Perhaps you’ve missed me.

Yup.  So have I.

I really won’t go into a great deal of detail to explain or justify my absence, as it’s immaterial.  Just know that the absence has been widespread.  The absence has been so ubiquitous that I’ve even locked people out on Lotus Notes Sametime at the auxiliary offices.

In the last few weeks, among other events not worth a mention, I’ve fended off idiotic attacks on this very website in which spammers would copy previously posted comments into what would serve as their own comment.  Outside of providing a link to their own blog or website, I can only fathom what these “headspace for rent” idgits had in mind when they put their lack of creativity on display for the whole world to see.  At the very least, I became motivated to teach the dogs a new trick after this group of malcontents hit the organization repeatedly one day last week.

So what’s happening?

I’ll tell you what’s happening.  Things around the organization here had gotten a little depressing.  The Board of Directors had practically given up all faith and hope that Faith and Hope (aka TreadMill & the Pit) would ever achieve a state of nirvana with being left here at the compound alone.  To be completely honest with you, I’m still pretty sure they were planning a dog slobber laden coup.

Naturally, you may be wondering how I knew they had something in the works.  As the father of a couple teenagers, I can tell you that I’ve developed an ability to read certain behavior and figure out what’s going on.  The dogs had been exhibiting similar behavior as of late.  My first real clue revealed itself when I witnessed the two divas synchronizing their activities out in the back yard.  Once I realized what was going on, it didn’t take a whole lot of rocket science to smack my spacious forehead with an open palm.

Once the sting went away, I assembled the puzzle pieces the dogs had been throwing around.  Couch cushions were indiscriminately left lying around showing visible signs of physical torture.  An assault on the TharpSter economy was levied against no less than four AT&T U-verse remotes which were unable to withstand the stress and strain of the Pit Bull bite strength.  Baked goods had been pulled off of countertops.  The external perimeter of the compound had been breached so as to provide no viable containment.  Recent thunderstorms inspired them to make Headquarters resemble that of a bloody crime scene thanks to the aid of aluminum blinds.  One morning, we woke to find what had obviously been a high stakes poker game on the floor of the master suite.  Following their standard paradigm, the divas left their cards and poker chips lying around without bothering to put them away.  I’m not sure which one won, however she managed to bluff her opponent’s aces over eights with a lousy pair of twos.

With the signs screaming imminent threat, the Board of Directors convened an emergency meeting in order to prepare a defense for whatever battle plans lay ahead.  The first move was an obvious one; get the Pit Bull into obedience training.  This was probably something we should have done in January when she joined the organization.  Four weeks into class, I’m proud to say that she will sit, and lay down based on a hand signal.  She will also walk on a leash with you without the benefit of dislocating your arm.  Her co-conspirator is a little more stubborn in taking on some of the lessons which have been taught, however the guy on the other end of the leash is more stubborn and intent on getting his own way.

Step two came by way of stopping the brindle diva from chewing on things like my day planner, our remote controls, my headphones, the couch, the kitchen chairs, and TharpSter footwear.  That one came easier than expected with one simple word.  “Yuck.”

All together,now.


NaturVet Bitter Yuck! is a spray which can be applied to about anything to keep the household varmints from chewing on your stuff.  It was recommended to us by the dog trainer who had no shame in telling us that she had tried the product herself.

It works.

We sprayed it on the couch, the throw pillows, assorted stuffed animals, base boards around the doors, and even as you guessed it, the remote control.  As a result, none of the listed items have been subjected to the TharpSter.Org Pit Bull Bite Strength.  Keep in mind here that the owner of said bite strength has been known to take part in coprophagia.  Just sayin’.

Perhaps the real coup de gras on the part of the Board of Directors in putting down a perceived rebellion was the decision to enhance containment.  Concrete under the fence?  No way.  Razor wire on top of the fence?  Perish the thought.  Virtual moat?  You betcha.

Divas at the front door

That’s right people.  We put in an invisible fence around the perimeter of the compound.  By doing so, the divas are forbidden to get within a foot of the fence in back without getting a static correction from their collars.  If they get out the front door, they can only get half way into the front yard before encountering the same consequence.  The real thing we have to make sure of now is that the crasher squirrel doesn’t figure out the frequency of the collars and mess with the dogs with its own little device.   I wouldn’t put it past him.

So look at that.  The four legged creatures around here are starting to follow instructions.  The couch is recovering, yucky as it may taste.  My membership in the “Remote of the Week” club has been cancelled.  We’ve got a couple of dogs who don’t feel compelled to run off at the first site of an escape route.  At this point, I’m left to other doggy related hobbies which don’t involve the replacement of fence slats and the pouring of concrete.

I’m thinking about photography.

Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

7 thoughts on “Yuck

  1. We have one of those PetSafe fences around our yard and it’s awesome! The next thing you might try is kennel training. Some people think kennels are cruel (I used to be one of those people), but they really aren’t as long as you don’t leave the dogs in them for more than 4 – 5 hours. After the dogs are kennel trained, you will find they actually like their kennels and feel safe in them. Our dogs love there kennels and run to them at bedtime. It also helps b/c they get a treat everytime I put them in. Give it a try, I know you won’t be disappointed 😉

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