Ah, freedom. I have just gotten to the point where my kids sleep through the night. This is the first time since, oh, 2004 that I have had the luxury of sleeping in every once in a while. My son is just about potty trained and I was looking forward to a life free from diapers, with a tad bit more independence.
Then I got a puppy. Oy.
I haven’t raised a puppy since, oh, the early 80s. My parents got a Lhasa-something-or-other from a neighbor, which we had for 15 years and did just about everything wrong if you want a well adjusted dog. We never had her trained. She hated kids. She was food aggressive and allergic and peed in the house till the day she died. We fed her Gravy Train. And although some of the early details are fuzzy, I do remember those first few bleary eyed weeks sleeping in the living room so she wouldn’t whine (yes, that task got assigned to the youngest kid in the house. Of course.)
When my husband surprised me with Brody, my first reaction was “OMGSQUEEPUPPY!!!!!” but I will admit there was a teeny part of me that whispered, “Oh my god, a puppy.” Adopting adult dogs has been my modus operandi my entire adult life. Don’t get me wrong, I love puppies, but I get to see them every day- biting, peeing, wiggly little maniacs that they are. I see parents covered in scars and black eyes from their unruly charges, hear the stories about the challenges of raising a puppy well. The owners are always tired.
And now I am one of those exhausted owners, getting yet another lesson in humble pie. How often have I said, “Oh, you just have to watch them every second! They’ll figure it out as long as you are consistent,” to puppy owners. Now I have a roll of paper towels, a box of treats, and a handy array of curses at the ready as I scoff at the recent report that Goldens are the fourth smartest breed. Ha!
I just had an owner brag that her nine week old Yorkie is housetrained and goes 4 hours at a time without needing to go outside, and Brody still sneaks a pee every half hour if I’m not paying attention. Well, even if I am paying attention, eyes glued to him while he sits 4 feet away in an exercise pen. He doesn’t seem to care. He likes the positive reinforcement he gets when he goes outside, but if he goes inside, my correction doesn’t seem to bother him a bit. He looks at me like, what? It’s cold out there. Then he continues to go until I physically pick him up.
You talkin to me?
Why would anyone want to put themselves through puppyhood?
He eats whatever he can get his jaws on.
He has terrible puppy manners.
He likes to chew on sprinkler heads and lay in water dishes. Yes, you.
He’s a downright pain in the butt.
Why, oh why would anyone want to put up with all that?
Puppy dog eyes. That’s why.