Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Dog Diaries: Days 1 through 3. What have we gotten ourselves into?

We’ve been looking for a family dog. On Friday we headed down to the Humane Society and selected a lovely black lab/german pointer that we named Chevy. He’s a year old, but a pretty good sized pup. When we brought him home on Friday night, we put him in the back of our Honda Pilot. Unfortunately for us, he didn’t stay there on the way home. Despite our best efforts to keep him in the back, he was seated across Scott’s lap in the middle row by the time we reached Sammamish.
Knowing that we were going to need Chevy to be a good car dog (given all our trips across the mountains), we went out a bought a barrier system for the back of the Pilot. It’s a barrier system designed for large dogs. We thought we’d be fine.
So Sunday morning, Scott headed off to work and I put the kids and the dog in the car and headed off to church. Chevy started whimpering pretty quickly and by the time we were half way to church the kids were informing me that he was chewing threw the rear seatbelts. Seatbelt 1 was severed. What do you do when the dog is chewing the seatbelt? I could stop the car, but that would leave me on the side of a road with 3 kids, a dog and a severed seatbelt. So I kept going. I probably should have turned the car around, but I didn’t. I drove to church and took the dog out for a quick walk. I made sure he had his warm blanket in the back of the car and plenty of fresh air, and put him back into the car.
When I came back after 45 minutes, Chevy had eaten through both rear seatbelts, moved the barrier system so he could squeeze by it, and helped himself to whatever he wanted in the front of the car …including my coffee and the other three middle row seatbelts. I then tried securing him with his leash, but that didn’t take long for him to chew through that as well.
Sigh. I love this dog, but those seatbelts are going to be expensive to replace, not to mention the annoyance of not being able to use my car to cart my children around. Sweetness (I’ve really got to fine a new moniker for her during these tween years) cried all the way home from church; she was just certain that her mommy would never keep a dog that destroyed her car AND drank her coffee. I don’t want to get rid of the dog. I already adore him. I just need him to not be so…naughty!
 So I find myself wondering, is it the confinement of being stuck in the back of the car, or is it the abandonment that we left him behind when we went inside? I’m leaning toward the confinement issue because he was chewing the seatbelts while we were still in the car with him. Still, I NEED to be able to leave this dog alone and I can’t trust him to leave him wandering around my house…so I need to be able to crate him and that’s confinement. But that’s non-negotiable, right? I’d better go look into some training classes.

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