Monday, September 10, 2007


There's a reason that boy's muzzled when I leave the house.

My company has an employee shopping day (double the employee discount) twice a year, so I tend to stock up. The last one was in June, and I bought big. We're still working our way through the goodies, and when I went to work this morning, the front room of the house contained four 40-pound bags of dog kibble and five 60-ounce boxes of Nutro Lamb & Rice treats.

Sam knows this stuff is there. When we're about to go outside, he dashes into this room and lovingly sniffs the bags and paws the boxes, then hustles back to the front door when I snap, "Sam!" Ordinarily, the foyer and the front room are blocked off from the rest of the house by an ex-pen--a sort of doggy playpen made of metal--that's propped in the doorway of the living room. It stands on end, accordion-folded, and I just pull it open to block the doorway, or fold it back out of the way when we go outside. In four years and eleven months in this condo, Sam's never gotten to the other side of the ex-pen on his own. He easily could leap the thing--and never has.

Tonight I got home about 9:45 pm (I left for work at 10 this morning). My first step through the door--something crunched underfoot, and Sam greeted me at the door--on the wrong side of the ex-pen!

Happily, there are still four 40-pound bags of dog kibble in the front room. However, there are only four 60-ounce boxes of dog treats; the fifth box fell victim to Sam.

Sam pushed the ex-pen to the side--got it to slide on the carpet--and got into the front room. (The front room also leads to the pantry-area, which he explored. But he didn't find anything he liked, so, aside from leaving claw marks in the paper towel rolls, he didn't do any harm there.) The Nutro treat boxes are glued very, very well. Then they're shrink wrapped. I've had to take scissors and a knife to hack my way into the box. Poor muzzled Sam couldn't even use his teeth. He did it all with his front feet. Once he got into the box, he spread the treats on the floor of the foyer and on the carpet in the living room. He pushed them under the bathroom door and into the closet where the heater resides. He finally managed to trap a few of the treats against the baseboards in the foyer, and he battered those treats to powder and crumbs with his muzzle.

Clean-up from this incident was much easier than some of the other Sam-episode clean-ups have been. Except for the pulverized treats, the treats were easy to pick up, and there's now a full-to-the-top treat container in the kitchen. (This container is in Sam's reach, he knows the treats are in it, and it would be much easier to open--just flick the latch. He hasn't figured it out...yet.) The pulverized treats were vacuumed easily, while a muzzled Sam watched sadly. (Jacey, still upstairs in her crate, couldn't figure out why mom wouldn't come let her out.)

An exhausted Sam is now asleep on the sofa--on his back with his feet in the air. The poor boy worked very hard today...and didn't get to reap the reward.

But what will happen tomorrow? Will he try to get past the ex-pen again? And if I secure the pen so it won't move, will he just jump over the thing? (He did that when he was penned outside one time and he just decided he didn't want to stay in the pen.) And if he gets over the ex-pen, will he attack the kibble? Or another box of treats? Either way, I'm running out of storage containers. And the only room downstairs that has a door is the bathroom--which isn't big enough to store 160 pounds of kibble and 15 pounds of dog treats. If I have to haul these 40-pound bags upstairs to store them in a spare bedroom, I'm going to be pissed.

Maybe I need to buy another dog crate. Not for Sam--who destroyed a crate (and hurt his feet) in his first foster home--but for the dog food!

An old photo...

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