ahhh…copper’s story

Posted: March 11, 2010 at 10:26 pm

i will try to keep it short cuz it spans 10 years that i have known him. i brought him home to housetrain at 5 months old…he was originally a puppymill pup bought in a petstore who was dumped at a rescue i volunteered with when he proved to be a housetraining moron. i spent months trying to housetrain him, i thought i was pretty good at it but copper proved me a failure. i finally sought out the advice of a well known and highly recomended trainer. she told me to put him in a crate and not let him out except to go outside to pee. i tried it but not only did he just pee out the wire door of his crate (this kept him nice and dry inside) but he also started his relentless beagle in want very loud wooddling. i contacted the trainer again, and she said every time he made a sound to roll his crate with him inside it upside down. that is when i realized she was stupider than me.

anyway, one of my daughters wanted him to be her dog, so i said ok but i never took him off the website for adoption, i guess i knew what was going to happen….she immediately began to ignore him… totally. i finally got him housetrained at 8 and a half months old (i just left the back door open….duh!) and the first of many perfect families asked to adopt him when they saw his picture on petfinder cuz he was too freaking cute. they were a better home for him than we were…i was busy with rescue and copper needed a real home. these guys were great…they had one ADDH son, one son with autism and a third son with allergies but for some reason he wasn’t allergic to copper. this home was busy..it was in constant happy boy chaos..copper was in his absolute glory…three little kids who he could get into all kinds of trouble with. the boys adored him..the mom treated him just like another busy body…everyone was really happy…for 18 months, then he came back. copper perfected his escaping routine with them, he was forever getting out and it was not their fault…copper spent years afterwards escaping successfully from me too, he was a born natural at it.. anyway…it totally stressed mom out…she just could not face one day telling her boys that their best-est beagle friend was dead on the road.

so back he came, no worse for wear, he was happy to see us and he was happy to see his friend tyra. copper at this point was still housetrained, but the escaping was a huge issue. plus in living with little boys, he learned really well..how to steal food. so copper the escape artist and big time thief was then adopted to a beagle family..they had a middle aged beagle and she was a bit of a handful too, they had had her since puppyhood and stood right by her.. ahh yes..a good family who understood the breed. that home lasted 6 months…when they brought him back, they left their older beagle with me too…two busy beagles apparently broke the camels back and they were done with them both. the female beagle was not housetrained, i think she was around nine years old…and now copper was no longer housetrained either…oh great…a peeing, thieving, escaping beagle…each year he just got better and better. a couple of weeks later… the family felt guilty and came back for their older girl but they left copper with me.

copper’s next home was full of kids again. i really liked the parents, great sense of humour…copper and his interesting ways were going to be alot of fun…they really liked his deep throat trick even if it was kind of gross. but copper had too many homes, plus he was spoiled rotten….he developed separation anxiety and he would woodle and scream if left alone until he actually ended up with laryngitis. the family could not stand to see him so unhappy and they took him everywhere with them…including to the movies where he waited for them in the car. this just reinforced his having a fit. the few times he was left at home and he ended up with laryngitis, really upset them..they were too soft and did not see what a blessing a quiet, voiceless beagle was! and they too brought him back after a year, the whole family crying and carrying on….copper apparently broke their hearts.

and now copper peed in the house, broke out of inescapable backyards, darted out opening front doors, stole food off of counters, out of cupboards, opened fridges, dumped out garbages, grabbed sandwhiches out unwary hands and screamed his freaking head off for hours at a time if he did not get what he wanted.

the last home had a very old beagle, who was actively dying. mom stayed at home. copper was to be the friend and the eventual replacement beagle to help them thru their loss. they put up with all of his shit…they loved him dearly. after their old dog died, they went away on holidays and copper came back to me for a visit..and they never came back for him when they got home. once they were away from him for awhile they realized he drove them nutz. they enjoyed the peace and quiet of no copper and after 8 months there…copper had his very last chance.

i felt sorry for the little bugger, losing home after home. we maybe were not the best home for him but the good ones that should have worked out…. all ran away.

so copper became a permanent sanctuary dog…and for the last 5 years, i have tried to outsmart him….i fixed the escaping thing, i fixed the food thievery, i tolerated the noise that he makes when he wants his way and i won’t give in and i tolerate him lifting his leg and peeing whenever he is mad at me because he didn’t win…i gave a little..he gave a little…we hit a middle ground that was ok.

when lynne asked to foster him..i did not want to..i had already decided years ago that copper was stuck with me for life….he was safe..he was happy…he had a good life. but then i felt bad, here i was denying him a chance at a home who not only knew him but loved him too..so copper got what he wanted and moved in with lynne last year.

but copper is copper, he is a sociopath…he has no conception of right or wrong, good or bad, safe or dangerous…he just does what he wants, which is exactly why he almost killed himself this week.. he is a selfish, determined, gluttonous, fat little pain in the ass who never thinks.

sigh..i have always loved him just because of that and over the years i learned how to think for him…which is just what he needs.

