Columns/Opinion, Irene Marinelli

Pierre’s naughty behavior turns nocturnal

It is almost impossible to stay mad at Pierre.

Pierre and I are not on speaking terms today. I’m not sure he gets it, since he has been following me around all day as usual, demanding to be played with, demanding snacks and petting.

Since this big curly haired dog came into our lives there has been plenty of naughty and sometimes downright destructive behavior.
When he was quite small and was still under that protective canopy of what my daughter calls “puppy license” he would go on a wild tear from time to time. We still have the carved wooden magazine rack with four chewed legs.

I’ve replaced several pairs of expensive prescription glasses and some cheap bedroom slippers. Lamp wires had to be hidden. There was the time he ate Rob’s hearing aids, or almost ate them. I had to reach down and pull them out of his gullet, batteries and all.

As Pierre grew from an adorable puppy into a large dog his habits altered. Now he is demanding, rather than destructive. We have accepted the fact that his personality is set. Instead of chewing things, he insists on living life on his own terms. His obedience is conditional; his energy boundless.

The reason he and I are not in accord is simple: Because of Pierre I am a sleep-deprived zombie today.

Pierre has the run of the house day and night. He sleeps where he chooses, upstairs on one of the beds or downstairs on the family room couch. He always sleeps through the night unless thunder wakes him.

Last night I was in bed and asleep by 10. Sometime around 2:30 in the morning I was awakened by a poking wet nose. Pierre had brought his favorite toy, a purple rubber pig, upstairs and was ready for some play time. I pushed him away, turned over and dozed off.

Seeing that I was not about to institute play time at that ridiculous hour, Pierre pushed his purple pig under my bed and began to bark and howl, clearly indicating he couldn’t get his pig out and why wasn’t I up helping him? I had to get that pig or never hear the end of the howling, barking, whining.

Back in bed, desperately trying to drift off to sleep. Suddenly more sad whining and barking. This time he had pushed the purple pig under a small youth bed kept in my room for visiting grandkids.
It was obvious this dog wanted to play and nothing was going to deter him. I rescued the rubber pig, took pig and dog downstairs and put up the gate to keep him down there. After all this activity I was wide awake and could not go to sleep no matter how I tried.

Pierre has never done this before, nor will he again, since I plan to hide all his toys in the closet before going to bed at night.

Living with Pierre, we never know what will come next. There’s simply no way to stay one jump ahead of him. For instance, there was the day he decided ballpoint pens were delicious so now we must be sure none are left within his reach.

Although we have a fenced back yard, we’ve found him on the front porch, “knocking” at the door to come in. He knocks small children down with his great tail, then lies down to let them crawl all over him. He’s boisterous, rambunctious and free-wheeling.

Although I’m not happy with Pierre today, tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow we’ll take a walk, play catch, snuggle and watch TV together and all will be back to normal again.