2 of 2 posts about Bosco and Peanut (The Wonder Twins.) Entry #1 is here (suggested reading before reading entry #2 below).
After Peanut destroyed Good Dog! the Monkey, my sister hoped it was just Peanut acting out because she was in a new environment. She was wrong. Peanut immediately began to torment Bosco — and my sister — in what my sister described as a campaign of terror.
My sis, who is not naturally optimistic, decided to find some optimism. She assured herself that she could train Peanut…after all, she HAD attended all those dog obedience classes with Bosco, right?
I didn’t have the heart to remind her that Bosco had flunked three separate several=weeks-long courses of dog obedience classes (the third one was a full month of living with the trainer full time. Bosco still flunked.) I did not want to be the destroyer of her newfound optimism.
Sis explained it this way: Peanut is a LOT smarter than Bosco which means she can be trained; Bosco is dumb and just never “got it.” Unfortunately, she was wrong and Peanut’s intelligence turned out to be a bad thing…a very bad thing. Peanut earned the nickname “The Devil Dog” within a week. With good reason. Several good reasons, actually. So why did my sis call Peanut “The Devil Dog?”
Well, the first reason that comes to mind is that my sister figured out that Peanut was as determined to remain extremely destructive as much as Bosco was determined to remain extremely happy.
Remember all those toys Bosco was so happy to own? The toys that he would lay on the couch gazing at, upside down on his back, tongue hanging sideways out of his mouth? Gone. Peanut destroyed them all. Poor Bosco.
Here is the card I sent my sister after she’d nicknamed her the devil dog. For those of you who have ever read “Rosemary’s Baby” or seen the movie you will “get it.” For those who haven’t, suffice it to say that the devil’s baby had a black baby carriage.
Bosco became so traumatized he started wetting the bed. No, I am not kidding. The couch he’d stolen fair and square now had to be covered in plastic and sheets and blankets. This increased my sister’s workload…a lot. Daily washing of the sheets and blankets as well as other new chores my sister never dreamed she’d be doing…such as putting all the pots and pans BACK into the cupboards on a daily basis, along with other objects Peanut “found.”
You see, Peanut was also devilishly smart…she could open cupboards with her dew claws. So she did. Often. She would pull all manner of things out of the kitchen cupboards and make a big mess all over the floor with pots and pans, noodles, rice, cans and boxes of food, plastic wrap, tin foil and, of course, the dog food.
More work for my sister (in addition to the daily washing of the bedding.) After only a month, my sister was so stressed out she was probably very near to wetting the bed herself.
She bought a metal can with a strong lid and put the dog food in that. Immediately after the can appeared, Peanut started getting up at night for what my sis called the Midnight Crumb Patrol. Bosco, having developed Stockholm Syndrome, did pretty much anything Peanut told him to do. Bosco wanted to live, you see.
So the Midnight Crumb Patrol started with Peanut waking Bosco up to join her. Then hysterical barking would wake my sister up as both dogs freaked out over the cat in the hallway. My sister’s cat Boo-Boo had opted out of the fun of The Wonder Twins and lived in my sister’s bedroom, only coming out at night after the dogs were asleep. For some reason, Peanut was terrified of Boo-Boo, the most laid back cat on the planet.
Then Peanut would run away from the cat and into the kitchen to knock over the metal dog food can. My sister really liked getting out of bed every night to stop the madness. Really. After several nights of this, she moved the metal dog food can outside. Quite inconvenient for her but she needed to sleep at night, you see. She needed her sleep to deal with the Devil Dog’s daytime antics.
She got to where she would give Bosco his bowl of food and then scatter Peanut’s food all over the floor because 1) that was the way Peanut liked it, a big mess on the floor, and 2) Bosco had a chance to eat without Peanut stealing all his food. Which she STILL managed to do on a regular basis. Peanut looked like some insane version of a black, fur-covered vacuum cleaner, hoovering all the food off the floor and then making a dive for Bosco’s bowl.
Poor, poor Bosco. Poor, poor Sis. Damn devil dog!
Then came the sticks. Both Bosco and Peanut LOVE to play fetch (of course because they’re Labs as in Labrador Retrievers and this is the favored activity of most Labs.) Unfortunately, Peanut had destroyed all the toys so playing fetch became a problem because there was nothing to throw. Sis isn’t rich and buying new toys all the time was simply not a reality.
So the sticks the dogs found in the woods became their new toys. Sharp sticks. Big, gnarly sticks. And every time she went out to smoke, it was time to throw sticks for the dogs.
She probably didn’t realize she was creating junkie stick dogs but she was. They soon wanted to go outside ALL the time and fetch sticks.
Bosco would stand really close to my sister on the small back porch, crowding in close while she tried to relax and have a smoke. Then he’d start to dance and jump up and down in place, all four paws and tail working in unison as he danced and drooled on her.
Peanut would wait farther away so she could steal the stick from Bosco. Yep, stick addict junkie dogs. Good-bye to the idea of a relaxing cigarette and hello to additional stress for my sis. Both dogs were really, really good at slamming those sticks into my sister’s shins and dropping them on her feet. Surprise, surprise…my sister didn’t much like this.
