Remember this cuddly little cubby all stuffed with fluff?
Turns out, he’s quite a ploofy dilemma. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a sweetheart. He’s one of the most affectionate dogs I’ve ever encountered. If you carry him in your arms, it’s like cradling a ragdoll, a teddy bear that just plops there ready to be cuddled all day. He’s also easy to train. Leash training was a breeze. On the first time he ever walked on a leash, he never struggled, got the idea quickly, and walked as if he’s been leash-trained for years. He also learned how to sit without a leash in a couple of days at just 2 months. When you’re with him, he’s the PERFECT dog. So what’s the problem? Once it’s time to leave him alone, he transforms into a wailing BANSHEE. It starts out with a whimper…then a cry…then a wail…then a shriek…then a caterwaul…then a cacophony of noises that can only be described as two locomotives crashing into each other at full speed, metal scraping on metal, passengers screaming their death throes as their bones crush and grind into bloody splinters. And he does this at 3, sometimes 4, sometimes 5 in the morning. I seriously haven’t had a good night’s sleep since the day we took him home. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde. He’s so malambing but clingy at the same time. When you’re together, he’s an angel; when he’s away from you, he’s hellspawn (or at least just sounds like one). I’ve never experienced this. My last 2 dogs, a chihuahua and a yorkie, are notorious as breeds to be yappy. But Nairobi and Cairo probably cried, what, 1 or 2 days and then not a peep ever again. They’ve never cried during the night after that. With Siam, it’s been 2 weeks and it’s as if it’s his first night EVERY NIGHT.
We’ve tried every trick in the book (or more accurately on the internet). We tried making noises everytime he cried, spraying him with water (which he joyfully licks thinking it’s a game), even buying a bark collar which beeps a sound everytime he barks (sooo doesn’t work, piece of sh*t), and I’ve gone all Cesar Millan on steroids on him, but to no avail. It’s as if he can’t stand a single minute away from us. He’s asleep most of the night, but once 3am hits, it’s as if a needy button is switched on and he starts crying. Even if I put him with the 2 other dogs, he doesn’t care. He won’t stop until he sees us.
Now it’s puppy boot camp. We’ve been letting him cry his little lungs out (which feels like a sledgehammer pounding on my heart), paying him no attention until he calms down so he realizes that crying will get him nowhere. I have to fight every urge to carry him in my arms and cuddle my little polar bear until he falls asleep. Some mornings it feels like we’re succeeding, then some days it’s like we’re back to square one. I’m sure the neighbors aren’t happy (but I’m thinking: it’s payback time, bee-yotches, for all those nights YOU kept US awake with your sheenanigans). I don’t really know if this is even working. All I know is I’m at the end of my rope as far as remedies are concerned. Getting rid of him is out of the question; I’ve never given up on any animal no matter how difficult they are. Plus, he’s an absolutely adorable BABY, if not for the clingy whining. My prominent eyebags are now eyebalikbayanboxes with the sleep deprivation.
It’s a strange problem. He’s a wonderful, sweet, obedient, submissive, affectionate dog…who has the voice that sounds like an 18-wheeler truck. And the neediest pup I’ve experienced in all the years I’ve been taking care of dogs. So this is how it feels like when parents have a problem child. You love them, but they can be quite a headache. I hope this all turns out well in the future. I can’t wait until the day when I look back with fondness on all this, laugh at my then misfortune, then admire how wonderful Siam turned out as an adult dog. But for now, I arm myself with love and understanding, and hope that these will be the perfect tonics for my difficult dilemma (and I hope the people I love would treat me the same way when I’m being a handful) .