My little Peter-poo, Petey Sweetie, Peter Rabbit, Petey-pie. Oh how I love the spoiled rotten Boston Terrier that stole my heart when giant Cowboy stole his sight. Thanks to Petey-love, all the dogs get more treats, more walks, more lovin’, and more access to the coveted space inside our bedroom. Only Petey, however, gets on the bed. Only Petey gets thrice daily “love drops,” administered from a snuggly spot in my lap. Only Petey needs them, though, as Cowboy took out the nerves and the tear ducts when he took out Petey’s eye. That doesn’t keep the other dogs from wanting to hop up for some love drops of their own.
Petey lords the love drops over them. As 130-pound Cowboy and 70-pound Layla press against my knees, he sits up taller and puts his head on my shoulder, stretching his neck and arching it back like a giraffe. The more the other dogs covet his spot, the longer he keeps it. He’ll be lucky to keep that other eye at this rate.
Yes, he is spoiled. Petey has decided that anything in the house that can be climbed must be climbed. No amount of negative reinforcement can shake him from the joy of sneaking into the center of the dining room table to steal Susanne’s sunglasses or Allie’s mouse pad or whatever treasure they’ve left conveniently out for him to play with on that day.
More evidence of spoilage, and worse evidence at that: Petey thinks backyard ablutions are optional. He’s been known to spend an hour in the backyard only to come back in the house and tinkle on the floor.
Until last week. Softie Mama finally cracked down on the Peter Monster. Not that I hadn’t been trying for months. I have tried and tried and tried. But this week, after a five day stretch in which Petey made good potty choices, I removed the emergency pad that I had kept for months by the back door. Petey hadn’t used it either in the last five days. We decided the time was right for the momentous step.
Except that Petey had run pell mell into God knows what in the backyard the day before. He purt-near took out his good eye, too, missing it by 1/8 of an inch. He had a nasty gash and a big hard bump on his face. In retrospect, I think he felt pretty punky. Maybe he had a concussion.
Or maybe I’m just making excuses for him.
Petey tinkled on the living floor for no apparent reason.
“No,” I said in my stern-Mama voice. Petey sprinted away from me.
“Peter, come here, right now,” I commanded.
Petey peeked around the corner, read the tea leaves, and ran off again.
I sighed and crouched down in an elf squat. In a high pitched voice I said, “Oh Petey sweetie baby waby come here darling.”
Three seconds later Petey sprinted for me, butt down, and jumped into my arms, knocking me on my behind with the force of his desperate affection. He knew he was in big trouble, but he couldn’t resist the love-call.
I carried him to the spot. “Bad dog.” I didn’t see any light bulbs going off. I put his nose down near it. “Bad dog,” I repeated. Petey squirmed but showed no contrition. WOMP. I swatted his behind. Petey yelped, wailed, cried, and moaned. He’s a fairly dramatic creature. In fact, this display started before my hand met his bottom. I put him down and cleaned up. He went to my bed for a nap to sleep off the trauma.
Two hours later, Petey woke up. I didn’t hear him leave his throne. Five minutes later, though, I went to check on him. No Peter ‘pon the bed. That meant it was time to get him outside pronto so he could make a good potty choice. I called for him. I got a big yellow dog and a medium sized brown dog, but no little black dog. I walked toward the back door.
As I got closer, the unmistakable hated smell of poo filled my nose. “Oh, Peter, what have you done?” I cried.
I got to the backdoor. No poo. I looked closer. Were those little skid marks on the tile? Alas, that dog had definitely taken a you-know-whatsie on the floor. But where was it?
I turned around, and there was a very guilty looking Peter. Chewing.
Apparently the traumatic experience of getting in trouble had a different impact on him than I’d hoped. He wiggled his way up to me. Oh God, he was about to lick my leg!
“Back, Peter, stay back,” I pleaded.
So, was I to discipline him for making the mess? He had cleaned it up the only way he knew how. I’d actually had a dog do the same thing many years ago, and from time to time we’ll see our dogs eat dried scat when we’re out hiking. But EWWW. This dog, my Petey Pie, likes to steal kisses. Mine — on the lips. Yeah.
I went in the cupboard and found a box of treats. The package insisted that they cleaned the dog’s teeth better than brushing.
Let’s certainly hope so.
Anyone want to obedience train this little rascal?
Actually, I will have to say that he hasn’t gone in the house again since then. And the knot on his forehead stayed there for a week.
Tell me it was the concussion.
What’s the worst thing one of your pets has ever done?