At a dinner party the other night one of the family dogs, Lucy, got scared from the flames of a fire that was made to toast marshmallows in and we were all amazed to see the other family dog, Bubbles, grab a hold of Lucy’s neck with her teeth to calm her down. The concept stuck and Gretchen could not help but bite my neck all evening. “Could ya stop doing that?” I asked after her fourth attempt.
The Mukester is still with us and even though I am astonished to find that I am the next Dr. friggin’ Doolittle with neighborhood animals coming out of the woodwork to talk to me I still refuse to stop and chat with dog owners just because our dogs are sniffing butts.
Mornings are not my own anymore with Muki at my feet chewing incessantly on anything she can find. My office looks like a doggy playground with bones and unstuffed animals strewn about. The carpet that was two months ago a beautiful soft gray is now brown from Muki’s paws and my desk is covered with shoes and other items that I have torn out of Muki’s jaws before they are completely destroyed.
When Wade comes into my office to kiss me good morning he is met with my guard dog. “Good morning Muki,” he says sweetly as she backs away and growls at him. “Muki, Muki, come here Muki…..ya bitch,” he says retreating.
When he comes home from work Muki runs under the dining table and her ears flatten. “Muki, I’m home,” he calls attune to Jack Nicholson in The Shining. He goes through phases with her, trying really hard and then speaking in his Shining voice or giving her treats and then smacking her on the behind with a newspaper when she poops on his side of the floor of our bedroom. “You’re reeling her in and then pushing her away,” I warn him. “I don’t think Cesar would commend that.” “F Cesar,” he replies.
But Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, has become an integral part of our training. At first Cesar’s entire first episode from Netflix sat unopened for three weeks with Wade and the boys refusing to watch it but as the weeks continued with Muki resisting Wade’s charms we finally all sat down to discover Cesar’s secrets. When it was over Wade stood in the doorway, legs apart and hands on his imaginary holster, Wa, Wa (that’s Wade’s cowboy noise he makes when he means business), “Muki, it’s time you and I went for a walk,” he said hitching her to a leash and leading her out the door. She still hates him.
We now watch Cesar every night and Wade still perseveres vacillating between loving and hating Muki. Also, the boys and I trudge all the way to Glenwood Springs once a week to learn from Mark who trains out of Petco. As Mark tells me that I have to make sure that Muki and I “look” into each other’s eyes so that she learns to look at me for commands I am distracted by the boys who have crawled up onto the shelves and are splayed out on top of the sacks of dog food. “Come,” I sternly whisper to them and I look at Mark apologetically. But Mark has a way with animals and I guess I am one of them so he looks at me and quietly smiles, the words are not necessary.
To be continued…..
Click on link to see Muki with the boys: muki and the boys