The Dog of a Thousand Names

Ever since he first came to live here, Wylie has collected a variety of new names to suit the various facets of his personality.

A lot of the names are affectionate variations of his given name: “Wye”, “Wyler”, “Dub” (short for W) and on occasion, when he’s being nutty, “Wylizenheimer”. On more formal occasions, he’s been addressed as “Mister Wylie,” though when I find myself getting frustrated with him, instead of “Mud” his name becomes “Wylie J. Dawg.”

Other names reflect his mood, for example, when he won’t stop bouncing off the walls, he’s been referred to as “Rocket Dog.” Others make less sense, I’m still not sure how he became “Chocolate Pudding Dog”, though “You Silly Dog,” when he tripped over his own leash, is a bit more obvious.

This past week though, Wylie’s been working to earn himself a new name.

A few times in the past when Wylie’s been confined to the bedroom, he’s tried to dig his way out, resulting in a shredded carpet. I really don’t want him damaging the floors (it could be bad for both Wylie’s health and my blood pressure), so as part of Sunday’s activities, I cut up a chair mat to fit in the doorway of my bedroom.

Of course, with summer approaching, I also don’t want him to get overheated. A few weeks ago, I purchased a child-safety gate to put across the bedroom door. The idea was that this would keep Wylie in the room while at the same time, letting the air circulate. Before the floors went in, it seemed to work pretty well (aside from the time I didn’t put it up correctly and he and his buddy Riley teamed up to knock it down twice in five minutes), but now that the floors are in, I may need to rethink my strategy.

Every time I’ve left the house this week, I’ve put Wylie in the bedroom and put up the gate to keep him there. And every time I’ve come home this week, Wylie has either met me at the door or come downstairs shortly after I arrived. (What I forgot is that in Wyile’s world, there’s no such thing as a fence. Instead, Wylie’s world contains nothing more substantial than obstacles made of gossamer that he can pass through any time he so chooses.)

On Tuesday I discovered that not only had Wylie escaped from the bedroom, he’d somehow managed to open the basement door (see my previous comment about gossamer barriers) and instead of eating the food in his dish, had figured out where the milkbones were hidden and had a little picnic. (Predictably, he didn’t bother with his regular food for the next several meals.)

Thursday evening I went out to my Swing Dance class down in Glen Echo. Before I left, I put Wylie in the bedroom and closed the gate. When I came home several hours later, the basement door was open and ol’ Wylie was staring down the steps. I went upstairs to change my clothes and took Wylie out for his evening walk. When we got back, I went down the stairs to get him his evening treat. That’s when I discovered what he had been staring at.

At some point in time, Wylie seems to have decided that the cushions on my sofa are his mortal enemy, and Wylie attacks the cushions at every opportunity. While I was at my dance class, Wylie had launched another attack on his enemy. What he’d been staring at when I came home was a sofa cushion, the foam stuffing of which was scattered across the basement floor.

The latest addition to Wylie’s collection of names is therefore a recognizable classic: “Dammit Wylie!

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