Is lust a sin?

Perhaps a very small sin.
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Still, it is evil to sin.
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And yours sins will be punished.

(yip!yip!yip!yip!yip!)
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This is Jess, available for adoption through our rescue.  When her foster home mentioned she was going away for the long weekend and couldn’t bring Jess with her, I offered to puppysit.

I admit, I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately, what with my cute little puppy turning into a MONSTER of the panties-consuming variety.  Not fair!  I wanted a sweet little puppy with an average sized head

(ahem)
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and no creepy fetishes.  IOW, puppy lust – I had it.

HAD it.  Jess has cured it, possibly forever.  Clearly I was momentarily crazy for lusting after a puppy.
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ZOMG!  Are all puppies like this little motormouthed, willful, obnoxious Destructo beast?  With the exception of a couple of pooping-on-my-bed instances, Dexter was a very easy little puppy.  He housetrained right away, slept through the night from day one, never chewed anything he shouldn’t have and always came when called – still does, mostly.

Jess, otoh, complains constantly about being crated – ALL NIGHT LONG – , decided not to poop for almost 48 hours and then left a shit-trail all around my house 20 seconds after taking her out for potties, runs away whenever I call her and has eaten two cords and dug a hole in the speaker of my antique cabinet record player.  And she was only out of the XPen for like 20 minutes!

It’s a good thing she is so cute.  Those ears are just melty-making.
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Dexter, I am sorry I thought another puppy would be better than you!

I am outraged!
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At first, Dexter hated her (as he hates all puppies) but every time he walked near her without making ugly face he got a liver cookie.  In no time flat, he started thinking she was a cookie-magician, so he tried interacting with her in a positive way, which got him showered with MORE liver cookies.  Then she spilled her food bowl and didn’t mind him cleaning up the mess, so he decided she was da bomb.  Now she can drape herself all over him while he’s chewing on a bone and he doesn’t mind one bit.  He even plays with her, which is sort of like watching Godzilla toy with butterfly, but gratifying nonetheless.
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Ahh, the power of positive reinforcement, it’s a beautiful thing.  When it works.

TWooie, otoh, was a much tougher nut to crack.  At first, he didn’t seem to realize she was even a dog and was oblivious to her, totally.  But once he figured out that she WAS a dog, he decided that he probably had to kill her.  I think Kim would have been angry if she came back from vacation and found Jess’ corpse on TWooie’s dog bed, so I had to do something about this.  Unfortunately, TWooie did not share Dexter’s world view of Jess as a Gateway To Treats, but rather as competition for yumyums, so rewarding him did not work at all.

Yesterday morning Jess and I happened to be walking past TWooie at the same time.  He tried to bite her in the face, so I punched him in the face.  Kidding, kidding!  But I did tap him on the nose with two fingers and told him sternly that was QUITE enough of that.  Now you must understand that I don’t ever so much as scold TWooie, much less bop him one  – for one thing, the one time I gave him a light swat on the bottom with the Chuck-It for biting me in the pants, he chased me across my yard snarling at me.  For another, if you raise your hand, TWooie falls to the floor cringing and hides his face.  I don’t want TWooie to be scared of me so I make a point of always being extra gentle with him and always setting him up for success.  So the bop on the nose was a real shocker for both of us.

But it worked.  From that moment on, TWooie decided that if The Food Lady said Jess should be allowed to live, he’d acquiesce to my demands, and he has not so much as lifted a lip at her since.

If you squint carefully to the right here, you will see that Jess is Touching Him and he still manages to remain happy.
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Ahh, the power of punishment.  When it works.  My caveat here is that I do NOT think you should smack your dog for being dog-aggro and it’s not a method I recommend.  It’s also not going to cure TWooie of his general hatred of other canines … it just happened to be a well timed event that shook up his world view a tiny bit.  We continue to keep him out of most situations where his dog-aggression would pop up, and reinforce heavily for ‘good’ reactions, because I believe this is not only the kindest, but also the most effective, way to acclimate him to other dogs.

Like yesterday for example – one of my foster homes, Alison, came out for a dog walk with her new foster, Max.

He’s a rare breed – the Wide Mouthed Mud Mutt.
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Just kidding.  The shelter said Max was surrendered as a border collie X English Shepherd.  The ES I’ll buy, but the border collie – not so much.

Whatever he is, he is one of those awesome, super loyal, mellow but energetic dogs that is so totally the epitome of Someone’s Best Friend.  I really like him, he is a really cool dog.
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Someone is going to be super lucky to adopt him!

TWooie stayed home for that walk, with a beef bone in his crate for company.

Is THAT why you gave me that yummy bone?  You sneaky sly witch!
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Tweed joined us, on leash of course, because his paw still hurts.

Ow.  Cure with cookies plz.
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Everyone else was racing around chasing each other through the tall grass
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and he was just pouting away on the other end of the leash.

It sucks to be me.
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Two. More. Days.

Jess goes home tomorrow, and I will only miss her a tiny little bit ;-)  Right now she sacked out, which makes her totally tolerable.

