How to Have Fun While Your Dog is Wearing the Cone of Shame or Teasing EmmaLou 101

Yes, sweet little EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer, is wearing The Cone of Shame once again due to a slight ‘ouchie’ on her muzzle that needs to heal.  I’ve made up some things to do to pass the time while she is in this contraption.  These are games she and I can play (well, sort of) that will keep her occupied and me in hysterics (I know…this is going to come back to haunt me some day).

For example, EmmaLou loves to play with her toys.  Fetch is especially fun while she’s wearing the Cone. It works like this… I pick up one of her toys.  EmmaLou races over to me.  I throw the toy behind her.  She spins around and smacks whatever piece of furniture is there with her Cone.  I fall on floor in hysterics.  She manages to get to the toy, bends down, puts the Cone over it like a giant Hoover and scarfs it up.  I laugh harder.  Then we repeat.

Another fun game takes place at the kitchen table.  EmmaLou loves to join Devoted Spouse and me for a meal.  We eat and she sits there and looks particularly pathetic in hopes we will toss a morsel her way.  Wearing the Cone makes meal time so much more fun.  EmmaLou will place herself between my chair and Devoted Spouse’s (note this is a round table).  While she’s looking toward Devoted Spouse, I’ll quietly reach around her and tap on her Cone.  She flips her head around and looks for what touched her Cone.  I shoot milk out of my nose and fall into fits of manic laughter.  Again, repeat as necessary.

Here’s a great one that anyone can play.  While EmmaLou is on the couch, reach inside the cone and tickle her ear.  Then sit back and prepare to be highly amused as she tries in vain to scratch the ear and ends up only scratching the Cone.   A fun time for all!

I have more, but you get the idea.  EmmaLou chewed one of my books the other day.  Can’t imagine why…sigh…


New Olympic Sport Being Considered

Y’all ‘member EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer?  The 75 lb bane of my existence?  At 7 1/2 years old, she’s rapidly approaching doggie dotage.  Unfortunately, she has acquired a new habit; one that I’m finding difficult to live with, and that’s putting it mildly.

EmmaLou had decided our house is now her bathroom.  Oh, she still goes outside and sniffs every blade of grass and she may occasionally make a deposit somewhere in the yard.  More often than not, I am awakened to the wafting aroma of … well… you know what comes out of a dog.  Let’s just say, I would rather be awakened by practice time from the marching band of the worst high school in Lower Slobovia than this.

The other day I had a new experience.  While working in my home office I was alerted to the sight of EmmaLou in the hallway.  She roamed around in circles and that emergency klaxon in the far recesses of my brain started going off.  This dog was about to make a deposit on my light-colored hallway carpet and I was a goodly distance away from her.  As she began to squat and get that glazed look in her eyes, I flew out of my ergonomic chair and sprinted for the hall bathroom all the while screaming at the top of my lungs, “Emma Nooooooooooooooooooo!”  D’ya think that stopped her from her mission?

Amazingly enough, I gathered gobs of tp and managed to “catch the first baby”, quickly turn around and sprint to the toilet and deposit it, grab another wad of tp and repeat the process.  Thinking I had finished handling (sorry) this disaster, I slowed my progress.  And that’s when it happened.  Everything she had been saving arrived and descended in slow motion onto my carpet.  I stood there in horror wondering if my dog had, in fact, been the result of a breeding experiment gone horribly wrong – a Golden Retriever and a hippopotamus perhaps.  I didn’t have enough tp left in the bathroom for this.

About that time, Devoted Spouse was running up the stairs with a large roll of paper towels and the ever-present gallon-sized bottle of Resolve.  As he hit the second to last stairstep I had acquired a large handful of Kleenex and managed to scoop what was left, once more wasting gallons and gallons of precious water flushing.

I lost count of how many times I hit that toilet handle and ran back to the hallway.  I imagine that day all the meters on the utility company Plasma Screens of Flushing were in the red zone.  EmmaLou was so proud of herself.  If I could expel what she did in those copious amounts; well let’s just put it this way: I’d probably now be a size 2….sigh…

Another 12-Step Program for EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer

Yes it’s beginning to look like Christmas – oh we don’t have the snow but we do have the tree.  And, yes, I have it up and fully decorated.  No, you may not see it yet.  That is for Friday’s post so  you will have to be patient a little longer.

Today’s story does, however, involve the tree.  You see, I have learned from past Christmas seasons that the one thing more important than any other in this house is to keep the tree secured and safe from the stealing paws of EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer.  She has in the past stolen and chomped on many ornaments, even destroying some old family treasures, much to my displeasure.

I learned several years ago to put baby gates up to protect the tree from her midnight raids.  We put up the tree in a corner of our dining room so a gate goes across the dining room entrance to the kitchen, and another gate is set up among chairs going from the dining room into the living room.  Sounds confusing and it doesn’t look very nice, but it serves the purpose.

