Monday, 14 July 2014

King Kong: Labrador Retriever Edition

For two years, Scott has been telling me that Finnigan, our Black Lab, would settle down...eventually.
At that point, all of my dreams would come true.
There would be no more menacing guests and crawling all over them, no more punching me in the face or ripping me a new butt hole when I turned my back on him. No more of that high peeled, incessant barking when he wanted out, or simply demanded attention. No more dropping saliva-coated twigs on my leg while he shook nervously.
Sometimes, Finn has been hard to love, especially during the times he's put me in real danger, like that time at the dog park when he nearly knocked out my front teeth when he hit me in the face whilst running full boar.

I had two black labs before Finn. Mandy died after eating an entire bowl of oatmeal chocolate chip muffins the babysitter had left out. Maggie was given to my friend Derik after many failed attempts at training and one scary event in the dog park when she pinned me on the grass with her teeth bared.
I swore I'd never get another one, but that was before I met Scott who I believed had magical powers over dogs like Finn.
It was an entirely wrong assumption.
Still, with Scott at my side, I remained committed to that mythical two year mark.
I simply hoped for the best and expected the worst.
Most recently, there are signs of hope.
We acquired a Kong dog toy for training purposes.
We'd bought one the year before, but Finn didn't know what to do with it, and eventually tossed it past the gate, where it was found by another grateful canine.
We decided to give a Kong another try this spring, and this time, it worked. Finnigan fell in love with the thing. He was absolutely smitten.
Since then, we've gone through three of the things. He just chomps the head off after worrying one for a couple weeks.
The good news is that Kong stands by its product, so we just go to the pet store every few weeks and get a new one.
The best news is, since the Kong arrived, Finn no longer barks or chases dogs beyond the fence. He's stopped eating Gordie's poo. And he no longer menaces the company.
The only reminder of the old Finn is incessant barking when he wants you to throw the thing, which is about every two minutes.
I'll take it.
Thanks Kong for taming the untrainable beast.

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