Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Battle of the B*tches

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?


Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Your patience is truly noble. And you make me feel deeply ashamed of how proud I felt about tolerating our cat with the wrecked colon. That wasn't even close to the sainthood you've established over there.
I confess, I'd be of the cattle prod school of training. (Hang head in shame--but hey! I don't poop on the carpet!)

Leeanna said...

No doubt you are to be commended for your patience. I would have put her outside all day to give her a taste of what she would look forward to if she didn't fly right. We had a bit of a problem with Pebbles when we rescued her. She would be locked up in the kitchen with floor pads at night until she learned to go do her biz outside. It took a l o n g time to get her trained but I did it. So I know what you are going through with the sleepless nights and all. I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to hand her off to someone else ( please not me). ahahahaaaa


Louisiana Belle said...

I really have to admire all the work you have put into her. Sounds like you need a visit from Cesar Milan! I'm a dog fanatic, but I don't know if both of us could coexist in the same house.

Charlie said...

The poor old thing, and the elderly Shitzu too.

I know you well enough to know that you're not a quitter, and that eventually you'll win out. And old dogs can learn new behaviors: Molly, who's pushing fourteen, learned a new one just the other day.

I have to laugh, as usual, at the way you tell a story ...

Stinkypaw said...

I feel for you, really. YOu are such a sucker, oops, I meant a sweety to put up with this old pooch and all her crap. Don't give up and show her who's really the Alpha in that house!

Jeanie said...

I have no doubt that you will come out the winner and Kudos to you for making the effort.

Jennifer Jayhawk said...

The thing that works well with our maltese, when she barks, is a spray bottle of water. We use piddle pads with her. We have serious hawks so letting her outside by her self is not an option. The hawks actually start circling almost every time she is outside with us!!! They actually make piddle pads that smell like grass.

Joanna Jenkins said...

You went through all the stuff with Big Kid AND had this little pisser?!?!?! I bow to you ATM-- I'd have jumped out the window by now.

But my money is on you and the training. Little Messy has no idea who she's dealing with! Do you want to borrow my fuzzy slippers ;-)


Katie :o) said...

Oh what a fun read! Just found your blog & look forward to reading more :o)

Heather said...

Oh thank you for something funny to read today. I don't like dogs one bit....and reading this reaffirms why. The diaper thing sounds like a good idea.....I wonder if I could put them on my cats so they quit making messes all over my garage. HELLO....the litter box is right in front of you, don't crap next to it. I am going to be a cat in my next life....or your Yorkie.

TechnoBabe said...

I am sorry,I know this is extremely unnerving and tiring, but I am laughing my guts out here. I just want to thank you for making my day. I know it isn't your day, but hey, it sure is mine. Thanks.

Rootietoot said...

I relate. The dachshunds are hard to train as well, and if it's raining they Will Not Go Outside. So, I feed them a dog food that makes for hard dry, easy to clean up turds. It's just easier that way. They'll go outside if the day is fine, and poop right in front of the gate so you'll step in it when you come in to the back door.

Valerie Marie said...

"Puxatawny Pooper" love it! You're such an angel... You'll show her who's the Alpha dog in this house!

Clippy Mat said...

oh my, oh my, this makes my yappy little poodle a saint by comparison.
you have my utmost sympathy but i tend to agree with other commenters, you will ultimately be the top dog in this little tussle, she don't know who she's messin' with, daft pooch.
good luck

Anonymous said...

You do know that there is a very, very, very special place for you in heaven. You my friend, have a heart of pure GOLD. You do see the good in almost everyone, human or canine, and you do not give up on them. I love that about you. I'm sorry I laughed, but I had a problem house training Daisy, but compared to what your going through, Daisy looks like a piece of cake.
I have no doubt that your Alpha Status will eventually shine through at some point, in a year or so, kidding, I know you will win this battle, once her trust in you really gels. She will get it, you are always consistent (I think we have had a lot of practice with that, for some reason) and I know in the end, she will become a sweet, loving member of your family. Except for the farting. Our Sadie is a farter, we love her so much, we have come to accept it and just hold our noses. We wouldn't trade our 80 pound, gentle giant for the world.

Good luck with the training. You are making progress and with time, it will only get better. Until then, you are known at St. Attila to me.


Brenda said...

Girl, you have the patience of a saint!

ani said...

OMG I so needed this today,,, so funny, you are a saint , I thought i put up with alot, sheesh

Anonymous said...

Blahahahaha, I shouldn't laugh, sorry !!! OK, I may have a reason for her barking at 3am. I inherited an old dog too and it occasionally barked and howled for no apparent reason until one day I realized there was a faint sound of siren. You may find that there is something in your area that bursts to life at the same time every morning. eg a factory, generator. Some dogs are seriously sensitive to high pitched sounds and send them bonkers.

All else fails I suggest giving Cesar a buzz !!!