Why I Love And Hate My Rescue Dogs
I love my dogs but, make no bones about it, they are arseholes.
This is how my day begins. It's 5am and I'm jarred awake by a repetitive thud next to my head. It’s still dark, and in the sub-zero temperatures of Melbourne my dogs Kimba and Bud are whacking their tails against the wall. Eventually the thuds are joined by a high-pitched, continuous whine.
My daily torture has begun.
During Medieval times, torture was considered a legitimate way to extract confessions, punish offenders and perform executions. Now it’s just my typical wake-up call.
Trust me when I say I really do love my dogs. As I write this, they are both lying in front of the fire, quiet as can be. People tell me they're well-behaved, or 'they’re such good puppies' -- and yes, they CAN be. They even fool me, because they’re cute, manipulative little assholes.
My dogs are rescue dogs, which is supposed to mean they’re eternally grateful. Kimba is an eight-year-old Kelpie cross, and one of the most well-trained dogs you’ll ever meet. BUT, when it comes to torture, she is the most skilled.
Then there’s Bud ‘The Destroyer’, another Kelpie-cross who could also easily be mistaken for a potato. Bud is the newest member of the Laurence household, another rescue pup -- we adopted him at 14-weeks-old. For those of you that know anything about dogs, as soon as you hear 'Kelpie' you go, “Wow! Energetic animals!”
You don't know the half of it.
Rain, hail or shine, Kimba and Bud get walked for an hour every morning at 5am because if they don't, "they’ll become destructive."
But walk or no walk, they still destroy my house.
Every day I leave for work I do a thorough scan, getting into the mindset of 'The Destroyer' and think, “If I was an asshole dog looking to demolish something, what would it be?” Only once I’ve covered all bases do I walk out the door.
Unfortunately, I haven't quite managed to immerse myself into the psyche of my dogs, because no matter how well-protected I think I’ve made the house, Bud will find something that tickles his fancy.
The rubbish bin was the first big disaster. It has since been relocated to a cupboard. In fact, we’ve done quite a bit of rearranging to accommodate for Bud’s ability to create chaos. Cookbooks now live up high on a shelf, shoes are tucked away in cupboards, and we’ve given up yoga because apparently the mats are tasty.
Bedroom doors are closed at all times. The couch is covered with towels every time we go out. Coffee table books do NOT live on the coffee table. The outdoor lounge has a few less cushions than it did when we bought it and I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve had to google things like ‘are avocados poisonous for dogs?' and '24-hour vet near me.'
We’ve done all the research and spoken to the experts about ways we can fix the problem, but it always boils down to the same thing. ‘Your dog needs mental stimulation.' 'Try puzzle toys or toys with food.' 'Have you considered that maybe your dog is stressed?' My personal favourite is 'They don’t understand that what they’re doing is wrong.'
I’m calling BS on that right now. There’s an easy way to tell when ‘The Destroyer’ has been up to his old tricks. If I get home and he greets me with an intense butt wag that says, 'Oh my god I never thought you were ever coming back' then I know all is well. However, if I walk through the door to see a little face peering through the glass from outside, I know I’m in for a mega clean up.
So, why do I own dogs? It's simple. My home isn't home without them.
I’m sure it’s the same with children. They can drive you crazy when they’re naughty but, deep down you love them intensely and they love you intensely too. Sadly, parents can’t lock their children outside for a while if they’re super annoying though.
You can follow the destruction on Instagram here.
This post first appeared on August 10, 2018.