My dog is a brat.

This is Dixie, before.


She was happy-go-lucky.  Happy to have a home.  She came to me when I called her and seemed generally happy to be here.  That was 2.5 weeks ago when I brought her home from the shelter.

This is Dixie now.


Doesn’t she look angry?  I took her to the groomer and had her pampered for a few hours.  Then, a few days later I took her for her vet check.  The vet says she’s pure-bred Standard Schnauzer, 9 months old, and has sarcoptic mange.   I got her up to date on her shots, bought the “dip” to treat the mange, and scheduled her spay appointment.

The “Dip.”  This stuff is horrible.  I have never had a dog with mange so I didn’t know what I was in for.  I thought to myself, “I’ll just do the dip in the kitchen sink.  It will be easier than cleaning the tub afterwards.”  You’re laughing at me aren’t you?  Lesson learned.  This 13 pound dog, who doesn’t mind bathing, and does exceptionally well, did not like the dip.  It stinks.  I mean it reeks.  She still did well, she only jumped out of the sink once and didn’t shake until I got her almost outside.  When she hit the porch she was GONE.  She ran like the wind.  And wouldn’t come back for about 2 hours.  The neighbors had to help me catch her.  I came back inside to clean up and that stuff was everywhere.  I had to rewash the clean dishes that were in the drain because they got splattered.  I had to wash down the entire countertop and stove.  Then I had to mop.  And wipe down the cabinets.  And the wall.  I opened all the windows and doors trying to air it out in here.  The smell is awful.  After 3 days of continuous airing, the house is finally back to smelling normal.  Lesson learned.  Next dip will be done outside.

Dixie has allowed her little personality to come out now.  She’s gone from happy and wiggly, to fearful.  I have in NO way abused this dog.  She has no reason to fear me.  But she does.  She cowers when I’m near.  She constantly runs from me as I walk through the house.  When I let her outside to potty, she runs.  Away.  She happily gallops, leaps, and runs as fast as she can in the other direction.  She will not come to me when I call her.  I’ve had to resort to putting her on a chain when I let her out to potty.  I hate that.  I do not believe in having dogs chained up.  But she leaves me no choice.  If I take her out on the leash, she just stands there.  She will not potty with me watching her.  No matter how long we are out there.    If I just let her run, she takes off.  She runs in the woods behind the house, around the neighborhood, in the road, across the road to the pasture to terrorize the horses.  She has no problems running right into someone else’s house if their door is open.  I’ve gotten complaints.  Yet, she won’t come HOME.  When I finally get her to come inside, she goes back to being fearful.  I can call her to me and she stops just out of reach.  I talk to her sweetly and she’ll inch toward me until I can finally pet her.  I’ve tried training but she’ll have no part of it.  She just cowers down.  I’ve tried treats.  Even slices of REAL bacon.  Nothing.  Now she has taken to chewing on shoes at night.  Mine, the kids, doesn’t matter.  She has chew toys and rawhides around here.  But she prefers our shoes.  We are running out of footwear.

Shadow the cat is not amused.  Dixie finds joy in terrorizing him every chance she gets.

WHY did you bring that thing home woman?

Shadow is not amused

We’re now trying to decide if Dixie gets to stay.  She just isn’t responding well to our household.  She is house-trained and hasn’t had any accidents.  She tinkled once when I was scolding her for chewing a shoe.  But I wasn’t upset about that.  She does her business outside like she’s supposed to, as long as I’m not around. She won’t play with toys or with people.  My toddler tries to play with her all the time and she just runs away.  When she’s had enough, she’ll give a little growl.  They both get scolded for that.  I tell Hurricane that it’s time to leave Dixie alone, she doesn’t want to play anymore, and I tell Dixie that she needs to go lay down.  I will not take Dixie back to the shelter.  I’m afraid she wouldn’t find a good home and I can’t bear to think that she’ll get put down.  If I decide to give her up, I’ll start trying to find her a home on my own.  She needs someone experienced in dog training (unlike myself) and quite possibly a house with no children, cats, or horses.  Her spay appointment is in two days.  After that, I’ll make a decision.  Maybe she’ll settle in here, maybe she won’t.

I’ve learned that I really should just stick to my kids and my cat.  As much as I love animals, dogs included, I’m just not a “dog person.”

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. happylifehappywife
    Apr 28, 2010 @ 22:56:46

    Just stumbled across your blog from the tag surfer and I might have some tips to help you. We always adopt our dogs from the shelter, and although I love the fact that we’re giving them a good home, it does sometimes come with problems. You never really know the dog’s true story or what happened to them before they came to live with you.

    One of my dogs is a coonhound we adopted a couple years ago. She was abused and sadly most of her siblings died from the lack of care. Anyways, she too can be fearful and sometimes she won’t want to interact with any of us. The best thing I’ve found to do is to just let her have some space and try not to lure her out with treats or toys. She has a crate that is her comfort “safe” zone that she can go in and out of as she pleases… so she just goes in there when she wants to be alone.

    My guess is that you’ll see some positive improvements after her spay appointment. That gets the hormones in control and they really do seem happier afterwards.

    As a shoe-lover myself, that is one thing I take very seriously with my dogs. They know to leave the shoes alone or else they’ll be in big trouble haha. But you might want to try some of that bitter-tasting spray you can get in pet stores. Hopefully that might discourage the chewing. Also, have you tried giving her a Kong toy? Those work really well.

    Anyways, sorry for rambling on a stranger’s blog. I hope things work out for Dixie and your family! 🙂

  2. Amy McGrady
    Apr 28, 2010 @ 23:23:00

    HappyWife, thanks so much for the feedback. She does have a crate but she doesn’t like it. I haven’t forced it on her. It’s there and she can get in it if she likes. She has slept in it once, and that was at my boyfriend’s house right after I adopted her. I kept her in there overnight because she refused to potty that evening. I didn’t want her doing her business in his place. She hasn’t been in it since then and she’s had no accidents. I’m hoping she’ll be more comfortable with us after the spay. I do leave her alone most of the time. She’ll find a spot to curl up in and she’ll stay there. I just wish she wouldn’t run away when I let her out. I would love to just let her play outside by herself without worrying that she’s pestering everyone and everything in sight or that she is going to be hit by a car. I have to do her second dip treatment today and she’s going to be mad at me again 😦 Wish I could make her understand it’s for her own good.

  3. Trackback: Dixie will be finding a new home « A Day In The Life Of…

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