Mon Petit Chien

I can’t remember a time in my life without animals. From my first pet (a turtle eponymously named "Turtle") to my hamster "Hammy" (and let’s not forget my goldfish "Goldie" and the guinea pigs, "Crunchy" and "Munchy" – ok, so I wasn’t a good animal namer, I admit it) I’ve always had a pet. My first dog was named "Pumpkin" and while there was a stretch in college where I didn’t have a pet, I claimed my parents’ dog Bailey to be my own. (*HE* certainly thought he was my dog, after all.) So now, however many years (um, 10) later since I graduated from high school, the fact that I have Le Sabala Menagerie isn’t that surprising.

What *IS* surprising, however, is Miss Lila Belle.

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Miss Lila, so kindly named in part by your creative suggestions, is approaching the crucial six-month mark, and I’m waiting to wake up on July 28th with a calmer, quieter, non-biting dog who only goes potty outside and certainly doesn’t chase the cats and run around the house with my underwear on her head. After all, the books (and you know I’m trusting ‘the books’) say that six months is when you should see a marked improvement in behavior in all aspects, so I’m going to hope with all my might that they’re right.

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Now, Miss Lila Belle is getting big, seemingly bigger than her "no more than 20 pounds" claim would attest (especially since she currently weighs in at 21 lbs, and seems to still be growing.) Perhaps I got a genetic anomaly since both of her parents really *WERE* 20 pounds (I even met them!) but she towers over the cats, even the fat one that looks like he ate an entire other cat himself. Yep, my little girl is growing up.

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But not really acting any better. While she can sit on command (I don’t know how she picked that one up, but she did, and will do it unless she thinks I’m making her sit to put on her prong collar or put her in her crate) she still is having some, to put it delicately, huge-ass big bad dog issues with biting. I know schnauzers (of which she is 1/2) can have a temper and cockers (the other 1/2) can be stubborn, but this dog will get pissed at me when I won’t let her, say, eat the cat or chew my brand new shoes or – her latest – stand on the coffee table, and will show her dissatisfaction by nipping at me. BAD DOG, Lila.

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Only it’s not necessarily just a nip – sometimes it’s harder. Like last night when she wanted to eat out of the litterbox (by far the nastiest thing I’ve ever seen) and I wouldn’t let her, she bit me.
In the butt.

Apparently we’re in agreement on this one point – puppy training bites ass.