Thursday, September 18, 2008

But after my third arrest and court-ordered anger-management counseling, I learned to channel my rage into an effective nonviolent puppy training tool

I posted on Facebook yesterday that I hate my dog. I've had a couple of inquiries as to why that is so. I've decided to write about it here because it's too long to put on my Facebook wall.

We got our dog in January of 2003. She is a purebred German Shepherd. She cost an arm and a leg. We thought it would be worth it. We were wrong. Her name is Nala. She started out pretty much like any puppy. She peed and pooped in the house, but we were training her and she was progressing. She did get the hang of going outside and being a good girl pretty quickly. But after a few weeks, her poo accidents were increasing in frequency. And the consistency of the poo was like brown applesauce. And she would puke all over too. That's when I started to hate her. There were nights that we penned her in the living room and Chris and I would take turns sleeping so that we could catch her before she pooped in the house. She would poop anywhere...floor, carpet, crate, towel. She didn't discriminate. Then a very horrible thing happened.

It was Easter Sunday and we woke up to the most foul smell known to man. It was worse than poop. Worse than vomit. It was Sex Panther by Odeon. It did not sting the nostrils in a good way. We didn't know what it was so we cleaned her, cleaned her crate and went to my Dad's for Easter dinner. Came home...smell was back. This happened on and off for several months. We took her to several vets but no one could figure out what was wrong with her. They would express her anal glands (source of the horrid smell) and that would take care of the problem for a while. They all wanted to send her for majorly expensive tests at some specialty vet. Finally, the owner of the pet store that we frequent suggested trying a different food. We took her advice and the anal gland problem and diarrhea problem (mostly) went away.

Nala eats out of the trash. We have to pick up the can when we leave so she doesn't get in it. She will eat off the counter. She will eat an entire meatloaf cooling on the stovetop. She will eat two loaves of your aunt's famous zucchini bread off the table. She will eat leftover birthday cake sitting on counter. She will eat the poop out of a diaper before you can roll it up and take it outside.'s nasty. She drinks out of the toilet and eats any floaters left behind in there. And then she wants to lick your face.

Once we left the house to go for dinner. Nala had eaten from trash earlier in the day and then had diarrhea all over the house. When I say all over the house, I'm not kidding. It looked like someone took buckets of mud and poured them from the living room, around the kitchen, down the hallway and into both bedrooms on the first floor. It was probably the worst way possible to arrive at home. We considered closing the door and putting the house up for sale. Chris and I spent hours and hours scrubbing the poo out of the floors and carpets. If she eats out of the trash, she will do this same thing still. It happened just last week.

Nala barks at dogs and people and jumps up. We took her for obedience classes. We had a private dog trainer at our house. Nothing helps. She does it no matter what. She barks and barks and barks and barks. I hate it. She tears around the yard barking at dogs and ruins the grass. She used to chew stuff up. Harry Potter book, stuffed animals, my mother's rocking chair...all chewed. She won't sit nicely and let you pet her; she has to tear around and wag her tail and be the most annoying pet on the planet.

I really don't like her. I try to like her. I let her lay by me in bed. I pet her. I feed her. I throw her ball. But really, deep inside, she is annoying and I will never get another dog.


Diana said...

Just the other day I saw a puppy and thought: wow, that's cute. I could probably handle a puppy despite my clean freakish nature. Thank you for reminding me exactly why I never plan to have a dog.

Lil said...

I love dogs...I have been begging Dave to get one...I have changed my mind...I am now going to throw up!!

C said...

Another point of view. Jennifer does like Nala (German Shepherd Breed) dog when I am not home and she is scared because they think someone is trying to break in the house or someone has watched a scary movie and feels more secure that our pet "police style" dog will protect her. How many times have I heard send Nala down to see if someone is there? Or Jennifer likes her when the kids are in the back yard playing and a bad man would not think for one second to set foot into our yard. And I can not believe I made such a big comment. I guess I am the pro-dog person in the family. And YES I cleaned up the poop right along side Jennifer. I would rather keep the dog and board up the house and move when she poops like that. :) cv

GramMO said...

Well let me just say this: If ever there was a time to send for the Dog Whisperer , NOW is the time He will make Nala the most wonderful dog you EVER saw or heard about. I've never seen him help a German shepherd before so you have that going for you. Start taking video to document these things! Truly I think he would come especially since you've had that "Pro" there and all. You have a major airport near by.Cesar told the author of Marley & Me that if they'd contacted him (Cesar), The book would never have been written. Start taping. When he comes PLEASE!!!! let me come over! P.S. save the other comments, too. When he helps you he'll help those other people who don't think they can ever have a dog.(Hey, next time I'm over I'll have you all sit down and we can video you. I'll ask you the kinds of questions they'd ask you. :)

Dalemail said...

I'm SO sorry, Jen! What a nightmare! I've often said that I would never get a pet because I've had to clean up enough poop just taking care of the kids! You have re-affirmed my resolve!

Karen said...

Wow can I relate to this story!! I constantly try to talk people out of getting dogs. My family tries to tell me that I really love Blizzard - but they are wrong - I don't like him. I have voted to send himn to Doggie Heaven the three times he had bladder stones removed, the time he blew out his acl, and the time he broke his foot. He has done nothing but ruined floors and cost me money. He also likes the garbage - only he likes to find the trash that happens one week out of the month. If you are lucky - you will find his remnant in another part of the house. I am trying to remember to have all females in my house close the bathroom doors during that time. Dogs are disgusting and expensive. There really is no other way to describe them. :)

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