Friday, August 03, 2007

Two steps forward, one step back

For anyone who thinks (like my mother did recently--ha!) that my silence on the subject means Wiley the Stray has found a home, well, he hasn't. He's still with me. (He, of course, is absolutely sure he's found a home. With me. Please, please let him be wrong.)

Don't get me wrong...I don't HATE him. He's getting kind of cute now that his hair is growing back, he has his moments of sweetness (mostly when he's sleepy), and we're getting along okay for the most part. I just haven't fallen in love with him to such a degree that it would enable me to look past his "puppiness." I barely made it through my first few months with the young Pudge, and I was head-over-heels with that big goof.

You really, REALLY have to want a puppy to go through those first couple of years. They are so much work, what with the housebreaking, and the chewing, and the digging, and the need to teach them manners. I got my fill of puppies several years ago, when I took in Sadie and her seven, count 'em SEVEN puppies, and they lived for a month in my bathroom, until I found them homes. (Sadie stayed. And was mostly perfect. Apparently the responsibilities of early motherhood and living on the streets took all the puppy right out of her. She never chewed ANYthing.) Kittens are a different story. I lurve kittens. But puppies? Well, I feel the same way about puppies as I do about children. I think other people's kids are great. I just have no desire to have one of my own, in my house 24/7. I don't have the time and energy to deal with a puppy right now, and I know it.

But there he is. What are you gonna do? There's still some hope that a friend of mine may be able to foster him later in the month. But for now, he's with me. And every time we make a little forward progress, he does something bad, and I get frustrated all over again.

The last few days I've actually been able to leave him out in the backyard unattended for longer periods of time. I make sure he has plenty of toys, and he does okay for an hour or two. It's win-win. He gets the fresh air and exercise, which he loves, and I get something else done. But then last night around midnight, he apparently felt an urge to go to China. So there I was, at midnight, with a broom, attempting to fill in a very large hole which had just been dug next to my back door. Delightful. I tamped it down, topped it with a couple of bricks, and hoped he'd forget about his urge overnight, but he was right back at it this morning. AAAGGGGGGHHHH!

I can't take it. I can't have the backyard of my rental house covered with large holes. I HATE having to punish him for doing what comes naturally to some dogs (though not to Pudge, HE never digs), but what else can I do? A stern scolding and back into the crate he went. With any luck he'll be a fast learner re: digging, but when did I ever have any luck in the stray animal department?

Pity poor Wiley. Pity poor me.

On the plus side, it's my monthly early day, so I'll be cutting out of here at 1:00, and getting my badly overgrown hair cut at 2:00. Yay!

Oklahoma finally instituted a "sales tax free" weekend, which starts today, so I might be compelled to do a bit of shopping later, too.

And there's a chance my parents might be bringing me a piano this weekend. I've been wanting one for the longest time, but kept finding other needs for my "discretionary" income. (Like the care and feeding of every stray animal in the tri-state area, for example.) But my mom saw one at a resale shop where a friend of her works for a ridiculously low price, and they might buy it for me, if we can figure out a reasonably affordable way to get it here. (My parents live about 75 miles away.) Of course, there's a reason it is so ridiculously priced. Some child took a magic marker and wrote the names of the notes on EVERY WHITE KEY. (See, kids! Who needs 'em?) (Joking, joking, all my friends who are parents of wonderful children!) Hopefully a way can be found to remove the magic marker, and if not....well, I'll keep the lid closed when I'm not playing it, and eventually maybe pay someone to refinish the keys. But I've really missed having regular access to a piano, and an electronic keyboard just isn't the same thing. So I hope that works out.

'Cause then I can bang away on the keys, and temporarily forget all about the unhappy puppy in the garage. Oh, wait. It's me that's unhappy. Sigh.

Have a great weekend!


Whiskeymarie said...

If it makes you feel any better, we had a puppy for three days before it drove us to the brink of insanity and we had to give him back to the old owner.
Three days.
I think you may be a saint.

3carnations said...

Having an older dog is similar to having a puppy, I think. Our 13 year old Beagle that we got 5 years ago from the animal rescue chews things, in spite of the fact that he has only about 3 teeth. He also has developed potty training issues that he did not previously have, so he wears the most awesome invention ever for boy doggies with said issues (sold at I had the time I could probably make it myself, but it's worth the price). Good luck finding him a home (or becoming his home :-) )

Stinkypaw said...

Wiley does look like a sweetheart, don't cave and stay strong - those puppy eyes can get to you when you think you're safe! I also think, that like kids, it has to do with the "education" they get - the parents have A LOT to do in both cases. (my 2 cents)

Good luck with that and hope you'll get that piano!

gorillabuns said...

i totally took full advantage of the tax-free weekend here.

now, i would like a bill-free week in return.

Paisley said...

He looks so cute and sweet. It's so hard!

We adopted a stray and fell in love. She died 5 months later! I think the people knew something we didn't.

Wow, am I cheery or what?!?!

I hope he finds a home soon. :(

stefanie said...

EVERY weekend is tax-free weekend in Minnesota (well, on clothing, anyway). You should come visit!

As for the piano... haven't you ever heard of white-out? :-)

lizgwiz said...

whiskeymarie, I was thinking I'm just a sucker. But I like "saint" better. :)

3car, it's been a while since I had a dog get old enough to start having those problems. My last older dog died of cancer when she was just 10. Sigh.

stinky, he definitely does need an education! I just wish I had more patience with that.

gorillabuns, that's a great idea. Let's write Gov. Henry.

paisley, yeah... he LOOKS sweet. And occasionally he is. When he's not being a monster.

stef, I SHOULD come visit. I need to sip a winebox at the tiki bar! (And, if the keys hadn't actually been yellowed with age...don't think the wite-out idea didn't cross my mind. Hee.)