Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Puppy Person...Or not.

There's a reason for the signs on various rooms around our house: Keep the door closed at all times. When we first got our puppy, I didn't want there to be any accidents in the bedroom and the bathroom. It worked most of the time, but we forget and the animals can't read...hence, an accident or two. I personally think our puppy should know better by now because she's not winning any brownie points behaving the way she does. She's such a high energy little spitfire. It's not the chewing of the couch that gets me mad. It's not the shredding of various stuffed animals. And it's not even the occasional accident. Those are expected puppy things. Instead, it's the cold nose on the back of your neck when you're sitting on the couch; the nipping and sniffing at your toes when you step out of the shower ("Omg, omg, water!? Must lick, must lick!"); it's the constant terrorizing of our cat; the endless fight for domination while she jumps, humps, and attacks the poor thing. My family never had a dog growing up, so I was nervous about bringing one into our home. How do you train it? How much exercise does it need? How much is too much food? Are you supposed to be nice or strict? Why do they smell? Why do they bark all the time? Is it really okay to let them sleep in your bed? Give me 10 minutes and I could tell you how to manage a room of 8 babies - no problem. But dogs? They are so out of my league. Regardless, I was determined to be a dog person.

As it turns out, I fell in love with her the moment my husband brought her home. She was definitely adorable. And she's really good with our daughter. (So okay, maybe she gains a brownie few points for that...) I watched how other people behave with her and tried to imitate. Kila is a little obnoxious whenever she greets someone, and it doesn't work trying to tell her to be calm. But my Mom is seriously the best with her. She gets down on the floor and lets Kila jump into her arms, lick her face, spazz out for a few minutes, all while she revs the dog up with cute, excited puppy talk. Not even 30 seconds later, Kila is calm and off to chew on her bone. "Thank you for loving me!" she seems to say. My dad's a little different; I'm not sure if he even knows her name, to be honest. He has called her "Skippy" from day one. But she listens to him.

So I tried to be like other all excited to see the puppy and act really fun. I did, seriously, try. One thing we agreed on when we decided to bring a dog into our family, was that the dog would be everyone's. Not my husband's, not my daughter's, not mine - but everyone's. And it's good that the training/discipline/cuddles are spread out...because she's a challenge. Don't get me wrong...she can be really cute sometimes. But...she drives us crazy.

Here, I captured the craziness of her game: get the ping pong ball IN the couch,
and then make a fool of yourself trying to get it OUT.

So there it is. I'll admit it - she drives me crazy! Some people openly admit they don't like kids and would never want one. Honestly, give me another child any day. I love and want to take care of Little Olive - it's just natural for me. Whatever she does, I can forgive her. Like today...she followed me into the bathroom and, without any warning, happily tossed my iPod into the toilet. Had it been the puppy, I would have chased her around the house with a clothes basket and made her sit under it for a little while and think about what she'd just done. (No, I have never done that...)

But in my shocked state, I just stood there. And before I could say anything, Little Olive beat me to it by pointing and saying, "No, no!" She's got that down. She knows what she did. But now she needs to learn how to read. Those signs on the door are there for a reason!


i.ikeda said...

Oh my goodness, that is such a cute Malley story, ahahahahahahaha. :)

And it's absolutely ok not to be a dog-person, not everyone is. I know you're not going to mistreat your puppy, even if you're not crazy in love with her. And she will probably mellow out as she gets (much) older and then it's so much easier. Good luck!

Kiera said...

dude this is sooo funny!!!! i was laughing out loud. for a million reasons. and i may have shed a tear when i read about your IPOD. WHAT?!!? WHAT?!?! WHAT??!? no no. my kid would've been under a basket in a closet in korea so she could sit and think what she did. and if peppy did that, he would've lost his life via laundry basket immediately. So he could ponder what he did, of course. dogs are so hard, because even though i HATE peppy, I love him too. The days cory brings him for a walk are the days when he's calmest. don't know if that's stupid advice or not, but just sayin'.

chefpelsor said...

Puppies are so tough, it's hard to be a puppy person. They're great in small doses, but they get to be draining. They advance through stages so much faster than kids and their physical advancements come so much faster than their intellectual ones. You've got a high energy, likely very smart pup on your hands, so she'll take so much more work (LOTS of consistent and dedicated training) BUT when you've done that you'll be SO rewarded for it (and like you said, he's wonderful with Malley!). But yeah, curiosity and craziness mixed with sharp teeth and four fast little legs= craziness for a while. When she hits 1.5 years (though sometimes it takes until about 2 or 3), she'll be so much easier. :)