Usually, Barley's "dark days" arrive in February. The days are short, the temperatures are frigid, and the sidewalks are nonexistent, so our walks are shorter. February is also the beginning of a new semester, so Barley gets neglected a bit more as I get into the grove of the new classes and getting to know my new students. Naturally, my smart, energetic pup finds ways to entertain herself if I don't keep a close eye on her, and they're very rarely healthy decisions.
I'm starting to worry about whether we'll even make it to February because Barley's kicked the mischief into full gear this weekend. The weather's cooled off quite a bit, so we have most of the neighborhood to ourselves. I've tried to get Barley out for more exercise and fun than usual (more on that on Friday), but she's still losing her mind.
|Romping at the ball park should wear a pup out, right?|
|Not by a long shot.|
On Friday, after two walks totaling almost 5 miles for the day plus a nice 15-minute fetch session at the ball park, I was sure that Barley would be worn out, so I could get some things done for classes and some cleaning before my sister visits this week.
I decided to cook burgers for dinner and tossed them on the grill. Barley was keeping a close eye on me to make sure nothing dropped on the floor. Then she went into the living room. I couldn't see her over the room divider between the kitchen and the living room, but I'd seen a flash of her tail while she walked near the coffee table, so I figured she'd given up on scavenging and hopped up on the couch and I went to slice a few slices of cheese to toss on the burgers. Barley didn't come running--and Barley loves cheese.
So I knew that she was into something. I called her a few times. Nothing. I rustled the cheese wrapper a little louder. Nothing.
I went into the spare room and she had something between her paws and her tail was doing a slow wag.
She stole the nutella I'd left on the coffee table after my snack earlier in the day--and she'd gotten the lid off. For a brief moment, I thought about inducing vomiting, but I decided she'd probably be just fine. Since she'd only had access to the jar for less than 5 minutes and she's never been successful at getting a screw top off before, I'm pretty sure she'd gotten very little of the actual nutella. It was already half gone from my pretzel dipping snack sessions and the sides hadn't been licked clean yet. After a phone call to Barley's grandma, we decided on the list of "Things Barley's Eaten that She Really Shouldn't Have," nutella is down near the bottom (this list contains sugar-free game, aleve, a stick of butter + wrapper, a pan of turtle brownies, a muffin wrapper + paper towel).
Barley is not a dog that feels guilt. Our trainer has tried to help us work on getting Barley to show contrition, but she thinks everything is a game--no matter how stern I am or how quick I am to put her in a down and end the game, she just smiles and wags and wiggles. There is no ears down, tail between her legs acknowledgement of "I shouldn't have done that." She's just rarin' to go again as soon as I release her (which is especially problematic when the "game" is nipping at me during agility).
|"Maybe she won't notice if I try to take this jar back while she takes a picture."|
This dog is proud of every bit of mischief she's ever encountered and the nutella incident is no different. This might be a long winter if she's already started in on the mischief before there's even snow and ice on the ground. Send us good vibes or we might not both survive to see what the "dark days" of February bring!