how's the Monster doing?
she's doing great, thank for asking.

it's been exactly six months since the PSE and i went down to the Fort Worth Humane Society and rescued her into our lives.
or, more specifically, it's been exactly six months since somebody put the Monster in our laps and the little thing made it clear that she was too pathetic to go back into a cage.
she screamed loud-and-clear “i need to be with people!!!!!” and even though the PSE and i knew that she was not necessarily a healthy dog, that she had some obvious emotional problems, we didn't have much of a choice.
how the hell can you look a dog in the eye and say “nope, not you” and put them back into a cage when all they want is to get to come home with you.
so, knowing full well what we were getting into, the PSE and i paid our money and took our chances on a small ball of emotional problems.
and it turns out that it's worked out fine for the most part.
but that took some time.

for a few weeks, and then a few more weeks and then several months, Monster was terrible.
she was my little baby and i quickly came to love her, but she was still a great big piece of shit.
the Monster would keep us up all hours of the night because she didn't like to be alone while we slept, she would pee in our house because she didn't know that we frown on that, she would chase after cats and dogs on walks like a goddamned jackass and she would tear our apartment to shreds whenever we left her home alone for more then five minutes.
for a while it seemed like the PSE and i had brought a terror into our lives.
but with time and training and the restraint to not drown her in the bath, eventually Monster has come to be everything we could ever want in a house-pet.
or at least, like, eighty percent.

the Monster sleeps through the night now, in her crate by our bed.
she doesn't try cry or whimper throughout the night and she doesn't try to jump up into the bed with us.
she does start to stir around 10:00am and that wakes us up, but that's because for months during my first semester of Law School my day would begin at 10:00am or earlier and i guess Monster is accustomed to the routine.
i don't know how the fuck she tells time but every morning she'll go off just before 10:00am, like clockwork.
now that it's Christmas break, we just tell her to shut up and go back to bed, which she'll do until somebody decides they want to wake up and pay attention to her again.

the Monster hasn't peed in our house in just about two months.
the secret to getting her to stop was to take her out for walks eight, ten, twelve times a day.
we have slowly scaled that back to a normal two or three or four times a day and the Monster just holds it in between.
the PSE and i tried to teach the Monster to scratch at the front door to let us know when she wants to go out, but she just doesn't seem to get it.

the Monster still chases after cats and dogs when we go out on walks.
i don't know what we can do to cure her of that but mostly, she just has to be on a leash most of the time that we're outside.
which is disappointing and a source of tension between the PSE who believes Monster should be on a leash all the time and me who is inclined to give her more freedom for her to misuse, but, in the grand scheme of things, it's not all that big of a deal.

the Monster's biggest problem was her separation anxiety.
the PSE and i tried feeding her about half a dozen different medications as well as another half a dozen homeopathic and other remedies but none of them did a thing to get her to stop fucking up our house every time we would leave her alone.
finally we solved the problem by just never leaving her alone.
the PSE stopped working at the Ramen Restaurant in late November and the Monster hasn't been home alone since.
the few times the PSE and i both have to leave the house at the same time, she goes out with us.
at some point the PSE is gonna have to start working again and who knows how the Monster will react.
it could be that now that she's come to live with us for half a year, now that she's gotten to know us, that she will trust that we'll always come back for her and she'll chill the fuck out.
or, more likely, she'll fall back to her old routines of digging and tearing u the carpet in front of the doors of our apartment in a panicked attempt to escape.
i guess we'll just have to see which way she goes if and when the PSE ever gets herself another job.
until then, we're enjoying the peace while it lasts.

least you think, dear reader[s] that the Monster is just a big ball of trouble that has improved marginally, the Monster has plenty of great qualities, too.
she is the sweetest, most gentle dog i have ever known.
at first a lot of this was just her nervous timidity but now that she's gotten to know us and come out of her shell, she is still gentle as shit.
i have never once seen her growl at the PSE or i, or try to bite us.
this might seem like no big deal, but when compared to Dog who was mean as shit, it's nice to have a dog that doesn't try to hurt you whenever she is displeased.
i take baths with the Monster all the time, just because i can.
with the Dog, we were lucky to wash her four times a year.
once, only once, i found myself fucking with the Monster, slapping her in the face like you do with dogs to get them to mouth and your hand.
the Monster mouthed at me but i realized, no, we shouldn't do that, so i stopped.
once a dog realizes that they can play-bite you, its not too far for them to realize they can try to tear the meat off your bones when they get pissed.
we aim to keep things nice and gentle with the Monster and so far, so good.

when the Monster came to live with us she didn't seem to have any grasp of English whatsoever.
like she spent the first two years of her life with nobody talking to her at all.
in six months, though, she's picked up a respectable command of English.
the Monster has learned between four and eight tricks, depending on what you call a trick.
she will lay down, stand on twos, sit and shake paws on command.
she will stop and stay on command, as long as she is not in the middle of trying to run down a cat.
she will move over when you ask her to move over, she will shut up and get in her bed when you ask her to shut up and get in her bed, and when you ask her if she wants to go for a walk she will jump down from wherever she is and trot excitedly around the living room indicating that, yes, she would like to go for a walk.
she actively scans our conversations now looking for words she knows and her vocabulary is getting better every day.

Monster also fetches.
not accurately and not all the time, but if we can get her in the right mood and she can manage to stay focused long enough, we can toss a toy around the apartment and she'll go run after it and bring it back to us maybe ten or twelve times in a row before she runs out of steam.
having a friend to play fetch with is really important to me as a pet owner.

Monster came with some peculiarities.
she does not enjoy the grass. most dogs like to have a trot through the grass but not the Monster.
grass is for pissing and shitting and the rest of the time she prefers to be on the sidewalk.
Monster is also petrified of kitchens.
she doesn't go into the kitchen in our apartment, but it's a tiny galley kitchen and it leads nowhere so, there is no reason for her to bother.
but when we brought her to my Parents' house the Monster would go out of her way to avoid the great big kitchen and when she had to be in there, she was always visibly nervous.
you assume maybe it's the tiling, maybe it's like walking on ice, but the Monster will walk on bathroom tile just fine.
as near as the PSE and i figure, something happened to the Monster in a kitchen in the two years before she came to live with us.
maybe she got sexually assaulted by a refrigerator.

now that her foibles have been largely ironed out the Monster is pretty great.
she is sweet and gentle and basically a stuffed animal that we an pick up and hug and smother and fuck with whenever we want.
she just goes with it.
Monster is just the right amount of needy.
she always wants to be near the PSE and i, always wants to be right in the middle of us, but when we sleep or when we're working on other things, she can be alone.
the most adorable thing about the Monster is her expressive tail.
any time the Monster sees either the PSE or i her tail will start going, waving frantically until we pet her.
like somebody waving at you all the time “hi! hi! hi! hi! hi!”
it really makes the PSE and i feel liked.
Monster is pretty close to the perfect pet, just as long as there is always somebody around to keep her company and there are no cats around.

//[onward ho!]

September 2017

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