Sunday, April 25, 2010

Marley - Home Alone (written May 1998 - boy, we had no perspective then on puppy damage)

Last Thursday evening we left Marley loose in the house while we were gone…he made it through an hour just fine. Friday night, we left him out for two hours…still good. We were just so thrilled with our puppy on Friday night!, it was a family lovefest with Craig and I both stroking him with both hands, murmuring “Good Boy!” with such emphasis that his ears stayed pricked up. And of course, a couple of doggy treats were thrown his way.

Well, Saturday night while we were at a friend’s house we left him out for 3 ½ hours. Despite his behavior in the not-so-distant past we were so amazingly confident of him this time, based on the last two nights. As we approached our back door, we felt contentedly full of red wine and veal (that’s what you get when you visit a French friend) and were experiencing only a smidgen of our usual fear (variations on, “What has the little bastard done now?”).

Uh-oh…the curtain was on the floor. Well, last time he pulled it down but didn’t rip it. No – this time he ripped both sections of it…just small tears on each section but enough so that the curtains have to be replaced if we have guests over…we could live with their present taped-and-stapled state, but…

When Marley yanked the curtains and the curtain rod down he went a step further than before, he actually pulled a bracket out of the wall. Once again, we are scratching our heads at the breadth and height of this little dog’s reach. (The first time he pulled down the curtains we had thought, approaching the back door, that the house had been burgled - through the glass door we could see the phone receiver knocked off on the floor...it was only somewhat of a relief that Marley had attacked the house, not a stranger.)

The living room looked OK. The bedroom and bathrooms were shut off, out of his path of destruction. Then I head Craig scream from the office.

Marley had tipped over one of Craig’s CD racks, and CD ROMs etc. were strewn across the floor. Not a forgivable sin.

Plus, Marley had bent and ripped a few more slats from the blinds in that room. Last year I had to cut out the slats he attacked…now that I’ve cut out his latest handiwork, there aren’t a lot of blinds remaining on the bottom half of the window. We had to pull up the blinds to a halfway point – the strings he ripped are kind of dangling, but it doesn’t look too bad. By the way, after last year’s attack we priced new blinds…of course this window is a non-standard size. One of those repairs that will have to wait until we move out…what the hell, let him do some more damage.

Unfortunately this is the room where I usually do my stretching exercises in the morning (when it’s dark outside, and I’m showcased inside with the light on). I had been doing these exercises in a t-shirt and panties – obviously a change in wardrobe is necessitated by the additional missing slats.

Craig refused to touch Marley for the rest of the evening, and he wouldn’t let him jump up on the couch to watch TV. Trying to present a united front, I put my hands behind my back when Marley leaned against my legs for an ear-rubbing.

He really looked sad…but probably sad because he wasn’t getting attention, not because he was experiencing any human-type regret over his actions. Craig kept saying hopefully, “He looks like he feels sorry for what he’s done,” but I repeated what the dog experts say: dog brains just don’t make all these connections.

Even the next morning Craig wanted to continue the cold-shoulder treatment, he was still so disappointed in Marley. I said that was ridiculous, Marley at this late date had even less of an idea What He Had Done. I also pointed out, “Even if/if Marley was sorry for what he did while we were gone, he doesn’t have any hands!, when he knocks something down he can’t put it back up.” Craig ignored these insightful comments.

Now Craig is telling people, “I guess Marley’s threshold is 3 hours.” I find this illogical, since for all we know, Marley had major separation anxiety right after we left and/or saw a cat stroll by, and the damage could have occurred in the first 5 minutes. Then I’m sure he slept peacefully until we, The Punishers, returned.

1 comment:

Jodette said...

Oh, bull****, LOL. Jade once hid Molly's favorite toy on a lamp to tease her. I had to GET RID OF THE LAMP! The toy had melted & was ruined & had to be thrown away. But Molly was after that lamp until we donated it. Dogs absolutely can make those connections. They are so much smarter than we think!