So there I was this afternoon sitting on the couch watching a DVR of Dollhouse and having a wonderful time while Devoted Spouse was in the living room reading.  What is that noise I hear?  It sounds suspiciously like chewing…chewing on some type of wood…there is loud crunching involved.  Nah…we have baby gates.  Devoted Spouse must be eating Trail Mix and he’s just being overly loud about it.

I continued watching Dollhouse when that little alarming bell in the far reaches of my brain went off.  What if one of the baby gates wasn’t up?  Could that sound be EmmaLou eating one of my ornaments?

Yup.  I raced into the dining room to find that the baby gate had been moved.  There EmmaLou was on the floor by the tree and she had one of my ornaments, a cluster of wooden cherries, complete with wiring, in her jaws and she was thoroughly enjoying chewing.  I pried her jaws apart – no easy feat – and managed to get my hand in her mouth — yes I got a few war wounds.  Giving up those wooden cherries was not on her agenda.  I finally pried the entire cluster from her mouth, plus the two she had pried off the original cluster.  She continued chewing and swallowed.  I examined what was left of the ornament and I don’t think she really ate anything dangerous, she might have gotten a wood chip or two, but the wires were still intact.  This is what she tried unsuccessfully to consume:

wooden cluster of cherries

I was livid.  She thought it was a new game and started racing around the house to stuff into her mouth as many toys as possible so I could pry them loose also.  Grrrr…

Crisis averted narrowly.  Devoted Spouse and I reminded each other of the danger to her of the Christmas tree and we both vowed to make sure those gates are up and EmmaLou is nowhere close to that tree unsupervised ever again.

She knew she had done wrong – I ignored her for several hours and to EmmaLou that is a fate worse than death.  It is her usual punishment when she has been a bad dog.  That, and a mugshot to add to the books.  Oh, and I signed her up for a new 12-step program:

I'm addicted. I'm going on Oprah to admit it to the world

It has been a nerve-wracking experience — my fingers are raw from having her bite me as she continued to chew the wooden cherries and I’m on my last dog stunt nerve.  EmmaLou has been warned that there is a Puppy Farm and they have a room waiting for her if she tries this stunt again.  If she attends her OEA meetings and makes amends, I may forgive this incident.  Given her past history, I’m not hopeful; once an ornament eater, always an ornament eater.

Carbon Pawprints


It was only a matter of time until some pseudo-scientific brainiac with nothing better to do studied the ecological impact of man’s best friend.  According to an article in my daily newspaper, a study in New Zealand claims that a medium sized dog has a larger carbon footprint, I mean pawprint,  than an SUV.  Refresh my memory… New Zealand is known for what?  Oh, let’s see…nothing…except being the home to Xena Warrior Princess.

I read the article to EmmaLou, infamous medium-sized Golden Destroyer, and explained that her carbon pawprint was the equivalent of building and fueling a Toyota Land Cruiser but a cat’s carbon pawprint only equals that of a Volkswagon Golf.

EmmaLou rolled around on the carpet, sniffed her bottom, and then grinned as only a Golden Destroyer can.  She was very proud that she equaled a Land Cruiser and the cat only a VW Golf.

I tried to explain to her that this was not something she should be proud of.  EmmaLou quickly countered with how much trash Devoted Spouse and I deposit at the curbside every week while the only thing SHE deposits is biodegradable.  It isn’t her fault Devoted Spouse actually collects this biodegradable waste and puts it in with our curbside trash.  Hmmm, maybe I needed to rethink this.

I reminded her of all the water she wastes as she drinks from her large doggie water dish dripping tons of excess water from her doggie jowls everywhere, thus wasting another precious resource since I had to mop up the excess water with a paper towel which would then be deposited in the trash going to the curb.   EmmaLou reminded me she never asked me to put that bowl of water on the floor; she would be just as happy lapping from that lovely porcelain bowl that is attached permanently to the floor in the bathroom.  Hmmm, I needed to think about this some more.

I gently reminded EmmaLou of the manufacturing process involved in providing the lovely hypoallergenic doggie kibble she so greedily gobbles up and the amount of effort and resources that go into making her lovely meals.  She yawned and told me she’d be just as happy munching on the occasional varmint in the back yard and I could put the hypoallergenic kibble where the sun don’t shine.  Hmmm, I was not winning this argument.  I wanted her to decrease her carbon pawprint.  She wanted me to stop reading stupid articles outloud and get her toy out from under the couch.

I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere in this discussion.  After all, EmmaLou provides constant unconditional adoration, lots of hours of doggie entertainment, and is always happy to warm my feet.  Maybe I shouldn’t be too concerned about ecological pawprints.  I went to the kitchen in search of coffee.

Returning to my comfy chair I found the paper on the floor shredded to pieces. Laying in the midst was EmmaLou, grinning, her carbon pawprint firmly planted right on a newspaper mess equivalent to a Toyota Land Cruiser.