The Destructive Habits of a Spoiled Dog…

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Oscar is spoiled. I know this and I am ok with it.

The first step to recovery is admitting your problem…

I can’t get mad at him for his destructive behavior because it is a direct result of his separation anxiety… which is a direct result of ME.

It is all my fault…

It used to be, when I was working from home. that a typical day went something like this:

6am- wake up to either a cat screaming bloody murder to be let out, or one walking on my very full bladder to wake me up to get fed, along with a dog punching me in the face with his stretching front paws

6:30am – throw cats out of the house onto the back porch and TRY to doze off for at least another half hour with no luck

7am – make coffee, take Oscar out for his two poop and one pee, then feed the troops breakfast and read some news

8am – take Oscar on our 3 mile run/walk for his exercise and mine

9am – cool off with the boy either in the house or pool… and start my work day.

10am-1pm somewhere in here I shower, run an errand or two and hang with the dog while I work. Sometimes working with my laptop on the couch and the boy’s head on my lap… but always in sight of each other.

1pm – lunch time for the troops. Yes they eat three times a day. I cannot leave food out for the cats because they are gluttons and Oscar will help himself as well

1:30-7pm More of the same hanging and working with the dog… Taking him out periodically, but always spending the day together in some capacity…

7pm dinner time for the troops… play time for Oscar…

And then more of the play and hang time til bed. Oh and Oscar sleeps on the bed, mostly in my arms til we pass out and then somehow he ends up at the foot.

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See… spoiled…

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So when I got my new job five weeks ago it was a huge transition for all of us that Oscar will be alone for hours at a time… and as I mentioned he had become very destructive.

I tried the crate for a while but my heart wasn’t in it… so that lasted a morning. At lunch that same day I couldn’t put him back in it. So… it was a bombardment of even more toys all over the living room instead! TOYS EVERYWHERE!!!!

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Rubber chickens! Squeaky Kongs! Rubber bones! Antlers! Stuffed animals!!! Frisbees! Balls! Puzzle toys!!!

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And that worked!!! I was so proud of myself that he had a great run of no destructive behavior of anything that was mine. Just his toys! I would spread out the bounty as i was still getting ready for work, turn on the TV (Fresh Prince Of BelAire on TBS every morning at 8am) and he would get distracted by the wonders of a puzzle toy filled with yummy treats and Will Smith in the background. I would come home for lunch and then again after work and nothing was amiss! He did so good!

I was a proud Mama and even more proud of myself for finding a better solution than crating him like a prison sentence.

But it couldn’t be that easy right? Of course not. He is a smart dog. He knows the drill… so just to let me know that he knows that I am not in control and he is… he has picked a few interesting things to destroy in the mix… just to shake things up and keep it interesting. Like my iPod station remote. Totally destroyed…

Can’t win ’em all…

and it is funny, my guy and i talk all the time about his separation anxiety. I am in denial (at least in front of said guy) until he walks in on me on the couch with Oscar splayed over my lap with his head on my chest snoring away… and he just shakes his head at me…

I have created a destruction Monster. A Mama’s Monster. A loving and adorable and cuddly and sometimes destruction whiny needy silly Monster… and he is all mine…

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~ by Michelle Sammartino-Zeto on August 23, 2013.

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