Friday, September 30, 2011

the battle royale

Is royale even a word?  Spell checker is picking at me about it but I mean it the way that the burger is talked about in Pulp Fiction.  As in, a large war that is taking place in our home.

As I've mentioned before, Higgins came from who-knows-what kind of situation, but seeing as how we did not get him from Paws In the City, his life must have been worse than the dog that Tara Harper rescued on Most Eligible Dallas (sidenote:  if you aren't watching, you should be.  It's stereotypical Dallas-ism at it's finest.  I love it, Adam hates it, it's awesome reality TV).  But the fact that he was removed from his prior life by Dallas Animal Services and that they warned us he was taken from abuse signals to me that he was living some bad times.  The four months he spent in the pound were probably pretty crappy too.  As much as we love seeing the fun parts of his personality emerge, we're also seeing some bad habits that need to be broken as he comes out of his shell.

We are crate training him for now, which I feel is safer since he tends to like to chew things all the time and things that he shouldn't be chewing when he's unsupervised.  I also think it's just good for him to have a little den of his own that keeps him safe when we're not home or overnight.  Sometimes he'll whine or bark a bit when we are leaving the house but he's never been noisy at night, so of course, on Wednesday night as we turned into bed and got him settled in his "cratey" (yes, I'm a tool and call it that), I had to open my big mouth and remark to Adam how great it was that he never whines at night.  Fast forward five minutes and cue the whining from Higgins over on stage right.  I was anti-happy about this latest development.  This continued off and on for most of the night and he'd knock it off when I got all stern-voicy with him and told him to stop.  Adam uses his amazing powers of heaviest sleep on the planet to ignore it but it definitely disturbs me and keeps me up.  Last night was more of the same at about 3:00 a.m. and I finally pushed the crate into the living room but I could still hear his whining.  Since we had a rainstorm last night and everyone knows dogs are usually to prissy to take care of their business in the rain, I took him out for a quick potty break just to be sure.  I did put him back in the crate as soon as we got back in the house.  I refuse to lose this little battle I have on my hands.  I laid down on the couch to catch up on the 4 a.m. traffic reports and continued to encourage him not to whine.

I feel like Higgins is perfect training for our potential future as parents to an actual human.  He's just testing his limits, as I tried to explain to Adam the other day.  Adam thinks that one day Higgins will just go get in his crate as soon as we tell him to, I argue that he's just like a kid and kids are very rarely excited about going down for a nap and we'll probably be picking him up and bringing him over to his crate for the rest of his days.  This battle is sort of my way of letting Higgins "cry it out" and I want to be the boss of this relationship.  When I say crate, it means:  settle down and get in your crate and let me sleep, darn DOG!  We both hope that one day he'll be at a point where he can just get in his bed and go down for the night, but now is not the time as he's still a bit confused as to his days and nights and when it's appropriate to want to play.  We also have a strict "no getting on the beds" policy in the Nard Dog house that applies to all non-humans and I know that he'll jump up to lay with us in the night if we let him roam freely about our room.

As you can see, we've been very confused as to when it's play time since Mr. Higgy has been like this for 99.9% of today:

Some days he's more of a terror than a terrier.  We still have some work to do with the whole training of the dog business, but at least we have potty training down, right?

(great... why did I open my mouth, tomorrow's blog post will probably be about all the accidents Higgins has in the house today)

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