A little less of a look into Steve’s life, a little more of a look into mine. (My nickname has been Bue [short for Bueller – as in Ferris] since I was 8. My sister says I faked sick to get out of school all the time.)
We’re dogsitting my brother’s 3.5 pound Teacup Yorkie, Peanut, for 4 days while he’s in Aruba at his bartender’s destination wedding. I don’t envy him. Places like that do not appeal to me. Jay and I are going to Boston this weekend. THAT’S a vacation destination I can get behind! (Go Sox!)
I think kids and pets look at getaways to Grandma’s or Auntie’s house as a vacation from the rules. Unfortunately for Peanut, that is not the case here. With my background in animal health, and my future in companion animal behavior (possibly dog training), the rules only get stricter when Peanut comes to stay at Aunt Bue’s. That’s not saying much, since her dad spoils her rotten. She gets to “help” with prep at the restaurant, which means she gets to sample the day’s dishes. At home, he lets her rule the house (I know because I live upstairs from him). She’s allowed on any furniture at any time, even meal time. When she begs, she gets what she wants. Her bark is tiny, so it isn’t corrected.
Here at Aunt Bue’s, the first thing that has to stop is the barking. Saxon isn’t really phased by anything and Spyder has been through the war, so they just let it go; but Steve is not coping. She spent Peanut’s first few hours here in the closet, then she moved to the bathroom where she could watch from behind the baby gate (which Peanut fits through no problem). Besides that, Peanut barks at every little noise AND every time Yorrick gets even a little bit excited. My schedule is different from Jay’s, so the normal routine of scooping the litter boxes leading into Yorrick’s last trip outside – which get’s Yorrick excited, but nothing loud – now turns into YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP while Jay is trying to sleep!!
Next to go is the constant begging for food. We have regular food routines for morning and evening. It’s not hard to squeeze Peanut in, or to even put her food somewhere that Yorrick won’t eat it. Everyone goes to their place for their food and gets fed quickly. Now Peanut is under my feet going to everyone’s bowl trying to eat their food, especially Steve’s special diet wet food!! Every time I open the fridge, Peanut is at my feet begging. Sitting down to dinner, Peanut is in my lap begging! Yorrick has his “place” at our mealtime. I think Peanut needs hers! If I could just get Peanut on an all dog food diet…. Who am I kidding? I gave her a piece of bacon an hour ago!
I’ve put a lot of work into Yorrick. He’s not perfect, but he’s smart and he knows a lot of commands – specifically the right commands. I can get him out of the way when he’s just being annoying underfoot. I can redirect him away from dangerous situations (hot ovens, pots of boiling water being carried across the kitchen). He has manners and takes correction when his manners aren’t on point. He barks a bit more than I’d prefer, but certainly not nearly as much as any of the other dogs in our neighborhood! I get that it’s fun to just spoil your dog and let them get away with whatever, but a well trained dog is so much easier!!
Thankfully, Steve has come out of hiding. She just needs to realize that she is triple Peanut’s weight and she’ll be fine. Peanut may have the mouth and the spunk, but really, just a skid in the right direction and Steve can take Peanut out!
Saxon is almost 5 times Peanut’s size. I think Saxon’s paw is bigger than Peanut’s face. Peanut really needs to watch her step in this cat dominated apartment…..