Tolerate this, beeyotch.
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But I have to give her some credit for being the catalyst for another TWooie first – when we came home from our morning walk, she ran into the house and immediately claimed the big dog bed in the living room, the one called “TWoo’s Bed.”  TWooie is a dog who likes his creature comforts and cannot be convinced to lay on anything so primitive as a mere floor.  But no amount of coaxing could convince him to try out some human furniture either.  And while TWooie is willing to allow Jess life, he’s not about to share a bed with her … so out of desperation, he climbed onto my sofa, made a nest in my heating blanket and is now snoring merrily away.

For all his challenges, I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see TWooie become a little more like a real dog every day that he is with me.  I feel blessed that I have the opportunity to help him become a less fearful, more well adjusted, normal member of this world.

Okay, as normal as he can – after all, he IS related to Mr. Woo.
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Comments

  1. Glad to hear Jess is so bad, now I don’t want her so much.

  2. Awww . . . . happy stories! :) My Bear used to cringe, shrink, cry, try to flee, you name it, when I would lift a foot when I first met him. If I got tangled in the leash, and had to pick up my feet to get free, you’d think the world was ending. Nowadays he’s so blase about it that he won’t even deign to get out of my way when he’s laying across the doorway, or standing sideways against the babygate so that I practically have to pole-vault over it. Thank goodness I’m athletic; I’d have a broken neck by now otherwise!

    I’m so glad that TWooie is relaxing about things — I’m sure he’s adorable nestled snugly in your blanket!

    Oh, and Jess is too cute. Yeesh. Good thing she’s also evil!

  3. Max looks ES x Samoyed to me… Whatever he is, he sounds like a fantastic dog.
    Poor Tweedster. Still hurting, still on leash. Heal up, buddy!
    Jess is why I never, ever want another puppy. I’ll adopt an adult, thankyouverymuch. I am immune to puppy breath.
    Twooie is lucky to be Woo’s brother, that’s all I can say;)

  4. I heart Twooie. I hope you keep him forever, but if you ever do decide you can’t keep him, maybe I’ll fly out to visit my good friends Joe and Diana and collect him for my own self!
    Lovin’ the WooTwoo.
    : )

  5. PS – did you notice in that incredible last shot that the two of them make a heart shape? How cool is that?

  6. Claudia says:

    Thanks FL. You’ve just about cured my puppy lust! Tilll the next cute puppy appears, that is… ;)

  7. It’s amazing what one well-timed swat can do. When I first got Emma she would sit on my lap and get so excited that she would lunge toward my face with her mouth open and would bang into my face with her front teeth. Ouch! This went on for days, weeks. Tried lot of positive reinforcement. Grrr… One day I just happened to snap and right as she lunged at my face I swatted her on the bridge of the nose. The look on her face was actually very funny, like, “What?? Oh!” And that was the last time she *ever* banged me with her teeth!

    Jess *is* cute. Glad to hear that her bad habits made her undesirable.
    :-) Dexter is safe once again!

    I so love to hear thta Twooie is settling in. How cool!

  8. Great post! Great pictures! Jess is a cutie but it sounds like you are cured! This time anyway! Poor Tweed looks absolutely pitiful. Love that last shot of Woo and TWooie! It’s nice to hear Twooie is making progress is some areas anyway!

  9. I <3 the Twoo.

  10. Mary-Ev says:

    “Wide Mouthed Mud Mutt”—hah!

  11. dexter and jess are so cute!! and yay twooie!!!

  12. methinks you FL and most border collie people are all about “compliant” dogs – us aussie/catahoula lovers want some feist in our pups (though i could live without the ridiculous crate-barking at least ‘houlas make more interesting noises).

    ok so maybe that’s just me… i *heart* jess and even if we were up at 5:30am i was laughing my a$$ off at her so it all comes out in the wash.

  13. Aren’t all pups like Jess? Because both of our eskimos have been! That’s what keeps you from getting more of them, it takes years to forget about the puppy phase (which lasts about two years).

    BTW, my boy is a panty eater too – bad, bad boy! Perhaps they need to sign up for a 12 step program.

  14. Our working BC used to say “puppies are evil!” (she had had 2 litters, and would hide behind me and shake if she saw a puppy!). Your comments about Jess remind me why I always adopt adult dogs.

    Also, have an idea for you for Dexter-proof undie storage. Those metal cans that popcorn comes in need two human hands to open; if you or your friends don’t have any, I have sometimes seen them at thrift stores.

  15. nickelsmum says:

    Erm, my Border Collie is way less compliant than my Aussies. In fact, my Borderjack is more compliant than the Border Collie. Just because they are smart, and enjoy working with you, does not make them compliant. If you don’t believe me, you can babysit the Melvin for a week.

  16. The Food Lady says:

    Oh Kim hates border collies because her husband’s border collie is insane :)

  17. Jennifer says:

    Have just seen the “Dumball Dog on the Duvet” shots on flickr, from the 25th May.

    Jess is still extremely cute, even though we now know she’s a little b*gger!

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