It's been a while since I posted about our Bad Dog Shade. He's fourteen years old and he really needs to die already. I know, those of you who love your pets as if they were a child (and that would be those of you who don't have children, because I'm here to tell you, there is NO comparison! Dogs are not people!!!!), will think I'm a terrible pet owner. Disclaimer: He's not my pet. He came with the marriage and I would never have kept a pet like this pet. If you can even call him a pet. See, for me, a pet conjures up images of a loyal companion who loves you unconditionally and follows you around with undying devotion. Shade is not a pet. He's an animal who spends most of his time finding ways to irritate humans. He barks, he steals food, he eats wrappers, he drinks from the toilet, he pees on the floor, he drops little round turds from his ass end at random moments. This dog is a nightmare.
Recently, my husband built a nice fence around the dog potty area so they would stop littering our deck with poop. We had not been able to enjoy sitting outside on our own deck because it was covered in poop (with three dogs it's a poop minefield in about three hours). So, Jeff cleaned everything up, did some pretty landscaping, re-stained the deck, and put out some lounge chairs. Meanwhile, the dogs had their own space to do their business.
But. Shade apparently thinks this is his domain. When he's out there, he barks at the other dogs for drinking water, for sitting where he doesn't want them to, for everything. The dogs just BARKS. Non-stop. And for no apparent reason. It's an annoying, consistent bark and he never shuts up. No amount of yelling or discipline will make him stop. What does make him stop is spraying him with the hose. But only as long as he's being sprayed. Once you stop, he goes right back to barking. Eventually I have to bring him in the house because I feel bad for annoying the neighbors.
Once inside, though, he is so bad, he can't be left alone for even a second. So, into the kennel he goes. Basically he's now spending his days either in the dog run or the kennel and spending very little time in the house because of all the damage he's done. What kind of existence is that for a dog? We tried increasing his walks, but he poops as he walks, making that a very messy and time-consuming job, and not very pleasant for the dog OR the walker.
What to do? Everyone talks about "quality of life" for dogs and the "right" time to "put them down". When is that, exactly? Shade, in my opinion, adds NOTHING to our lives but aggravation. I mean, I'm kind to him, I take care of him, I TRY to make his life pleasant and give him attention. But he just seems miserable. He's been to countless vet appointments where he's pronounced healthy. So, why does he bark, whine and generally seem miserable every minute of the day? I feel badly for wishing the dog would just go to that big doggy house in the sky, but he's just 75 lbs of misery. Why can't he just be HAPPY? He's a dog, for cryin' out loud.