Monday, November 23, 2015

The Nutella Incident

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!


16 comments:

  1. LOL that is funny. I think Barley needs a mental game to tire her out mentally. The screw lid was a start. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She is a mess! We play lots of mental games throughout the day, but apparently it's time to start researching some new ones. Luckily, our substitute agility instructor gave us all some good homework to practice that will hopefully wear out her brain a bit!

      Delete
  2. Bailey feels guilt, Katy has none. Bailey feels guilty when he's done nothing, Katy again has a so what attitude about it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like Barley and Katy have the same approach to mischief ;)

      Delete
  3. Oh Barley! Glad she's OK. Mr. N takes approval and disapproval very seriously. I can't even raise my voice slightly over anything or Mr. N will take it as a sign that I might be mad. Our foster pup on the other hand, couldn't care less.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish Mr. N could give Barley a lesson in that! Barley loves approval--she gets crazy happy and wiggly when she's told she's a good girl, but she doesn't mind being a naughty dog, either. It's exhausting.

      Delete
  4. I can totally relate - what is it with the border collies the last few weeks? Mine have been stinkers, too. I'm glad Barley didn't eat enough Nutella to make her sick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There must be something in the air! Barley usually gets a little wilder when it starts getting colder, but she's usually not this bad until there's snow on the ground!

      Delete
  5. Mad Puppy will keep her in line soon :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What are you talking about? He teamed up with Soth last time and caused all of the mischief!

      Delete
  6. Im surprised she didn't get discouraged with the jar lid. Seems like that was more incentive to continue to try. Glad she's okay. I've now got to remember to remove my snacks before leaving the room.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She will work for ages if food is involved--and apparently she didn't even have to work that hard since she had it off in less than 5 minutes. I'm going to have to be extra vigilant about putting my snacks away immediately now, too!

      Delete
  7. Uh oh! That is some pretty good mischief right there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barley is very good at finding mischief :)

      Delete
  8. Oh boy...I feel you on this one! We've still been having lots of outdoors time since the weather's been decent, but Luke has just been incorrigible about his counter surfing lately! The carrot incident was only one of many.
    He doesn't show a lot of guilt either. He might hang his head for a minute but that's about it.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We need to start a support group! Barley will sometimes run to her crate, but usually it's with the stolen object in tow and I'm pretty sure she's running there because she knows she can have it gone before I can crawl into the crate to take it away from her, not because she knows she's in trouble :) If I find anything that works for keeping her away from the counters/tables, I'll be sure let you know!

      Delete