Saturday marked one year since our beloved dog Kramer died. Most of the hurt has faded away, but we sure do miss him. He was possibly the best dog ever.
Which brings me to the subject of this post. In November we adopted a new little pooch who we named Stella:
She’s cute, huh? You want to pet her, don’t you? You want to kiss her on the pretty little snout, right? This is what Stella’s thinking: Suckaaaa!
She is possibly the worst dog ever.
Of course, I say that in jest (kind of). She’s mostly a good dog, and I’m not just saying that because she’s resting peacefully on my lap as I write this.
At this point you might be asking yourself how Mick and I ended up with this little bundle of, er, joy. We went to the gym one day and found they were having a pet adoption day. Mick said “Don’t look!” as I ran over to the cages to see the dogs. “It’ll be okay, I don’t want another one,” I said, even as my eyes locked on the precious ball of fur that was to become, at least temporarily, the bane of my existence. I picked her up and that was pretty much it. Mick did put up a good fight for about 20 minutes but in the end, Stella won. Stella always wins.
Since she came to our house, Mick and I spend a lot of time doing this:
The first day and a half was utter bliss. She was a quiet, fairly well-behaved dog that seemed only to have a few potty training issues. Piece of cake. We hadn’t yet cleaned the carpets from when Kramer was around, so what’s a little accident between friends?
On the second day, Stella and I were resting peacefully on the couch when Stuart jumped on. That’s when the trouble started. Stella unleashed a little snarl, which frankly, I laughed at. It soon went from an itty-bitty growl to a full-fledged attack, and from then on, Stella would randomly lunge at Stuart whenever she felt a little cranky. Which was apparently often, because she did it several times a day and there was no question in my mind: she was out for blood.
None of the West dogs have ever been known for their good manners (some friends will remember the Italian sausage incident or the case of the missing alligator head) but we’ve never had to deal with an aggressive dog. I was convinced more than once we’d have to return her to the rescue. At first, the only thing that saved her was her 10 pound stature; a larger dog would surely have been unmanageable with the level of aggression she was capable of. I call her a “10 lb can of whoopass.”
I went back to the rescue and told the guy in charge we had a big problem. I asked if there were any trainers he could recommend. He gave me the number for Peter Bovino of Peter & the Woof. From the start, Peter seemed dedicated to helping us keep Stella. He became our trainer and things have improved quite a bit. We now feel confident she can stay with us, even if she is still not the most well-behaved girl. Baby steps… or in this case, puppy steps (though for the record, Stella is not a puppy, she’s 2 years old).
And dare I say it? She even seems to kind of love Stuart now, at least when she knows something good, like food or a walk, is in the offing.
Still, I feel compelled to offer one little bit of advice to anyone out there who is as weak as I am: “DON”T LOOK!”