Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Most Annoying Dog in the World

Her name is Lilly, and there are times I plot her death. Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but I certainly plot her maiming. Lilly is a Bichon Frise. Which I’m pretty sure is French for “Yapping Fur Which Must Die”. SOME of her annoying traits:

  1. Poorly housetrained. This is a reflection on her owner (my landlady), who definitely takes a soft stance on punishing the dog. Many puppies have accidents, but this dog is now two years old, and is well past the age where accidents should have stopped. There have been times when I’ve tried to put her out when, instead of actually going out, she’ll realize what the purpose is, run over to the nearest carpet and pee there. Then she’ll look at me as if to say “No thanks – I don’t need to go out right now.” I can actually see targets appear in the patterns of her fur over vital organs when this happens.
  1. She yaps. And yaps. And yaps. For hours. Then, before you know it, it’s 7am. Never has a shock color looked so good.
  1. She thieves. She took a liking to my goose-down-filled slippers not long after I moved in. I remember one night I heard something as I was typing, turned around in my chair to find that she was craning her neck out with her mouth open towards my slipper. She was also watching me out of the corner of her eye. The craning was that thing animals do when they want to keep the majority of their body away from you, but want to take something anyway. I realized that she’d snuck down and had been, bichon-ninja-like, sneaking around behind me in order to find my slipper. When she realized she had been spotted, she threw down one of those ninja-smoke bombs and disappeared. I saw a white flash running for the stairs as the smoke cleared.
  1. I catch her on the table and kitchen counters. Another display of her ninja skills. The table is bad enough, but the kitchen counter? I don’t even know how she gets up there. The closest I can figure is that she jumps from the table to a room divider, then jumps from there onto the counter. From there she steals the food my landlady sometimes leaves out.
  1. She will not eat dog food or treats. My landlady is one of those people who believe that the ultimate show of love to an animal is to feed it a diet of people food. She will routinely buy chicken, hamburger, steaks (no joke, steaks) for the dogs. Also, hot dogs and cat food (canned). She will cook this up and serve it to them, making no effort whatsoever to feed them dog food. I shudder to think of the health problems this will cause for the dogs long-term. In the short-term, however, it makes the dogs picky and very difficult to train. They will literally turn their noses up at dog treats, making the usual reward system virtually useless.
  1. No training. She does not know sit, come, lie down, stay or any other command. This is a direct result of #5, in my opinion.
  1. She escapes. This is highly annoying. She has learned how to move the gate just right so that she can get off the porch. Since she does not know any commands and doesn’t like treats, she has no incentive to come back when you call her. She just runs around. Chasing dogs is a great game for them, and she takes full advantage of it. As you are trying to convince her to come back in, she will run full-tilt by you, often swerving in to nearly touch you as she goes by you as an added taunt.
  1. She shrieks. Well, it’s not really a shriek, it’s more of a continuous cry/whine/yipe. Now, if she were in pain, I could understand this. However, this horrendously loud shriek she does only occurs when she wants to get you in trouble. I’ve surprised her a few times with my reflexes. As she was doing her taunt flybys in #7 I timed it and snatched her up as she ran by me. From the resulting noise you would have thought I was ripping her front legs off. Maybe she’s a mindreader, because I will admit it was along the lines of what I was thinking about at the time. Anyway, in the short time it took to walk her back into the house, two neighbors (that I saw) had opened their doors to see exactly how I was torturing this small dog. This happened again the next day as she tried to run by me as I opened the door. I saw her coming and caught her on the way by – again, the Shriek of Ultimate Pain was unleashed. I didn’t see any neighbors this time, but one did call and leave a voicemail on my landlady’s phone. I don’t know what she said, but since the call came in within 30 seconds of the shrieking I have my suspicions.

One of these days the police are going to come knocking on the door asking if the dog is still alive. Luckily I’ll know exactly where she is hiding – underneath the couch. She somehow flattens her body and worms her way under to hide when she’s upset. She will do this for me telling her “no!”, a cat swatting at her, thunder and even a cough. If the police ever do come, I’ll be sure to tell them that I think she’s armed and that she said something along the lines of “any cop who comes in is going to die!” Then, as they cautiously look under the couch, I’ll yell “She’s got a gun!”

She recently got beaten up by a neighbor dog. I say “beaten up”, but that’s not really accurate. The other dog was being walked by his owner on the other side of the street and the rat dog in question ran out the door, across the street and attacked. When I heard about this later, I could not believe it. This pansy-ass ball of fur ran across the street to attack a 40 pound male dog? Then came shrieking home when he fought back? Any lingering suspicions I had that the dog had even a semblance of intelligence were quickly dispelled.

I can’t describe to you how many times I’ve looked longingly at the microwave oven when she’s been annoying me. Or considered ordering landmines over the internet to plant on her favorite escape runs. Maybe I’ll have some fun and plant speakers around the house so I can play thunder sounds from my computer at will. Does anybody know if funeral homes offer prepaid plots for pets?