Much unlike other people who view the approaching summer season with glee, we here at the Dysfunctional Home for Wayward Dogs see the season a little differently. Because, unlike other people who are planning exotic vacations and hanging up their wetsuits, we find ourselves taking weekly trips to Home Depot in preparation for what we know will be 3-4 months of hell and home improvements. You know, just to get ideas on how to protect ourselves and our home.
I’m not talking about hurricane season. Please, that’s what last-minute Home Depot trips are for- everyone in Florida knows that. I’m talking about the afternoon showers that grace our great state from June – August. These are hurricanes for us. Inside our house. Everyday.
Yeah, our dog, Maya has severe thunderstorm anxiety. She also has severe determination to accomplish tasks she sets out to do (you should see her meticulously unstuff her toys.) Mix that with bully-breed strength and a string of neuroses, and you’ve got a monster that makes Marley & Me sound like a dog that’d be perfect for your 90lb grandmother. (I loved Marley & Me, by the way. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend!)
We’ve tried drugs, pheremones, crates, behavior modification (read: denial), etc. What has seemed to work is just cleaning up the mess and letting the weekly trash pick-up act as therapy. Maya’s version of therapy falls under the category of doors. Bedroom, bathroom, office, front, side, porch- she’s not too picky. We stopped counting at 11. I stopped sending emails to friends at six. Old news, they say, but “damn I can’t believe she can do that!” What she’s trying to get to we have no idea. Maybe us (as this happens when we’re unfortunately not home when the sprinkles start.) Either way, we’ve spent more money on this rented apartment then we’d certainly cared or intended to. Home Depot is my fair weather friend and I don’t like it. I actually hate home improvement stores. I’d probably love them if we were remodeling a hipster fixer-upper bungalow, but who has money for that when you have dogs with mental problems? I’ll talk about my other dog at a later date, I only have so much energy. I know exactly where the doors, glass panes, etc. are in that dogforsaken store. New doors, new trim, paint, you name it. She turns it all into cypress mulch.
Several months ago she learned how to smash the jalousie glass panes that lead to our porch…which leads to the latticed gate…which leads to…the world. This is not good. She is very sweet unless you are another animal or a human she may not decide to like- I rescued her for $20 from a trailer in Mims and she was the only one without her ears chewed off- you get the breeding picture. So, Maya running around the neighborhood is not a good thing. We are overly-responsible and hyper-paranoid dog owners. (We also like lots of hyphens.) Therefore, when she tore a hole in the fence after smashing through the glass, some angel above decided it was not the time for Maya to bring home a subpeona. Thank Dog! Right now, we shut all doors to the outside world and if a storm comes, it usually passes by the time she is finished wood-chipping. In case that’s not enough we stack an ironing board and a step ladder against the jalousie door (which, by the way has been replaced 3 times). We also put furniture on the couch when we leave so she doesn’t lay all over it (more on other dog-proofing your home methods at a later date.) We priced plexi-glass at the ol’ Depot the other day and are pondering purchasing her a cape. Ha ha, Super Maya to the non-rescue! I’ll keep you all updated on that one.
Until then we smile nervously as we leave for work in the morning, get our own t-storm anxiety when we notice a single cloud forming in a clear blue sky, and hopefully get filled with joy when we come home and she hasn’t started another home-improvement project.
p.s. I will post a picture and/or silly video when I get those things scanned (I still shoot film) so you can get a taste (or smell) of freshly chipped wood.