Fixing the Situation

One of the requirements in adopting Chase from the rescue organization was to get him fixed as soon as he was old enough. I did not have a problem with this. The vet, however, wanted to wait until he was at least 8 months old before performing the procedure. Waiting eight months is a very long time, especially when you are stuck with a hormonal puppy from the time he was six weeks old. Eight months seemed like a lifetime to me…and with good reason, too.

With his raging puppy hormones in full gear, I couldn’t leave Chase alone in my fenced in back yard. After watching him balance precariously along the cinder block back wall of the yard, I installed a chain link fence along that wall so accessing it would be impossible. Thankfully, my dog refrained from climbing the links. Chase was a digger, not a climber. My puppy preferred a section of dirt between the chain link gate and the corner of the house to sink his paws into. This dog was fast! Frantically digging, first with his front paws and then in reverse using his rear paws like a back hoe, within minutes, escape was inevitable. To foil his plans, I followed the advice of one of my clients and buried several yards of chicken wire along his preferred path of destruction. Apparently dogs are not fond of digging through chicken wire. Pretty soon, my entire back yard was covered in chicken wire and the irony of using chicken wire to coop in my bird dog was not completely lost on me.

During this waiting period, Chase also became quite fond of a particular chaise lounge cushion out by the pool. My dad named the cushion “Sheila”. During the latter part of the day when the heat of the sun was beginning to fade, Chase would drag “Sheila” from the cabana in search of an audience. He would grip the corner of the cushion tightly between clenched teeth and then have his way with “her”. Just the character trait I always cherished in a dog – his humping capabilities! I was more than ready to take him off to the vet and get this situation fixed.

When the big day finally arrived, I sadly left him at the vet’s office, his tail wagging, happy to be somewhere new. I felt a bit guilty leaving him there, but my feelings of remorse faded as I smiled at the thought of a better behaved puppy. After a very brief period of recovery time, Chase was back to his old habits of digging in the dirt and having inappropriate relations with his “Sheila”. I couldn’t understand his enthrallment with the cushion and was suspicious that perhaps the vet simply took my money and pretended to fix my dog. I’m afraid to admit that I actually pinned my dog down to check out the handiwork. Eventually the digging habit dissipated; however, to this day Chase has a complete fascination with cushions and pillows. He has punctured holes into the corner of each decorative throw pillow on the couch. He slyly steals pillows from the bed. And he has a complete understanding of a rather unusual dog command – yet he is very quick to obey: “Drop the Pillow!”

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