Thursday, December 13, 2007


We have 4 dogs. Yeah 4. We had 2 when we moved to our house on 10 acres (fully fenced) 6 1/2 years ago. A lab and a shepherd mix. I had wanted and Australian Shepherd for awhile and a week after moving in we went to the Sisters Rodeo and there was a gal there selling 2 month old Aussie puppies. I couldn't resist. After all, what was another dog when you have 10 acres? He was a bundle of energy though, and still is at 6 1/2.

All was well except that our older dogs got tired of his antics and we could see a younger companion for him might not be a bad idea. And we had 10 acres after all. So when we saw the box of lab puppies at the grocery store a year later, we took one home.

All was well for about a year and a half. Then the troubles began. It started with growling from the Aussie at the lab pup when eating and escalated from there. One day they got in a full out fight. Soon we were not able to let them near each other. So began the juggling of the dogs. We had to make sure they were not loose outside at the same time. One had to be in the fenced garden area (which is a huge area as well, roughly 50'+ x 50"+) or in the house at all times. We got used to this routine. We just deal with it. Other than the two youngest, they all get along just fine. Of course this totally defeated the purpose of having the 4th dog, but oh well. And to further complicate matters, I love the Aussie and John loves the lab and we both hate the other dog. So neither of us would agree to finding a home for either one.

So why do I hate the younger lab? Not only is he HUGE and annoying (he is really socially inept - constantly in the way and always sticking his nose in people crotches or up their butts) and HE PEES. IN. THE. HOUSE. Not accidents mind you, but intentional marking. Jaxon's toys, random stuff, and THE CHRISTMAS TREE.

Just recently he freaked out and broke the gate we put between the living room and kitchen (from Jaxon's toddler days) which we used on occassion to keep him in the kitchen (tile floor) and our bedroom door is currently off (not quite finished with the work restoring our bedroom after the water incident) so we have not been able to keep him out of the living room (which really is the only room he marks in). And we can't leave him outside in the winter with the temperature in the low teens. The Aussie goes in our walkin closet at night (he is too much of a spaz to run loose in the house) and Tipper (the lab)is usually in our bedroom. I have taken to stashing him in Jaxon's room but until Jaxon goes to bed that doesn't always work.

So I was fixing the train around the tree for Jaxon last night and could smell that the damn dog had marked on the tree. So I washed the tree skirt and sprayed the branch with "Kids and Pets" (enzyme cleaner). Then I hung the skirt to dry which it did quickly and put it back. After Jaxon went to bed, Tipper was in his room and I let Auskar (the Aussie) in. Before putting him in his closet (which is big enough to be more of a room than a closet) I went to put some wood on the fire. I hear the tinkling of ornaments and turn to see Auskar suspiciously close to the tree. YUP. He too marked where Tipper had marked earlier. DAMN DOGS! Auskar never does this in the house, he only did it cause Tipper had done it first.

So I washed the tree skirt again.

And the seriously wrong thing about all this? We will of course continue to put up with it. Probably for the next 6-8 years the dogs will probably live. I AM going to replace the carpet in the living room with hardwood soon though. At least it is easier to clean up.


Milk Maid said...

Try a mix of vinegar and water to wash the carpets with- it was the only thing that saved my sofa from the weener dog... who GOT ON THE COUCH to whiz. Sheish!

jen said...

ah. i miss having dogs. even the peeing ones.

Leslie said...

We have the same Christmas tree issues, but with cats. Luckily, we have hardwood, but it is a pain in the butt!!! What is it with animals and trees?