Monday, October 22

"How big of a disaster is this, on a scale of 9 to 10?" —Joan Callamezzo

Folks, I'm at the end of my rope with the animals. I really don't have the perspective right now to discern if this is how they always are and it just bothers me more, or if they're acting up because they sense the upcoming changes, but either way I'm over it.

Bonnie and Zoe "cuddling" on our bed  their Playhouse of Horrors.
Cody and Bonnie have yet to make friends with the new dogs in our new backyard-neighbor's house, even though they've lived there for over two months. Every time all the dogs are out in the two yards simultaneously, they meet at the fence for a quick run-through of The Dogpocalypse. It's to the point that Bonnie frequently begs to go outside just so she can stand on the porch and bark in their general direction.

Cody persists in his belief that he's just a human who poops outside and therefore can't stand to be in our enormous, beautiful, fenced yard in this glorious weather for more than four minutes at a time. After that, he comes to the back door and pounds on it—that's not an exaggeration—while whining until I let him back in. And he's been sassing me. The other day, while I repeatedly warned him not to, he looked me in the eyes and knocked two throw pillows off the couch so he could get up and pretend to lick his paw when what he really wanted to do was lick the couch itself. He knows how I feel about the throw pillows.

Nighttime, though, is a repeated battle that I never win. At this stage in pregnancy, getting and staying comfortable can be a challenge. But the animals add a level of awfulness that have me on the brink of throwing everybody out of the house altogether.

Cody's favorite wee hours activity alternates between licking himself loudly and long, literally waking me up to a disgusting squelching sound—if it were on a noise machine, would be called Gurgling Swamp—and pacing the room and the hall, occasionally looking out the window to growl at the dust particles he's disturbed when nosing through the blinds.

Once Bonnie hears Cody doing anything, she's up, because her Indefatigable Enthusiasm for Life won't let her stay in bed if there's a swamp to explore or a dust bunny to chastise. Her most annoying quality, though, is nighttime licking. One night last week I woke up because my foot was on a wet patch: She had licked "her paw" so much that an eight-inch Circle of Dampness had penetrated the quilt and both layers of our sheets. When I yelled at her then shoved her over to Noah's side of the bed, she proceeded to do the same thing over there.

Taking a much-needed nap since they spend so many hours keeping me awake during the night.
The cat might be the worst offender because not only is she a nuisance herself, she's also an instigator. The dogs can't relax when she's haughtily flaunting her antics, and haughtily flaunting her antics is her favorite activity of day or night. The greatest trick she performs, though, is barfing from high places, such as sitting on our linens trunk and horking over the side onto the floor at 2 a.m. Last night's performance was especially classic, since she vommed onto a pillow Noah had tossed on the floor. Then when we throw her out and close the bedroom door, within two hours she stands outside and mewls into what I think is a megaphone she keeps handy for just that purpose until Noah either lets her back in our room or (my personal preference) throws her outside and comes back to bed.

Zoe the cat has been on a Three Strikes You're Out policy (with a two-strike handicap) for some time now. If she appears to be considering a jump into the bathroom sink (where she sometimes enjoys a good pee)? Strike three, she's outside. If she begins meowing loudly or acting like she forgets where her food bowl is? Strike three, she's outside. I'm thinking of considering dusk as a strike three, because although she has no power over the revolutions of the Earth and Sun in the cosmos, she certainly takes advantage of them.

I think it's time to apply the Two-Strike-Handicapped Three Strikes You're Out policy with the dogs. I simply must get more sleep. They would have a pin turned in their noses, as my Irish kin would say, but I don't care. They can sleep in the living room or the office until further notice. And I may even get them an early Christmas present: citronella anti-bark collars. Because nothing says shut the heck up like a spray of lemon scent to the face.


Sarah said...

I totally understand your pain (except for the whole pregnant thing)! I've started gating my dogs in the kitchen. They don't really appreciate it so much, but I don't care. I like being able to sleep the sleep of the dead without dog hair, dog smell, dog licking and dog "cuddling" (which is just entrapment for hours at a time). Get some sleep! :)

Unknown said...

Ah, Erin, we need to talk. The photo of playtime on the bed looks just like my house. First word: crate. Give each dog one for the night, so everybody sleeps happy. Truly -- it's a comfort to them, signals they are off duty. And your sleep will be crucial pretty soon, as you know. Second, any chance of a dog door? We had a storm door installed on our back door with a dog door and it -- literally -- opened Amos' world. No more letting dogs in and out, they make their own choices! Isn't that what all parenting should lead to?

