Saturday, February 04, 2006

Rocky has her days confused

Although I haven't done much dog blogging of late, loyal readers may remember that the (typically) less needy of my dogs is Rocky, our almost six-year-old shih tzu (and, until the very near future, the baby of the house). As a purebred, Rocky is not all that smart. She is adorable and very gentle and sweet and lovable, but a genius she is not. And that's why I'm pretty sure she's lost track of the calendar. That's the only reason I can think of to explain the constant and incredibly irritating whining of the last 24 hours -- she thinks it's Wednesday and is waiting for me to transcribe her whines over at Phantom's.

Right now, for example, she is standing on the second step of the stairwell in our back hall, with her front paws on the third step. She desperately wants to go upstairs and go to sleep either in our bed or hers, but despite having climbed these stairs many, many times, she is convinced that she CAN NOT make it from the two wooden stairs to the rest of the stairs, which are covered in the hideous brown shag carpeting that once ran through our entire first floor. The noise that is coming from her little mouth is an ungodly combination moan/growl/whine; if only I could figure out a way to record and post it, you, too, could be subject to this most irritating of noises.

I have been out of bed for only 40 minutes today and have already been subject to two other whining episodes. The first is the one that awoke me. She'd jumped onto our bed around 4 am, while I was desperately trying to go back to sleep after being awakened by the phone ringing at 3:30 (wrong number, apparently). When Darren got up this morning, he left her there asleep, despite a recent request from yours truly that whenver he gets up, he take her with him -- even if it means waking her up -- because otherwise she wakes up when she hears Jelly's food being poured into a bowl and then whines at me to take her downstairs.

Two other points to be noted: Yes, this dog has issues with stairs. Also, yes, she is incredibly neurotic, although usually not in such a blatant and irritating fashion as this.

So anyway, this morning I was awakened at the fantastic hour of 7:30 on a Saturday morning by a whining shih tzu six inches from my face, causing me to stumble out of bed, mutter irritatedly at her and snap ferociously at my husband.

[Update: A coughing fit on my part just scared her enough to get up the rest of the stairs. Hallelujah.]

Then, just as I started writing this post (and moments after D. called me from the gym to apologize for forgetting her this morning), I heard whining behind me; she was standing on her hind legs, front paws up on the recliner, where she apparently wanted to sit. That episode was short-lived; she hopped up into the recliner, sat there for a minute, saw me look at her and then hopped down to begin the stair-whining episode.

Yesterday, causes of whining included:
1. A desire to be let into the backyard. This is the only approved occasion for whining.
2. A desire to played with.
3. A desire for something to happen that we could not discern.
4. Repeat item 3, over and over.

On days when we don't have groceries in the house or haven't planned what to make for dinner, we often joke about making shih tzu flambe or shih tzu strogranoff, although we're in agreement that you wouldn't get much meat from this spindly 10-pound dog. Today, I am sorely tempted to find out for sure.

Pictorial evidence: Rocky is the black-and-white one in the Flickr photos -- proudly un-updated since September! -- in the sidebar.