6 Comments on "ahhh…copper’s story"

  • Virginia says

    He sounds like a little dog who’s motto is “never give up” even if the “never give up” is unrelentless challenging. It sounds like for the first time in his life with you and Lynne he’s experienced love (love does mean taking the good with the sometimes overwhelmingly bad as I know you know, but many people don’t), stability and management. I have a cocker right now as a foster that was on the same blinking treadmill as Copper. 18 months ago at 2 years old his third family were going to euthanize him for his antics, mainly biting though. Even though I say so myself, it’s been a long road, but today he is a different dog. Does he still need to be managed? You’re darn right and even now I don’t know if he’s ever going to leave my home. Nevertheless, I don’t know Copper, but I’d love to see him spend the rest of whatever time he has with you or Lynne. Maybe one day “the light will flicker” and he’ll finally settle down and say, “Hey! Thanks guys…I know I’m home at last.” and you and Lynne will both have reason to smile, because you’ll know in your hearts that you never gave up!

  • Carol says

    i actually do believe that copper has always felt well loved..here or out in his other families…he is completely lovable..the problem is the level of outsmarting that is continually required..it is exhausting until you finally pull out all of the stops and remove all and any opportunity…and that is really hard in a normal home and family….so it becomes a cycle…copper finds opportunities here and there, he is successful and seeks out more..his families find loving him is like having to run a lock down high security facility to keep him out of trouble..having lived with him for over ten years…i well remember the heart stopping trauma of copper til we got here when the set up of the dog rooms and main dog yard were designed specifically around him and the trouble he could get into. he perfected that innocent and sweet beagle look in order to lull his humans into letting down their guard…sigh, he is a con artist thru and thru….one day, i just stopped being conned and laid down the law.

    here is one of my favorite copper stories…..

    i came home from work one day (this was when we still lived in a normal family house.) my nieghbor was in her front yard gardening…i stopped to say hello. she said she had a great afternoon with copper out helping her…then she looked around and said…where is he, he was just here a minute ago?

    yeah, where was he? so i went in the house…and copper was laying upside down on the couch with his belly in full view, apparently sound asleep.

    ok, you little bastard, not fooled. so i went outside and started walking the fence line, pushing on every single board because copper was famous for working on them when no one was looking til he made himself a swinging, but not obvious fence dog door.

    copper came out and sat in the middle of the yard watching me. i found his swinging door and nailed it up again. he looked at me with resigned disappointent and went back to the couch to sulk.

    it was always a contest, he would find a way out and i would block his escape route but the pretending he was being a good boy at home on the couch and running back thru his escape hole when he heard my car returning home took us to another whole interesting level of trying to outsmart each other.

    clever boy.
    he is the first and only dog i have ever known who transcended simply highly opportunistic and moved up into true deviousness.

  • Mo says

    I have a funny Copper story too… most likely everyone does, that dog has so much character & humour and the softest brown eyes… who knew behind those doe like eyes, lies the mind of a master manipulator with the unique ability to create his own opportunities . Positive vibes & thoughts going out to him today. Come home Copper there is stil lots more for you to do.

    PS – I am trying hard not to drive you insane asking about Gwen.. but how is she & how was her 1st night back ?

  • laura says

    Wow after that life span of stories I believe Copper’s true last name is Hine. Whatever decision is made will be one out of a deep unconditional love. BIG HUGS to you Copper.

  • Virginia says

    ha ha..that is so cute it is charming. Sounds like Tux (my foster cocker) and Copper are two peas in pod, except maybe for the biting. Want another one…lol?

    Here’s a Tux story:

    When Tux first came to my house he laid claim to anything and everything and his way to keeping it was to bite you hard. First lesson was the couch is not yours! I had a crate for him in the kitchen at that time with a nice cushion, as I couldn’t trust him alone with my dogs when I was out. About four days in to my fostering him, I was on the phone and Tux went into my living room and jumped on the couch. When I went to get him off, he grumbled like a very disconcerted old man as he crossed my living room in the “trot” that only cockers have and went back into the kitchen. I was still on the phone but watched him as he grumbled and growled tugging away at the cushion in his crate, boy was he mad, until he finally got it out. Being much bigger than him, he grabbed the cushion by the corner and proceeded at a trot back into my living room dragging it along the way. I was explaining to the other party on the phone what all the complaining was about, then all went quite so I decided to see what was going on in my living room. Yes, there he was proud as punch, he had dragged the cushion onto my couch and was contently laying on it like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

    Tux was so full of deviant behaviours that we gave him a second name…when he’s a good boy we refer to him as Tux, when he’s bad and demonstrating his alter ego we call him Chuckie and he answers to both. I love him to bits though just like you love Copper, and for all that he is he somehow manages to do something that brings a smile to my face everyday. For anyone reading this, Tux now understands bite inhibition and I am pleased to say we don’t have the problem of biting anymore.

  • Liana says

    I think that is so cool. Not many people can allow someone to just be themselves,let alone a dog.

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