No, I'm not talking about the Real Housewives. I'm talking about the battle that is going on in my own home, between me and Little Missy, the elderly Yorkie we adopted last September. 9 months later, she is now known as Little Messy, Stinky Pete, the Puxatawny Pooper or That Little Shit, depending on who you're talking to.
For the first 12 years of her life, Little Missy was the pampered baby of an elderly lady. The woman never let her out of the house---she carried the little miscreant around, hand-fed her, and let her poop and pee wherever she wanted. When the woman passed away, her niece took the dog until she could find her a home. Which she did with dispatch, probably due to Little Messy's unpleasant habits.
The next family had small children, but they only lasted 8 months with her. They tried to crate train her, but she barked all night. They couldn't leave her out of the crate unattended, because she did her business all over the house while they were sleeping. They ultimately put her in diapers and let her sleep on their bed.
They thought she was deaf because she refused to respond to them (she's not, she just ignores everyone unless it suits her). Finally, the owners couldn't take it any more and decided to put her down if they couldn't find her a new family.
Enter dumbasses one and two. Which would be me and Hubby. Since I had trained our other 3 dogs (2 yorkies and one delicious noodly mutt) with military precision (the power of cheese, you know, or that failing, the bunny slippers from hell), I smugly figured I could teach that old dog some new tricks and she'd fit right in.
Man plans, God laughs. That little shit has been trying to train ME, as she has all her past peeps.
After the first month---we had her spayed, had breast tumors removed, and when the vet tried to clean her teeth, they all fell out but ONE (apparently all the previous owners took her to be groomed regularly, but never got around to taking her to a vet---her health was sadly neglected and she was in pain), she got acclimated and decided to try to assert herself as the queen bee in the house.
But there's only one Alpha B*tch here. And that would be me.
Every morning at 3 a.m., she starts barking. Not little ladylike yips, mind you, but shrill, piercing, ear-splitting yaps. And she does some kind of growly thing in her throat that brings to mind Linda Blair in The Exorcist. You keep expecting her head to twirl around as she rasps "Your mom sews socks that smell!"
She's incessant and she ultimately wakes up everyone in the house. Except Hubby. He snores so damn loud, that even if Chernobyl happened next door, he'd sleep through it.
At first we thought she had an old bladder and had to go to the bathroom. I'd put her out, and she'd just stand at the door and bark. You might think I should leave her out there until she did her business, but in the winter time, she'd turn into a pupsicle, or an owl might carry her off into the night.
I'd let her back in, and put her back in her crate. And the yapping would begin again the minute I left the room. So for the sake of everybody else's sleep, often times I'd busy myself in the kitchen or living room, because she wouldn't DARE bark if I was there. Many a dark gloomy morning I've sulked over my coffee and contemplated buying a cattle prod, but that would prolly kill the old thing daid.
The worst part is that we can't leave her locked up all the time. But there is NO time when she's alone and quiet to make an opportunity to praise her. So when we ultimately let her out, it just reinforces the behavior ("if I yap for 3 hours they'll let me out!") Ugh.
My latest solution, now that the weather is warm, is to take her crate outside into the garage once she gets going. There she can bark her damn fool head off and the only thing she'll bother is herself.
Every time I let the dogs out to potty, she runs under the couch. We have to grab her and physically put her out there before she figures out what we're doing. I am DONE trying to dig her out with a mop. She'll peek her head out from under the couch to see if anyone's around, and if she sees me, she'll turn around and squirm back under there. If nobody's there, she'll come out and poop on the carpet. Then run back under. Hence the name the Puxatawny Pooper.
We have learned to keep all the bedroom doors closed because about an hour or so before bedtime, she'd go hide under someone's bed. And they'd get the rude awakening when she started barking at 3 a.m. UNDER THE BED!
Since Hubby sleeps through the racket, it's his job to trap and crate the little stinker at night. Frequently when I get up, the couches and loveseat are pulled away from the wall in his quest to capture her.
Other than that, I have to admit she's a sweet old thing. She likes to cuddle, and farts a lot, but that's not her fault. Since she doesn't like to share or play well with others, the other dogs just ignore her.
But this is the last time. No more crotchety old dogs. Because no good deed, etc. etc.
How's YOUR week?