Category Archives: Bad Dog NO

He Who Must Soon Be Neutered

Before I got Truman, my roommate bought a little Harry Potter “sorting hat” key chain, and it was our plan to put it on Truman’s cute little head, take a photo, and announce to the world which house he’d been placed in.

From day one, Truman has been virtually impossible to catch in a nice sitting or lying down pose. The hat idea, which would probably have worked on a calmer pup, soon fell by the wayside. Even the photos from puppy pickup day show the other dogs happily in the arms of their raisers and obediently piddling on the grass before the trip home…but not Truman. I have some lovely pics of him obsessing on eating the grass, lunging for the other puppies, and (this one’s my favorite) stretching from the safety of my arms to bite the neck of a nearby littermate.

So the roommate immediately suspected, even without the aid of the sorting hat, that Truman belonged in the house of Slytherin. His great love for the squeaky plush snake toy was another clue.

But the decision was solidified yesterday, after another random attack during a trip outside to relieve. When Truman’s deadly puppy canines left this bloody, jagged mark on the top of my left foot, I knew what I was dealing with:

He’s not just from Slytherin. My dog is freaking VOLDEMORT.

Never a More Fitting Blog Title

April 21 – In a death-defying gamble, I opted to take Truman with me when I went to lunch with an old college friend and his fiancee, who were here from out of state.

Let me first say that it’s unbelievable, how much exercise this dog requires.

I had taken him for our customary morning walk, then played with him for a while in the hope that he might be sleepy enough to snooze under the table at lunch. Foolish mortal! What was I thinking? After a 30-minute drive, he had recharged enough to cause plenty of trouble at the restaurant.

Fortunately, it was a fairly casual place, and not crowded, and we were sitting outside. The wait staff was lovely about the fact that my dear little beastie is a loudmouth — we weren’t seated five minutes before he decided that I wasn’t paying proper attention to him, and began barking at me. And growling. And biting. I spent much of the rest of the meal with a fork in my right hand and a compressed rawhide bone in my left, in an attempt to simultaneously enjoy my food and keep His Majesty from further speaking his mind. I had exhausted all my tricks for keeping him still under the table; he simply refused to cooperate. And heaven knows you can’t do a whole lot of correcting in public…there are people who just don’t understand, and you don’t want to leave a bad impression of the school or the program.

The four of us took a seemingly endless (to Truman) 45-minute walk after lunch, which I thought would certainly bring the mantle of sleep to his little eyes. Worked fine in the car, but as soon as we got home, he was back to full speed and flashing teeth mode.

It was frustrating, and loads of fun to explain to my friend and his fiancee (whom I was meeting for the first time) that this is the WORST I’ve ever seen him behave in public. They seemed to like him anyway, though, at least enough to risk being close enough to his Gaping Jaws of Peril for a photographic souvenir:

And that is the mark of a true friend. Thanks, Jeremy. 🙂

Have you seen the movie "The Prestige"?

If you haven’t seen it, and you intend to (highly recommended, by the way), do NOT read this post. It will spoil the whole thing.

If you have seen it, you will understand when I say that some days I spend my time looking all over the apartment for Truman’s twin.

Truman 3, Pants 0

Three pairs of my favorite jeans, which are no longer made.

Trumanated. Ripped by an exuberant, open-jawed, leaping Labrador who doesn’t always want to go for a nice calm walk.

It’s a good thing he’s so freakin’ cute.

Hairy Houdini

March 25 — I was doing laundry this evening, and it came time to go downstairs to take my clothes out of the dryers. It was going to be a quick trip, maybe two minutes, so I figured I could put Truman, who’s very good with kennel time, in the soft crate in the living room with a couple of toys.

Apparently, they weren’t the toys he wanted.

I came back to a crate that been not just partially unzipped, but moved from its usual spot. Truman was lying in front of it gleefully chewing all the toys I’d previously taken away from him and put on top of the crate for “under supervision only” time:


Otherwise Known As

I love my little Truman. He’s a great dog, truly he is. Smart, aware, terrific with kenneling and cradling and all sorts of things, as if he’d been preprogrammed to do them. But there are a couple of areas that have proven…challenging.

And those challenging areas have inspired nicknames.

The Piddler (It’s like he’s a Batman villain!)
Piddler on the Roof
Stinky PiddlePaws
The Trumanator
Devil Dog
Bitey McBiteBite
My Little Snapping Turtle
OW, DAMMIT! &*$%!!!

Amazing photo courtesy of Tina and Ron, who were kind enough to puppysit the little man while I was away at a fancy gala. Thanks, guys!

Ingrid Likes Socks

A Regular Dog

I fed Lomax his dinner around 6:30 this evening, then sat for just a moment to check my e-mail while he was chowing down. We do this all the time; he’s within earshot, and the moment I hear him licking the bowl, I either call him to me or get up to give him water and take him outside. I knew he was hungry tonight, because he ate unusually quickly. But then there was silence. And that’s never good.


