Dog days of winter

Day 10. Jim and I are officially at Day 10 of trying to make the adoption of our granddoggy work. We committed to 30 days before throwing in the towel. We're a third of the way through.

And let me tell ya: It's been hell.

Here's the story: Back in October, I introduced you all to my newest granddog, Lyla. Andrea had adopted her -- against my advice, I must add -- from the Dumb Friends League. Lyla's a sweet little girl, a black lab with what the vet thinks is a smidgen of pit bull. Which is okay with us. Our Mickey is a pit bull we rescued and love to pieces.

But a lab/pit bull living in an apartment is not okay ... with any of us ... especially Andrea, who came home to disasters nearly every day after work.

So when Andie couldn't take it any more, Jim and I offered to take in our granddoggy, to give her a home with a yard where she can run and play and expend the copious amounts of energy with which she's been blessed. We'd been considering adopting a dog in the near future anyway to give Mickey a buddy when Hunter moves away with Brianna, so giving Lyla a new home was a good idea for all of us.

Except that she's a maniac. When she came to live with us on December 5 (not that I'm counting the days or anything), she had "submissive urination" problems. And she wanted so badly to be loved -- she'd been a stray before Andie adopted her -- that she constantly jumped all over everyone in hopes of getting a pat on the head or a tummy rub.

In the past 10 days, we've cured her of both those issues ... pretty much.

What we've not yet cured her of is her obsession with chewing. Anything. And everything.

In the past 10 days, Lyla has ruined:

  • FOUR dog beds (three of them brand-new, three of which I've managed to sew back together)
  • a volleyball
  • one of my shoes
  • a Christmas pillow, handmade by my dad's wife
  • a Christmas mouse doorstopper thingee, handmade by a now-ex girlfriend of my brother's (not an ex because of Lyla; she became an ex a few years ago)
  • the basket that holds the dog's chew toys -- which she obviously found more enticing than the toys

We've never owned a dog with a major chewing problem. And it sucks.

But, that's not the worst of it. The worst of it is my stupid cat Isabel. She's a big ol' chicken, and now that there's a maniac dog confined to the downstairs -- as it's been too cold for the dogs to be outside all day -- Isabel is scared to go down there.

And down there is where her litter box is.

So she's made the two bathrooms on the main and upper floors her personal potty place.

Which is disgusting and stinky and frustrating as hell. Yeah, at least she's using the bathroom, but it's not HER bathroom. And I hate, hate, hate the smell of cats and cat pee and cat yuck, and have worked very hard at keeping the cat smells at bay while owning two cats.

So I'm washing rugs and scrubbing floors and spraying Lysol to a degree I've not had to do in years, if ever. And I've carried Isabel down the stairs, against her will, to the litter box several times, to let her know it's okay, she can make it -- without being eaten by a maniac dog.

Then I shut the bathroom doors to keep her out of them, feeling pretty safe in the fact that my trips carrying her down the stairs taught her how to sneak to her own potty on her own, without being noticed by the dogs.

This morning I took Jim to work, praying -- literally -- the whole way that Lyla will not chew up the beds in the dog room while I'm away. I get home, dash through the door, run to the dog room to find ... Lyla and Mickey chilling in the dog room, being good doggies.

I let the dogs outside and head back up the stairs, thinking we've made it over the last hurdle.

Only to find that in my haste of booking through the door and down the stairs to the dogs, I had missed the pile of cat poop Isabel had left on the rug at the door ... that being the nearest rug to the bathroom she could no longer access. That being a rug that now had cat poop smeared across it and onto the tile from my opening of the door over it.

I freaked, grabbed Isabel and rubbed her nose in it (yeah, I know it probably does no good) and yelled and yelled. Which caused Abigail, our other cat, to yell and yell at Isabel and chase her out of the room. Then I cleaned up poop -- which is far worse than cleaning up chewed up dog beds.

I'm at a loss. I'm sick of chewed up stuff and even more sick of pooping and peeing from a chickenshit cat. Lyla is overcoming her problems; Isabel's are only getting worse.

We're at Day 10. I'm not sure if I will make it another 20 days without booting one or the other of them right out the door!

We are NOT having a very happy holiday season around here!

Regardless, here's ...

Today's question from "The Christmas Conversation Piece":

If you had to choose which animal to murder on Christmas Eve, which would get the ax: the cat or the dog?

HA, HA! That's not really today's question! Here's the real one:

Besides the reindeer, which animal(s) do you associate the most with the Christmas season?

My answer: A donkey ... because he gets down on bended knee at midnight on Christmas Eve, along with all the other barn animals. Right?