What do you do with a disobedient dog that weighs at least 60 pounds and thinks he’s a little poodle?!
Meet Oliver; a ten-month old Ridgeback/Fila mix that looks like a Shetland pony but thinks he can still hop on your lap for a cuddle! When we first got him, he was barely 8 weeks old and the cutest little thing with sad dark grey puppy eyes that later turned to an even sadder ‘please-love-me-no-matter-what-I-do’ chocolate brown color.
I’m more of a ‘stuffed dog’ variety kind of dog lover but after much begging and negotiating, my daughter managed to overrule my no-dog policy and showed up with Oliver one day. Ridgebacks are known to be fiercely loyal to their owners and this little guy is no exception. Since my daughter was the one who picked him from the litter, the two were inseparable from the get go. My bond with Ollie took a bit longer to form; no matter how I tried, the dog simply did not like or trust me (He probably found out about my fondness for stuffed dogs…). He would start to growl and back up as soon as I even looked in his direction. He didn’t even want my snack offering; he would circle around me suspiciously, bark at me as if saying: LET GO OF THAT SNACK BUDDY! And back away again. I took it personal so, charming Oliver became my new mission in life…the dog must love me!
Three weeks of cajoling and lots of snacks later, Oliver and I finally reached a truce; I’m probably still not his favorite aunty, but tolerable enough for him to gleefully accept my rubbing of his belly and of course, all the extra snacks too.
Forward 8 months and adorable little Ollie has turned into: Gigantor-Destroyer Oliver! He’s the almighty ruler of our front and back yard, conducting his own Frankensteinish gardening experiments while also enforcing a ban on the premises for all lizard and bird species. Walking outside the house is at your own risk as odds are 9 to 1 that you will get bulldozered by an overzealous rhino barreling towards you at full speed just to say hello!
My beautiful flower beds have been reduced to unrecognizable little stumps and even the large palm tree has had to bow to the powers of Oligator…he peeled it like a banana! We tried all types of deterrent sprays and watched dozens of YouTube dog-training videos but to no avail…Oliver is the king of the yard…or at least he was, until…he barked up the wrong tree and bumped into…a swarm of wasps!
I’ve never seen Oliver so submissive…Maybe I should wear a wasp costume when attempting to train him!