I'm with you -- I can't stand the noise of dogs licking their paws or anywhere else on their body. And Juno also pretends to lick her paws but really wants to lick the furniture. Third word: foil. For some reason, a strip of foil along the bed, couch, etc, scares them too much from jumping up. Cody will know the end is near...

Kyle Townsley said...

You need to give them the dwight schrute doomsday device rule. They get 5 strikes. If they get 5 strikes then they hit a homerun. If you hit a homerun then you're out.

Kyle Townsley said...

You need to give them the dwight schrute doomsday device rule. They get 5 strikes. If they get 5 strikes then they hit a homerun. If you hit a homerun then you're out.

Anonymous said...

Is there no such thing as a collar that shoots an electric current to their brain and they remain unconscious for 12 hours but it doesn't hurt them?


Erin said...

Sarah—Hahaha is it really cuddling if it's aggressive and restrictive? I say no.

Lisa—We crated Bonnie and Cody when they were potty training. The only issue is we just don't have the room now that we have to have a crate for the baby as well. I mean, crib. I dream of a dog door. We have a sliding glass door onto the deck, but it actually needs replaced. Perhaps we could look into options at that point.

Kyle—Exactly. And even the slightest infraction counts as a strike.

Mum—You need to patent that idea right now. You can use Bonnie, Cody and your Cooper as test subjects.

Jenn said...

We don't run nearly as big of a zoo as you do (God bless you), but we had a beagle (cannot express the multitude of hate thrown into her general vicinity) that we gave to my in-laws. Apparently they enjoy babying dogs. Yay! And the pug? Well she is a valued member of the entertainment staff here for the kiddos, so as annoying as she gets, I can't let her go. She sleeps in the laundry room. She snores like a truck driver and I refuse to let her sleep anywhere on the second level of our home. In-laws say that's mean. I say, tough titties. ;)

Lish said...

Once I kicked the dogs out of the bed I slept SOOOO MUCH better. And I did it while I was pregnant because otherwise one of us would have died.
Alchemy, the youngest, has the same licking issue. It's like doggie OCD and makes me INSANE. Janie, the eldest, doesn't normally, but randomly at night she finds a spot that she must lick until the world is better. The world improves in about 5 hours and OMG IS SHE KIDDING ME.

The point being? I understand.

Anonymous said...

As you know a year after our first was born and I was pregnant with the second baby, our dog moved to the garage, it was that or I would have "accidently" left the gate open and let him run away. Seriously, one of our largest marital issues has been the dog.

Kim Bosman

Anonymous said...

Hey Erin,

Congrats on the new baby! They make doggie doors that slide right into a sliding door - very easy to install and you may even be able to make one.

It also may help to introduce your dogs to the neighbor dogs - that may help with some of the fence anxiety. Let them get to know each other so that they don't seem like such intruders.

Tuck leaves "wet spots" too (I think she is OCD). I love sleeping with my babies... but the definition of "sleep" certainly is challenged with them in the bed!

Hope all is well!

Anonymous said...

The VERY.BEST.THING I ever did was kick our dogs (two beagles and a redbone coonhound) out of the bed AND the bedroom. It was ridiculous. My husband fought me tooth and nail over it, but now even he admits how much better we ALL sleep, dogs included.

I put dog beds in comfy spots around the house, so they can choose where to sleep, like in front of the fireplace when it's cold or out on the porch when it's hot. The beds are large enough so that they can sleep together as they like to do. Then, I shut that bedroom door and did not open it no matter who cried outside. It only took a little while for them to get the message.

I still can't keep them off the couch, but that's a small price to pay for peaceful sleep at night.

Unknown said...

I can completely relate to not sleeping at night because of a pup! Our pup was recently sick and (even though Officer has a strong 'no dogs in the bed' polcy) we let her sleep under the covers. She fancied being snuggled between Officer and I and now she thinks that's her new sleeping spot. Every night she burrows her way under the covers and into the middle spot. She stretches out and almost always kicks one of us off of the bed! Officer even said today "we're not getting Scout a new bed for Christmas, since she doesn't even use hers anymore!" Oh pets. (: Where would we be without them? Thanks for the entertaining post!

A Rookies Wife

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