I need a dog whisperer.
When this little terrier came into our lives almost three years ago, she was our first in-house dog. We have had two outdoor dogs as our children grew up that spoiled us rotten.
We know that now.
Those dogs loved nothing more than sitting outdoors in the worst of weather and enjoying the snow blowing in their faces.
They would be content to play whenever the kids went out to play, and to lay waiting for more when the kids came in. They didnít care the amount of time between games, they just waited.
These dogs were happy with whatever food was put in their bowls. They wolfed down anything they were given. Never did they turn up their noses at anything.
When strangers would come to the house, they never hit our porch without a big dog standing beside them. Never a bark, just a presence. It was enough.
Then we get 18-pounds of terrier that turns our world upside down.
A long-time dog expert told me that they call this breed terrors. She knew of what she spoke.
This little terror dog has become the queen of the house.
She eats at a certain time, gets her biscuits at a certain time, and goes into her crate at night on her schedule.
She has a special bed that she likes, and a routine that must be followed every morning.
We have spent the last two weeks searching dog food aisles because our little terror hasnít been eating. It worries me.
I have begun feeling her nose to make certain itís wet (I read one time that was a sign of good health) and Iíve even looked into her eyes for any signs of sadness. I see nothing.
I think sheís just tired of mini kibbles.
She wonít allow us to have visitors. If the doorbell rings, she carries on to the point we canít open the door without her darting out. And after one particularly ugly incident in which our neighbor had to help us chase her down, we are discouraging anyone from ringing our doorbell.
In fact, these days if the front doorbell rings, I have to sneak out the back door to find out who is visiting. Itís the only way to lock this whirling dervish indoors.
Naturally, she wonít come when called. She knows her name, but wonít answer to it. She doesnít head my way when I call for her to ďcome.Ē Wonít even come to ďtreat.Ē She thinks itís a good game we play where she runs, and this old lady lops along several paces behind.
My husband says Iím nutty about the dog. He tells me to just calm down, and the dog will do likewise.
And for him, she is calm. He reads the newspaper and she sits at his feet. He eats dinner and she lays under the table by his chair. He comes home from work, she throws him a ticker tape parade until he acknowledges her.
Things work differently for me.
For me, she follows me constantly and is always ready for a nice walk. She helps me clean the house, make dinner, and do laundry. But if I sit down to read the newspaper, she growls at me until I play with her.
Not long ago, our daughter did her own version of whispering to the puppy and ended up doing some wonderful work. I was pretty certain this stubborn little pup was beyond learning, so was dumbfounded when she learned to roll over, sit down and shake hands.
She is teachable.
Which begs the question, could it be me who needs the dog whispering?
Thankfully for our little terror, sheís the cutest dog ever. And thankfully for her, sheís the most loving dog ever. And she canít wag her tail any harder than she does when she greets us. Thankfully for her.
And it seems when Iím really angry with her, she senses the need to crank up the charm level.
Perhaps my husband put the bug in her ear that if she wants to keep her happy home, she better dial down on her terror instincts.
God bless my husband. He really is the dog whisperer.