Saturday, January 31, 2009

Teaching a "New-to-Dogs" an Old Trick

I have had dogs almost all my life. And I've had Dave almost all her life. I know her. I know what she's capable of and I know how smart and resourceful she is. This is the dog who has out-smarted me several times and at almost 9 years old, she is still as opportunistic as she was at 6 months. She can open doors both inwards and outwards if she sees a sliver of light coming through. She has multiple times opened her crate/kennel to pass through. Both from the inside and the outside. She's also very agile, aware of her back legs (I'll explain this later) and can jump really high in the air. As in I have a photo of her jumping 6 feet high to catch a ball I had tossed up.
Anyways, when we moved to Ohio in 2005, I convinced Kev to let Dave live with him in his apartment. I was going to live with my Tía and Uncle. They already had three dogs so I didn't want to bring one more into the mix. Also Dave isn't really a dog's dog. She plainly prefers the company of people, more specifically her people (me and Kevin). Kevin had never had a dog before. He'd been around my family's dogs for years, but really that doesn't count. So when she moved in, I gave Kev very clear instructions on what he could do and what he couldn't do. What she would get into and what she wouldn't get into. After a few days, I learned that Kevin doesn't like to defrost meat in the microwave. He'd rather let it sit on the counter during the day. When I realized this, I told him very specifically that he would need to put anything he was defrosting in the sink when we weren't around and Dave was allowed to roam around the apartment. Then about a week after they moved in together, he left a pound of ground beef for our spaghetti that evening out to defrost. We got home from running some errands to shredded butcher paper on the floor, red stains all over the carpet and Dave urgently needing to go outside. As we were cleaning, I commented on how weird it was that she was able to pull the meat out of the sink. I wondered if she had actually jumped up into the space between the counter and cupboards. Kev then confessed that he had left the meat on the counter, "but I pushed it all the way to the back!" I thought that Kev had learned his lesson. And then today...
Kev left the boneless pork shoulder for tomorrow's meal on the counter. Somehow, even though he now puts all defrosting items in the sink, he decided to leave 8lbs of pork sitting on the counter. When we got home I could have throttled him. Dave had pulled it off the counter, got all the wrapping off of it and transported it to the living room rug to eat. The pork shoulder now weighed 5 lbs. And I think the only reason that Dave didn't finish it off was because the center was still frozen. After cutting off all the dirty, Dave-chewed pieces off of it, it now weighs 4 lbs. And Kev's defense?

"But I pushed it all the way to the back!"


Anonymous said...

I love these stories! We have a Dave too...Apollo. We have many of these stories (a roast, salads, sticks of butter, pan of brownies...) but my favorite is the time he got a whole loaf of bread out of a bowl on our kitchen island without disturbing the bowl and polished off the entire loaf without tearing the plastic wrap on the outside. After that he got the nickname "Houdini." I'm glad you were able to salvage 4 lbs. at least. :)