Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Back when my son was going to be our one and only, wifey thought it would be a fantastic idea to get a dog. ‘Since we’re not having another kid, we should get a dog’ was her reasoning. Man, if I only had a time machine.

Since I don't, I went along with it without too much argument. I considered myself a dog person and looked forward to having a source of entertainment around the house. My only concern was how it would react to my son. He was only three at the time and if this dog even looked at him funny it was going to the shelter.

Plus, my eldest is asthmatic. So we had to research those new hypoallergenic dogs. The ones that don’t shed or have dander so his asthma and allergies wouldn’t be affected. I went online and looked at our options.

We had the Portuguese Water Dog which was at least $1500. We called a breeder who mailed us a 15 page application form. For a dog. We didn’t have to fill out any paperwork for our son. What the holy hell?

There weren’t a ton of options for us back then. There were the poodles, of course, but I had friends that owned poodles and neither of them were what I would call friendly. A coworker then told me about his dog. It was great with kids, mellow and it didn’t get too big.

It was a cross between a poodle and cocker spaniel. A cockapoo! Yeah, I know. Just shoot me where I stand.

Off we went to some place in Stoughton that wifey had heard good things about. All three of us looking for the perfect family dog. We poked around the store, saw some good looking pugs, which were much cuter than I expected. We actually leaned towards getting one of them, but weren’t sure if they were hypoallergenic.

Instead, we stuck with the plan and picked out the friendliest cockapoo puppy we could find. On the way home, with the dog whining the ENTIRE FREAKIN’ RIDE (first warning sign), my son dubbed him Diesel. He was fascinated with trains and trucks at the time. I actually thought it was a cool name, if not exactly befitting a cute, white, furball.

I should have known what was in store for me over the four years since. No sooner had we set him up in his crate, he shat all over himself. Since he was white, that shit got all over him and I had to pick him up to clean everything off him. He struggled and whined the entire time.

Whatever. He’s a puppy. He’ll get better.


Not exactly. Diesel now has three nicknames: ‘PITA’ (for Pain In The Ass), ‘Please, just shut the fuck up!’ and ‘BOME’ (Bane of My Existence). Of all of them, the last is most appropriate.

Of all the trivial things that make up my pathetic life, none of them cause me much stress. The dog is the exception. As I’ve said to my wife on more than one occasion, ‘If it weren’t for the dog, I would have no stress in my life at all’. She disagrees and has combated my attempts to give the dog away to friends, family, shelters and roaming packs of coyotes. Why? Got me. The fucking thing seems to aggravate her just as much as me.

If anything, he’s even more insane around her. At least I’ve gotten him to the point that he’ll come when I call, sit, stay (temporarily, at least) and lay down when I’ve had enough of him. With her he runs in circles, jumps up and when he sprints away doesn’t even slow when she attempts to call him back.

To top it all off, it may be the stupidest dog to ever step foot on earth. He will constantly pull at his leash in order to get to something. Only he keeps pulling and pulling and pulling and never gets any closer to what he’s trying to get to. Doesn’t matter. He’ll keep pulling at the leash more. And pull and pull and pull. Fuck, he would do it all day if we didn’t stop him. I know. I watched him from my pool try to get to a beach ball and instead of getting closer to it, he tore up the lawn; leaving two muddy ruts where he kept at it. He tried for 20 minutes straight before I told him to stop and moved the ball out of his sight.

When my job takes me on the occasional road trip, there are times I welcome it. Not because I don’t miss my wife and kids, but because I don’t have to deal with the dog for a few days.

During vacation last week I didn’t even think of the beast until my wife said ‘What time do we have to pick up the dog?’. I completely forgot we had one and it was great! Before I get to the story that completed my full fledged hatred of this mutt, here is a list of things the dog has destroyed during his life time (or as I refer to it ‘The Dark Ages’):

- Wifey’s boots

- Eight year old’s Red Sox hat

- Three binkies belonging to three year old. Quick note, youngest was just about two at the time and he was not happy. On one occasion, we didn’t even know the dog had destroyed one until it came out the other end in pieces. Stupid fucking dog.

- Five mittens. No, they didn’t match

- Two screen doors. He has a tendency to jump against the doors and has put himself through two separate ones.

- Our back hall. No, really. The entire fucking back hall is ruined because of this dog. Since he is so hyper and destructive, we can’t let him in the main house for long periods of time without someone being there. So we gate him in the back hall. He has chewed the woodwork, scratched the shit out of the connecting laundry room doors, ruined the door frames with his constant jumping and scratching and made the entire area one big, disgusting pit.

You know what. I would be fine with all of that. Dogs will be dogs, after all. What puts me over the edge with this dog is his personality. He whines ALL THE TIME! If he wants something he whines. If he wants to go out he whines. If the sun is out he whines. If it’s dark he whines. If he senses any movement in the house he whines. If it’s 3 am and the whines don’t get our attention, he yips. ‘Yip! Yelp! Wip!’ It’s a high pitched and intensely irritating. I would rather he simply bark. (He does bark, too, but it's usually when he hears a car door outside or footsteps or the wind. Yeah, he barks at everything. Except that time someone broke into wifey's van parked right outside the door. He didn't bark then).

