My dog, Playa, is up to no good lately. But it's hard to be mad at her, really.
Playa is the dog that my wife and I adopted about eight years ago in Mexico. Even though she was "born in captivity," she lacked much human socialization until we took her home when she was 4 months old. She's sweet as can be, but she's skittish, too. She's afraid of loud noises, of a pair of jeans on the floor. She nervous around anything but us and other dogs.
Playa also likes to run and dig. She looks like a little greyhound or a whippet (though DNA testing didn't prove that to be true), and she's gradually destroyed our backyard. We understand that she needs the stimulation and sent her to Doggy Daycare for most of her life, but eventually hoping to reclaim a small area that's not pockmarked with yellow spots and deep holes, my dad and I built a fence extension last spring.
At first, it worked. Playa stayed clear of the fence and did her business of digging and destroying on the other part of the yard that we basically surrendered to her. Then, one day, we found her inside the yard again. How did she get there? The vertical slats are no more than eight inches apart, and while Playa is very slender, she's still a 40-pound dog.
So I watched from inside one day as she gingerly slipped through the fence, pooped, then turned around. Secretly, I admired her for conquering her fear and adapting to her environment.
But outwardly, I was annoyed. So we bought something called "deer fencing," which is supposed to be visual a barrier to keep animals out of your gardens and your yards. I stapled it to the slats of the fence, and again, Playa was stumped.
That lasted for about a week. Now, Playa has figured out that she can burst through the mesh without much effort. I re-staple it back, then a day later, she busts through again.
I suppose my next step will be chicken wire or something similarly ugly. That is, until Playa learns how to pick up a wire cutter and snip her way through that, too.
I can't really be angry, though, that I have a smart, tenacious dog, that at almost 9 years old, is confronting her fears and literally taking them head on. Come to think of it, I think I'll give her an extra squiggle on the head and a treat tonight. I just won't tell her why.
As a self-employed, first-time parent, I'm the first to admit how much I have to learn these days. Maybe my dog using a metaphor to teach me a lesson ...
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published May 17, 2013
I watched the series finale of "The Office" last night, but before I did, I had to blow through the previous five episodes gathering dust on my DVR. In the end, it was worth the night of marathon television, but when I think about the entire final season of "30 Rock," also unwatched on my DVR, I wonder when I'll get around to it.
Published May 15, 2013
Hidden in plain sight is a clothing store you have to see to believe. Frieschskys, 788 N. Jefferson St., isn't actually that special to look at. But when you step out of the elevator on the seventh floor of the nondescript office building, it doesn't take long to realize that something special does await you.
Published May 13, 2013
Plenty is written about baseball's jerks. I've even met some of them. But rarely do people talk about how nice some players are. They may not have been the best players, but if personality counts (which it doesn't), they'd be in the Hall of Fame.
Published May 9, 2013
Shelby Croft was following the playbook for most television reporters. She jumped from market to market, position to position, ultimately serving as a main anchor in Salt Lake. But Croft knew there was something more in life than market size. She moved to Milwaukee to get closer to home. She got married, had a daughter ... then got divorced. A single mom with a high-profile job, Croft's story is an interesting one.
Published May 3, 2013
Last night at about 3 a.m., I woke up to go to the bathroom. I used my phone to light my way, so as soon as my eyes adjusted, I noticed that my mom had sent me a death notice. My friend and neurosurgeon, Dr. Spencer Block - the guy who did my back surgery in 2011 - had died yesterday at age 51.
Published May 3, 2013
The Brewers should've won the game Wednesday, but John Axford blew a two-run lead in the eighth inning. Sitting close to the field, it was the first time I'd seen and heard the vitriol from fans around me. They booed him. A lot.
Published April 29, 2013
It's pretty thrilling to get on stage in front of a live band, facing a cheering audience, putting your personal spin on beloved cover tunes. The idea that you could win $1,000, studio recording time and a gig at Red Rock Saloon is practically gravy, right? The Red Rockstar II competition runs for four weeks in May, kicking off this Wednesday.
Published April 24, 2013
If I was a less verbose writer, I could sum up the 2013 Jaguar XJ in one word: perfection. But that wouldn't make for much of a review, and after a month with the XJ that Fields Jaguar in Waukesha loaned me, I have so much more to say. I'll start with this: if you're the kind of person who can afford to spend $73,000 on a car, and you require something with four seats, this is the car you should buy. Run, don't walk, to Fields Jaguar and buy it. Now.
Published April 24, 2013
This spring, the American Cancer Society is kicking off a massive project to sign up, track and study 300,000 adults for decades, in hopes of curing various types of cancer. It's not the first time the society has undertaken this. Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) follows CPS-1 and CPS-2, and the results of the first two programs served to advance cancer knowledge and treatment by leaps and bounds. The Milwaukee goal for CPS-3 is 2,000 people.
Published April 21, 2013
It's great when a pop culture show can stay relevant long enough to be enjoyed as a kid, then enjoyed again through your kid's eyes decades later. Because Scooby Doo was around before I was born, and my daughter's finally at the age to watch the campy mystery cartoon, too, I not only didn't mind sitting through Sunday's performance of Scooby-Doo Live! Musical Mysteries at the Milwaukee Theatre - I enjoyed it almost as much as she did.