Rex is in the Doghouse

9:04 AM Posted by Natalie

Well, the kennel, actually. He doesn't seem to be handling retirement very well. You see, K-9 officers in Shaun's department have to live in that city. So, he had to retire Rex when we moved. At first, he peed in the basement a few times. I kind of dismissed that because he did the same thing when he first came to live with us in our other house, but he eventually stopped. Then he peed on the Christmas tree, like 4 times. But I dismissed that, too, since, well, it was a tree, and Rex has to mark every tree around our house. (K-9's are not fixed, by the way.)

However, this peeing business has now gone to another level. He keeps peeing right by the sliding glass doors that go out to our deck. I don't even know how many times he's done it. And he does it stealthily because there have been times, like yesterday, that I didn't notice it until it was kind of dried. He gets it all on the vertical blinds hanging there and it's just plain gross. Shaun put him in his kennel for most of yesterday afternoon and finally let him up in the evening. Turns out that was the wrong thing to do because he wasn't up here long before Shaun discovered he had peed by the door yet again.

Shaun has been talking to other K-9 guys to see what we should do about this. It is quite obvious that Rex is mad at Shaun for not taking him to work anymore, and that is the most likely cause for this behavior. In fact, sometimes Shaun has to have ME let Rex out because he won't go out and pee for him! We also believe he is bored. Be that as it may, we cannot allow him to continue peeing in our house. Wood floors or not, he can cause damage, and it's just not right anyway. I'd leave him out most of the time, but he barks a lot when he is outside, and I don't want him to be a disturbance to everyone else. Besides, it doesn't seem to matter how long he is out beforehand, he still pees in the house.

Another issue is that the yard is not fenced. Our plan was to do that this spring. In the meantime, Rex has to be on a chain. I don't know whether it would make a difference for him if he could run around the yard or not. Shaun's not sure he wants to put out the money to get the electric fence if Rex is going to continue the behavior anyway. I am also concerned about him biting someone. While Rex has never even made a move toward the kids or someone who comes in the house, I think it may be different in the yard. Last week, the neighbor boys were out in their yard playing. I could hear Rex barking at them and yelled at him to shut up. Then more barking. So, I finally went down to let him in and our neighbor was out there retrieving the boys' ball. She said they were afraid to come in our yard and get it. I don't blame them! He's a big German Shepherd with a big mouth! Anyway, she didn't think he would bother her, so she came to get the ball. As I was coming out to get Rex in, I saw him chase after her as she went back into their yard and he did not look very friendly to me. That worried me. And most of the yards around here have an electric fence, if they have any fence at all. It's typical for the kids to run freely through the yards around here when they are out to play, so that is a definite concern.

We love Rex, but the fact of the matter is, he's a working dog. It reminds me of the greyhound we adopted some years back. I had heard such great things about greyhounds, and they are known as "potato chip dogs" because most people can't have just one. So, we made the decision to rescue Ricky. Most greyhounds are on the track for about 18 months - 2 years, at most. Ricky, however, was on the track for FIVE. He was just not very friendly, not much like a pet at all. Sometimes he would even dart away when I reached out to pet him. We believe he was on the track for too long before we got him and just couldn't adapt to family life. (He may have even been abused, who knows.) I think it's kind of the same with Rex, although he's considerably friendlier. We think he may just not be happy here now that he's not working anymore. It's not uncommon for retired K-9's. And, it's no life for him if we have to keep him kenneled all the time.

So, Shaun will be talking to some of the guys he knows about the situation and we will have to decide what to do. Rex is a good dog, and he should be happy. We just don't know if that will be with us.