Which One’s Which?

I have to feed them both several times a day. I try to establish a routine so the meals come at the same time everyday, but if they get hungry they are not shy about telling me. They cry, they whine and they otherwise make my life miserable even if it’s not time for them to eat yet.

They both require constant attention. I need to play with them and make sure they have their toys or they get upset. I need to make sure I carve out some time to do something special with them, like go for a walk.

They both require a great deal of clean up on my part. To be blunt, they shit and they piss constantly. That leaves me to clean all of it up. I’ve had to wipe their asses by hand when things were especially bad and God forbid they eat something they’re not supposed to because that’s when things really get messy.

Both of them have completely changed the way MJ and I live. We can’t always take them out wherever we go. If we’re gone for a long period of time we need someone to watch them. Often times that means we can’t go out like we want to, because we have responsibilities at home.


So am I talking about Will? Yes. But everything I’ve described holds true for our two dogs as well. And frankly, I’m having a hard time with a baby and not one, but two needy canines.

Actually, Haley (our Golden) is a very good dog. She listens to commands, generally behaves well and has control of her bladder. It’s Fenway our dalmatian that is really vexing me. I hate to say it, but if things don’t change Fenway might find herself re-homed. I know that sounds horrible, but you don’t know what it’s like dealing with this dog.

First of all, she is house broken. I know for a fact she can hold it in for up to 9 hours. Yet lately, she’s been screwing with me when it comes to pissing and crapping in the house. For instance, I’ll take her out for a walk in the morning and she won’t go to the bathroom. Then I’ll let her out in the yard so she can go, and nothing. Then I let her in and while I’m giving Will a bottle, she looks directly in my eyes and proceeds to shit right there on the floor in front of me. This has happened more than once, and it’s increasing lately. And whenever I come home from work, 9 times out of 10 there is some mess to clean up. It’s ruining our hardwood floors and pushing the limits of my sanity.

Now before you start in on me, we have worked with Fenway. She was an abused stray so that’s always tough, but we actually trained her pretty well. She knows sit, stay, down and when we feed her or go out for a walk, neither of the dogs move an inch until I give the “Free” command. To the untrained eye, they are very well behaved. And we tried crate training but remember, we live in a condo in very close quarters. Ordinarily I’d just let Fenway bark to her heart’s content in the crate, but we started getting complaints from neighbors at night so we were hamstrung a little there.

But Fenway is stubborn. Very stubborn. I used to feed them breakfast every morning around 6 am. But ever since Will was born, Fenway wants to eat earlier and earlier. Now she consistently battles me starting around 3:30 am daily. I ignore her or use the shock collar, but she’s relentless. She’ll sit right at the edge of the bed and start whining. Softly at first, but then growling loud enough to wake us up. And if that doesn’t work, she’ll start barking. And when she starts barking at 4 a.m., that’ll wake up the neighbors so I have no choice but to give in, which sends the wrong message. Not to mention it wakes Will up and then I’m really getting no sleep.

Also, Fenway’s only mission in life is to eat. It’s all she thinks about. She counter surfs like a MoFo and she gets into EVERYTHING! We try to keep things out of reach but this dog is part Houdini. And no matter how many firm “No” commands or punishments we dole out, she just doesn’t quit.

It makes me sad because I’m thinking about giving her up. I don’t want to, but it’s really starting to negatively affect my life. I’m not getting enough sleep and I’m constantly pissed at her to the point I think about just opening the door and letting her run away.

I just think she might need a home with a couple with no kids and no other pets. She is kind of the Queen Bee and I think with another dog and now a baby, she’s feeling replaced. Everytime I bring this up MJ gets all weepy so who knows if it’ll ever happen. But I need my life back. Having dogs is really just one step below having kids, and it’s wearing on me big time.

Anyone want a spotted terror of a dog?

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11 thoughts on “Which One’s Which?

  1. I’m going through a similar problem with my cat. She pisses on everything, gets into the trashcan, begs for food… You’d think she was a dog in a former life or something. I wouldn’t mind bringing the cat back to the shelter, but it would break my wife’s heart.

    All I know is that a cat is not worth keeping if it ruins carpet, especially when you’re renting.

  2. Sounds like she’s sure mad at you. And I’m sorry you have to deal with it. I’ve lived with my share of tough (bad) dogs and I don’t have much patience for it any more.

    I wish I had some sage advice, but I understand being pushed to the breaking point with an animal.

  3. When you rescued Fenway you made a comittment to her. Pets are one step below kids and you would NEVER send Will away if he became difficult or inconvenient. Do you want to send that message? Will and Haley would miss Fenway which might end up causing you more problems. Could you really deal with this dog that you RESCUED being put in a cage all alone?

  4. Chelsea,

    Rest assured, if we do decide to part ways with Fenway I will make absolutely sure she goes to a good home. Even if I can’t do it myself, I have a number of organizations who would help me.

    But we’ve spent money on a crate we can’t use, trainers who haven’t fixed anything and I personally installed the damn floor Fenway is single-handedly ruining. We’re talking thousands of dollars. I love the dog, I found her and picked her out. She was 20 lbs overweight and neglected when we got her. With a diet, exercise and proper care the vet said we probably added two years to her life.

    This is not a decision that we’re taking lightly because it is extreme. But so is her behavior. We’ll have to see how it works out but if she does go, it won’t be because we didn’t try our hardest.

  5. Aw, poor doggy. But poor you, more. Sorry 🙂 I bet she’s feeling a little conflicted about Will in your life now. She must have some issues. It’s hard to reward her when her behavior is spotty (literally) but she might need more than the regular dog. I’ve heard that Dalmations can be a little high strung. I guess that could manifest itself in many ways. Our cats both got conjuntivitus with both kids. They just couldn’t handle the stress. I’m sorry about all the stress, but mostly your carpet cleaning bill.

  6. Jen,

    She does have issues. Even before Will there were issues. And I know I wrote that I might re-home her but it’ll never happen. I’m just venting because I’m at the end of my rope. We rescued her from the MSPCA and since dalmatians have a bad rep, she was in stuck in the kennel for 3 months before we took her home. My wife wasn’t sold on her but I was immediately. I don’t think I could give her up, but some days I really do feel like I can’t take it anymore.

    The reason I put in hardwood floors is because she wrecked our carpet. She soiled it past the point of no return. I pretty much had no choice except to put laminate floors in. And now she’s slowly wrecking that too and it makes me insane.

    But just when I’m ready to get rid of her she’ll cuddle up to me or look at me with those soulful brown eyes and just like that, she’s got me.

    The things we do for our furry kids…

  7. Get rid of her. You, your wife, and your son’s well-being come first. This is a mature, well-thought decision. Good call buddy.

  8. I’m thinking that Fenway might be best as any only dog for someone. Sometimes dogs get a bit jealous and it never goes away. I bet if you found someone who wanted an only dog and would be around to give her the attention that she feels she needs, Fenway will be happy and you will be happy.

    The situation is win win.

    And I know that this isn’t an easy decision for you. I know you LOVE dogs.

  9. how about leaving some food in your night table and pulling from there when she is hungry. at least you don’t have to get up??

  10. I know even thinking about something like this is difficult. I’ve been there. All I can say is that it sucks. I’m sorry.

    I’m not a dog pro by any means, but I’ve heard the same thing about dalmatians that the previous poster referenced – they are more high-strung. Do you take your dogs on long walks (> 1 hour)? This might help – not only with getting some of their pent-up energy out, but spending some quality time with you.

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