Tuesday, March 08, 2005

So, I think our hound dog needs analysis....

Stop laughing. It is a true concern. Baxter is one whacked out dog.

For those that don't remember, we rescued Baxter from the pound last summer. He is a basset hound mix. Mixed with what, we don't know. Perhaps that is part of the problem?

Now, before I go on bashing poor Baxter -- let me say, he is the most gentle dog in the world. He is so patient with the kids. The boys are very attached to him.
Baxter isn't going anywhere. We are committed pet owners.

Having said that.........

He whines. Constantly. Almost non-stop. At first we thought he was going through a transition phase. Makes sense, right? We loved on him and made him feel safe. After about a month...it grew annoying. He whines when he is sitting at your feet. He whines when he is laying on the couch. He whines when he walks through the house. He whines outside.

The vet has ruled out any health problems associated with this whining. She thinks he is just very needy. She did mention a behavioral therapist for dogs...but, well...no.

Great. Six kids aren't needy enough?

So -- we make attempts to help Baxter through this. We have discovered that if you are touching him, in any manner, he is calm. It could be as simple as placing your thumb on is head while he sits next to you. Is he at your feet? Place your foot against him. Viola. Happy dog.

Now in principal -- this seems like a nice compromise -- but let's be realistic. We can't always cater to Baxter's incessant need for validation. Besides, you would think with all of the kids around him on a daily basis, he would relish a few moments of quiet, no touch time?
You would wrong.

I've tried ignoring him when he whines. Hey - it works for the kids -- why not the dog? Oddly enough, it doesn't work. It's like he enjoys whining? Sadistic? Perhaps.

One other thing (and then I will stop ranting about our poor dog) -- he doesn't know what he wants (except constant touching). In, out, in, out, in, out. You get the picture. He whines to go outside, at which point he promptly sits at the back door and whines to come him. You let him in, he whines to go out. There is no pleasing this dog. For that reason, we are giving serious thought to installing a doggy door in the side garage door. An expense that will be worth my sanity, I pray.

Where is Baxter now? He is my foot rest as I type this note. No, I'm not kidding. He seems utterly content and my feet are toasty warm. For once, we are both happy.

Smile. God blessed you with another day.


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