Tuesday, February 15, 2011

God was distracted when he made Saint Bernards

I really only ask 5 things of any dog that becomes part of our family.

1. Be nice...please be nice. If you've got a mean bone in your body - drop it off at Value Village and forget you ever had it. Being nice also includes things like...snapping treats out of hands or invading personal space...Jumping and nipping and nocking people over.  Be kind and gentle...not bossy or pushy or mean - don't be mean - not ever...or you can not be my dog.

2. Stay home. Please don't take off...you have a yard, it's safe - and it's pretty big too! Lots of space to run and play and poop and dig and sniff stinky things...you'll even have a Noonie next door who is happy to see you if you visit...but please don't take off. It's just so much nicer for everyone (and much safer for you) if I can trust you not to take off. A leash is a drag, I'll use one if I have to but it's less room for you and you'll be stuck in the back yard.  I know it's fenced in, but if you try to escape, you'll have to be tied and that's even less space to run and play so please...just stay home.

3. Please come when I call you - that's all. I don't really care if you dont' know how to lay down or sit...roll over, play dead - doesn't really matter. Please just come when I call you. Chasing you is not fun for me...You won't like me when I catch you and it makes me like you so much less when I do. If I call you, there's a reason...just come when I call.

4. Please don't wreck my stuff. I'll give you tons of chewies...just leave Barbie's face and my purse straps and the heels of brand new Christmas Concert shoes alone. It's not too much to ask - I'll even tolerate thermos size poop and snail trails all over everything...fur balls the size of a billy goats and the most gawd awful of sinus staining farts! I'll tolerate it all...just don't wreck my stuff.

5.  Have some manners - this one is a big one...and I know it mostly comes down to what I teach you, so I'll be sure and take the time to show you how to behave...but please remember your teachings.  Everyone - including me - will like you soooo much more if you're polite. 

God Made puppies cute, so that you would forgive them for doing terrible things...so that when they look up at you with big sad eyes, you'd imagine that they feel awful for their crime and instantly Love them far too much to scold them.  I guess God figures that by the time they out grow the cuteness, they will have learned the house rules and figured out what's what enough that we will still marginally enjoy and (dare I say) like the grown up 4 legged fur bag they've grown into under out watch...I guess God got distracted when he made Saint Bernards...

At 115lbs, There is not enough cute in the world to help her!  She is not the sharpest crayon in the box and when she learns a "rule" she does not understand that a rule is long term.  When I tell her to get off the chair- she grumbles and moans...she creaks and groans...she sprawls and streatches and very sloooowly climbs out of the chair and wanders in whatever direction I point.  I turn my back for 2 seconds and baaaack in the chair she goes.  Again I tell her "OFF!" and she gives me a look like..."Huh?? so when you said get off the chair you didn't mean just then??"  She does have manners, but it's a full time job on my part - so I don't ever get to have fun with her cuz I'm always on "Mom" duty.
She's very friendly - but has zero concept of personal space.  She does not get that my bubble extends beyond the fabric of my clothing and must be in my way at all times - but she does not have a mean bone in her body.  When you're 12, though, and wake up at 3:00 in the morning and can't move because there's a HUGE Saint Bernard layong on your covers with her head on your pillow...drooling and snoring into your ear...chances are you don't really care that she's friendly.

She does not come when she's called.  Not only does she not come when she's called - she deliberately ignores her name.  At the dog park - strangers have to grab her for me so that I can get her out cuz she will not even acknowledge me at all.  At home, if I start listing off names of food - she'll eventually give me her attention...but only comes close enough to be sure that I'm actually holding what I named and stays 1 step out of arms reach...I like her much less when this happens.  We tie her now - when she's let out to pee.  Even then, she wont' come when we call her...unless we take a single step onto the deck.  (she has learned the she must make it to Mommy before Mommy makes it to the red rope :)

She has improved, but the road has been long and she still wrecks stuff - Ken has moved out of the dream house cuz all his shorties have chewed off hands and feet!  And - we have to keep a baby gate up in youngest kiddo's door to keep her out...cuz she will eat all her toys in no particular order and will climb on the bed and lay on her while she sleeps (and isn't smart enough to understand that the screaming suffocating 8 year old she's landed on is not having fun!) 

She's funny, and goofy and friendly and annoying all in a giant hairy, drooly stund ball.  Honestly, I think I would enjoy her more if I didn't have to be the "warden" all the time.  I'm frustrated by how stupborn she has been and how difficult she has been to train...and I really really miss Lucy......

I worry that Diasy will never be smart enough to just play along.  I worry that she'll never outgrow the obnoxious 115lb toddler phase.  I worry that our home is way too crazy to have brought a Saint Bernard puyppy into...but then...I see something like this...and my guard comes down for just a second  (click on "read more" to see what I see:)
 - and for just a second I can overlook all the incredibly aggrivating qualities that she drags me through on a regualar basis.  For a blink - I'm aware of how far she has come and how much better she is getting...for just an instant I smile...and I'm kinda happy she's part of our deffective family.  And for a short time...I'm ok with 2.5 out of 5


Kirsten said...

She is adorable. And she will get better, not perfect but better.

Nimfa and my saint bernards said...

What a lovely dog. I am really a fan of St. Bernards. They're just one of the sweetest.

Nimfa and my saint bernards said...

What a lovely dog. I am really a fan of St. Bernards. They're just one of the sweetest.