Sunday, November 16, 2008

Queen of the Universe

Tessa, also known as "Queen of the Universe", has always been a high maintenance dog. My first indication was when I was crate training her. Having poured over the books and training manuals I had been meticulously following the crate plan. First I made her crate a welcoming cozy place complete with wool blanket. Then I put toys and treats inside of it as an added incentive for her to hang out in her "den". I allowed her to come and go from her crate as she wished. I was a bit stymied when she showed no interest in this luxury of caves. But I persisted. I'd say the word "kennel", gently pull her by the collar and put her in the crate. I'd shut the door, give her a treat and tell her what a good girl she was. If she put up a fuss, I ignored her until she was quiet. I'd then open the door and release her. I thought things were going pretty good.

Tessa travelled with me everywhere from day one. I had to go to a conference and a friend offered to take care of her while I was gone. After our arrival at Antoinette's place, we played and pottied. While Antoinette and I went out for supper the plan was to place Tessa in her crate and leave. We would only be gone for a short time and felt it would be a good transition for when she had to be crated while I worked.

Upon our return to Antoinette's house the first indication something was horribly wrong was the hideous, stomach turning stench that fumigated us when the door opened. Antoinette, a house dog veteran immediately knew what that stink was. Tessa had clearly become upset. We knew this because she had not only defecated in her crate but vomited repeatedly. I had the queasy pleasure of cleaning her crate, while Antoinette bathed her in the kitchen sink.

Now some people say there is no such thing as dog anxiety - it is something created by people. I'm not entirely sure about that. This dog in addition to needing an extra large crate - which to this day she doesn't like (she appears to be claustrophobic), has an intense fear of storms, wind, microwaves, toasters, cameras and anything that beeps. She is also afraid of baby gates (which is handy for me) but that's likely because my brother and I thought it was rather funny to chase her with them when she was a puppy. Ooops...

Tessa, my little high maintenance dog does best when she gets to work. It seems to help her burn some of her nervous energy off better than playing or going for runs.

Right now she truly is "Queen of the Universe" and I her lowly servant.
To Be Continued...

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