Thursday, February 07, 2008

Tough Love

My husband and Boss have become best friends.

BFF. Together forever. Boss and Chris sitting in a tree, P - E - T - T - I - N - G.

Each night they sit together and watch tv. I am not much of a tv fan nor can I sit still. So I lose out on this one. But there they sit – together by the couch, Boss chewing on a stick, Chris petting Boss’ fur.

I thought maybe this was just a phase. That Boss would eventually come crawling, yipping, crying back to me.

Not the case.

Every time Chris walks away Boss cries. The other night he was in the basement and Boss sat by the gate, forlorn and crying for Chris. It made me sad.

No it didn’t. It made me sick. Because come on, that is my dog. The dog I take outside in snow, cold, wind, rain about 100000 times a day. The dog that I bought. The dog that I named. The dog that I worry about when I am not home.

Chris just comes home. He sees nothing but the good side of Boss. The lovable, playful side. I see mostly the crap. And then have to pick it up with a bag. I have to chase him in circles around the house every time he wants to go out. Or watch that he doesn’t poo by the fireplace. Or keep him from sneaking upstairs.

I get no love.

The other night Boss was barking at the tv. He sat there with his B.I.G. P.O.P.P.A. I asked why is Boss barking. Chris said “I think because he thinks I am on the tv. He thinks I am Bruce Lee.”

Huh?


Sure enough Chris was watching some Bruce Lee program. And Boss was watching too. I’m not kidding. Sitting in Chris’ lap, upright, staring at the tv intently. Bruce Lee. You know, a muscular Asian man that does fancy kicks and things. Chris is also a muscular Asian man. But he is not Bruce Lee. Seriously I have seen him trip in the shower. THE SHOWER. Literally self-ejected himself stomach first on to the floor. How do you trip and eject yourself from a space that has an area of 10 square feet? You do if you are Chris. And for the record – not if you are Bruce Lee (he is much more nimble than that).

So I’m not buying that. All that I know is now that Chris and Boss are best friends and I'm just the fifth paw. Which is kind of like the third wheel. As far as Boss is concerned, I am the pooper scooper. It’s not my fault that he’s not more playful during the day. He just wants to nap on the heat vents. And chew on his toys. But when Chris comes on……it’s game on.

But I also suspect this sudden canine cold shoulder has something to do with …

TOUGH LOVE.

You see, Puppy Boot Camp started last Monday. Colonel Sargent Major General ELF decided the sneaky poo by the fireplace, grazing on kibble all day long, bolting upstairs and refusing to go outdoors would no longer be options. It was time to crack down. It was time for:

TOUGH LOVE.

Boot Camp was all about tough love. Which meant much crate time. And a routine. 7 am, we wake up. 7:15 am we place kibble on floor. 7:30 am kibble goes away. 7:45 am we go out to poop. And if we poop we play. If not, back in the crate.

It went further. The Corporal Lieutenant ELF wrote out instructions for trips outdoors. Key words that would be said. OUTSIDE, GO POTTY, SIT would be commonplace around the home. To be sure all staff were in line, I reviewed the script with Chris.

Chris, however, has a way with words. So a script really didn’t do us much good. You see, this is the man who once pronounced the word gigolo as “giggle – o”. So the script with cue words – got a little confused. Go potty became make potty. And trust me there is nothing more entertaining than hearing a grown man walking a 6 lb dog while shouting make potty. Except suggesting to him that instead of make potty he shout FIRE IN THE HOLE.

(I believe you have to have a dog with whom you have stood in your pajamas and bedhead on your front lawn when it's 5 degrees with the neighbor across the street shoveling his driveway while you say go potty over and over again to understand the humor in that)

Since Chris isn’t home all day, it was mostly the Admiral Chief Commander Elf that implemented the potty plan. And other behavior modification things. And I suspect Boss protests this new plan by giving me the shaft. The cold paw. By sitting all night in Chris’ lap.

For now that is fine with me. I don’t need Boss’ love if that means he is a more well-behaved dog. I guess you could say that Boss is giving me tough love. But if he doesn’t stop crying or barking for Chris, there will need to be a new behavior modification plan. Bruce Lee Boot Camp if you will. Every time he cries for Chris I will flash a picture of Bruce Lee while shouting GIGGLE-O and then poke him with his squeaky carrot. That might be harsh punishment but then again this is tough love.

6 comments:

Bob Mitera said...

Hope you feel better. Boss will come back around. With Max (golden retriever) I was the law - make sure the law also is the brusher of said dog. Once Max figured out that I was the Alpha dog in the house...everything was cool. He even let me prop him up as a pillow to watch TV on him. 1st snow storm was fun- tiny puppy disappears in 14" of snow then pops out in the middle of the yard. What a treat at 1 am.

BreeWee said...

Ha ha, "Chris Lee"! I can see him now kung-fu fighting his way through transition!

Oh looks like we are in the same boat... Kainoa seems to love Jim more than me these days too. AND Jim only sees the "great baby" who never cries and poop diapers...

Maybe you should get another dog :)
Just kidding- have a good day!!

~Robyn~ said...

I think Boss needs a playmate...either another doggie or frequent visits to Memphis to play with Junior!!!

Eileen Swanson said...

So funny, but that stinks! Belle loves her daddy too but she is pretty equal with both of us! It's just a phase, keep telling yourself that! Boss will come around ;-) HA!
E

Stef said...

It is no fun being the third wheel in the canine/human relationship.

Our previous sheepdog was 100% Glenn's dog. When I took him for walks he would look around, as if wondering why Glenn wasn't taking him!

What goes around comes around though because Brinley is totally a MAMA's girl.

You won't have to wait that long with Boss though. You have more time with him. That will win out in the end. :-)

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea. Train Boss to "COME" to you using some really cool treat that he loves but Chris doesn't know about. Then when you call Boss he'll leave Chris and run to your side.