Nothing. I swiveled around and rose slowly from my chair, brow furrowed, suspicious as the cinematic ingenue about to be eviscerated by the maniac who’s supposedly been dead for fifteen years.

“Lomax, are you done? Come here, boy!”

I went to check. Empty bowl, no dog. He must have gone completely stealth to get past me. Then I remembered that I had just spent part of the afternoon trying this new cookie recipe, and the little beauties were cooling on a rack on my kitchen table.

I saw the crime scene from across the living room:

Note the empty lower left corner.

Then I saw the suspect, looking small and guilty:

His mouth was closed, but just in case, I yelled “DROP IT!”

With a subtle “pleh,” out dropped two tiny blobs. When I moved toward him to pick up the cookie blobs and make sure he wasn’t hiding anything else in his mouth, he tucked his butt underneath him and zipped about six feet down the hallway. But all it took was one stern “Lomax, COME,” and he was back at my side, head slightly lowered but tongue-out and body wiggling and wagging as if he hadn’t seen me in six months.

What could I do but laugh?

The cookies are actually very good, and kind of healthy (for humans, at least). The recipe came off a box of this cereal, which boasts ten grams of dietary fiber per serving. Lucky me! Also included in the power-packed, colon-blowing treats? Some oatmeal, and some dried fruit.

I’ll, uh…let you know how it all comes out. But he’ll be sleeping in his crate tonight, with the door closed, to be sure.

What I Have Learned About Toddlers

It’s a gorgeous afternoon, so Trooper and I decided to spend some time in the backyard. He seemed to prefer lounging in a shady corner of the lawn, lazily chewing on a toy, to any sort of enticement to roughhouse play on my part, so I thought it would be safe for me to go inside for a “just a minute” to use the restroom.

Sure, I knew that he’s not allowed in the backyard unsupervised, because Madeline told me he recently exercised his gastronomic impulses on an unsuspecting shrub. But the dog was planted in his comfy spot and focused on the chewing; nothing short of my picking him up and carrying him into the house like a sack of potatoes would have distracted him.

Less than two minutes later, I stepped off the back stair to discover the discarded chew toy, sans chewer.

“Trooper?” Nothing.

“Trooper?” A faint jingle. Did it come from the side of the house? I glanced. Nothing. I returned to the yard, wondering if my ears had deceived me.

“Trooper! Where are you?”

Another jingle-jingle-jingle from the side of the house made me take a closer look. I was met by a tail-wagging, yet slightly guilt ridden, dustbunny with something in his mouth that looked like the end of…

…a light bulb. Dear GOD! Don’t let it be broken!

So far this week, my attempts at getting him to surrender a toy in our games of fetch have been met with apathy at best and bucking bronco insanity at worst. Fortunately, though, for a puppy who’s not particularly responsive to “drop it,” “give it,” “leave it,” or any other incarnation of a give-me-what-you’ve-got command, he was surprisingly compliant. I felt like I was defusing a bomb; the slightest provocation could send him into an ill-fated chomp. With the gentlest, least threatening, least playful voice I could muster, I secured him by the collar and made him sit so I could pry open his dirt-caked mouth and rescue the (blessedly intact) light bulb.

I do not know what other mischief he has wrought in the crawlspace underneath the house, but I replaced the screen that covers the entrance and took a wet paper towel to his dusty snout. And that is enough excitement for one day.

Chained to My Desk

This week I’m watching Trooper again; I haven’t spent much time with him since he was a wee ten-week-old potbellied pup. He’s now six months and wee no longer! He’s very strong. He’s very “mouthy.” And he likes to bark.

The Troop spent a few days up at the GDA kennel before I started caring for him. Madeline, his vacationing puppy raiser for whom I’m dog- and housesitting, will no doubt be thrilled to learn that he left a generous yet unnoticed gift for her in the back bedroom. It was nearly four days before I found it myself…better to discover by smell than by step, I always say.

Today finds me on my first day at work with the little tyke. A brand-new executive assistant has moved in to share an office with li’l ol’ part-timer me, so there’s all manner of change afoot here. This new employee presumably did not know upon her hiring that she would be A.) sharing an office, and B.) in residence with El Barko. Welcome to your new job!

Trooper wants to follow me everywhere, which is fine at home but not so good when I have to go to, say, the fax machine or the printer or the kitchen or the ladies’ room. The first time I tried to get up this morning, he went to the end of his tie-down and sat there, staring at the door. I gave him a firm but wary “stay” command. Really, he could do nothing BUT “stay” at that point, since there was no more lead.

But he could also make his displeasure known throughout the land.

Sorry, new officemate, for the barking while you were on the phone with a person who I hope was not our company president.