Do dogs get more mischievous as they age?
When Nikki was an energetic, jumping puppy, I asked a dog-loving friend if he would ever mellow.
“When he’s old. He’ll just lay around and stay out of trouble.”
That was over 10 years ago and Nikki is still living the jumping, energetic puppy life.
He’s like the Peter Pan of dogs, never wanting to grow up.
His new favorite game is to stand on his hind legs,
wedge his sharp little claws into the pull-out cupboard where we keep the trash can,
and then scavenge for trash like a vulture swooping in on roadkill.
I usually know he’s been up to trouble when I go downstairs and he stays at the top of the stairs
in a guilty lump on the landing.
Or when I walk into the kitchen and he’s hiding from me.
I use my low, leader-of-the-pack “Dog Whisperer” voice and say, “Nikki, what have you been up to?”
Then he gives me this look…
Or, I see him under the table like he’s put himself in timeout.
In addition to his new scavenger life, he’s developed a bad habit of waking up in the middle of the night. And it’s always oh-so-urgent for him to go outside.
We follow him blurry-eyed downstairs and let him out the back door and dutifully wait while he sniffs, snoops, and roots around in the backyard.
Instead of getting impatient and angry, I’ve developed some weird nighttime habits of my own like emptying the dishwasher, sweeping the floor, and do I dare admit…looking at my game boards and playing a word on “Words with Friends?”
He also decided to start barking when I’m on important conference calls.
I’m not sure where that came from or how he even knows when it’s an important conference call.
I told my sister about his bad habits and she coolly said, “Today might be a good day to put him down.”
“Put him down?”
Now before you dog lovers get all offended, my sister is a major jokester and my all-time cracker-upper, so take that into consideration, please. In other words, she didn’t really mean it.
Her son moved home recently and brought a dog with him even though he knew her “no-pet” policy.
The dog, Liv, chewed up her furniture and then fell so in love with her that when she gets home from work, Liv jumps up and down with such excitement that she can’t contain herself or her bladder, and then she pees on her.
So in frustration, and as a joke, she started saying to her son,
“Today might be a good day to put Liv down.”
They laugh about it, and they keep working with Liv to teach her that glee should not equal pee.
Oh, the things we do for love, I mean … dogs.