Well, bad dog owners, here’s your big chance. What I want you to do is sit down at your computers right now (“Sit! Sit! Good owner!”) and, in as concise a manner as possible, tell me all about your dog’s bad behaviour. Feel free to email a picture, too.
Just to be clear, what we are talking about here is amusing anecdotes wherein your beloved pet has driven you to the brink of insanity, as opposed to actual criminal canine behaviour or terrorist activity. For example:
RIGHT — “We laughed and laughed when our chihuahua Fang ate the TV remote control and we had to watch the Weather Network for two straight weeks until the cod liver oil finally did the trick.”
WRONG — “We are thinking about hiring a lawyer due to the fact our postman has not been the same ever since our Bernese mountain dog ate most of his internal organs.”
Doug doesn’t say anything about being a Winnipeg or Manitoba resident to qualify for his contest, but given the prizes on offer, he might not get too many entries from outside the Peg.
I will subject the entries to an intense judging process in which I will read all of them to the guys in our business section who sit in the cubicles behind me. Then I will select my THREE favourites — which I’ll publish in an upcoming column — and award the three winners tickets to a cool concert or show, along with copies of my colleague Randy Turner’s awesome new book Back in the Bigs, which details Winnipeg’s journey back to the NHL.
Good luck to all you hockey-loving bad dog peeps in Manitoba.
Dear Old Trainer: I have a 3-year-old dachshund (Charlie), whom I love dearly. He was my best friend and went everywhere with me until my husband brought home a German shepherd (Duke), whom I also love dearly. After Duke came, Charlie seemed a little jealous and became very distant. I tried to pick him up, and he snapped at me.
I told him “No!” in a firm tone and took him outside. Ever since then he growls at me, and no dog treat can change his mind. Charley is not that way with Duke or my husband. He likes Duke and follows him around the yard. I have tried everything, but nothing works. Please help me, I need advice!
— Geraldine, Atwater
The Old Trainer has promised to try and get answers for next week.
Six months into dog ownership, Harriet had ruined a couch, a chair, a throw rug and my marriage with her poop-eat-it-and-vomit-it-back-up routine. The house smelled of poop and my husband refused to let her out of the kennel if it was just the two of them at home. Harriet bit him again and Dave insisted that she be sent to a shelter. “Will you do that if we have a child who has problems?” I shouted. “Will you just send them away?” Wisely, Dave didn’t respond, but that night we slept in separate beds.
“Bud is a dachshund-Yorkie mix,” Ms. Kocher said. “We call him a dorkie.”
It is Bud that has taken up the steady task of murdering the boxwoods. Ms. Kocher planted a few of the evergreen shrubs last year, with the notion that their foliage would brighten the yard in winter.
Yet, under a steady stream of Bud’s attention (to use a polite term), the leaves have browned and wilted.
“They’re doing what dogs like to do,” Ms. Kocher said. “You can’t get angry with them. You just have to kind of work around them.”
The nitrogen in dog urine would seem to be a helpful fertilizer. In fact, the concentration of ammonium is often toxic to plants. “If you get one of these trees that every dog has to pee on, they can actually burn the bark,” said Nina Bassuk, program leader of the Urban Horticulture Institute at Cornell University.