Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Dog Ate My Blog is that "writing every day" thing working out for you?

The truth is, I have not written anything longer than a status update since January 3. Part of it has been the mistake of thinking that inspiration needs to precede action. Part of it has been the unwillingness to be bossed around, even by myself. Probably the biggest part has been that I've just been very depressed.

And then there's the dog.

On January 6, we adopted the lovely Juno Xenia from our local shelter. She's a black lab mix, lean and elegant and glossy, something like a canine Audrey Hepburn. If Audrey Hepburn wanted constant belly rubs, had massive separation anxiety, and was afraid to pee in the yard (thank you, electric fence).

I knew having a dog was going to be a lot of work. We'd been thinking about it for a year. We read, talked, and studied about it beforehand (although apparently not enough). I had a rosy vision--we would whisk our raggedy pup away from the gloom of the dog version of a Dickensian orphanage. She would be our pet therapy, entree into society (everybody stops to talk to you when you're walking a dog) and beloved baby. I had ulterior motives: I figured if something happened to me, she would either stick around to comfort the family, or race through the Pearly Gates first to greet me on the other side. That happens more often than you think.

But it's been more of an adjustment than any of us anticipated, and by "any of us," I mean, "me." Her separation anxiety makes it hard to leave her. She won't go into a crate, at least not willingly, and she will not stay there. She has her comfy bed, her food bowls, and a full length mirror in our master bath, so that is where we imprison leave her when we do go out. But it's an increasing pain in the ass to get her in there, because she now knows what it means.

Then there's the whole pee in the yard thing. She got zapped by the electric fence and now she will barely go in the yard, much less do her business there. I suppose if I got a shock when I sat down on the can, I'd be a little reluctant to go there, too. Fortunately, she knows that when we go through the garage, get into the car, and pull out on the street, she has made it safely across the barrier and can pee and poop with abandon. So every time I want to get her to go, or even just to exercise her, it's like smuggling the damn Von Trapp family across the border into Switzerland. If the Von Trapps had muddy paws and liked shitting on their neighbor's lawn. Which, if their neighbors were Nazis, I couldn't blame them for. But I digress.

So it has been a little bit of an adjustment here. Juno is 90% delightful, but the other 10% is kicking my ass. I am trying to remember when my son was three weeks old, and I was trying to nurse him. He chomped down on his food source, which happened to be attached to me, from the corner of his mouth. Picture Popeye with his pipe. Then he swung his head back and forth. Picture a dog trying to rip open the corner of a garbage bag. It hurt. I looked down at that tiny, precious being, and hissed, "Why do you hate me?"

Of course, he didn't. And things got better--he now eats much more tidily and efficiently, although I literally no longer have skin in the game. I can only hope things will get better with Juno, too.

1 comment:

  1. Our Great Dane, Holy Moly, was diagnosed as aggressive with insecurity problems. She bit the trainer when we went to see her for the first time. I thought I would cry. She still tries to bite people when they try to pet her (our daughter made signs to put on all our doors: Please ignore the big dog for her sake and yours. Which is difficult to do when she's 140# and staring you in the face).

    Once, she ate a whole tennis ball and then threw it up 3 weeks later. At 3 a.m. (of course). Our last vacation her stomach turned and ended up being hospitalized. They couldn't get ahold of us and we returned to a sick dog and a $2100 vet bill. She's bossy, a nuisance, and has cost us way to much money.

    I love her.

    But I do feel your pain. I would highly, highly recommend a dog trainer. I swear it's the only way we ended up keeping this dog.

    And, you ALWAYS make me laugh. What a gift you have. :)