As usual, I had grand plans for winter break. I was going to get the bike fixed, get Nehi used to riding with the bike, take long bike rides around the neighborhood, paint the garage floor. Of course none of this happened because I've had the plague for three weeks. About all I've managed was to vacuum Nehi dirt out of the carpet once. The rest of my time has been dedicated to laying prone on my couch. This resulted in Nehi becoming the wee demon that she is called, although at this point, the wee could be debated.
I'll fess up right now, that I know it's my fault. She's a high energy dog, and I've had the energy for about one walk a day versus her normal two, and with it being 30 degrees out, we're not playing in the yard for hours on end. So I understand why she's stir crazy and feel horrible about it, because the thing I like best about time off is that it gives me time to play with my girl.
But, due to the fact that she's not getting her playtime (except for that day I brought the bike home, and then spent two days on the couch recovering because well, I'M STILL SICK), Nehi has picked up some new tricks, that look alarmingly like a dog possessed.
Nehi has learned how to whine in the last couple of weeks. It's like she just suddenly discovered the sound and now makes it just to see if she gets a reaction from it, much like some of her barks. She'll be sleeping on the couch and just suddenly start to whine, the most pitiful sound you ever heard. Then look at me to see what happens. Normally nothing, I go back to my coffee.
Nehi has learned to take revenge for when I go upstairs without her. She grabs the remote, my cigarettes, my lighter, Dad's new book I borrowed and eats them. Sometimes she just carries them in her mouth, but destruction is normally involved. On the bright side, she is learning to drop said objects when I tell her. So now, if I pop upstairs for something, I have to open the door at the top of the stairs occassionally and see if I can spot Nehi. If not, it's a quick race downstairs to see what she has, because she always has something, and the attempt to retrieve it.
Nehi seems to have regressed into younger puppyhood. All lessons about not jumping, not biting and not pawing seem to have been forgotten. She can be sleeping so cutely on the back of the couch, but then as soon as Mom or Dad come downstairs, it's like someone has switched my baby girl for a hyper lunatic. Especially problematic with Mom.
Nehi went through a stage where she was very destructive at night and since I sleep like the dead, it was a bit problematic (although having Nehi has made me very Zen about the idea of material possessions- mainly don't get attached because they may be destroyed tomorrow). So, I of course, went into Google mode and read that if I moved her crate into the bedroom, this might help. Maybe it helped, or maybe she just outgrew it. Either way, the problem with her crate being in the bedroom is that I must leave the bedroom door open for her. This created a problem the other day (the day after the bike ride). I was prone on the couch, and feeling sicker than I had been. Suddenly, I realized that I didn't hear any noise. Uh oh. I got up, went into the bedroom and discovered what Nehi had been occupying herself with.
Nehi has gotten bored and decided to go back to her old habit of ripping open my down pillows. The two pillowcases did nothing to stop her, and I spent some quality time cleaning up feathers. The down pillows went away into the closet, and we returned to our regularly scheduled programming. Except now I'm thinking about moving her crate back out into the living room.
Nehi also learned how to open a hat box. She had gotten tall enough where she could stand on the toilet seat in the bathroom and reach my collection of rubber ducks that were on the shelves behind the toilet, and enjoyed chewing their heads off. So, time to put the rubber ducks away, I grabbed an empty hat box, put them all in there and put the hat box on a shelf. Then I spotted Nehi squirming under the bed with something in her mouth (her favorite den to take things Mommy is going to take away). When I finally exchanged what was in her mouth for Cheerios, I realized it was a rubber duckie, and lo and behold, there was the hat box, open. She had somehow managed to get the box open. Clever girl. Duckie went in the trash (his head had been eaten, and it would have been cruel to keep him alive) and the box went on a higher shelf.
Years ago, when Mom managed a retail Christmas store, she had a couple come in and buy a bunch of these really large jingle bells. They explained that they had trained their dogs to ring the bell that they hung on the back door when they wanted to go out. Well, when I got Nehi, I remembered this and thought it was a cool idea, so that's how I trained her. This week however, Nehi has decided that she didn't like the bell on the door anymore. She ripped it off and had been playing with it all over the house. A 3" jingle bell is loud, for the record.
So, that's been winter break- me feeling horrible because I'm sick, and horrible because I know it's my fault that Nehi is being a possessed lunatic. I return to school on Monday, and she'll go back to her regular schedule. Hopefully I'll feel better (and even if not, she'll get her walks/bike rides if only because I don't want to imagine what she'll come up with next!). Hopefully the yard will dry out so Mom doesn't have to step in wet dog poo to play with her at lunch, and maybe the mercury will rise above 35 and it'll be nicer to be outside in general.
But the thing is, Nehi's possession is a wonderful lesson- stuff happens, when you're not expecting it, not prepared for it, not wanting it. And the best any of us can do is deal with it in a way that doesn't make US lunatics, laugh and keep on trucking.