The past 6 weeks or so have been very interesting...and I hope to write a complete update about that soon. Parker and I have certainly had our ups and downs (and the downs were pretty extreme). At the moment we are doing well and getting ready for Christmas fun. He and I are hosting Christmas Eve, so the monster will be quite thrilled having 13 people in the apartment to lick, jump on, and generally harass.
He has certainly enjoyed the snow. I'm not quite sure what happens, but the moment that he steps outside and realizes there is snow on the ground...it's like he has taken a hit of speed. If you ever wondered what a pug on crack looks like, this is it. He does get very chilly though, and I only have one hoodie that fits him...
Everyone laughs and calls him santa pug. I guess it's warranted. I promise that he actually likes it! One thing that he did not like, however, was the morning when I dressed him as rudolph pug...
We did not get a real tree this year for a variety of reasons. Topping that list was my fear of Parker lifting the ol' leg on it. (Once you hear some of the crap that he's pulled in the past few months, you will see why.) But with the help of an uber crafty friend, I still decorated this weekend -- keeping everything out of pug reach.
This was after closing the crate door and covering it with a blanket last night. So that tactic is out. On to plan b...
Please place your vote (via comment) for either:
1. Citronella anti bark spray collar.
2. Stationary bark control training system.
Lets go back a few days...
Parker spent last Friday with his pug buddy Bob and his owners Martin and Cat. He's been there countless times and never had a problem, and yet on Friday, Parker peed in the apartment. First of all, way to make me feel SUPER when I come pick you up, jerk face.
Kate: "Hey, Martin! How was the day? Thanks so much for hanging with him!"
Martin: "Oh it was great, per usual. We went to the park, hung out, did some chewing. Then Parker peed on my bike."
Kate: "Excuse me? Please tell me you're kidding."
Martin: "Nope. Right here [points to bike]."
Kate: "Shit, I'm so sorry. He's been acting up lately and I'm stressed about it."
Martin: "It's cool. I yelled at him and put him on his back for a while. Yeah, he's clearly going through adolescence and trying to assert his dominance. You have to remind him that he's not the alpha. He looks at me and says 'that guy thinks he's in charge, so I'm gonna pee on his bike.'"
Does this look like the face of someone who's running the show?
- Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.
- Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.
- When loved ones come home, always run to great them.
- When it’s in your best interest, practice obedience.
- Let others know when they’ve invaded your territory.
- Take naps and stretch before rising.
- If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
- When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by and nuzzle them gently.
- Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
- On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.
- When you’re happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
- No matter how often you’re scolded, don’t buy into the guilt thing and pout...run right back and make friends.
- Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
- Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
- Run, romp, and play daily.
- Eat with gusto and enthusiasm.
- Be loyal.
- Never pretend to be something you’re not.
...thanks to my friend Ashleigh for passing this along. I've read it 8 or 9 times now and it keeps getting better.
Lately, he does this every morning while I'm getting ready for work. First he has to cruise around the rest of the apartment and get his nose into just about everything....then eventually he makes his way into the bedroom and decides to check out what's happening under the bed. Sometimes he just stays like this, without dragging himself all the way under. I don't really get that though? Is he just surveying his "kingdom"...? I wonder if he remembers being stung one time while he was under there. Who knows. From time to time I have to check under there to see if he's left any of my socks or underwear. Trust me, it happens.
I'm gearing up to get more serious about training. Parky has been acting up big time over the past couple of weeks and I need to get him back in line! Ugh.
I pick it up, look at it, and then look at my friend the MONSTER sitting innocently in the kitchen. (If I could read his thoughts at that moment, they would have been "mom, that was SO five minutes ago"), I then bring it over to him so that he remembers his handy work when I'm yelling at him...
Some of you are probably thinking, "gee, Kate, this sounds awfully familiar." For those of you who aren't, I draw your attention here.
I didn't have the heart to check and see if it worked before I left the house. I knew that if it didn't, the thought of having to wait to get a new remote before I could watch everything I had on DVR would make me want to chuck something off of my porch. Fortunately for Captain Destructo, it did work when I got home last night, and we were able to curl up and watch a few episodes of Glee.
