Saturday, July 11, 2009

how do you solve a problem like McKinlee?

I've lived through many a puppyhood. I've endured the fascination with shoes and slippers, snatching socks, housebreaking, and chewing through just about anything in their path. But McKinlee has brought a new challenge to the fore: she is eating the couch. The new couch. The not-yet-a-year-old-and-not-at-all-cheap couch. The corner of the cushion where Ken sits. The minute she is alone with the couch it is hers.

This poses several problems that probably don't need to be elaborated here. I'm more interested in solutions. The ones that occur to me are:

1) Training. This goes without saying, and she needs it anyway. I know myself--I can and will do some, but I'm not sure I have the self-discipline to impose it on her accordingly. My mother will bear this out as a truth.

2) Confinement. Ouch. She's a social dog and isolation makes her sad. Me too.

3) Attach her to my person at all times when we're home so that she isn't left alone unsupervised.

4) ? (I had a thought a moment ago and it has evaporated. Such a reflection of the state of my mind these days...)

I'm leaning toward #3. She tends to follow me around anyway, it's just when she gets bored that she gets into trouble. It will also mandate some training and will no doubt aid the housebreaking. How to attach the leash to me is another matter, but I'm resourceful. Ideas? I'm open to suggestions.

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I'm doing a long-distance wave to my Mom who is at Tanglewood this weekend with some friends (that's the summer home of the Boston Symphony, in the Berkshires of western Mass. Beautiful place). They've been going every year for so long that I can't remember. Back in the day some of them would ride their bikes from Hartford (the drive takes about 90 minutes) and camp out through the weekend. Now the group is rather gray, some have died, others are battling serious illness. But they're troopers, every one of them. Have a great weekend guys! Hope the weather holds!

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I'm also doing the long-distance wave to some friends who are in North Carolina for a girls weekend (is "girls" possessive in this use? I'm never sure...). I can imagine the fun and hoopla--wish I could join you!

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In other news I finally got our taxes done. We learned Tuesday that they had to be filed before Ken could take care of something, so the rush was on. It's not my best work, but the important thing is that they are done. I'm crossing my fingers that we won't owe anything, because then I'd probably be calling on my friend Maria to find bail money. And I'm already organizing this year's material so that next year I don't face such an overwhelming task.

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And finally. One of the joys of summer in the south is the crepe myrtle. Once it blooms (late June) it's glory shines until the cooling days of fall (think October). The blossoms are profuse and showy. I love the deep lavendar and rich fuscia colors, and can stare out the window at our neighbor's tree and sink in its beauty. We'd love to plant some in our own yard, but it's hard to find a place where there isn't rock when you dig down more than 3". In the meantime I enjoy the color in the neighborhood and the view from our windows.

Have a glorious weekend.

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Jayne said...

Hmmm... trying to think of what Cesar Millan would say. Redirect, provide lots of "appropriate" chew toys, isolate when you are away maybe?

Glad the taxes got done. I know that must be a relief!

Love the crepe myrtle too and how resilient they are.

Genie said...

I'd forgotten about this easily-available product until a friend recommended it for the cats' scratching on our couches, et al. Have you tried Bitter Apple? Others have recommended spraying the culprit(s) with spritzes of water. McKinlee looks like she's at least part water dog, tho, so she may like that more than run from it!

One of the things I miss most about the south are the crepe myrtles! I tried growing the littler version, crepe myrtlettes, in pots but haven't had any luck up here. Maybe it would work in your neck of the woods, tho. Not the same, true, but maybe a little bit of a help.

Jules said...

Wish you were here too...Love, Janet and Jules!

Anonymous said...

An airline crate isn't cruel and it can become a haven of safety and comfort...and save your couch!

But keeping her with you as much as you can is good for both of you. :O)


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