My dogs suck.
There, I said it. I love them very much and really wouldn't want to live without any of them, but sometimes I feel like they rule my life. I have 3 dogs too many, and they most certainly subscribe to a "pack" mentality because they gang up on me regularly.
They know that I am a sucker for a cute face and they work that fact to their advantage.
Lets take a look at the three of them individually, and by order of age.
Amos-Amos is the black and white Jack Russell Terrier. Amos was a stray that My Guy got at a local dog shelter seven years ago who was severely abused. We aren't quite sure of the exact age of Amos, but the vet has "guess-timated" his age around 12 or 13 years old. He had been adopted by families twice, both times he was brought back for biting and nasty behaviors. He also had severe hip problems, from being abused, and was on the block to be put to sleep. When My Guy saw Amos, he was told that Amos was un-adoptable and to take him out of consideration. Of course, after playing with him for a bit and then taking him for a walk, he pleaded with the powers that be at the shelter to adopt Amos, exclaiming that this was the only dog for him.
He went through a vigorous adoption process and was cleared to adopt Amos on the condition that he would give Amos the proper surgery for his hips and because My Guy was a single man at the time and could devote his full attention to Amos's needs. Needless to say Amos is a different dog today than he was seven years ago. He came to live with us; myself, my two children and my two dogs, 3 years ago. Amos adjusted to family life and the rest of the dog pack beautifully. So much for the opinion of the "powers that be" at the shelter. He is a very intelligent dog and very intuitive and is the best cuddler in the world.
Amos is the true alpha of the pack. Boss Hog of all the other dogs (and sometimes me) for sure, and a mama's boy. As I type this, he is "allowing" me to share my desk chair with him. He has 80% of the chair, allowing my ass the remaining 20%.
Jingle-Jingle is the fawn pug and the only female dog in the pack. Miss Ming, as she is affectionately known, is 6 years old and is the sweetest, little pain in the ass dog ever. She snorts, farts, snores and sheds. Jingle has to be on top of me if I am sitting on the couch watching TV, god forbid any of the other dogs get closer to me than she does and she is a little spitfire. She takes no crap from any of the other dogs and will let them know if she has reached her limit with them in no uncertain terms. She is an excellent watch dog, but will bark at the slightest thing and loud and often. This, of course, sets off a chain reaction of the other two, which leads to a cacophony of endless dog barking. She is also the trash queen, as she sees any unattended trash barrel as a new world which needs exploring. Of the three, I have to say that Jingle is the most disobedient, yet the lowest maintenance dog.
Buddy-Buddy is a 5 year old boxer and the star of The Daily Dandy Post's entitled, "See Buddy". Buddy is a love, but he is my problem child. Spastic, mischievous and supremely energetic, Buddy gets into trouble, A LOT. But with a face like that he regularly gets away with it and he knows it. Garden hoses, potted plants, basketballs, newspapers; anything out side is free game to Buddy. If for some reason the garage doors were left open, Buddy will drag out hockey bags, golf balls, tools, trash, shovels and anything else that strikes his fancy. He lifts his leg wherever and whenever he sees fit, and this includes inside the house, and he is a slobber-er. Yup, long drool threads that hang from his jowls, threatening any outfit I,or anyone in the house is wearing. Buddy is sweet and plays stupid, but he is much smarter than he thinks we think he is.
My dogs have their own staff. I'm not kidding here, Buddy and Jingle go to Doggy Day care on Mondays and Buddy occasionally works with the trainer there. Amos used to go to work daily with My Guy, but because he's now a family dog, he's "semi-retired" opting to stay home with the pack more often than not. They also have my cleaning girl, who stays with them when we travel and tends to them daily.
None of this seems to be promoting changed behavior. The dogs will listen to My Guy first, he is the true alpha, but when it comes to me, it's like they got my number. They'll behave for a little while and then they'll just do what they want anyway.
Someone please get me The Dog Whisperer stat! As I type this they are barking incessantly at a woman walking a dog down the street-inside the house! AHHHH!
Cesar Millan, TV's self proclaimed dog psychologist says:
"I rehabilitate dogs. I train people." - Cesar Millan
I need a people trainer ASAP.