New Dog, Old Tricks

My husband and I often joke about our dog.  He is very large, very loud, and for an eight year old, still very energetic.  When there is movement on our street, we know about it: a car pulling in, a car pulling out, a walker, the mailman.  No one goes unmentioned.  His bark still makes my heart jump into my throat.  I know its going to happen a number of times throughout the day - but I am never prepared for it.  He is a good guard dog. 

We joke about all of the things he does that drive us crazy.  I think this is common among dog owners.  He eats out of the garbage can, licks the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, drinks from the toilet.  We have tried to train him not to do these things - but he's an old dog, and you just can't teach an old dog new tricks. 

He's a horny dog.  Poor, old fixed dog who can't really do "it", but tries all the same.  For 7 years he had a girlfriend, our couch.  Last year we junked the old couch and replaced it with a lovely new, dog-free couch.  We kept one section of the old sectional for him to lounge on. This one section was a human-free zone.  He would grasp the back pillow with his teeth and hump it daily - no matter how many times I would yell, "No!!  Stop that!"  He didn't care what I said - it was him and his pillow, and it was business time.

At Christmas this year we decided it was time to get rid of the remaining piece of sectional.  It was beyond gross.  This decision came shortly after I caught our son and daughter laughing wildly while watching the dog "jumping" on his pillow.  My husband found a very nice dog bed at Costco for twenty smacks - it is huge, round, fluffy.  Within twenty minutes of its arrival the dog had it folded like a taco and was, again, giving it all he had.  The last time I had him at the vet for his yearly check up I asked, "What is the likelihood that when he was neutered some or all of one of his testicles didn't get snipped?"  The vet gave him a feel and said, "I think he's just a 'dog'..."

The kicker?  Tuesday I was cleaning house.  I was upstairs and had forgotten the Pledge in the family room.  I headed down the stairs and as I made my way around the corner of the stairs I saw it happening.  I couldn't quite believe my eyes.  My two year old son had the dog bed in the middle of the family room.  He was biting it with his face submerged into the pillow, he grabbed at both sides with his little hands and was "jumping" on it as if he were the 8 year old Redbone.  I said, "Oh! No!  Ick!  That is really yucky, buddy."  He stopped quickly and stood up to point at the dog as if to say, "What? HE DOES IT all the time?!" 

Evidently, its nearly impossible for me to teach my old dog to stop licking the carpet or eating from the garbage; but, he is quickly teaching my new boy his old, nasty tricks.