Stasha Has a Nose for News – and finds herself in the “doghouse”
I’m a smart dog and probably better behaved in public than most people’s kids. But recently my best creative thinking got me in a bit of trouble. Now I’ve been trained to only jump up on furniture where one of my furry throw blankets is placed. As you can imagine I have blankies all over the house.
I don’t know what came over me the other day, but I started nibbling the edge of one of them.
As luck would have it, my Mom discovered the tiny nibble holes, and in my opinion, totally overreacted. The next thing I knew my furry little butt was placed in my crate while she went out to dinner with friends. I was crate trained as a pup in one of those hard plastic things with a metal door – they’re pretty much puppy proof.
Over the years, we’ve graduated to a portable canvas crate with a mesh zippered closure. Quite frankly, I’ve never had an issue with this considering usually the crate door is left open. My nibble incident changed all that.
I was home alone and now in the crate, zipped shut. From my crated vantage point, I didn’t really have a good view of DogTV – which is the only station created specifically for dogs on DirecTV and my favorite. I figured if I could just get to Mom’s new couch, I’d have a better view.
So, I nibbled my way through the mesh, broke through the zipper, squeezed out of the crate, jumped up on my furry blankie and spread out on the couch to enjoy DogTV.
When mom came home and saw the damage to the crate – and me in the lap of luxury on her new furniture – she said the only thing I was missing was a martini and a cigarette. Not totally sure what those things are…but she was really mad.
With my cutest doggie look I tried to convey I just wanted a better view of DogTV, but that didn’t work.
After talking with my trainer, Vlad The Russian Dog Wizard (www.russiandogwizard.org), we both came to the conclusion I’m suffering from separation anxiety – which is prevalent in dogs who spend way too much time with their owners – which I do.
I’ll admit I get a bit crazy when Mom leaves the room, and follow her everywhere. At the very least that could be considered doggie stalking – separation anxiety is a bit of a stretch in my book. But apparently, this condition is a serious issue and more common than you would think especially with animals who’ve been adopted from shelters, had a change in residency, routine and other outside mitigating factors.
Vlad says in simple terms, “separation anxiety means that your dog thinks he is going to die when you leave your house.”
He also feels this disorder is easy to prevent, but it’s the most difficult behavior to correct. It’s also the second leading cause, after aggression, of dogs being euthanized.
Depending on the level of anxiety, some dogs need to be medicated to alleviate symptoms like chewing and other destructive behaviors.
Vlad isn’t a big believer in drugging dogs. He feels with proper training and discipline the behavior can be altered.
So, the hard crate is back. Let’s just say my freedom has been greatly curtailed. And I’ve even been threatened with cancellation of my subscription to DogTV if I don’t shape up.
Yes, one little bit of nibbling landed me in the dog house big time! But I can assure you I won’t be there long – I’m a quick study – and will be back relaxing on the couch with DogTV in no time.
Bark at ya’ next month!
Send me your thoughts and photos at email@example.com. Check out my past columns at www.bvontv.com.