Ragnar the Destroyer*

*primarily of walls, yards, and carpet

For all things there is a season. A time to sow, a time to reap…

A time to attempt to rip small furry rodents into small pieces, pick fights with the neighbor’s German Shepherd, and a time to howl.

Welcome to teenage doghood, where it’s not the hormones that cause a pet parent to contemplate murder daily, but the instinctual need to define and defend the furry male territory. If you’ve never experienced teenage doghood stupidity, let me give you some examples.

  • Idiot Puppy will sit nicely when the truck he recognizes enters the parking lot, but when the other German Shepherd gets out he will instantly Cujo out: full hackles, teeth bared, growling lunging in all the ways that would get him kicked directly out of daycare if he pulled that bullshit THERE. 
    • Conveniently for all involved, GS is older and wiser and terribly sweet. He generally looks at me when Ragnar gets growly with a pained “children, amIright” attitude, and never ever responds negatively. Interestingly, he still comes over cheerfully to say hello every time he’s allowed, which is often since his parents also recognize the “BUT I’M A BIG DOG YOU CAN’T BE ON MY GRASS WITHOUT PERMISSION” cockiness. 
  • IP also sits at the back door and slobber-growls when he sees the GS’s TRUCK parked across the lot. This is a new development since the snow melted, prior to which his view was blocked. It’s annoying at 7am. He’s been warned, by both me and fAngus. 
    • fAngus’s warnings generally come with a cat-paw-slap to Ragnar’s face or a nip on the ear. Mine do not. 
  • Apparently he occasionally channels Chewy, because the leaves are dangerous and must be announced when it’s windy. Birds on the back step, however, are beneath his interest. 
    • Birds are NOT beneath fAngus’s interest. Particularly on the back patio. It’s possible this was a consideration when a certain evil me set out birdseed on the grill this spring. 
    • Mwahahahahaha
  • IP has taken to getting between me and others in a protective manner I find amusing and helpful until he trips me or inappropriately shows teeth/growls at someone when I don’t have an adverse response. 
    • We’re working on that, since big black dogs with giant teeth generally cause problems if they’re not behaving in public places. And I dislike getting tripped while we’re walking…or any other time. 
  • It’s worth mentioning again: not only does he behave well in daycare/boarding/dog park (except for going in the goddamnedishymuddypond without permission) and is a total social butterfly to everyone there, he ADORES the next door neighbors’ new mop puppies. 
    • I don’t know what they are, but they weigh all of a couple pounds and are the size of my unused-running shoes, and Ragnar LOVES them. 
  • Related: the bloodhound heritage is real, and loud. The other day we were sniffing the backyard (by “we” I mean I surfed Facebook for forever while Ragnar went over every centimeter of our shared yard-space with his nose in the dirt) and the neighbor girls brought the new moppies out. They were in the front yard.  Ragnar desperately wanted to go to the front, and when I said no he sat down, raised his nose to the sky, closed his eyes, and howled the most mournful sad and FUCKING PATHETIC ATTEMPT AT MANIPULATION OF MY EMOTIONS possible. My dog told on me to the entire damn neighborhood and the gods, because I’m a mean bitch who wouldn’t let him sniff puppies. 
  • Yes, it worked. Goddammit. 
    • Sorry moppies, for the teenage puppy slobber. 
  • All the neighbors think my dog is hilarious and cute. fAngus and I are the only ones who are less than amused at the squirrel-chasing, bunny sniffing, yard digging, wall eating, adorably snuggly teenager who has zero impulse control and a whole lot of unearned swagger. 
  • To date, he’s been unable to capture the elusive yard bunnies OR grey squirrels, both of whom are often spotted taunting him but fast enough to escape to the trees (up or under, depending on skill). I’m thankful for that: I give him de-worm pills and stuff, but I don’t want to add any sort of small furry prey animals to my “Things Ragnar Ate” list. fAngus would have to kick his ass, since I won’t let him hunt either. 
In all fairness to Ragnar’s Destroyer of Walls moniker, the 3 holes he originally ate during his pica stage haven’t increased in size or number for at least six months. I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s time to fix the walls and maybe even get someone to paint. 
He is still occasionally the Destroyer of Carpet, which does not impress me at all and let me just say I’ve tried every product on the damn market and NOTHING is up to the challenge of a 75lb dog’s pee. I hates it, precious, but I’m afraid of replacing the carpet AND I’m afraid if I don’t he’ll never stop
I think he’d happily destroy more of the yard if I let him. Because…dogs. 

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