Monday, November 19, 2012

Puppy Love

Does this angle make her nose look big?
Wow.. so NaBloPoMo kinda got wiped off the map by this beautiful little girl. The Boy and I puppysat for the weekend in order to give his family a chance to head down to the 'states for some retail therapy. As an added bonus, they threw in their canary for free (which strangely did not make a sound the whole weekend.. i think we broke him. Or we're about to die of miner's lung). It was a bit of an eye-opener to be sure. As I said previously, I've never owned a pet so I was nervous about taking care of another living thing. I routinely kill African violets so something with a beating heart was a challenge I wasn't sure I was up to.

I'm happy to report that Suzy is alive and well with only a minimal amount of trauma. She insists on going on a hunger strike as soon as she's separated from the alpha leaders of her pack and this trip was no different. She managed not to eat for 48 hours after she arrived - of course this does not include human food or after-walk treats, which are exempt from the laws of hunger strikes*. I tricked her by putting a half-teaspoon of Manwich over her kibble which lead to her eventually eating the whole bowl. As The Boy pointed out, though "that's not a trick - that's straight-up bribery"

Suzy girl getting some sweet air
Some things were easy - we were able to sleep in the same room as soon as I removed her collar**, I managed to find time to walk her in the morning before work (explain to me how I can be late for work with no dog but early with one. EXPLAIN!) and she managed to wait until juuuust before she left to drag her ass on the carpet. Harder was having to leave the house when you couldn't give her a walk- she'd just get so excited and jumpy and tail-waggy and then you have to explain, "no, Suzy, I'm going to get groceries. Groceries. Not a walk. Oh god, now I said the word walk. Settle down! DOWN! ENOUGH! AHHHH, FINE, ONE WALK!" Also she still manages to pee when she's super nervous which, for some reason, means whenever my dad shows up. Even though he's her best chance for getting a 1 hour+ pet. And, most telling, I realized that taking care of a dog is really a team effort. The Boy and I will have to learn to communicate better if we're going to take care of something that we can't just throw in the green bin if we don't take care of it. We did pretty well, but there's a difference between loving dogs and being ready to take care of one on your own - and I'm starting to see why my mom didn't want one when we were growing up - you can love it all you want but you have to take that love and ball it up and shove it into the part of your brain that takes it to the vet and the groomer and scolds it and rewards it and trains it and walks it - and I don't know if we're (I'm) quite there yet.We have to get the house and our future sorted out a bit more yet. At the very least I should probably repair the part of the fence that's just a child's cot.

But the weekend was a success. It forced me to go outside more, I had a wonderful greeting every time I came into the house, and when we went to bed on Sunday night, I felt a sort of heaviness in my chest when I leaned down to pet her goodnight and her little dog bed wasn't there any longer.

Course you wouldn't know I felt that way when I used a whole can of Resolve and two vacuums cleaning the carpets right after she left but trust me, I miss her.

*even Gandhi was known to indulge in a pupperoni or two - sold to humans as "Slim Jims"
** aka: The Goddamn Jingle Jangle 3am Experience

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