It is 12:04 a.m., a good two hours past my bed time, and I should be sleeping because I have another big day ahead, but I’ve been going so fast for so long I can’t seem to stop. Plus, when I got home tonight I woke up the dog, and she is attempting to demolish the living room.
I realize now why we waited so long to get a puppy. Actually, I realized it two weeks ago, when I walked barefoot from the bathroom to my bed and stepped on a turd that got stuck between my toes, and spent the next twenty minutes scrubbing my foot with a wire brush and lye soap and still when I went back to bed my husband said, “Don’t even think about touching me with those feet.”
I don’t recall having this much trouble training the last dog that was allowed in my house. But then, Weezy was special. In so very many ways. First off, she was a red tic coonhound, which is what every single girl with a full time job should get for a dog. I realized we might have a problem the day I came home from work and found the entire Aberdeen, South Dakota phone book reduced to one inch fragments. Aberdeen is not a small town. The phone book is a couple of inches thick. It looked like the New Year’s baby had taken a confetti dump on my living room floor.
Then I met my future husband. He also had a dog. A ‘real’ dog named Squeak who worked out in the feedlot and slept in the barn. A dog that, five years after we got married, still operated on the assumption that she knew more about cattle than I did. She may have had a point, but she didn’t have to be quite so rude about it.
Weezy did not work. Her sole purpose in life seemed to be to irritate everyone but me. Squeak despised her on sight. Despite his reservations about the appropriateness of dogs in houses and coon hounds in general, my husband started out cautiously optimistic. After all, pheasant hunting is big in that part of the country, and he’d always wanted a good bird dog. And it went reasonably well at first. His pointed her at a cornfield., Weezy plunged in and flushed up a bunch of pheasants.
And Greg shot one.
Given their prior relationship, I felt she was justified in assuming he was aiming at her. Even more so after he had to pack up his gun and spend the next two hours trying to find where she ran off to. Then he belly crawled under the deck, dragged her out of the back corner, and took her back to the cornfield for another try.
He found her under the wooden granary the second time.
The day was pretty much history by then, and so was Weezy’s career as a bird dog. She went back to rambling around the yard baying at rat holes (but only when my husband was outside working where he could hear her because, Hello, what good does it do to tree a rat if no one is there to see?) and lounging on her couch. And I do mean her couch. An old loveseat left behind by my husband’s former roommate and shoved over in a corner of the dining room with vague plans of hauling it to the dump someday. The first time Weezy jumped onto the real couch, my husband swatted her with a magazine. She never slept on anything but her own couch again.
Not dumb, my Weezy.
Somewhere along the line, she learned to drink from the faucet in the bathtub, and afterward refused to drink icky stale water from a bowl, although slimy green feedlot puddles were perfectly acceptable. This was problematic, in that she would get up at two in the morning dying of thirst and there was no answer for it except to come into our bedroom and get someone to turn on the faucet. My husband slept on the left side of the bed. The one closest to the door. The first time she stuck her nose in his face while he was sound asleep, he smacked her upside the head.
She never went to the left side of a bed again. And after I booted her outside instead of giving her a drink, she stopped asking in the middle of the night.
Now if I could just figure out how to get that point across with the new puppy.
And my son.
Weezy the WonderDog