Since I started watching Glee, I've noticed that Parker takes a particular interest in it. Usually he only watches TV with me when there's a dog on screen (Cesar Millan is his personal favorite), but there's something about this show that he finds interesting and entertaining. Last night while I lay on the couch watching an episode with Parker on my lap, I noticed that he stopped chewing on his rope to watch this scene with me. If only he was bopping his head along with the music, now that would have been fanpugintastic.
In other news, Parker spent last weekend at his buddy Bob's house and had a blast. It was a bit chilly on Saturday when they went out, so Parker wore one of Bob's jackets and apparently didn't want to ever take it off. When Martin went to put it on Bob the next day, Parker tried to wiggle his way in! So, now I need to purchase him one for the winter.
Tomorrow night we are off to a birthday pawty for his puggle friend Sophie. I will be sure to get some photos.
Me: "Oh he's good. He had a playdate last night with his friend Wilbur. He's a goldendoodle."
Dad: "Oh yeah, I think I've seen a few of those at the dog park recently when I take Parker. Tall? Lots of fur? What are they called again?"
Me: "Goldendoodles. Cross between a golden retriever and a poodle."
Dad: "Oh ponkadoodle."
Me: "No, GOLDENdoodle."
Dad: "Yeah, ponkadoodle."
Me: "Okay, yeah, sure. Ponkadoodle."
The good thing about Fall though is that I get great photos of the little monster...
I decided that a full blown halloween costume was cruel and unusual punishment for him, so I purchased a halloween shirt at Old Navy. I must say that he looks really cute and bad ass in it. There will be photos next week, not to worry. We headed out to visit Stacey and Wilbur the other night and Parker was wearing his shirt. Two NSTAR guys stopped us on the way to admire him and thought that his outfit looked smashing. (I was totally expecting them to make fun of me for purchasing a halloween t-shirt for my dog, but they must have partners who do the same thing.) Instead of being super gracious and appreciative, I snapped "AM I GOING TO LOSE MY POWER?" Because the thought of being home, alone, in the dark, freaked me out.
So, this means that I have an adaptable dog who also picks up on all of my insanity. I'm screwed.
That said, he seems to be doing fine (aside from the peeing on the bed incident...and an infection in his face wrinkles which was/is really quite horrifying and disgusting), and is still happy with the little things, like our evening couch time. Now that the morning routine has changed, he's even behaving while I'm in the shower (knock on wood).
While I try to focus on me and figure out how to make positive changes in life to get me to a better place, I'm also going to spend a lot of time with my favorite monster. If nothing else, he's a great listener.
It's "noisy boys" Friday, and Parker is in heaven. I wish that I could hang with them today and see how happy they are. More romping photos to follow, I'm sure.
In other news, a very big congratulations to our amazing dog walkers, Urban K9, for getting Best of Boston from Boston Magazine. I can't imagine the last 10 months without them.
But at this point, I think that using the remote spray collar at the park when he goes to eat wood chips may not be a bad idea. Laura also reminded me that it's slightly insane for 3 or 4 of us to go running around the park after him with spray bottles.
For the past ten minutes, I have been trying to find information online about pugs and spray collars. I didn't find much, except one book that suggested pug eyes can be irritated by too much exposure to the spray. As you know, pugs have the bug-eyed syndrome, coupled with zero snout, so they always get more in their eyes than breeds with noses.
Really though, I would love to know the answer. I put Parker in his pen this morning while I showered. While in there, I had a nagging suspicion that he was up to something, but I chalked it up to the sound of the garbage truck outside. Oh was I wrong. When I walked into the living room, he looked up at me with something beige in his mouth. My immediate thought: "it couldn't be...oh shit, it is." Styrofoam.
My little son had managed to open the zipper under his bed and start pulling out the styrofoam cushion with his puggy teeth. It was really unclear how much of it he actually ate, and how much he just pulled out. Lets just say that a good 1/3 of the styrofoam is no longer attached.
This raises a number of questions:
1) HOW DID HE OPEN THE ZIPPER?
2) How could styrofoam possibly taste good?
3) Why is he so pissed off at me?
4) Why do all of the good quality beds have to cost over $100? (The one that he just destroyed was around $30 from Petco. I don't recommend them anymore.)
5) Does styrofoam expand in a dog's stomach? (I asked Nik this question while I was still standing in my towel giving Parker a death stare. She told me that he wasn't going to die just because his eyes were getting droopy. That in fact, he was probably just tired from his hard earned snack.)
