Saturday, October 5, 2013

Taming Of The Wild Beast: Cookie's Transition To Civilization

"A second class day outside is better than first class day in the house,"
Jasmine would say.

And I could see the difference in her too. Even when she couldn't do much but lay around, I could see that it was just much more fun outside. There are smells, and sounds ...

Of course, Jasmine also had a dry, warm cozy den where she grew up with her pack.

Cookie grew up outside, pretty much by herself.

That's all she knew. Suddenly she finds herself living in a house. The rules are different. Outside, one can chew any old thing they find. They can dig anywhere they want, adjusting the ground to their liking.

Same ideas don't translate very well to indoor living.

Not that Cookie doesn't try. She tasted about everything that it to be found around. Including us and her brother, but he doesn't seem to mind as much as we do.

She also puts her best effort forward in order to adjust and arrange her sleeping area. Unfortunately, the bedding and mattresses don't take well to such treatment.

So how does one explain to her that things that are OK to do outside don't work so well indoors?

Jasmine's life-time body count:
  • one thread pulled out of a carpet; partially an accident as it got caught on her nail and then she tried to fix it
  • one pair of dirty underwear
JD's body count:
  • one carpet padding
  • a phone cord
  • a number of his own beds
  • a wall (yes, he decided to chew a hole in the wall for some reason or another)
Cookie's body count to date:
  • two bed sheets
  • a hole in her own bed
  • a hole in my bed
  • carpet padding
  • little bit of a wall also (what's the attraction?)
  • bite marks on some pieces of furniture 
  • several smaller, partially chewed items such as blankets or pillows

Funny, the list isn't really as long as it feels. I guess it's because the list doesn't include all the things I rescued by keeping an eye on her all the time.

It is not because she's bored and it is not because she's stressed.

She's never alone for more than a couple of minutes, and I do my best keeping her busy. She is VERY happy; ok, she is way too happy.

It is not because she's destructive.

She is not trying to damage anything, she is trying to fix it. Well, sometimes things just jump into her mouth too ...

I am trying to explain to her that in the house it's not the same as outdoors. The damaged things won't grow back. Of course, her English isn't sufficient for that.

Why don't I make sure she has something appropriate to chew on?

But she does. She will have a kong and play with it. And then, mischievous as they are, a blanket will jump into her mouth along with it. Or she decides that the kong is in need of being buried ...

*Yes, I can hear her trying to bury her kong in the bed while I'm writing this. Either that, or it's the playful ground scratching I've seen dogs do. The hole in the bed won't really care much why it came to be.

She'll also start grabbing whatever is in reach when she's playing, out of sheer excitement. Both her and JD decided that whey they are playing it would be too unfair and sad not to include at least one of us as well. They generally play indoor games, which mostly consist of fencing and nipping at each other. Or one of us. Or whatever else is within reach.

We can yelp. The blankets and furniture cannot. Though I did try yelping on their behalf.

Can I get mad at her?

No, I can't really get mad at her. She doesn't understand why these things are not ok. And she's too darn cute. And too darn happy. And doesn't have a mean bone in her body.

When I catch her in the act, I try to vocally correct her and redirect her to something appropriate. When I don't catch her in the act, I'm out of luck.

She IS learning.

She hardly even chews on stuff on purpose. If those things just stopped jumping into her mouth ...

The scratching is actually the biggest problem right now. Particularly since she tends to go nuts after having her ears cleaned, which we now need to do daily for the time being. (more on that later)

No, I'm not going to crate her.

She's been confined and excluded for way too long, I can't do it to her. So I have to be on my toes and watch her like a hawk while she's learning what's ok and what's not. Hopefully I can keep the body count to minimum in the meantime.

Getting her tired, of course, works. For an hour or two ...

And that's just some of the indoor challenges. But I love the little girl and that makes it easier to be patient with her. Hey, to her credit, she is clean and never soiled the house. And she is really trying to be good, you can just see it. Just not always succeeding.


