Blue's back for a brief two week visit while my parents continue their efforts to visit every city in the world. Every time I get to have him home with me, it elicits some sort of response that includes the word, "Bluuuuuuuuuuuuue," or "suchagoodboy."
I don't know how I continue to forget the very distinct differences between Blue and Casey. I think it's perhaps because the cuteness of Blue overshadows everything else about him when, you know, he's not around every day. But now? Man, that dog is clingy. Casey sure does love me, but after our walks, she's off napping on the couch, chasing the cat, checking the perimeters of the house for intruders, etc. Blue would prefer to be right next to me at all times. I'm pretty sure that I'll end up breaking my neck when I step back in my kitchen someday and just fall over the dog lying behind me while I cook. He also fancies himself good at organic chem and insists on helping me with my homework, as illustrated by this horrible cell phone picture.
Ever since my last visit to my parent's house, they've been telling me about a problem they've been having with Blue. Namely that he won't get into his crate to sleep at night. Where he used to just walk right into his kennel with no problems, they now end up either having to literally carry him into his crate (my dad,) or threatening him loudly until he gives in so that the noises stop (my mom.)
I'll be honest. I was over-confident. Suuuuuure they couldn't get the dog into his crate. They're just not dog experts like I am. They are obviously not being calm and assertive. They just don't know how to work with dogs. I mean, Blue may as well be named "Your Highness" at their house with his designated couch spots and routine of going out and coming in with only a single bark as notification that he wants something to change. He rules that place.
And so, the first night visiting my parents, I made a $10 bet with my dad that Blue would go right into his crate with no yelling, no carrying, and no stress.
I won $5. Blue walked right up to his crate and then crouched there, looking at me pitifully as if to say, "If you don't put me in there, I'll love you forever." He required some nudging to take his final grudging steps into his crate.
Still, I was not daunted. "He's just spoiled here," I thought, "We'll get him back to Indy and he'll be just fine."
Um, not so much.
Monday morning was another episode into stopping about a foot outside his crate and cowering like he was going to die. Monday evening before class I almost had him fooled as I raced the dogs down into the basement. Casey rocketed into her crate and stood triumphantly, "WINNER!!" Blue skidded to a stop just outside his crate and stopped. Damn.
Tuesday morning I literally had to carry 50lbs of pit bull down the stairs into my basement and deposit him into his crate. My biceps still haven't forgiven me. Tuesday afternoon I just kept him on his leash and tugged the unwilling dog down the stairs into his crate.
Wednesday morning brought more carrying. Ouch. Wednesday afternoon I knew that my biceps couldn't take another carrying trip, so I walked behind him all the way down to his crate. Each time he tried to turn around, I just body blocked him. Success!
Now? We're back to normal. Blue follows Casey downstairs and into his crate. Sweet sweet success. Because honestly? I couldn't carry him downstairs again. And I know that dogs don't think like this...that they live in the moment...but I can't help but think that Blue didn't really realize how good he had it with my retired parents and his routine of sleeping on the couch all day (not to mention going outside whenever he wanted to.) I can't help but think that he's down in that crate right now cursing to himself, "If ONLY I had behaved better and gone into my crate, they wouldn't have sent me back!"
Don't worry buddy. It's only temporary. You'll be back to being top dog soon. Believe me, Casey's looking forward to it too.