Monday, May 18, 2009

Scooter the Wonder Dog: The Saga Continues

Scooter is a "Wonder Dog," as in I wonder how I got myself into this situation. I fell for the puppy thing and the earnest pleas of the kids and said "sure."

I was in complete denial.

I knew there would be smells and accidents and barking and poorly digested food eruptions and toys left on the stairs for the unwary. Nonetheless, Scooter came home.

Over time, he developed "syndromes." Fear aggression because the kennel clipped his toenails so short they bled and ached for quite a long time. Social anxiety because other dogs crossing our yard obviously want to invade our home. Food obsession because he'd been abandoned in a dumpster with 11 litter mates who fought over the same garbage.

Now Scooter has to be tranqed and gassed to get his nails trimmed (at a new vet, Dunwoody Animal Hospital, that completely understands his anxiety). His pedicure is way more expensive than mine. We have to be careful with garbage because he'll eat anything. And everything. And taking him to the Bark Park at Brook Run is a challenge because he shies away from the other dogs. (The really, really small yappy ones terrify him.)

So he's a barking, quivering, food inhaling, submissive peeing MESS.

Now Scooter is irritating the neighbors. When we accidentally leave the sunroom door open during the day, he stands tall on one of the chairs, casting a wary eye across his dominion. He barks nonstop: at squirrels and chipmunks who toss their heads at him in disdain; at neighbors' dogs free to roam at leisure; at the children next door who just want to play on their swingset.

It's embarrassing.

This is the same dog who KNOWS when it's time to eat, play tug of war with his chewy ball or bone, read before bedtime, and take a walk. At those times, he's pretty darned cute. Scooter is THRILLED beyond measure to go for a walk. His warbling song and happy dance practically shake the walls and endanger any low lying books or schoolwork. We have to use a "gentle lead" so he doesn't knock us down in his pursuit of every passing smell.

Scooter is with us for life. I just wish it didn't feel like a life sentence at times!

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