Thursday, May 22, 2008

Diet Coke Break

I've learned to pick and choose my battles with Millie. Shoes, clothes, work papers and human food are all off limits (well, except for an occasional scoop of low-fat peanut butter to get her to eat her heartworm pill). But, everything can't be no. So, if she gets her hands on an empty box every now and then, I've decided to be OK with that.

One of her favorite things to shred is empty cases of Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper. Fortunately for her, her parents are highly addicted to them (dad to DC, mom to DDP), so there are plenty of opportunities. The good thing is that she does not actually eat the box. She just shreds it. Into a million pieces. It's a great distraction that lasts about 30 minutes. It does create a big mess, but if it buys me a little time when I need a break myself, it's all worth it!

Bailey tends to think it's a tad immature. But don't let the pictures fool you. She is the one I have to watch because, once the destruction is complete, she will eat the tiny pieces of cardboard. Also, I know she enjoys the break, too. Because if Millie is spending her time chewing apart a box, it just means Bailey is on reprieve from being chewed herself.

Water Dog

Being the co-parent of a Basset Hound for the past 11+ years, water has strictly been something Bailey uses to quench her thirst. When she hears the tub water running or sees a hose coming near her, she promptly runs, er waddles, to the nearest, hardest-to-reach corner and huddles down in hopes you won't be able to pick up her dead weight. Fortunately, her mind can easily be changed with a short path of treats leading to the general vicinity of the bath-zone. Once you get her there, she is OK with the scrubbing part, but whines and whimpers throughout the rinsing like she is being abused (and especially hates the sight and sound of the water coming out of the spout into the tub). But, once she is all clean (and gets her reward treats), I know she agrees with us that it does feel good to be clean.

Golden Retrievers, on the other hand, are water dogs. Millie has learned a lot from Bailey in their short five months of being siblings, but the fear of water is not one of them. From day one, Millie has loved all things to do with water, and especially the water coming out of the spout in the jacuzzi tub. It fascinates her, and she tries to consume as much as she can as fast as she can because she knows it's just a matter of time before the "waterfall" will be turned off. She patiently sits in the tub, drinking as much of the soapy water as she can and looking forward to the final rinse off.

I've been anxiously awaiting the warmer days of late spring so that I could get Millie a pool to play in outside. After much arm-twisting and promising that I will not let it kill the grass, Brent finally caved and bought one for her. As I expected, she absolutely loves it. She was a little leery of it at first, but it took no time for her to get in and start "swimming." Just like bath time, she has the most fun playing with the water hose when the pool is being filled...chasing the streams of water in the air and swatting at the splashes they make. But, she's also enjoying just wading and cooling off.

Someday soon, I hope to take her to a "real" pool or lake or river or ocean. I can't imagine what she would think about crashing waves at the beach. And who knows, maybe after a summer of watching Millie enjoy her pool, Millie can teach the "old" dog that water is not such a bad thing.