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Man’s best friend? Bark and bite not biggest concerns with owning dogs

Man’s best friend? Bark and bite not biggest concerns with owning dogs

Posted: Friday, June 4, 2010 8:01 pm
By: David Critchlow Jr.

I like dogs.
From mutts to golden retrievers to an adopted greyhound, I’ve always liked dogs and owned dogs.
However, I have always believed that dogs should be put in their place — outside.
My wife loves dogs, but she believes dogs should be inside, where they can get maximum attention.
We have three dogs and, not surprisingly, they are all inside dogs. One is a mid-sized mutt, one is a small mix-breed and the other is a miniature schnauzer.
One of my longtime concerns about having inside dogs is having a house that smells like a kennel.
We let our dogs out on a regular basis to do their doggie things — like rolling around on dead animals, which is always a treat when they return to the house. And, since we have female dogs, their male counterparts in the neighborhood also like to visit and make their presence known, whether it’s marking a tire, a bush, a tree, a bicycle, a chair, a grill, a cooler, a table, a basketball goal, the steps into the house. … I think you get the picture.
I also have an issue with inside dogs when they decide they are ready to go out in the morning, which around our house can be anywhere between 3:30 and 6.
Storms present another problem with inside dogs.
No dog wants to go out in the rain but, no doubt about it, they’re gonna go somewhere.
Thankfully, some can control nature’s call while in the house for extended periods of time, like our oldest and biggest dog — the mutt.
At least one of the two smaller dogs, however, has no such control. The problem is, I don’t know which one, for sure.
My top suspect has always been the old mixed breed dog, because she’s got a serious adult female dog attitude problem and she’s sneaky. I’ve suspected all along that she’s the one that goes off to the least-used room in the house, where she has the choice of a hardwood floor or an oriental rug, which I think she figures is great camouflage.
After a few barefooted missteps, I’ve caught on to that sneaky move and punished her acccordingly.
My daughters don’t like the punishment phase of this procedure and have often asked how I know, for sure, that she’s the guilty canine.
After careful deliberation, I decided to pursue the matter in stealth mode to confirm my beliefs.
I called a friend and borrowed a couple of his trail cameras, which are activated by movement and used by deer hunters to gather information about big bucks, even at night.
For my purposes, I set the cameras up in the house and waited for the confirmation I was looking for that the mixed breed made late-night visits and deposits in the room.
With the assistance of a co-worker, I downloaded the photos onto the computer.
Blank picture after blank picture. … but wait a minute … nope, that was one of my daughters passing through the room and there’s one of my wife and there’s one of our part-time housekeeper.
I obviously needed to put up “No Trespassing” signs while I was playing the part of Sherlock Holmes.
But wait. There’s a dog, and she’s sniffing, but then nothing for a few frames. And then, there it is, miraculously appearing on the floor with no dog in sight.
Was the sniffing dog the guilty dog? It wasn’t exactly the caught-in-the-act proof I was looking for — and it wasn’t the dog I was looking for either. It was the schnauzer. Could it be that I’ve been punishing the wrong dog? Maybe that’s why she doesn’t come to me when I call her.
For now, I guess I’ll continue my sleuthing ways until I document the guilty party in the act.
So what will I do when I have the proof? I’ll try to deal with the matter in-house, but a call to “Dog Whisperer” Cesar Millan would probably be preferred by the dogs — and my family.
Messenger Editor David Critchlow Jr. may be contacted by email at dgc @ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 6.4.10

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