Related articles:
From The End Of A Lead Line To Casa Jasmine: Meet Cookie, Our New Adoptee
And So It Begins Again(?) Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie 
I Didn't Know I Could Fly: Why Cookie Wears A Harness Instead Of A Collar
C.E.T. Oral Hygiene Chews For Dogs CAN Be A Choking Hazzard 
Our First Health-Related Heart Attack With Cookie: The Knee Or The Foot? 
Creative Solutions And An Incidental Product Review
Too Young For Pot: Cookie's Snack With A Side Of Hydrogen Peroxide 


  1. LOL Poor Cookie! I'm sure she'll get it eventually. Titan spent over a year of his life totally outside so it was a big adjustment for him to, but we pursued and got past it. Now he prefers to be inside than outside.

    Please give Cookie big smooshy face kisses from me! ;)

    1. Yeah, she spent the first year and a half of her life tied outside. So she needs to learn to understand the difference.

    2. She'll get there with lots of patience, which I know you have :)

  2. Little stinker. I'm sure she'll figure things out soon.

    1. I'm sure from her point of view everything she does makes perfect sense. She needs to learn to resist the things jumping into her mouth :-)

  3. Best of luck to all of the clan. Making room for a new family member is a transition. A jostling of established roles, rankings, and even behaviors.
    SO many of us struggle to be good, when its just so darned fun to be bad.. :-)
    Cookie is a lucky lucky girl to finally have a family that understands her, and accepts her.

    Kisses to all!!

    And a little note from Jekyll.."JD and Cookie if you ever want to come over to our house I can give you a whole new list of things to do to stress our moms out..Like this morning my mom found my deer foot I buried beside the porch! There she ws sipping her morning coffee on the front porch. So I decided to bring my breakfast snack to join her. She caught me digging it up. Hoof sticking out of the ground, and the rest of the leg buried, Like some sort of unintended but fitting Halloween decor. (I'll go searching for another one later)..stop by, I'll show you my yard full of buried treasure. We can dig them all up together, and get both mom and dad mad at us!!"

    1. Thank you, Krista. Thank you Jekyll, LOL. Ooh, digging up deer feet sounds like a lot of fun!

  4. I know what you mean, you can only crate us for so long. Plus it's not good for exercising. Crating is fine as long as it is appropriate but sometimes sapiens don't use their discretion when doing so.

    1. Yes. I don't want to have to do it at all, if possible. Keeps me busy, though.

  5. Could you put her in a large x-pen when you can't watch her? Or a dog-proofed room with baby gates?

    1. She's been alone and excluded for so long. It's the last resort. I can watch her almost all the time. Often it takes just thirty seconds.

  6. Poor Cookie... eventually the two of you will work this out!

    1. Poor Cookie? LOL Poor house! I'm sure she'll learn. Meanwhile just glad we don't have many nice things :p

  7. Well it definitely sounds like Cookie is keeping you on your toes:)

    1. She certainly does. A full time job this one is.

  8. Puppy or grown dawg, it takes time for them to learn the house rules.

    We crate our dogs for their safety when we can't watch them. The crate doesn't have to be a bad place. :)

    1. I'm sure a crate would be a good place for her if she was home alone. But there is always somebody around. She's just very quick sneaking in the mischief.

  9. I don't mind being crated, because I'm a dachshund and my crate is a burrow. I do have a problem with being left alone, though. Separation anxiety!

    1. Burrow, nice!

      We don't know whether Cookie has a separation anxiety (at least not yet we don't know, as she hasn't been left alone for more than few minutes at the time). But she's been alone so much before, we want her to be included as much as possible. She wants to be included as much as possible. Hopefully she'll learn quickly what she should be careful not to damage.

  10. You have your hands full, but it is so worth it! Cookie will be a perfect lady in no time :) I can see why it's impossible to be mad at her. She is just so cute! With time, you'll look back on all this and laugh. I'm sure it's frustrating while it's happening, though!

    1. She is too cute to get mad at :-)

      Funny, I remember we used to call Jazzie Jazz the Spaz but for the life of me I don't remember why LOL