But here’s the catch. If he’s whining and you let him out, he turns right around and starting yelping to come back in the house. He hasn’t even peed or pooped or anything. I watched from the window and once he’s on the leash he walks down the stairs, turns around, comes back up and starts yelping to come back in the house. What the fuck is with that?

If we ignore the yelping he jumps up and down at the gate to the back hall. Constantly. My buddy thought I was exaggerating when I told him about our dog. He was one that grew up with dogs – often multiple dogs – in his family, so he just thought the dog needed training or something. He came to visit one day and the dog was jumping at the gate for a solid 20 minutes. In mid conversation he stops dead, points at the dog and angrily says ‘Does he fucking do this all the time?!’

Yes. Yes, he does.

So now that you have the history of this dog, I will give you the whipped cream and cherry for the topping. Come to think of it, this will include the chocolate fudge, too. Not the good kind.

This occurred the day after we got back from vacation. We had picked the dog up the previous afternoon and the night was uneventful. He tends to be tired after staying at the kennel and sleeps a lot. For the record, he’s stayed at this kennel many times before and there has never been a problem of any type.

On this day I get up early and head to the gym to work off some of my vacation desert intake (have another two weeks to burn them totally off). The dog was looking good. We had him shampooed and groomed while at the kennel. I pass him on the way out and he barely lifts his head. I give him a pat because I’m now undertaking the process of only showing him affection when he’s doing nothing. If he’s sitting or laying down I’ll give him a treat or pet him a bit.

It’s not working. Just gets him riled up.

When I get home from the gym, I smell poop even before I open the inner door. I enter to utter poop carnage! Shit is literally everywhere. I had to tiptoe through the back hall (yeah that same back hall) so as not to step on it. I put the dog outside and leave all the doors open so I don’t suffocate on the stink and clean things up as best I can. When I’m done I still smell poop.

I look around and realize he had crapped on the other side of the hall, too! And there is even more there then what I had just cleaned up! I would have had less cleanup to do if the dog had simply exploded.

So, I get the rest cleaned up and wipe the floor down with disinfectant and go to bring the dog back in. Only I realize I can’t bring him in because he has poop all over his legs and butt. I did mention paying to have him cleaned, right? Good.

Now I have to get towels and wipe down the dog. Only this dog doesn’t like anyone touching his paws (we have to drug him when he gets his nails clipped) so he’s nipping at me while I’m trying to get the shit off his legs and butt. I don’t need to tell you I did not succeed.

After using the hose to get him to an acceptable level, I bring him back inside.

It was 7:10 AM.

One more thing: my older sister – against my vehement protests – went out and got her own cockapoo. Guess what? That thing is crazy, too. Like ours they can’t keep it in the main house without it going on a rampage. These dogs are small and cute and utterly insane. They don’t bite people (yet) or attack, but they are little destruction machines. I think the breeding has gone awry.

I kept telling her she could have had ours, but she needed to have her own.


Today’s distraction: If you’re considering getting a dog, here’s my advice. Thank me later.


son pere said...

First off, let me say that I love dogs, I mean I absolutely, unequivocably LOVE them! I now have two of my own, whom you met last week I guess (Bichon Frises), and they are hypoallergenic (I have two sons who were/are allergic to animal dander). I have ALWAYS had dogs - Golden Retrievers, mostly. But Goldens are too big for motor home traveling, so we got "lap dogs". These dogs are the cutest, most loveable, SANE, dogs we have ever had. Good travelers, good "watch" dogs, just generally good-natured dogs who love children and are very patient with them. And, the best part is that they play with THEIR OWN toys, not our wardrobes, shoes or furniture. Of course, occasionally Wilson, the oldest, will devour a whole loaf of bread if we leave it within his reach, but that's OUR fault, not his.

I personally walk our dogs at least 5 times per day (we, all three, need the exercise), for about 15 minutes each walk. You saw the park across from mi casa - that's where we walk. Sometimes, if the park is empty of other dogs, I will let them run loose to let of steam, and they love it. They always come to me when I call. Still, we sometimes are given little "gifts" from each of them, which we usually find in the morning. We have all hardwood floors, so it's not too much of a problem to clean up. In all, I'd say we are very happy dog owners with not too much to complain about.

So, maybe you should trade your Cockapoo for a Bichon!

BeachBum said...

I did meet your dogs and those are how dogs are supposed to be.

As a comparison, you know how your two dogs will sit there and let you pet them? They're nice and calm and will lay next to you without bothering you at all.

If you did that with my dog he would most likely piss all over you in excitement and not sit still for one second. He would keep walking over you back and forth, back and forth.

I swear the thing has ADD. Can dogs have ritalin prescriptions?

son pere said...

Hmmmm! Never had a dog actually piss on me. I've seen dogs who leak a bit when excited, but that usually lands on the floor, not a person. As for the Ritalin, I suppose you could give him that, in modest amounts. I think the dosage is based upon weight.