Thursday, May 6, 2010


You all know of my Rusty woes. Such a naughty puppy!! The other day I said to Brent, "You know Rusty really is getting better!" His reply, "No he's not he's just locked up all the time." He's right, it's true. Ever since he decapitated Santa I've been extraordinarily diligent about locking them up when they are not supervised. If I leave the house for any reason, am upstairs and they don’t want to be, it doesn't matter the reason, if they are inside and I cannot see them for any period of time they are either locked in the laundry room or outside. Don't worry this is not bad for them. The laundry room has offically become their bed room. It's loaded with pillows, dog beds, and an old unused comforter. Pretty luxurious for dogs if you ask me. Outside the weather is amazing, they have shade, water and once again pillows. (On a side note it will not be long before they don’t have pillows any more. Rusty keeps tearing them apart and there is constantly batting all over the back yard which is just so trashy. They also track it in on their paws and now Croix tries to eat it! :P) So even though it sounds a little mean that they are "locked up" it's really not.

When we first started having them sleep in the laundry room Bosco hated it!!! We'd have to drag him in there by his collar. He would run away, try and dash outside, it was silly. I'd be dragging my 80 lbs dog, who had sunk all his weight into the floor, as I'm pulling him across the house by his collar. He finally learned that he was never going to win and always ended up in the laundry room. While Bosco is putting up a fight Rusty would happily walk into the laundry room and lay down in his bed. Then the tables turned. Rusty decided he no longer liked the laundry room and would put up the same fight. Run away from us, dash outside, we'd have to pick him up and carry him in. All the while Bosco happily walked into the laundry room and lay in his bed. Then finally they both got to where they just go to bed. It's pretty nice now, all we do is say got to bed, or time for night night and they go right into the laundry room and go to bed!

After a little while despite the fact that Rusty gladly went into the laundry room he decided he did not want to stay there. He started scratching on the door at 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3 any and all hours of the night. There were some nights where he did scratch at 10, 11, 12, 1 and 2!!!! I felt like I had just gotten Croix sleeping through the night so the last thing I needed was Rusty waking me up! That’s when operation sleeping through the night began. I tried everything to get him to stop. I went in and "Cesar Millaned" him, you know I went in, stood over him and gently touched him and "ssssh'd" him until he was in a calm submissive state. Then I would leave. That did not work. Then I tried going in and thumping his nose. That did not work. Then I tried thumping him with a flip flop (feel free to judge me, I probably would have judged myself before having dogs). That did not work.

After weeks of not sleeping soundly because of the stupid dog I was done. I went to Petsmart looking for a shock collar. This produced a whole other post, which I will write soon. I ended up not getting one. I decided though this tired Mama was done! From that point on Rusty not only got locked up but he also got wrapped up! I put socks on his paws and secured them on there with packing tape. Now Rusty is a very tenacious dog. We tried putting a muzzle on him ages ago, just at night to try and stop all the chewing. That backfired big time. The next morning when we got up we found that he had been scratching at the muzzle all night long to the point of making himself bleed! He was also running his nose on the floor trying to get it off so there were bloody streaks all over the floor. We also tried putting him in a kennel and he tried digging out until his paws bled and the laundry room was spattered in blood. Know this about Rusty's personality I was worried he would try chewing the socks off his paws and accidently chew off his paw (not really but I was worried he would hurt himself). With nothing but his safety in mind I also put the muzzle on him. The poor dog just looked broken. Also a little hilarious though. You could tell he was so sad about it. I'd give him a chance; I wouldn't wrap him up until he scratched on the door. Then I would go in, not say a word, and just wrap him up. He would start shivering when I was pulling the tape, it makes a pretty crazy noise. As much as he hated it, he didn't fight it. Just lay there, like a naughty child who accepted their punishment. Unconventional as it may be, it worked! If he did scratch with the socks on I couldn't hear it and I got to sleep through the night again. After a few nights I didn't put on the muzzle, he was fine. Then I took the socks off his back paws, he was fine. Then after a couple weeks no socks at all, NO MORE SCRATCHING!!!!! Call me crazy, call me mean but we are a happier house hold now!!!!!!


The Sagendorfs said...

You poor thing - what an experience to go through! Hopefully he gets better and can be a happy, non-chewing dog with out the socks and the muzzle!

Heather said...

Okay, not on Rusty's side or anything but oh the HUMILIATION! Look at him! So sad! :) I know he gets plenty of loves in there and his rap sheet he is lucky to still be a member of your family.

Stephen and Erin said...

Hey whatever works! I dont know how you can have Croix and puppies! too much for me to handle! I think he looks a litte cute in his fashionable socks though!

Crissylady said...

I applaud you! Having just gotten a puppy and done LOTS of reading about training online, it sounds like you got it just right. Ours is protesting the crate and it sure is a battle! BTW I super love the pictures! Funniest thing I've seen all day!

The Biglers said...

Sorry I just had to LOL when I saw your poor dog. He looks so sad and pathetic. But hey, if hey's not scratching, KUDOS!