Sunday, March 25, 2012

Not gonna lie, people

The puppy thing is hard.

Now trust me; I didn't think it'd be easy. And I remember a few people saying: "Take how hard you think it's gonna be and then multiply that by...a few." Which is pretty accurate. I think the thing of it is -- I'm trying hard to do this the right way, the kind way, the set-things-up-good-now-so-the-future-is-smooth way. And it's exhausting.

I can't let the dude out of my sight (I just spent a good 10 seconds trying to remember how to spell that), which is really kind of a crazy feat. And the sheer amount of times I have to take him out to prevent accidents is mind boggling. And! Even when I'm taking him out every two hours or so, he still has accidents. Whew.

He's a good, good dog though. Not a barker or a biter or a maniac. He's stubborn and he's a chewer and he sure likes to pee a lot. But he's cuddly and tough and just a pal.

Thank god for all that, because if he were chock full of crazy behaviors, I'm not sure I'd be able to roll with it. Bless the people who can, but I need a laidback softie guy. Because even he is a challenge.

But really, it'd all be in the realm of doable without the whole having-a-toddler thing. And it's still in the realm of doable, obviously, or I'd be dead/in jail/running away and not typing this with a snoozing pup on my thigh. But Harper has really been thrown for a loop by the whole thing. She's past the scared phase and the GO AWAY phase (though, of course, she still wants him to go away sometimes) and now wakes up asking for him ("George! Where are you?!") and gives him big hugs and likes when he chases her around the house. (Though doesn't like it when he gets too tired to keep going.)

She's still angry about me not being available to her 24/7. Angry that sometimes we're playing happily, all together upstairs in her room, when I notice George is scratching and sniffing and AH! Grab the pup, run downstairs, grab the leash and a treat and AH outside! Leaving little Jones in the dust, reading Corduroy and wondering where the hell mum went.

I've had to rely a bit too much on treats -- cupcakes eaten in my bed while I run him outside (sorry, cc...) and games on the iPad to keep her occupied while I'm hustling him outside or cleaning up an accident or making him eat (is this a bulldog thing? not really caring about his food?) ... We've finally gotten him used to his crate, so I can plunk him in there at different intervals while we're home or we need to take a trip to Stew's/library/pool. HJ has had at least one away-from-George trip a day to do something fun and has gotten lots of books and cuddles and even stayed up late with us eating popcorn and watching Liz Lemon the other day. No violins for this girl.

But I know it's a big change for her, to go from ZE ONLY ONE to ZE ONLY BABY plus a dog. And I also know it's good for her, good to figure out that sometimes there are curveballs and shakeups, but life goes on. That yes, mom is kind of insane right now and really tired and wearing the same sweater for 5 days and feeding you toast for dinner -- but this too shall pass. That a little crazy guy (who really isn't all that crazy even as a puppy, whew) who drives you nuts can also turn into a real buddy that loves you deeplymadly.

(This too shall pass...right?!)


  1. Clay would have knowledge about my success with puppies, but I did keep two little dachshunds safe and sound for a few years, and it was great. My friends that have trained puppies used the dog carrier (crate?) to shape behavior. George is a cutie and yes...he will be such a good pal for Harper.

  2. Anonymous8:55 AM

    All the extra work will be worth it in the end once George is trained. Also, it's a wonderful thing for a child to have a pet to love and care for.

  3. Oh man. I remember the puppy days, and not very fondly either. Q was the cutest puppy ever, and that made up for a lot of the trouble, but he was also just plain awful much of the time. We, too, had to take him out about a gazillion times a day, and since we lived on the third floor, it got a little tiring (the silver lining was the great exercise). He was a major biter, as was Matilda, who we got at the same time, and the two of us actually had to put several bandages each on our hands each night. Q also had about 6,000 trips to the emergency vet in his first year of life, which was both scary and expensive.
    I vividly remember coming home from a trip late one night and letting both of them out of their crates, and within five minutes Q had had two accidents and they were both running around in crazy circles, fighting and knocking things over left and right. J and I just sat in the middle and looked at each other, seriously regretting adopting them.
    The great news is that four years later (much earlier, really, but that's where we are now), I cannot imagine life without either of them and absolutely adore them to pieces. Most importantly, they are SO MUCH BETTER than when they were new. So since George is already a pretty nice dude, you're going to have one awesome dog on your hands.

    P.S. That picture of him is unbelievably cute!

    1. Thank you for this, girl! It's really comforting to hear how much the lil guys change and how they grow to be a real member of the fam. I'm feeling so much better today than I was a week ago... I think the more you bond and get a little schedule going, the more there's light at the end of the puppy tunnel! <3


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