were in the open plastic wrapping into the garage fridge.

I talked to my husband about our closing the garage door to discourage her from rummaging around in there, but he rightly pointed out that she’ll go through the cat door when the door is closed…

Our front yard has become ‘discovery land’ since we adopted Amber last May. So far, I’ve gone out to find –

  • sticks of all shapes, sizes and lengths
  • old toys Amber found from previous dogs!
  • a full length metal shovel
  • my dust mop – with the mop part shredded all over the yard
  • the full drinking water bottles today
  • gourds I was storing to paint
  • buckets of all shapes and sizes, empty and full
  • rat catchers from the pest company
  • an entire rose bush we threw off the edge of the civilized part of the front yard
  • my decorative ducks from the front porch
  • a couple of small statues from the front porch
  • an entire planter full of demolished flowers from the front porch
  • a whole plant from one of the flower planters
  • HOLES dug here and there (we DID get her to quit digging in the two empty planters where we’ll plant new rose bushes this spring, thanks to an idea from my SIL

I THINK that’s the list so far. She’s very inventive and seems to be tireless in her efforts to collect things in the front yard. If she continues, my cleaning up after her may be the only form of exercise I need!

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‘Destructo-Dog’ Strikes Again

After I fixed us lunch, I fell asleep. I think I got too hot and too stressed with our tower raising this morning.  I’m still feeling a bit as though I’ve been run over by a truck.

My husband, the Energizer Bunny, has been out and in and out and in again, taking measurements of the rotator and antenna with his analyzer. So far, he says it resonates at the wrong frequency. He thinks it was set up for a CB radio, rather than ham. He thinks he’ll need to make a part, though I really have no clue. With the heat index at 106 degrees F. right now, I’m encouraging my husband to stay out of the sun as much as possible.

When I got up from my nap to check on him, he was in the side yard and our puppy, Amber, was in the office. I checked the back porch and she had been busy –

  • I had left water in her bowl. She had played in it, pawing it all over the porch. It was wetter than usual, though, so, in checking around, I found she had knocked the water container we keep on the table, on top of her food canister, off, and had spilled most of THAT, too.
  • My husband’s work gloves had been pulled off the table, too, and had received their share of toothful attention
  • Every toy in her laundry basket was on the floor.
  • She had pulled the towels in her crate out through the holes and they were now on the floor, as well.

It’s amazing, when she has been out for walks two or three times today, plus spent time on her dog run, and in her kiddie pool, that she had time to do all that.

Lesson to us – nothing is sacred even in the middle of the table. We’ll have to move the food canister (a heavy-duty food grade canister with a heavy lid that screws on) into the pantry, since she’ll have it off the table, spilled onto the floor (if possible!) next…

“Destructo-Dog!”

 

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Destructo-Dog

Amber – 3 mos old

How can you look at this face and believe my husband calls Amber “Destructo-Dog?”  She looks sweet and innocent, doesn’t she. And she IS sweet – just not innocent.

She hasn’t destroyed anything today – yet. And she SEEMS to be finding her toys as we’re in the office, rather than moving from one no-no to another… Part of this could be because we’re spraying things heavily with Bitter Apple spray. Part of this could be that we have gotten her some rawhide bones to chew on. Part of it may be due to the fact that both my husband and I are ‘armed’ with flyswatters…

Living with a labrador retriever puppy ain’t for sissies – to paraphrase Bette Davis’ wonderful quote about getting old.  In a lot of ways this is just what we needed. We’re still grieving over the loss of Bambi, our almost 14 year old pit bull. Trying to meet Amber’s 24/7 needs forces us to live in the NOW. We tend to be sedentary, and walking her at least 8 times a day for varying lengths of time and distance gives us good exercise we could probably otherwise avoid. Our problem-solving skills are being taxed, trying to find interesting things for Amber to play with/chew on, new games, keeping her from destroying everything in the house, etc. is straining our less-than-nimble brains. Our attention to detail is being exercised, keeping track of what she’s doing, where she is, making sure we have treats in our pockets, flyswatters at the ready, and are foreseeing possible difficulties, as when we let Molly in the house a few minutes ago. (All went very well. Molly was on the far side of the new office gate. Amber was on the near side and didn’t launch herself at the gate.)

We’re so busy that the only time we have to grieve is late at night, and then we’re so tired we’re falling asleep before our heads hit the pillow. We aren’t having any trouble getting to/or staying asleep – unless we’re hurting or having to go to the bathroom. We used to prowl around at all hours, reading until we got sleepy again.

Sometimes I wonder what we’ve gotten ourselves into – particularly when it seems that she’s really trying to get on my last nerve. Then she wags her tail and demands love and the doubts evaporate.  Amber is going to be a wonderful addition to our family.

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