Monday, December 20, 2010

What an Emotional Rollercoaster!

First, the good news – Chris won a major award this weekend! Fortunately for me, this was not in the form of a leg lamp! Awhile back, a local brewpub (Franklin’s) gave away 300 gallons of wort (their kettle broke and they either had to give it away to home brewers or throw it away). We picked up about 13 gallons of it. Chris made two types of stout with it – a sweet stout and a spiced stout.

The brew master at the pub wanted to get everyone together to see the different flavors they could get from the same wort. He made it into a competition and everyone had to judge based loosely on the BJCP criteria (aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, appearance, overall appeal). Out of the entries there were awards for the top three and a “Brewer’s Choice” award. Chris was chosen for the Brewer’s Choice award for his sweet stout! He won a growler, two pint glasses and refills for both the growler and pints. Quite a nice prize for making free beer!

Well, last week we introduced you to our new dog. This week, we experienced a lot of good things and a lot of bad things about him.

The two major problems we’ve been having have been with house breaking him and dealing with a potential abuse problem.

Since we’ve just spent the last year getting rid of the “pee pee soaked” smell on the main level of the house, we didn’t want to start him out on the main level when we’re away. We left him and Tucker in the basement with their big beds for a couple short days at the beginning of the week. Each time, he peed in the basement.

We decided to start with crate training until he learns our schedule. This also did not work – he peed in it two days (which they do not normally do) and destroyed it on Friday.

The other big problem is the potential abuse. We think that in the past, the dog has been abused by a man. Every time Chris scolds the dog with a “NO!,” the dog cowers with his tail between his legs and pees on the floor (or in one case our bed). He doesn’t do this if I do the same things. However, this makes it extremely difficult to correct any bad behavior.

We did so much laundry and cleaned so much of the floor that we were having some serious doubts. We didn’t really have a clue how to proceed and we contacted the rescue organization and told them that we’d have to give him back. Of course we felt so guilty that we went back and forth with this decision many times over the week. Let’s just say that our guilt won and his is currently lying next to Tucker on his bed. We decided to give him another chance and the big test will be when we have to go to work.

Here’s a summary of the roller coaster we’ve been on this week:
Sunday: Left in basement 3 hours – pees and poops
Monday: Left in basement 5 hours – pees in basement; jumps on master bed and pees
Tuesday: Left in crate 5 hours – pees in crate, shreds pillow that was on top of crate
Wednesday: Left in crate 6 hours – pees in crate
Thursday: Left in crate 7 hours – no pee but shreds sheet hanging on top of crate
Friday: Left in crate 3 hours – completely destroys crate and rug underneath
Saturday: Perfect angel
Sunday: Perfect angel (except when he growled and snapped at Chris at 3:00 in the morning!)

Here are some pictures from the week (you can see the “perfect angel” when we’re here and the damage he does when we’re not).

Because we spent so much time on the dog training (or in this case cleaning up after him) we didn’t get a whole lot accomplished this week. Chris did do a lot of work in the half bathroom including finishing the drywall compound, priming the walls, reinforcing the floor, and installing the backer board for the tile.

We know that with Christmas this week, we won’t get anything done on the house. Of course there is always the week between Christmas and New Year’s!

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