Bulldog Diaries: Teenage Rebellion

Quinton is going through his teenage rebellious stage.

According to scientific calculations, I have determined that Quinton is approximately 16 years old in human years.  He has always been a little rambunctious. And energetic. And boisterous. Pick a word, any word. Most of all, he’s stubborn. That trait is most certainly a bulldog thing. But  it seems he is now a teenager and this past week he took it to a whole new level.

First, a little background. We bought Quinton a large, square dog bed from Costco about a year ago.  He loves it and it has served him well for the past year. But about a month ago, he decided to rip up the zippered side of the bed. Once he made it through the zipper, he tore a hole in the corner of the bedding.

We aren’t really sure what spurred this. He isn’t historically much of a chewer. The only major things he destroyed were the corner of my wooden windowsill in my old apartment and the base of Patrick’s parents’ wooden coatrack.  Now seeing this in writing, I guess those are actually two big-ticket items. We just thought he had a thing for wooden objects at his eye level. Apparently, he also likes the stuffing in dog beds.

We must have experienced short-term memory loss last weekend when we bought him a new bed as an early Christmas present. He has the big square bed, so naturally he needed a smaller, round bed so he has one that he can curl up in. Because that makes perfect sense. Lord help us when we have actual children.

Now that you know the history, let me take you back in time to Monday evening. As usual, I immediately saw Quinton’s head peer through the window when I pulled up in front of our house after work. It’s our routine. He is the welcome committee. Such a good host/guard dog, depending on how you want to look at it.

image (5)However, I walked inside to find this. His appetite for bed filling had returned. Please notice the tennis ball in the photo. This dog is not lacking in the toy department. He has plenty of appropriate things to chew on: rubber rings, stuffed animals, tennis balls, kong bones. The list goes on and on. But he felt the need to gnaw on his bed instead. And yes, that would also be a zipper on the floor next to the bed. From where on the bed, I’m not sure, but a zipper nonetheless. Of course, I scolded him. He looked sad. And then we cuddled on the couch. There is a high probability that I am the pushover in this parenting duo.

Tuesday came and went without any major additional destruction. Wednesday brought some minor stuffing removal, although I was in Chicago for work so I didn’t have to deal with it. Out of sight, out of mind. And then it was Thursday. I decided to stop by the house during my lunch break to check on him given his recent behavior. This is what I encountered.

Maybe if I don't look at her, she will think it was someone else.

Maybe if I don’t look at her, she will think it was someone else.

I didn't mean to...

I didn’t mean to…

My monologue upon this discovery: Seriously? Why? Do you know how much that cost? Why? You’ve already been in trouble for this twice in the past three days. Why? I can’t believe this. Why? You’re lucky I was the one who found this. Just wait until your father gets home.

I imagine that attempting to reason with a bulldog is very similar to attempting to reason with a toddler. Except the toddler might actually be able to understand some of what you are saying. The bulldog just cocks his head to the side and peers at you with those sweet eyes, snaggletooth and tucked back ears.

We now have implemented a three strike rule following this incident. His bed is now considered a privilege, not a right. He gets to use it when we are at home with him and he is under supervision. Don’t worry, we aren’t completely heartless. We do put a blanket on the couch for him during the day so he has a place to curl up.

Where'd it go?

Where’d it go?

In the evening: I promise I'll be good.

I promise I’ll be good.

So, this is why my parents were so frustrated when my brother tore the heads off Barbies or we lost our sweatshirts at school. Dog beds ain’t cheap, folks. This will be the last new one he gets for a while. Here’s to hoping he grows out of this teenage rebellious stage soon. I’d like my sweet boy back.


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