Naughty Puppy

(Thank you all so much for your positive response about the clicking through to see the blog.  The things you wrote about me and my writing had me floating around all day yesterday with this beatific smile on my face. Thank you so much.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive so I will continue to do the short feeds and ask you all to click on the title to take you to the full blog.  I apologize to those of you who said it was too much trouble and I understand I may lose you as readers.  You're always welcome to come back, though!)

So, we have this puppy.
Oh look, a puppy.  (Or, maybe not.)

Okay, so he'll be two in February and therefore technically not a puppy anymore but he's a LABRADOR and some of them, like some people I know, NEVER GROW UP.  Plus, I defy you to be in our house and not call him a puppy. It's just...well, what we call him to differentiate from our other dog, The Idiot Scout.

At any rate, we have this dog named Austin, who is technically not a puppy but who is very, very naughty. But smart, you know.

And he really wants to sleep on the couch, which is not allowed.

I have fought this battle before --this coming up against the wiles of the four-footed friends.  My old dog Sydney was the champion of this kind of naughtiness--I used to come down and she would be  ON HER BACK on the couch and not moving.  The puppy, at least, hears me coming and gets down and then lies on the carpet and acts all innocent.  Last week, I took some stuff to my car on my way to get Jane from school and came back in for my sunglasses.  The dog was ALREADY ON THE COUCH.

I don't know what you mean about "couch."  Here I am on the floor.  What is this couch of which you speak?

He KNOWS he's not supposed to get on the couch.  He forgets himself on occasion and I catch him starting to hoist himself up until he recalls that this is Officially Against the Rules or I bop him on the head, whichever comes first. Because Austin leaves a lot of black hair on the couch, which is the chief reason he's officially not allowed on the couch in the first place. I say "officially" because if I wander down in the middle of the night, I will find the dog on the carpet and a decidedly warm couch cushion.

My cleaners came on Saturday and we had an open house on Sunday and then my parents arrived and I was determined to NOT do my daily couch vacuuming.

So, because I am all tricky like this, I loaded the couch with stuff aimed at dissuading an adorable but naughty puppy from getting on the couch.  It looked like this:

Yes, there is huge irony at work:

So, what did the puppy do?

He slept here:


Ellen said…
We might be the same person. About the same time you were posting this, I was FB'ing about the loss of one of the only comfortable AND somewhat cute pair of shoes that don't hurt my Morton's neuroma addled feet (I know you can relate) at the teeth of our own adorable yet devilish puppy. Those that aren't pet owner and lovers constantly underestimate the endless entertainment of these family members!
Ann in NJ said…
We caved in to the pets long ago, though we don't have a large, smart, and naughty black puppy. We have two cats the exact shade of grey that shows up on black clothes AND white ones. They go everywhere, and I basically bribed them not to scratch up the couch by buying them a huge and expensive scratching post and periodically dousing it in catnip. So far so good.
maggie said…
My yellow Labrador turned two in August. I'm told I can look forward to at least one, possibly two more years of "puppyhood." Choosing my battles, I keep a washable cover on the couch.
Kathy Ireland said…
I have two things for you. First is this adorable picture of a dog who belongs to a local scrapbooker (you'll have to scroll down a bit, past the photos of her most adorable daughters) but it's a cute picture. Second, a friend told me over the weekend that she put doubld sided tape on her tables and counters to teach her cats not to jump on them...maybe wit would work on a coach with a dog (or in a box with a fox?)

OK - I've got to get back to work. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving my friend!!
Barb's Sister said…
Well having been the mother of a Lab for 12 years, and having fought the sneaky dog syndrome for all of them... I can tell you that some never outgrow it. Even at the very end of his life our 120lb black Lab would ocassionally still be caught on the couch.
And although I KNOW this is unacceptable puppy behavior, I would let him on the couch anytime for just one more day with him..It's all relative I guess?
kim said…
I check my (new) sofa for indentations daily. So far, I think Joey knows that it is NOT OKAY to jump up there. But if someone sits there, all bets are off. Actually, now that I think of it, I prefer that no one (dog nor human) sits on it. But...
Kimos said…
OK, to some this might sound mean. My golden retriever (God rest his soul) had the same love for fine furnishings and sneaky nature. Our training book suggested that it's important to make the feedback on the behavior NOT come from you. Otherwise when you're not looking, it's free game (DUH).

So what the book suggested and we did was set a few mouse traps under a lot of newspaper. When Digger jumped onto the couch he tripped the traps which slapped against the paper and made lots of noise. Still took a couple of tries, but after that, the couch stayed cool all night long.
Barb Matijevich said…
I've seen that suggestion about the mousetraps before but since we have cats (and also Scout the submissive urinator and/or WORSE if someone so much as drops a candy wrapper) we opted to try other things. I just need to blockade all three sofas!
michiganme said…
My golden retriever is 11 and she was never allowed on the furniture and seemed fine with it. Until about 3 years ago. She's just like Austin---waits until we leave to get on it and knows to get off quickly when we come home.

I load the furniture with items also to discourage her because I don't want hair & doggy smells all over the furniture. I finally gave up and gave her ONE chair to lay in when we go away. I don't give her permission to get in it, I just don't put stuff it when I leave. Some day it will be a fond & humorous memory.
Anonymous said…
It is so easy. Accept the doggy nature of this pet, and have a sheet or something like it you put on the sofa when you leave. When you come home you whip the sheet off, fur and all, and stuff it under a pillow or better hiding place. The dog is happy, your life is de-haired and all ends well.
I hope it works for you. The alternative is too keep a roller to de-hair your sofa and your guests. Good luck!
Mama Ava said…
My mom used those computer mats that you put under chairs--plastic on one side, but those sharp spikes on the other. The dog hated it. At our own house, we just switched to leather furniture. Dog hair, barf, pee, all comes up and off!
Barb Matijevich said…
Mama Ava, that's what I did in my old house. One of the links in this piece shows the cats sitting on the bumps. We have one leather couch that the dogs avoid but the cats have had their ways seems that perhaps I can either have pets OR nice furniture but probably not both! Ah well, I choose the pets. It's pretty rare that a couch makes me laugh. --Barb
Bullwinkle said…
My solutions: copious use of dog beds (not helpful when Ned has a UTI), slip covers (who said everything has to match?), aging (if the dog can't get up there ...), give in (my sister gave up one chair to the dog, the rest stay clean).

I use leather couches and blankets. (Sheets don't work for me - the critters come in from a run in the wet/muddy woods and need something heavier to plop down upon. I do layer the blankets - as soon as the wet animal removes him/herself, I swipe off the top layer for something dry -er. Drier.)
Hi Barb!Makes me want a pet still. Just to experience the realities of having one! For many years, me and my three sons have discussed getting a pet, argued about it, dreamily made events for it. But we never got one.

No matter how naughty, maybe no matter how destructive it will be to one or two areas of this noble home, a pet Lab would be lovely. Real but lovely. Dirty and smelly. But lovely.

I dunno. Will talk to the boys about it. Yet, again. I will let them read this as well. So thanks for the post, Barb. Maybe soon we could reach that decision.Finally.