Saturday, March 15, 2008

Grandma, and a vent about a punk dog

I'm praying for my grandma right now. The nasty storms moving through the state today are in her area right now. Tornado warning. My mom was down there visiting but started back earlier in the day. She had to go far out of her usual route and detour around the storms, and isn't home yet but is safe from the worst of it and on her way. But Grandma, and a lot of my maternal relatives, are in the midst of terrible storms now. As if they hadn't dealt with enough lately, since my grandfather died quite recently. I'm praying for them, and feeling helpless and powerless as usual to do anything else.

Baby boy's sitting at the kitchen table snacking on bananas and cheddar cheese. Two of his favorites. He's in a grumpy mood since waking from his nap. Big girl's still passed out on her bed, sleeping on her stomach with her butt in the air as she often does. Sleeping blissfully through the thunder that rumbles above me every so often. Hubs is working on homework stuff. And the dogs are probably hiding under the deck. I probably should get off of the computer during a storm, but I need something to reduce my worry level. I probably should change the channel off the Atlanta station that has weather coverage, but even though it scares me I need to know what's happening down there.

I'm really ticked off at the punk dog. He's got a major chewing problem, and I probably should have found him a new home already, where he could get out his chewing in an acceptable fashion. He's caused a lot of damage, but today's snack - the plastic shutters on Big Girl's play cottage in the back yard - has me angry. Makes me want to kick his ass, and it's hard to restrain myself (but I do and will). He tore out the toy phone from the cottage soon after we got it (it's an old hand-me-down from another family) and crunched it into a yellow plastic mangled mess. He chewed the tubing stuff that connected the gas tank to Hubs' nice grill (we'll have to replace that so we can grill out this summer). He ripped the cover off the grill repeatedly, ripping it in the process, so that he could wad it up and sleep on it. He shredded numerous towels and blankets that I provided for him to sleep on. He pulled off the plastic sheeting that Hubs put over the vents in the dog crate, to make it waterproof so he could sleep in it outside and not get wet in the rain (now it fills with water and has to be dumped out after every rain). He's been digging in the dirt behind some bushes next to the back deck, along the exterior wall of our kitchen. He's removed the lower section of the gutter that drains out there on that wall. He busted into the shed where we keep the dog food and chewed his way into a bag. He chews up sticks and bark and leaves shredded wood bits all over the deck. He gnawed on a corner of the deck (it's an old deck, probably treated with poisonous chemicals that have since been banned, so this may help to explain some of the stupid things he does). He gnawed the arm on Big Girl's Dora the Explorer lawn chair, which we moved to the front of the house. He tried to gnaw on the kids' Radio Flyer wagon but I rescued it before he did any damage. He destroyed one of their balls, and has chewed up other toys. He jumps on the door and the back windows that look onto the deck. He jumps on me with muddy feet and gets my clothes dirty, and even tore a hole in one shirt. He has a major problem with jumping and has resisted all of my efforts to train him not to jump (I can knee him in the chest when he jumps up and he doesn't seem to notice). He steals food from our other dog. He wrestles roughly and I worry that he will hurt the other dog. He jumps over the other dog and sometimes lands on top of him when he does his "pay attention to me" dance.

I was so excited when we took him in last fall. It had been a few months since our dog Rusty died, and I wanted to find a companion for our remaining dog. The punk was wandering loose in my parents' neighborhood, so we brought him home, and after no one stepped forward to claim him, I took him to the vet, got his shots, had him microchipped. At first he was great, but within a week or so he started up with this chewing crap and it just keeps getting worse. I'm really struggling with this. I don't want to find him a new home. I don't want him to be someone else's problems. I want him to be a good dog, to learn how to behave properly and be a good canine citizen and all that jazz. But he must be as dumb as a brick because he doesn't learn - or at least he doesn't remember anything for more than five minutes. ARRRRGGGGH!

Nasty storms still right over Grandma's house.

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