My tonsils are perfectly intact, housed in the back of my throat just as they were the day I was born. However, one of our sons had to have his removed, and if your children have gone through a tonsillectomy, you know what an unpleasant recovery it is. They wake up in the middle of the night, screaming with pain, as their throat has dried out. This goes on for about two weeks.
We are generally a pretty healthy family, but about the time our son needed a tonsillectomy, our youngest son needed two surgeries, which all took place in a three week span. It was mid-summer, and I had all the boys at home, two of which were recovering from procedures, and not all of us were sleeping through the night, so to say it was a hectic time would be a huge understatement.
Four days after the tonsillectomy, my husband and oldest son mysteriously left on a Saturday morning, and returned with two piglets and a puppy. I can still see my son walking around the corner of the truck, proudly cradling the puppy like a newborn baby.
It would be fair to say that I had no knowledge of our need of a puppy, and was quite shocked. However, I had no choice but to welcome the puppy enthusiastically, while glaring at my husband behind our sons’ backs.
We took the puppy to the vet immediately, and I tentatively asked how big they thought he would get, and they guessed 60 pounds. I could live with that–at the time, I considered a 60 pound dog a largish dog.
The Beast Hound proved the vet wrong, and almost doubled the 60 pound prediction. He now weighs in at over 110 pounds, and can stand up on his hind legs and lick my husband in the face. The frightening thing about perspective is that we don’t really think of him as big any more. I suppose we got used to him slowly, and now think it’s normal to have an inside dog of his size.
When we got the Beast Hound, I was determined that he would be a very Well Trained Dog. (I believe this is reminiscent of unexperienced parents-to-be, determined that their children will always be well behaved.) I had very good intentions, but Dog Whisperer I am not. I checked out lots of books from the library on dog training, but also having a houseful of boys to chase, so at the end of the day, Beast Hound will win no obedience class blue ribbons.
However, the Beast Hound has a heart of gold–he sleeps with the boys, lets the youngest one ride him like a pony, and generally believes he is a member of the family. However, he has a deep, dark, secret: he’s a klepto.
Thankfully, it’s not all objects, but generally ones we label as “the humans breakfast, lunch or dinner”. He is tall enough that he easily sticks his head in the kitchen sink, or grabs things off the stove, and takes off with them. Soup pots, frying pans and heavy cast iron skillets are no trouble for him to snatch and carry off.
To teach him not everything on our counter or stove is a tasty treat, I tried laying chunks of Ivory soap on the counter, thinking that no creature would eat soap. He went though so much of it that we now can only use liquid soap, which is in a dispenser drilled through the counter. I later soaked pieces of bread in white vinegar, and left those on the counter, but he gobbled them up as well, although he did have the decency to wrinkle his nose a little.
Any advice or tips for making a dog behave? I need them!