Monday, November 20, 2006

Bruce Willis owes me 120 bucks, a new carpet, and therapy for my dog

I hope you're paying attention, Bruce.

Why? Let me start at the beginning.

Two weeks ago I adopted the sweetest little puppy in California. He's some kind of mutt (likely a dachsund/corgi mix with probably something else in there too -- maybe chihuahua, since he's pretty small?) and has a beautiful short black coat. He has this precious little underbite and the sweetest personality. He follows me around everywhere I go and he loves to snuggle. I've named him Cujo.

Now, Cujo did not come to me straight from his mom and dad. Rather, a woman found him wandering the street and brought him to someone who tries to find homes for rescued dogs. I cannot fathom why someone would abandon little Cujo, but they did, and frankly, I'm the luckier for it.

As a result of this, though, Cujo has some separation anxiety. He's generally done well while I'm gone -- he'll whine at the door for a few minutes and then just sleep until I get home (at least, as far as I can tell). I've left him for up to four hours and he's been fine -- no chewing, no accidents in the apartment, etc.

Saturday night my friend had a party to celebrate passing the bar (congrats Andrew!!), and he lives down in Irvine. I headed to the party, thinking I'd hang out for a few hours, probably three at the most, and then head home -- so with driving time of roughly 45 minutes each way factored in, that would put me at about 4 and a half hours, and I knew Cujo could handle that.

And I imagine he would have, had Bruce Willis not SHUT DOWN THE FUCKING 405 TO FILM HIS STUPID MOVIE. The article linked to doesn't specifically say that he's shutting down the 405, but I can't imagine why else they were siphoning off every single car near the airport, even though all four lanes of traffic were completely clear of any accidents, construction, or other *real* reasons to close the busiest freeway in Southern California.

It literally took 45 minutes to move a single half mile. One fucking half mile.

By the time I got home, poor Cujo had had a panic attack. I'd been gone for nearly six hours. He was probably worried he'd never see me again. The POOR BABY. It's going to take forever now to train him out of his separation anxiety.

And as if that wasn't enough, Cujo tore up the carpet next to my door. Literally pulled the carpet away from the floor and chewed it up. I don't think it will cost much more than a hundred bucks or so to replace (once I work up the courage to call my landlord and tell him what happened), but still, it's gonna be a pain in the butt to deal with.

And for the time being, I've bought a kennel to crate him in while I'm gone so that he can't cause any more damage (I've also heard that smaller dogs sometimes prefer closed-in spaces, because they make them feel safe and protected). He hung out in there for a bit last night and seems to like it pretty well, so hopefully this will kill two birds with one stone -- his separation anxiety and my worry of having to replace everything in the apartment. But the damn kennel cost 120 bucks. Jeesh, I seem to remember those things being lots cheaper when my parents got one for my dog back home.

So anyway. None of this would have happened if it weren't for you, Bruce Willis. So pay up.

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At November 20, 2006 at 5:06 PM, Blogger Butterflyfish said...

He owes you for the carpet too -- Bruce, pay the lady $220!

Plus NIDD -- negligent infliction of doggie distress

At November 20, 2006 at 5:28 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

butterfly, precisely :)

Cujo did nothing to deserve it!!

At November 21, 2006 at 12:22 AM, Blogger heartinsanfrancisco said...

Someone who is allowed to capriciously close down the 405 can well afford to pay all your damages, and to send you and Cujo on a nice vacation together. (But don't choose Hawaii -- they quarantine animals because they distrust mainland vets to verify that their patients don't have rabies.)

At November 21, 2006 at 7:24 AM, Blogger Drewcatt said...

Now if only I could get my own lady to lock up the pug when we're gone.... then maybe we wouldn't have to come home to find his bedding in the other room, his puppy-pad torn up and on the couch, and sticks and twigs EVERYWHERE.

If you ever do track down Bruce, I know a lawyer that will help ;)

At November 21, 2006 at 1:06 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

heart, my thoughts exactly. I hope he's paying attention.

drew, yikes! I'm feeling some guilt for locking him up... but at the same time, I *think he's doing better kenneled than he was running around free. At least that's what I'm telling myself :\

I will let you knwo if I ever get ahold of him ;)

At November 21, 2006 at 9:34 PM, Blogger Ken W said...

