Oscar D. Sammartino…

The D. stands for DESTRUCTOR… or it could stand for DELIRIOUS… the jury is still out…

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Cody never did this. He never ever chewed or destroyed things. He also was not a totally insane whiner full of separation anxiety, barking and hyper crazy for no apparent reason.

So yesterday (and every day for that matter) I took Oscar for our morning run. I am avoiding the dog park (see As The Dog Park Turns) so I take him for a three mile jaunt around the neighborhood. We are working hard on our loose leash training and he has moments of pure clarity and bliss… but mostly it is a small battle. He pulls and cuts me off while walking, stops, jumps at birds and does not understand pacing at all. He has seriously hurt my hand and my pinky finger in my left hand where the knuckle is full of fluid and hurts all the time. He is a bit nuts at times… jumping at me as we run, trying to bite my hand that holds the leash. It keeps me on my toes I must say… I have learned to anticipate his antics and jump out of the way as he tries to get in front of my feet so I do not trip over him. I also see him start to turn his head up at me with that shit eating grin of his that he gets right before he tries to bite the leash and my hand (all while we are running ) and I yell “NO!”… and that sometimes works to make him stop. Sometimes.

He has some very trying behavior issues. Other things that he does while we are walking or running are when we pass another dog or people, he gets very excitable and tries to jump on them. I do not like jumping on people… so I try to hold him back and keep him down. All of that is normal… but it gets out of hand when he turns to me, bares his teeth and growls as the dog/ people are barely away from me. I literally have to grab him and put him on his back to stop him from standing off with me and get him to look away from me (a Caesar Milan move and it works), but it is a bit horrifying for passers by to witness. I feel like a bad Mom. But he is growling and baring his teeth at me… LOUD. I think this is him pissed that I am keeping him in any kind of check and he is protesting in his own way. He is always vocal. I do not find it terribly aggressive, more dramatic than anything else.

Because he is terribly overly dramatic!

Like yesterday. So we get back from the run and he is tired and panting. He lies down and is really mellow… passes out and I cool down and take a shower. After I shower I take him out to pee, and then I leave for an hour to run some errands. This is what I came back to…

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He has a terribly habit just lately of taking my shoes and tearing them up. This time he took my shoes, the cat’s two different beds from two different parts of the house, one up on TOP of a high table (no idea how he reached it) and tore them to shreds all over the living room. He tore up the shoes so bad that I had to toss them. This is the third pair of shoes now. And yes I put them away… he finds them. He has taken bananas and organic home grown tomatoes off the counter and eaten them peels and all (he left non-organic tomatoes alone… that tells ya something doesn’t it? ha!). He steals socks and clothes and chews them.

So… unfortunately he has earned the crate once again. I hate to do it… he is now 7 months old and I thought we were past the crate. Apparently not. Like I said, he earned it.

So after taking another hour to pick up all the debris, and vacuum the entire house because I was finding pieces strewn about in every room… I realized that I was going out that night and would have to leave him again. He had not been in the crate for months, so I called the restaurant and they said dogs were permitted at the outside tables. Cool.

So me and my guy get him in the car and we have to get gas, and so I hop out (windows down) to pump my gas and Oscar LOSES HIS MIND! He is whining and barking and crying out the window at me… I am literally standing at his face through the driver’s side window and he is losing it. He is CRYING non-stop… pacing and whining. Everyone in the gas station is looking at me. It was mortifying. Tim is just looking at me like “What do I do?”… This is exactly what happened last weekend when we were both running with Oscar. Tim was holding the leash and I said I was going across the street to a water fountain to fill Oscar’s portable water bowl. I start to walk away from them both and Oscar LOSES HIS MIND! His is jumping, pulling on the leash, barking at me, crying, whining and freaking out. He did it the entire time I was getting the water and on the way back barking at me, and as I got close to him he started jumping and freaking out at me like he had not seen me in years. That was bad and I chalked it up to walking far away from him. Not acceptable but somewhat understandable. But the car thing was simply ridiculous… I was two inches away from him.

He calms right down when I get back in the car and then we go to the restaurant. Oscar is a royal pain in the ass the ENTIRE time. He is antsy, anxious, panting, whining, pacing and crying the whole time we were there. It was simply awful. He was fed, peed and pooped, he had water, his antler to chew on and I was distracting him with treats to keep his attention. Nothing worked. It was exhausting. And inexplicable.

I am kind of at a loss as to how to handle some of the things I am dealing with now, so if you have any advice please feel free to leave it here in the comments. The biggest issues being his reaction to my even leaving the vicinity of where he is.  I get that it is separation anxiety but what do I do about it? I leave the house and him every day so I think he is used to being alone at times. And he balances all of this craziness with just pure absolute adorable love…

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And the craziest thing is I took him down to the Keys last weekend to go to a day festival and he was great. he was great in the car, on the beach and at the festival. So he CAN be good…

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So here is my thought… I mentioned Luke a few posts ago. Unfortunately for me but very fortunate for him, he was adopted quickly. I really wanted him and was disappointed that we did not get him, but it was not meant to be. I do however think another older dog in the house would be good for Oscar. Any opinions? I think a more dominant calm dog would be good for him and all his energy, especially his weird Mama’s World energy. He needs a distraction from just me. When he is at the dog park he does not even know I am there. I really think another dog would be good for him. What do you all think?

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~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on April 18, 2013.

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