Sunday, October 19, 2014

Concern for Dog's Allegedly Fragile Self-Esteem

Nothing noteworthy has happened in Dog's life of late.  His food hasn't changed, his dog bed has not been washed against his will and we did not get a new pet.  Life is exactly the same this week as last, just like the one before and the one before that.

For some reason, Dog has taken to chewing  things, not just predictable things like the garbage either.  He's gotten a taste for tubes of acrylic paint off the kids' art shelves, and most baffling, plastic grocery bags.

I know. They look irresistibly delicious, don't they?

Dog is an old dog, 11 years or so. His hearing is questionable. Or he uses his age as an excuse to pretend not to hear me.  (Which seems more likely.)  And I'm tired of no one in the house ever listening to me.  So I tend to scream genteelly  at the top of my lungs when I find one of his new disassemblage art projects. 

"Bad Dog!!"  

I'm not very creative when I'm forced to touch wet slobbed on bits of tissue off the bathroom floor. 

Tiny Pants confronted me on this yesterday.

"Mama, when Dog eats the garbage, you shouldn't call him a bad dog."

(I didn't say that when Tiny and his brother aren't home, I'm more likely to call Dog something with a hole at the end of it.)

"He's not a bad dog, Mama. He just does bad things sometimes."

Where is my child learning this positive self-esteem language thing?  And why is it that he spends less than 8 seconds paying attention to the dog all day, but will rise as his champion now, against Mama?

Sigh.  He's not a bad dog, he's a dog that sometimes does bad things.  But Stop being naughty and please desist in this negative attention seeking behavior is not very satisfying to yell.

I guess I'm stuck with No and Stop it when the kids are home. Perhaps I can just yell Bad!  and not personalize it with his name.  Or maybe I'll just dog proof the house and let the little bugger live out his final years in peace.  

You couldn't stay mad at this face, could you?

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