My wife and I got our little spaniel (well not so little actually) when he was just a pup. We tried to do everything right with him and while we were initially skeptical of crating we were assured by our dog trainer that crating was beneficial since part of a dog’s anxiety is caused by insecurity. The idea is that dogs need enclosed spaces to function as a den would for a wild dog. When Bailey was older we didn’t even bother with the door to the crate, but rather he would just go in and relax when he wanted. You would be surprised at how restless he would get when we tried to put the kennel away.

Bailey is five now and has no separation anxiety whatsoever and we have at times had to leave him eight hours unattended. We hated it, and would never have done that when he was younger, but life doesn’t always let us be the puppy parents we would like to be.

Have you started socializing your young one yet? Socialization is the biggest and most effect thing you can do for a dog to help her/him grow up into a confident friendly adult. The trainers all say that the first six months are crucial. We took Bailey to the dog park three or four times per week when he was a pup, and today he never barks or acts aggressively towards another dog. It’s nice knowing that our little boy can go anywhere with us and we wont have to worry.

Congratulations on your new puppy. They are a lot of work, but so worth the effort.

At November 22, 2006 at 7:46 AM, Blogger Drewcatt said...

Ken W... your testimony is going to become Exhibit A in my War on Babar.

That pug shall know (and love) the inside of his kennel.... oh yes he shall.

Don't get me wrong though, I love the little tyke... he's cute as all heck, but he can't deal with it when we're not at home, and its becoming increasingly tiresome to have to clean up after him everytime.

At November 27, 2006 at 10:32 AM, Blogger T said...

We have/had a dog with separation anxiety (she's better now) and the kennel was the only thing that kept her sane while we were away. She was fine in the car, but leave her alone for 20 minutes and likely as not, she would have scratched up a door, floor or crapped on something. But when we started using the kennel, all that anxiety was gone. My guess is that she was abandoned on the streets, or by someone who didn't come home (it wasn't long after 9/11 we got her in NYC) - so she feels like she won't be forgotten or abandoned while in the kennel. It's been a few years, but she seems to be doing fine without the kennel now - although she still takes naps and hangs out in it when she feels like it...

Good luck.

At November 27, 2006 at 3:32 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

ken, thanks for the story -- I'm glad things have worked so well for Bailey. Cujo goes to day care every day, so he gets plenty of socialization. I'm also trying to make a point of taking him to the dog park at least a couple times a month, so hopefully that will help him as well.

drew, good luck with the war!

t, thanks. It's funny, as humans we tend to think being cooped up is the problem, rather than the solution. Yet another way dogs simply see the world differently...

At November 28, 2006 at 7:03 AM, Blogger T said...

Yeah - I was ambivialent about it too. But the way it was described to me, the kennel becomes the dog's 'den' - which if they were out in the wild, would be even smaller and less comfortable. So with all the treats we gave her when she was in it initially, it isn't surprising that she ended up liking being in there.

At November 28, 2006 at 11:38 AM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

t, I need to find treats that Cujo likes. I swear, that dog is the most finicky eater I have ever met.

At November 28, 2006 at 12:29 PM, Blogger Roonie said...

Poor pup pup. Effing Bruce Willis.

I don't know how I missed this story!

At November 28, 2006 at 3:07 PM, Anonymous Happy Jacque said...

Dog/Cats + Vibrator = Feminist "Boyfriend"

At November 28, 2006 at 4:12 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

roonie, seriously! Bruce is totally on my shit list.

jacque, almost, except that dogs/cats and vibrators won't cheat on you, won't embarrass you in front of your friends and family, and can't give you stds! ;)

Of course, they can break your heart :'(

At November 29, 2006 at 4:17 PM, Blogger JohnH said...

I just stumbled across your blog today and I enjoy your writing style. Good luck with Cujo and his kennel, and I hope your dog back home gets better. Losing a pet sucks.

At November 29, 2006 at 5:28 PM, Blogger The Law Fairy said...

Thanks for the visit and for your comments, john. I hope you'll stop by again!


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