Confessions of a New Puppy Owner
There comes a time in everybody’s life when we get bored. It is the same old routine, day in, day out. We used to be challenged, but we no longer are. We need something new in our life, a new thrill. This powerful feeling drives otherwise sensible men and women to do all kinds of wild and crazy things, such as divorcing your spouse of twenty years and marrying someone old enough to be your daughter, joining a cult, moving across country, drastically changing careers, or buying a red sports car.
In my case, I went out and got a puppy.
Don’t get me wrong, I had solid reasons for getting a dog. (Heck, I always have solid reasons for anything I do!) To name a few:
1) ChinchillaBoy really, really wanted a dog since pretty much the day he was born.
2) I was slowly coming to realize that, in another couple of years, ChinchillaBoy will be a teenager and will want to have nothing to do with me, therefore, I wanted a companion.
3) With both kids over 10, I suddenly found a lot of free time on my hands, and developed very sloppy time management habits. I have taken to cooking elaborate meals and then eating three helpings for dinner; laying on the couch with a good book for hours; or watching reruns of my favorite shows until I passed out. I also started spending an unbelievable amount of time on my favorite Internet forum, as well as in the blogosphere. I was losing shape, gaining weight, and had no motivation whatsoever to start working out. My reasoning was that the dog would force me to get my ass of the couch and start moving.
4) Our current pet (Nicky the chinchilla) was boring as heck.
So, on April 6th, we became proud owners of a 3.5-month old male Sheltie. We named the dog Sparky. Our other choices included Courage, Scooby, and I was at one point considering the name Brian. This should tell you that we watch entirely too much TV.
“So, Goldie, what happened to your goals?” – you ask. – “Did it work out as planned?”
You bet your ass it did! Here’s a brief overview:
1) ChinchillaBoy loves the dog. What he doesn’t love is the amount of work the dog has created for everyone in the family, but mainly him, because he’s the one that wanted the doggy in the first place. (He was actually the one that picked the breed. Bless your heart, ChinchillaBoy – I shudder to think what would happen, had we got a mastiff like I wanted.) He’s so tired, he passes out cold at 10 PM where before he wouldn’t even consider going to bed before midnight. That, of course, is on weekends. On school days, he passes out cold before it’s even 9.
2) I got myself a companion that demands 100% of my free time and then some more. Some days I forget that there are other kids in the house. A few days in a row, I forgot to feed LilProgrammer. Fortunately he’s a big boy who knows how to raid the fridge.
This is totally like taking care of a baby. You get up at some ungodly hour like four or five in the morning, thinking how much you will get done today since you got such an early start. Next thing you know, it’s seven PM and you’re still in your pajamas and you haven’t showered yet, and nothing got done because you spent all day playing with the dang
3) My time-management skills have definitely improved. Too bad there’s no actual time in which to do anything. Take, for example, my cooking. Remember those recipes I posted? That is a thing of the past. These days, an average dinner recipe in the Goldie household would look something like this:
1. Wait until the dog is not underfoot.
2. Very quickly, open the fridge.
3. Use your left foot to hold the fridge door open. Use your right foot to shove the dog from underfoot, where he has just magically appeared.
4. Very quickly grab a medium-sized something from the fridge.
5. Keeping the something away from the dog, place it on the kitchen counter.
6. Shove the dog away from the fridge so as not to hit him by the fridge door.
7. Very quickly close fridge.
8. Chop up the something. Warm in the microwave if needed. Serve.
(makes 4 servings)
So much for the cooking. Working out? HA HA! Good one! Oh, and as for the weight? I’m still gaining it, because I don’t get enough sleep and that always causes me to gain, plus I have no time to work out to work the weight off. I thought I’d be taking nice long walks with the dog, but it turns out puppies cannot walk far. Last weekend ChinchillaBoy and I did take a nice long walk and we took turns carrying the puppy. It’s like a walk with weights. Now that was a decent workout!
4) I will tell you about the chinchilla later. For now, I’ll just say that Nicky is slowly coming around, and has started to eat and drink again.
“So, Goldie,” you say, “is it that bad? Hasn’t anything good come out of this at all?” Sure, of course it has! For example:
1) I had never before realized how supportive my family is. Everyone, and I mean everyone, helps me with the puppy. Had I received this much support and help with my babies, I’d probably have gone and had more kids and would be even more exhausted than I am right now.
2) The puppy is adorable. He’s cute, he’s smart, he’s loyal and cuddly. Finally, after two not-so-perfect kids, I got myself a perfect dog!
3) I really did get better at managing my time. Hope this sticks after the dog gets older.
4) My parents have finally stopped babying ChinchillaBoy (long story...) and started babying the puppy.
5) ChinchillaBoy is no longer the baby in the family and is learning to care about another creature. This morning, the creature woke him up at seven AM (he’s on spring break so could technically sleep till noon) and demanded that ChinchillaBoy play with him. I think he is acquiring some very good skills that will come in handy if he ever decides to have his own kids, or pets.
6) I realized that I should never, ever, under any circumstances, have any more kids or pets. I just cannot handle it anymore.
So this, in a nutshell, is why I haven’t been around lately, either writing on this blog or reading you guys. I hope you understand.
(This is dog speak for “have a good day”.)