Blogs > From The Bleacher Seats

A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

That doggone Baxter

I need some dog training tips.
We rescued Baxter from a shelter more than a year ago. The good folks at the shelter had found him  unattended in a backyard in Pontiac.
Baxter is a very affectionate, loveable guy, an advertised mix of a chocolate Lab and a Weimaraner.
That was the end of the advertisement.
Nobody told us that Baxter was so food-driven that he would devour anything and everything short of a full-grown Brontosaurus or an ill-tempered Killer Whale. Or that because of his height, he would be able to put his front paws on the top of every counter and look around to assess what that day’s smorgasbord would be.
That varied menu over the past year has included an entire bag of chocolate chips, about two pounds of Christmas cookie dough, a loaf of bread, and, of course, everything else residing in the food chain that doesn’t fight back with incisors bared.
A quick story: When we went on vacation this past summer, we boarded Baxter with a woman in the neighborhood for a week. Seven days later, I had barely pulled into her driveway when she came running out of the house with Baxter in tow. He was licking his chops contentedly.
“He’s just eaten our dinner!” she exclaimed. “I had a pizza on the counter and he just devoured it. I also had a whole bowl of pasta salad that he ate!”
Needless to say, Baxter is not allowed to heed the Welcome Mat at her front door any longer.
Baxter does not just jump on counters. He also jumps on people. All who come through our door are  soon adorned with his paw prints.
Because of his boundless joy, he shares his enthusiasm for life with all. The trouble is, at 55 pounds and about 45 miles per hour, it can be like being getting greeted by Herbie the Love Bug. Only Volkswagens do not pack quite as big a punch.
We’ve tried everything; from firm verbal commands to gently swatting his fanny to using this so-called ultrasonic device that allegedly only animals can hear. Well, we cannot hear it and Baxter does not seem to hear it, either. He just keeps jumping, wagging his tail, and saying hello.
Do you know a dog trainer? Do you know a lion tamer? Please let me know ASAP. Or call me on the phone. I can be reached at 9-1-1.


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