Then came the elephant bones. After Peanut destroyed all the toys, my sister tried to find some form of replacement for the big, sharp sticks. Someone told my sister that elephant bones were great for big dogs. So she bought some…and The Wonder Twins loved them!
However, my sister discovered that as much as sticks hurt when the dogs would ram them against her shins and drop them onto her toes…elephant bones were much more painful. No more elephant bones. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, Peanut took BOTH bones and buried them deep in the woods after she had determined she’d chewed them enough. Bosco got no say in the matter.
Then Peanut decided she wanted to bring the sticks—now the only “allowed” toy for The Wonder Twins—back into the house and destroy them inside. My sister was extremely unhappy about this new devil dog development.
Down went sheets and blankets all over the house because, like Bosco, ‘NO!’ was not a word Peanut understood. Or to be more accurate, ‘NO!’ was not a word she was willing to hear. To Peanut, “NO!” meant either “try harder” or “wait until she’s not looking and do it anyway.”
So now my sister’s house looks like a lake house being prepared for winter with everything covered with sheets and blankets. On the furniture. On the floor. Everywhere. My sis has spent a LOT of money at the local thrift store on sheets and blankets; money she would have preferred spending on toys or beautiful home decor. My sister’s house used to be beautifully decorated. Now, all breakable objects have been put away, there are kiddie locks on all the cupboard doors and everything is covered in mismatched bedding.
Hanging on the line to dry, burning up energy in the washer and dryer which of course, caused her electric bill to skyrocket. She had no choice though; she had to wash away all the doggie pee, drool, stick remnants, spilled dog food and a truly amazing amount of mud and dirt.
Eventually, the washer and dryer started breaking down completely. My sister could have set fire to her house because she didn’t know that her dryer was so full of lint and dog hair that it was a fire hazard. The appliance repair guy had to explain that to her. More money spent, less happy sister. Damn devil dog. Sis also went through a lot of mops and brooms in her attempt to keep up with the daily messes from the dog.
My sister lives in the woods on five acres. With a creek. Peanut likes the creek. My sister doesn’t want her to go into the creek but Peanut, besides being smart and destructive is also quite willful and stubborn.
But you, dear reader, have already deduced that. In fact, I’m sure many of you are wondering why she kept Peanut. I know I wondered! Look up the word ‘stubborn’ in the dictionary and then look at the accompanying picture of the black lab waving her opposable-thumb-dew-claws at you…and smirking. That is a picture of Peanut.
Look up ‘traumatized’ and you’ll see a picture of Bosco and my sister. But there is a picture of my sis on the stubborn page as well…she thought she could tame Peanut. She was wrong.
And surprise, surprise again…it turns out that Peanut likes not only the creek but genuinely loves mud too. A lot. The first time Peanut took a romp in the creek and mud and then ran willy-nilly through the house, shaking the wet mud everywhere, my sister declared: “That damn devil dog is never, ever coming into the house again! Never, ever again, I swear!”
A hose was employed when Sis finally calmed down.
Peanut seemed to enjoy being hosed off and my sister decided maybe this wasn’t so bad after all. Until she realized she’d made a big mud pit, which Peanut promptly jumped back into.
So my sister took her around to the other side of the house where there was grass, tied Peanut to a yard stake, hosed her down and left her outside to dry.
Peanut promptly ate the hose.
“Stupid, damn devil dog! Never, ever coming into the house again! I swear I’m getting rid of this evil dog!” So now it’s “stupid, damn devil dog.” Not “smart and trainable.” Not happy sister, no, not at all. Bosco hadn’t been happy for months and, as previously mentioned, had developed the doggie version of Stockholm Syndrome.
But of course, my sister got over it, a new day dawned and she determined to try again. Peanut IS destructive and stubborn and willful and smart and an extremely accomplished thief. She is also very sweet and lovable…when she’s not being the devil dog, of course.
My sis swears the sweet side is just a blatant manipulation in order to get whatever Peanut wants at that moment in time. She remains secretly convinced that the dog really is demon possessed. But my sister has fallen in love with Peanut, demon possessed or not, and so, for better or worse, Peanut is here to stay.
Dogs are dogs after all…bringing big, dumb, destructive, muddy, slobbery, stubborn, goofy and sweet beasts into a house is OUR choice. Dogs have no choice on being dumb, it’s just a “dog thing.”
Unfortunately, Bosco remains somewhat shell-shocked to this day. And he still wets the bed.
The truth is that my sister simply cannot bring herself to find another home for the Devil Dog. She thinks it would be cruel to foist Peanut off on some poor, unsuspecting slob; cannot justify torturing a random stranger in that way…thinks it would be bad juju.
I think she’s got a good point but I still feel really, really sorry for Bosco. We’ve actually had arguments about it and I will always lose the argument, no matter how logical. Everyone knows you can’t tell someone how to raise their kids and these dogs are my sister’s children now.
At least they won’t grow up to be human adults and wreak havoc on society. I’m pretty sure Peanut would end up in SuperMax Prison if she were human. And Bosco would be in a mental ward somewhere, having nightmares about Peanut and wetting the bed every night.
Poor, poor Bosco. Damn devil dog!