Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So we're back. And never has a dog been happier. (That's because he doesn't have to deal with the flooded basement that we came back to. Posting will be slow today, FYI.) Murphy has some issues to work through before he'll be considered a good traveler, that's for sure. I took him to visit family, and every time that I left him in someone's house while I went somewhere else--even if I was just outside helping my father patch up his sorry excuse for a fence--he threw fits. He cried, he yelped, he shrieked, he wailed, he threw himself into doors and windows...He wanted to be with me and he would not be consoled by anyone else. But we'll be working on that, because there's probably going to come times in this dog's life that we're going to be apart again, and this behavior is unacceptable.

He did ride better this time out though. Once he realized that the Turnpike means hours of tedium, he settled in and snoozed, waking up just long enough to talk a State Trooper who had thoughtfully stopped me to show me his nice new laser device and let me know how fast I was going. But alas, Officer Friendly could not get close enough to my window to take my driver's license from my hand because Murphy seems to have assumed that the trooper wanted to see his best Cujo impression and he barked, snapped, growled and screamed with canine rage, all while doing his very best to get between my seat and the driver's door. Murphy was clearly trying to ensure that there was no mistaking the fact that he was scared/angry/very hungry, and the trooper, exercising a healthy discretion, refused to even get close to the window. I offered to step out of the vehicle so that we could discuss the finer points of laser-aided speed determination and traffic safety in a location that would have been quieter and free of raging fangs, but he declined my offer and suggested that dog and I just drive a bit slower. Fair enough. (Good dog...)

We did stop in Pittsburgh for a bit to take a walk along the Allegheny River. I told Murphy that I wasn't really pleased with his behavior on this trip and that he needed to either shape up or ship out. He thought about it for a moment and then he made a beeline for the gangplank of the closest submarine.
Cast off all lines! All astern one-third! I'm shipping out!


  1. Flooded basements are a real pig to deal with. Try not to cuss too much.
    If I may make a suggestion regarding Murphy's behavior when you leave him. Have you thought of crating him? Worked well with the Buddha when she went all destructo-dog when left her at home (even when the other dogs were there). After a couple of months we ended up taking the door off it and she slept in there a lot of the time.

  2. Murphy's fine when I leave him at my house. There was a bit of that silly stuff early on but he got over it, probably when he realized that I always do come back. But this was ,e leaving him at someone else's house and driving away, and he behaved sort of like he did when the foster family that I got him from left him at my house and drove away. (Go back to my first "New Dog" post in early December.) Only this was more severe, maybe because he's really become attached to me. It's both heart-wrenching and aggravating, but I suspect that we can get through this is I leave him with a few more people for short periods of time, just to get him used to me going away and coming back.

  3. Ouch... but I DO have to give points for a novel way to get out of a ticket :-)

  4. Note to self: teach Kira to bark at anyone approaching SUV window when pulled over.....resulting in no tickets LOL!!;)

    I feel your pain in training Murphy not to go spastic when you leave. It took Kira 6 months. Six very long months. Better luck to you!! :)