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They Can’t Be Perfect

Author: Sally Bushwaller | Date: January 24, 2012

Even good dogs have bad days. My girls, Cassie and Hope are great house dogs. They generally have excellent house manners, although in typical Weimaraner fashion, they are counter surfers when I’m not around. Cassie is quite fanatical about getting to any food left on the counters, but with good management that is not a problem… usually.

The problem that did arise came in the form of a misaddressed Christmas package. The package, while having our correct address, had the wrong name on it. I put it on the back of a chair and was going to deal with it on Monday (it arrived on a Saturday). Also on that chair was a stack of polar fleece which I use to cover their bed and the floor when I give them things to chew. This makes it easy to keep things clean… usually.

My husband and I went to a Weimaraner Club meeting. We returned several hours later to a trail of what appeared to be flour, starting in the kitchen and going down the hallway into the living room, where it appeared a flour bomb had exploded.

We quickly saw they had pulled the mysterious package down and knocked the fleece off the chair in the process of getting the package off. Then they proceeded to tear open the package which contained 6 one pound boxes of Sweet Potato Pancake Mix. So not only was this flour, it was flour, lots of sugar and various other things, sweet potato being low on the list! Four of the pancake mix boxes were shredded, there was sugar and flour all over everything, including the dogs. There muzzles and whiskers were encrusted in a solid mass of sugar. It looked like they had been stuck by a porcupine and was very hard to get off.  Apparently this happened because after eating 4 pounds of flour and sugar they drank a bucket of water dry. Then, because they drank a whole bucket of water, peed in the house.

It was loads of fun to clean up and took three hours. But we cleaned it up and ignored the dogs and DIDN’T yell at them. We didn’t catch them in the act of doing it, so there was no use in yelling. Yelling would only have made the dogs think we were irrational and they wouldn’t have understood why they were being yelled at.

I learned the hard way many years ago with Cassie. She was given up twice because she wasn’t house trained. It took us a long time to house train her. When she did have accidents, she would always do it by the back door on the hard floor. One day I can home and found pee by the door and cleaned it up but was mad and making a big deal about it. From that one episode, Cassie started to hide in corners and pee on the carpet. Ultimately we got her trained after about a year.

The moral of the story is: Don’t overreact, even when it’s tough not to. Just clean up the mess and do a better job of management in the future.

P.S.: The house did smell really nice for a couple days, like sweet potato potpourri.


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