Remember pickup sticks? Our two pups evidently do.
When I turned on the light in the kitchen the other morning, I was greeted with the sight of a torn-up box that had held 350 wooden toothpicks, and toothpicks spread all over the first floor of the house.
I’m still finding them: under my feet, rolling on the red ceramic tile kitchen floor, hiding under the dog bed – even one prickling me through the quilt on the sofa.
I’m not sure it was our 100-pound mischief maker, Catawba, this time. I suspect Skippy, the black-and-white “Goodview Terrier” whose daddy was an sweet-looking Shih tsu but whose mother was a Cairn terrier. The operative word here is terrier. He’s low enough to the floor to discover stored small cardboard boxes to get into and shake, as is the nature of terriers killing their prey.
It’s also Skippy who spots the cats and goes tearing after them, barking. Our formerly feral boy, Sunny, just ignores him. Usually, so does Jade, the Himalayan we adopted from a family that had a big dog.
But the black shorthair,Pinot (named after the black Pinot Noir grapes that make tasty red wine), is a true scaredy cat and she runs. She has decided to spend her nights outside this summer and hangs back when I open the door wide, reassuring her, “No dogs.”
We should have known better when we adopted Skippy. Our first “child” was a poodle-terrier mix named Snoopy. When Bill and I were first married, Snoopy who got into the closet and chewed one each of my favorite shoes.
We barricaded him in the kitchen while we were at work, only to come home near Easter that year to find the remains of smashed Ukrainian pysanky decorated eggs all over the house. Evidently, Snoopy had picked up the blown and decorated eggshells one at a time from the coffee table in the living room and gleefully decorated every room with crunched shells.
In an earlier column you’ve read about Catawba and Skippy’s theft and snack one night of 18 raw eggs. At least they confined that fiasco to the kitchen.
Terriers, in particular, act out, it seems.
“In my bathroom this morning, Savannah (her Yorkie) had pulled all the toilet paper rolls out of the toilet paper roll and shredded them,” said Wendy Croy, who works in our Salem Times-Register office.
Just about everybody I know has “bad dog” stories, and they’re not just about puppyhood. Usually, I hear stories from big dog owners who are commiserating with me about the surprises of giant puppy Catawba. His father is a golden retriever and mother, a great Pyrenees. He’s becoming a wonderful dog who will someday be a good therapy dog who visits nursing homes and schools to listen to children read.
But Skippy? I wouldn’t bet on it. He took much longer to learn “lie,” doesn’t have the attention span to stay, and doesn’t exhibit the same need to please – yet. There’s time.