Crackers And The Battle Of The Sweater

My 20-lb rat terrier mix Crackers can be the sweetest little pup in the world when he wants to be. He can also be a major asshole when he wants to be. When my husband and I adopted him, we thought we had this dog parenting thing figured out thanks to Miles the Jacked Russell. We were so wrong. The techniques that work with Miles absolutely don’t work with Crackers, and we had to go back to the drawing board with him. For example, we can let Miles sleep in our bed and he’ll move to the end so we can lay down too. Crackers is no longer allowed in our bed at night because he’ll plop down in the middle of the bed and growl at us if we try to move him (not a good way for us to get sleep especially when we have to work the next day). Miles can also be crated when necessary, while Crackers is terrified of the crate. If Miles gets off his leash, he won’t go far from us. If Crackers gets off his leash, he takes off full speed and makes us chase him all over the neighborhood.

The most recent battle with Crackers involves his sweater. It got pretty cold here in NC last week, so I put his sweater on him. Then it warmed up again and it also became the weekend finally. I usually give both dogs a break from their collars/harness on the weekend. When I tried to remove his sweater, Crackers nipped at me like I was trying to hurt him. A couple more attempts were also unfruitful, so I gave up for the moment. My husband tried too, and Crackers did the same thing. I think we both took it a bit personally because we’ve been his parents for over a year and he should trust us not to hurt him by now.

Later in the evening (well, early morning really, but I’m always up late), he had fallen asleep next to me on the couch and I was able to stealthily rub his belly until he was semi-awake and slip the sweater off over his head. Whew!

After that harrowing journey in dog parenthood, I don’t think I’ll be using that sweater again. I’m thinking it’s time to shop for a new one that zips up the back so it’s easier to put on and take off.

I never thought I’d see that much attitude in a little guy who weighs 20 lbs. Crackers is truly a challenge and he’s lucky he’s so damn cute because the tough times are still worth it. He can be a little asshole sometimes but I’m glad every day that we adopted him from the shelter and gave him a home. Just look at that adorable face!

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