It appears that Pupzilla has hit the Terrible Twos–two weeks that is. As we enter our second week of Bella-in-residence, she’s become a total terror. Just look what she did to her teddy:
Teddy has gotten worse since then: he’s currently headless and bleeding stuffing from the underarm, as well. But that’s OK, really since Teddy was bought to be chewed.
Unfortunately, her bed wasn’t and Bella has decided the surprisingly easy-to-shred dog bed needs to be destroyed. I’ve had to take it away from her and she’s quite upset by that.
I don’t know why she suddenly feels the need to chew on cloth, but she’s been demonstrating her desire, by nibbling at my pants legs and shirt sleeves. Yesterday she grabbed a hold of my t-shirt collar as I bent down and didn’t want to let go. While sitting on my lap, she got her teeth around the collar button on my flannel and–because her head is so heavy–nearly choked me as she fell asleep with it clutched in her mouth.
She’s also decided she likes the leg of the recliner and the wheels of the office chairs as chew toys. I’ll obviously need a lot of Bitter Apple to stop this, since I can’t watch her every second.
Alas, she also has become unpredictable in her bathroom habits and I’m spending a lot of time with towels and bottles of Nature’s Miracle. I may have to replace the rugs. She refused to “go” while we were out last night–and we walked for 90 minutes waiting for her to do her business. I was so tired I was stumbling, but Bella wouldn’t go. This morning she still hadn’t made a solid mess, but she’d made two wet ones–on the rugs.
When we got back to the boat last night, she went on a rampage, running at full speed from front to back and then stopping once to growl at me. It sounded like playful growling, but it was loud, her posture was aggressive, and she had blocked me in the bathroom and Mr. Kat had to grab her and move her out of the way. It was after 1 in the morning.
We finally thought she’d calmed down a little, and we tried to go to bed. She then attacked her dog bed and started destroying it. She nipped me by accident a couple of times while I was trying to get her to let go of the bed.
Finally we had to take the bed away and hide it in the midships cabin. Eventually she calmed down and we gave her the bed back. She curled up and went to sleep right away.
I didn’t. I woke up several times thinking she was ripping up something else, but it was just the snoring.
This morning we took a long walk and she dragged me up the stairs to the dog park. There were no other dogs around, so we went in, but she was so busy sniffing the new place that we didn’t really get any playtime in and we had to go when another dog arrived, since I don’t think I have enough control of her yet, to just let her run loose with an unknown dog (a real beauty of a young Boxer female). The other owner was very nice about holding his dog so I could remove Bella without causing a ruckus. Bella and the other dog obviously wanted to have a romp, but… not knowing how the romp would evolve and what I would do if Bella were too rough with the slightly smaller dog, I thought it better to go.
So, not enough wind-down time there. I settled for a longer walk, so we walked on back to the marina. I was so tired I missed her “I need to go” cues and nearly dragged her onward instead of letting her do the business. But Bella still had a ton of energy, so we kept on going, past our dock and all the way to the end of A dock, then back… but once we were inside the boat, the zooming around and attacking objects started again. I was a little desperate myself–dog-mommies have to “go” sometimes too–so I risked the destruction of the boat by closing myself in the head for a few minutes.
Miraculously, the zooming stopped after one more pass, since I wasn’t there to see it. She was still too wound up when I came out and we had a disagreement over the dog bed–which had to be taken away from her again.
I can tell she knows which objects are toys that are OK to play with and which are not, but she’s insisting on pushing it to see what I’ll do or let her get away with. But the boat and I won’t stand up to too much abuse, so I can’t let her “get away” with anything. I tried playing with her with the right toys to distract her from destruction, but she wouldn’t keep her limits to the toys until I removed the bed and everything else I didn’t want her to chew. Eventually I had to walk away from her and refuse to play at all, shoving her off my back as she kept trying to jump up.
She’s finally calmed down now that I’m in my office and ignoring her, but it took a bit of “leave it” and removing things before she got quiet enough for me to leave her alone.
And yet, she’s still such a sweet dog at other times, I can’t help but want to love and cuddle her when she’s not destroying things. She even lets Mr. Kat pick her up like a giant baby, she rolls over and shows her tummy, she acts like such a sweetheart… when she’s not being Pupzilla.
I’m not sure Bella needs training as much as I need dog-mommy classes.