Monday, March 2, 2009

The Misadventures of Mischa the Misbehaving Malinois

I should probably start off this entry by saying that I love my dogs. I do, I really do. And, all things considered, I would absolutely have another Malinois. Maybe just not two at the same time.

So, Mischa has been, how do you say, testing her boundaries of late. In fact, during February Vacation week, she was getting so bad that I told Joe I was just going to kill her. I was just going to drop kick her scrawny little puppy ass into the semi frozen Saco River. I, of course, did no such thing. It just felt good to say.

It being February Vacation week, there were people every where. On the roads, on the sidewalks, every where. And every time we were in the car, Mischa barked at them all. Mischa threw herself against the car window and went into an apoplectic fit each and every time we passed someone. Someone built a snowman outside of Pizza Hut and she flipped out at that too. I was glad when it finally melted enough that she no longer considered it a threat. I think Sebastian was glad too.

Sebastian, by the way, actually refused to get in the car during February Vacation Week. Normally he only refuses to get in the car if his spastic sister is already inside so he generally gets inside first while Mischa is still in the house, throwing herself against the windows and doors there because she's convinced that Sebastian's getting to go somewhere she isn't. But this time, he refused to get in the car altogether. Because he knew, he just knew, the absolute delight of a time we would all have.

One day we were at a stop light and Mischa was freaking out over the snowmobilers going to McDonalds. Sebastian was sitting on the other side of the car with his head out the window probably sending secret morse code messages for rescue. When I managed to talk Mischa off the anger ledge over the snowmobilers, she turned around to look at me, expecting a cookie for so nicely scaring away the snowmobiles when she totally went off the deep end again. I looked to my left and, sitting in the lane next to us, was a truck with a German Shepherd sitting in the passenger's seat with his head out the window. Sebastian, my ass biting asshole of a German Shepherd, was doing absolutely nothing except looking at this new strange German Shepherd. Probably looking at him in absolute jealously, now that I think about it, but not so much as a growl came out of Sebastian. Mischa, however, was having a fit. And once she gets going, and I mean really gets going, she is damn hard to talk back down. The light turned green and the truck and the German Shepherd drove away but we didn't go anywhere for a little bit. Much to the delight, I am sure, of the people sitting at the light behind us.

But eventually we got calmed down. I shouted a couple of obscenities and death threats- I mean encouraging platitudes- and we went on with our day. Funny story unrelated to Mischa and her questionable behavior: that same day, at the post office, I went inside and came back out and there was this woman standing in front of my car, looking at the dogs. I said hi to her and she said, "You've got a big dog in the back seat!" as though I did not realize that I had a big dog in my back seat. I agreed with her and resisted the urge to say something like "Oh my God! Where the hell did that come from!"

Another day, my dear sweet Mischa, found out that she could break into the cats' room. We have two cats, in case you don't know. They have grudgingly accepted the dogs, although I do think that some days they are plotting against me for my treachery. They have their own little room upstairs. It's really a glorified closet, but it works and is a completely dog free zone, thanks to the baby gate we put up in the room's doorway about six years ago when we first brought Sebastian home. It works. We use a similar tactic to keep the dogs out of the laundry room and that works too because they're both a little skittish about baby gates falling on them.

Apparently, however, Mischa got over it. She's skittish about every thing, every damn little thing, the vacuum, the dishwasher, the silverware drawer, bridges, cookie sheets, pots, pans, magazines, you name it, she's probably afraid of it, but she decided to damn the torpedos and head full on into the fray one morning while I was in the shower. Normally, both dogs sit right outside the bathroom door if they haven't thrown their weight against said door, popped it open and sat right outside the shower itself while they wait for me to finish. The morning of Mischa's little quest, I got out of the shower and found only Sebastian waiting for me outside in the hall. I asked him where his sister was since she did not appear to be eating the afghan in my office, or tearing a new hole in one of my slippers. Sebastian, of course, did not answer but gave me that look that says Don't look at me. I didn't want a baby sister.

So I called my dear sweet Mischa who will, normally, drop whatever she's doing and come running to me, not actually stopping until she's run directly into me. Thank goodness I'm not a man, that's all I have to say. Anyway, she did not come. I called her again and still, she did not appear. This is a major red flag because the only time Mischa does not come is when she's into something she shouldn't be into.

So I went on a hunt to find her. Half way up the stairs, it occurred to me what she was doing and I started screaming obscenities and running like hell.There she was, having broken down the firmly installed baby gate, bypassing the newly filled food bowl, with her head in the litter box. I was not, what you would call, pleased. I was so far removed from pleased I think they probably hear the obscenity screaming three counties over. I think that may have been the day I told Joe I was drop kicking the dog into the Saco.

Things didn't get much better. She still won't leave the baby gate alone, she's actually shredded some outgoing mail, she's been tagging Sebastian for daring to look in either her or my direction. Somedays, she won't let him near me. I do not tolerate that. She may be a bitch, but I'm a bigger one. Just ask Joe.

Her latest, greatest caper, was at my mother's house this past week. We went down to pick up puppy meds and stopped at the house so Mischa and Piper could play together. They really do play together nicely. I brought them both outside off leash so they could run. I think Piper got a little fustrated that she couldn't keep up with Mischa. I kept telling her she shouldn't feel bad because no one can keep up with Mischa.

Then later, we were all in the house and apparently Mischa decided she was hungry, and not at all tired even though she'd been on the move for a good ten hours straight, and broke into Piper's food bin. Piper's food bin, by the way, has a lid on it that has snaps on it to help hold it down and make it puppy proof. Puppy proof, just not Mischa proof.

I shouldn't be surprised. This is, after all, the same dog who managed to break into the cookie cupboard, open the cookie box, take out the cookies, close the cookie box and then the cookie cupboard door all so I wouldn't known she'd been in there. So I shouldn't be surprised that she managed to break into a food bin. Twice. That's right. After she was scolded for it the first time, she went back for more.

My dog is a delinquent.

But it gets better because that night, while my family and I were dining in Friendly's, Mischa was in the car, breaking into the glove compartment. I'd left a treat bag filled with cookies in there because I knew better than to leave it just sitting there on the dashboard or something. I thought it would be safe in there. Ha. That'll teach me. Of course, I didn't know she'd done anything until I went to take the treat bag out of the glove box only to find the cookie-less tattered remains of what had once been a treat bag. So yeah, in total Mischa style, she managed to get the glove box open, eat the cookies, and hide the evidence.

The damn dog is just too damn smart. A freaking genius but one, however, without any social cues. She has no idea when I am mad at her. Sebastian always has the good sense to hide when I'm mad at him. Or Mischa, actually. He does tend to hide when I'm pissed at her too. But not Mischa. No, she continues to follow me around, looking at me with her sweet little brown crazy tinged eyes, wondering what great misadventure we're going to have next.

I'm wondering too.

So be sure to tune in next time when I'm sure I'll be relating the tale of how Mischa hotwired the car while I was in the grocery store so she could go score herself a couple of cheeseburgers. Not that I'll know she did it, of course, until I find the receipt crumpled up and stuffed under the driver's seat.

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