6) When will our dog stop being descructo-pug?
Both nights, we returned and found his pen in COMPLETE disarray. It looked like a tornado hit the 3' x 3' square of the living room that is his space. He had flipped over his bed, pulled the towel off of the top of the crate, spilled his water, pulled all the blankets out of the inside of the crate, and shifted the shape of his pen from a square into lightning bolt. I wish I had a picture of this, but don't worry I'm sure that I'll have more opportunities to capture it on camera.
So that's clearly how Parker deals with being pissed off at us. I interpret pen destruction to mean "F you, moms. now clean this up and i'll go grab one of your socks and hide under the bed."
This morning, I tried to spend a little extra time playing with him before getting ready for work. We played fetch with his donut:
...which I adore because half the time you can't see his face, just a giant red blob coming towards you. He's been really into keep away lately. He gets bored with fetch after 3 or so minutes and gets into his "come and get me sucka" pose. Great fun for all involved.
When he (begrudgingly) went into his pen this morning, I promised him some quality time tonight.
I came home and tested it out. No surprise, it doesn't work. Then I had some choice words for Parker. (I'll refrain from quoting them here.)
Fast forward thru me going to work...Parker taking a nap...going to playgroup with the dog walkers and his buddies...followed by a series of naps....
5:45 pm: I came home from work, fed the monster and set out for our walk over to the park. I was feeling positive coming off of our experience there less then twelve hours earlier. There were probably 3 or 4 dogs there, including one who was really excited to play! So, what does Parker do? He walks in there, pees, and then goes to work EATING WOODCHIPS. Oh man was I pissed. So, as our trainer Melissa instructed, I put his leash back on so that I could correct him when he tried to go for it. He literally does not care how many times I give him a verbal correction and/or a firm tug and "NO." Could not care LESS in fact. It is so, so frustrating. I even held onto the leash and walked around with him, and he would STILL go for the chips. There were moments when someone threw a ball for their dog, and Parker would get excited so I'd let him run after them. He would go about halfway....bend down...and start eating again. I. ALMOST. LOST. MY. MIND. We left and went home.
Me = defeated
Parker = stomach full of wood chips, face showing no remorse
A little perspective goes a long way. It's frightening to think about how quickly life can change. Literally at a moment's notice.
Sending truck loads of good wishes to Wally. (So does Parky.)
So everything was grand until someone started barking at 6 am....and guess who had to get up?! I'm totally not bitter.
In news that's completely unrelated to Parker, saw The Hangover last night and it's hysterical. Go. See. It. Now.
The kicker is that Nikki left this morning for a work retreat. Uh-oh for Parky. What will he do without his most favorite mom? I will likely introduce distractions...and perhaps bribery. Can you say dog store tonight? I can.
Happy as a clam on grandpa's shoulder:
At this point, he probably gets excited when we go away because he usually gets to go stay with the dog walkers for a few days (which in his mind is "parker's playhouse"), and then over to my parents'. Talk about a spoiled boy.
So, tonight we have a home visit with his doggie trainer. In my head, she's going to come in, teach me how to be cesar millan...and we'll be good to go. "Calm and assertive" - me in a nutshell.
Some days he goes for the toilet paper roll. Some days he takes a pillow off of the couch in the living room, drags it onto the floor and chew on a corner. Some days he goes into the spare bedroom, jumps up on the bed (NOT ALLOWED) and rolls around in the clean laundry...if he's lucky, he finds a dryer sheet and chews on that for a few. This morning, he left me a nice big poop right in the middle of the kitchen floor.
As I yelled at him for offense #1, he ran into the study and grabbed my girlfriend's dirty softball sock out of the laundry pile...and ran around the house with it. Exhibit a:
see more dog and puppy pictures
growing up i admit that i was a pug hater. even in college, i thought they were hideous dogs. obviously now, i am a total convert. i want to squeeze all of them -- especially the pug puppies. it makes me think about parker when we first brought him home. one of my girlfriend's co-workers used to call him GORDITO!! (spanish for 'little fatty')....because he had the cutest buddha belly, which was totally disproportionate to the rest of his mini doggie body.
even though the picture above is a fawn, it reminds me of parky when he was a tiny little dude. he used to get so excited about eating that his back paws would come off of the ground and he would practically face plant into his bowl of kibble. those were the days.