Meet the pups – Travis

Travis was our “first born”. We bought him on a semi-whim one Sunday morning the first summer Jon and I lived together.  Travis is a full size Yorkshire Terrier that was supposed to gow to be about 8 pounds and ended up being 18 (he’s not fat either!).


 
He was a ridiculously cute puppy and we couldn’t get enough of him.

But our little “teddy bear” was turning out to be a cute little nightmare.

 
Sure he looked cuddly and cute and it’s hard to see past that snuggle-bunny, but he was trouble.  At first, we didn’t notice.  He would steal a sock here and there, but nothing bad had happened.  Jon and I puppy-proofed the apartment as if we brought home a crawling toddler, but he still managed to get into trouble.  Between his sensitive stomach, which meant cleaning up the kitchen floor/bedroom rugs/hallway rugs of poop (there was so much poop! how could such a little critter have so much poop!), and his need to constantly chew things, which meant Jon and I had to give up our deposit when we moved because he ate (chewed up and swallowed) 20% of our wall-to-wall carpet, he was a bundle of cute hell. On top of it all, Travis was smart.  
One night I was trying to fall asleep when I heard something scratching on the floor where Travis was sleeping.  I looked over and saw that he was digging in the rug by the bed.  I very firmly (I watched and read a lot about dog training) told him “no” and laid back down.  A couple of minutes later I heard the scratching again.  I turned on the lights and looked over at Travis, but he was just laying there, sleeping.  I thought I must have heard something outside, so I laid back down.  Minutes later, the scratching started up again.  I looked over, but Travis appeared to be sleeping.  I was so confused.  So this time when I laid back down, I kept an eye out on the mirror that reflected the bed and therefore Travis.  I pretended to be asleep and waited.  Sure enough, minutes later, Travis starts digging again.  I popped my head up and he laid down quickly, closing his eyes.  My 5 months old puppy was trying to trick me!

Then we ran into some real trouble.  We decided to neuter Travis at 6 months.  This was a very important decision that would promote good health for the puppy since we did not intend to breed or show him.  When I went in for a consult, the vet told me that Travis might also become more calm, less mischievous, and should stop his newly developed want to hump almost everything that wasn’t nailed down.  
 
So Travis went under the knife.  When everything was over and Trav fully recovered, we were happy to notice that Travis was completely himself.  He was just as happy-go-lucky as he was before the surgery.  Oh and he was still just as mischievous and humped everything in sight.   The humping itself wouldn’t be so bad, really, if it wasn’t for what happened after.  Once Travis attempted to mate with his object of choice (teddy bear, bathroom towel, a rug, a pillow) and found out that he was unsuccessful, he would tear it into pieces.  Over the past 5 or so years, Jon and I have thrown out countless number of rugs, pillows, towels, dog beds, throws, sheets, blankets, and the list goes on.  
Aside from the terrible consequences, the act itself was rather funny.  Travis would walk up to something, for example his favorite subject – Pooh Bear (a stuffed teddy bear the same size as Travis), and give it “the eye.”  He would parade past the bear, turning back once or twice and giving it “the eye.”  Then he would begin to circle.  The circling would continue until Travis saw a sign from the stuffed bear that it was “go” time.  He would begin to slowly close in on his circles and and climb on top of the bear.  Then he would do the deed.  At this point, Jon’s favorite activity was to get right into Travis’ face and scare him off.  Now that I think about it, this might have something to do with Travis being so frustrated.  Poor Travis – maybe tonight I will let him sleep with some extra blankets.  Not the good ones, of course.

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