I’ve shared my home with dozens of animals over the years, some of them with disabilities and behavioral issues. Among them were an aggressive English Springer Spaniel who couldn’t sort out from one day to the next who was friend and who was foe; a one-eyed coy-dog with a brain tumor; and a little muttley with trust issues. But none of them were akin to the pack of mental misfits currently ensconced in my daily life.
Lammy Lamb is an OCD JRT who is a compulsive foot licker and obsessive resource guarder. I can get her to stop the licking for a little while if I cover her paw with my hand, but it’s not exactly realistic to hold her paw all day. The resource guarding actually borders on insanity. She does not have to be the least bit interested in eating something, she will still guard it from the other dogs in the house with her last breath. She even guards the food that we are cooking. “Lammy Lamb! Step. Away. From. The. Dish!”
Maria is a Rat-huahua with PTSD. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) I don’t think there has ever been a traumatic stressor though, (she has never, to the best of my knowledge, been abused), so it’s more like “pre-traumatic stress disorder” . She is forever walking around with her tail between her legs and her ears at a funny angle like she is waiting for the other shoe to drop. She is exceptionally paranoid and wears a perennial “who me?” expression. If you blow on her, she has a melt down and hides for two hours.
Waldo is a golden/boxer with the canine version of ADD. (Attention Deficit Disorder) He’s incredibly smart, but if you are not paying attention to him, he considers that a deficit. Play ball with me. Lift the bedcovers for me. Move Maria so I can lay there. Make Lammy Lamb get off the couch so I can watch TV in your lap. Take me out. Share your food with me. Love me. Hug me. Pet me. Talk to me. Look at me. Take me for a walk. Rinse/repeat. Constant Attention Required.
Rocket Boy is a Chihua-tzu with PDD (Pervasive Developmental Disorder). It makes him a particularly hard study when it comes to learning behaviors. It took one-and-a-half years to house-train/paper-train him and he still has accidents at the age of three. He needs constant reminders to get things right. “Paper, Rocket, Paper!” He has difficulty with language evidenced by his apparent belief that the words “nap” and “chewy” have the same meaning. Like kids with echolalia, Rocket lapses into loops of loud continuous barking; directly into Taco’s ear. He is also upset by minor changes, like housecleaning, or one of us getting up off the couch.
Taco is a Chihuahua with ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). She’s a very good dog in terms of never causing any kind of trouble, but no matter what she’s asked to do, she meets the request with defiance. She responds to “Taco, come here” by walking away and hiding behind Dalene’s legs. Her “Sit” response is to flatten her ears and gaze at me with a woeful expression. “Taco, get off the bed.” results in her planting her butt on my pillow. And naturally, she is only defiant when it’s me doing the asking.
Of course, I cater to the craziness, because they are all too cute and full of joy to actually make me angry for any length of time. The lunatics are definitely running this asylum.