Before getting Rosie, I had all these nice images in my head about what life would be like with a dog.
1. Dream: After a long day, the puppy would lay on my lap enjoying a pat and a cuddle.
Reality: Like a racing dog chasing a rabbit, Rosie thunders toward the couch, jumping onto my lap as her pointy claws scratch my legs. Despite the scratches, I’m happy to finally have a moment of lap dog so I stroke her fur. She lets me for about two seconds before she realises that my hand would be a fantastic chew toy.
2. Dream: When we’re outside in the back yard, the kids play together with Rosie, bearing the biggest grins on their faces that I’ve ever seen.
Reality: Rosie excitedly jumps up on them, accidentally clawing them in the process and makes them cry. When the kids are playing with one of their outdoor toys, Rosie steals it and runs off. Daniel cries some more.
3. Dream: A dog will protect my vegetable patch from birds and other large pests.
Reality: She chases birds away only because she notices them whilst digging big holes in the garden, pulling leaves off of my beans, and pulling out and tearing apart anything that is not already established. I even got a special plant that is supposed to deter dogs and keep them away from the garden in hopes of keeping her out. She pulled it out and tore it up.
4. Dream: Going for walks with the family would be an almost daily, fun activity, with our puppy loping along happily next to my heel.
Reality: The whole walk is spend trying to keep Rosie from tripping the kids by erratic walking/running/pulling. My arm is dead by the time we get back from my attempts to keep her on one side only and not pulling like a maniac.
5. Dream: When in a playful mood, the kids and I can have lots of fun playing fetch with the dog.
Reality: We throw the ball once and then she runs off with it. Unless we have treats, in which case she brings it back and puts it at my feet knowingly every single time.
6. Dream: We could all enjoy watching Rosie frolicking about with her numerous toys when she’s in a playful mood.
Reality: Immediately she stashes all of her toys outside and then steals whatever she can (undies, shoes, kids’ toys, cups, toilet paper rolls, etc.) to chew to pieces inside. I have lost numerous pairs of undies, a pair of pants, some of the kids’ art, pens, an expensive bra (one of only 3 that actually fit me properly), Aaron’s favourite shoes have a shoelace chewed clean off, and countless non-dog toys. At first she stole whatever was on the floor. We obviously started getting vigilant about putting things away, so now she takes things off shelves, out of laundry baskets, off tables, and off desks. Things we would be happy for her to chew up outside, like small tree branches get taken inside and chewed to bits on Daniel’s pirate lounge. The other day, she brought an earth worm inside and put it on the couch. The night after that, she brought in two snails (one without a shell by the time she got it inside), a cockroach, and a cricket. After playing with bugs to the point of death, she enjoys rolling on them to ingrain their stink into her fur.
7. Dream: Visions of leisurely morning jogs with a dog running quietly by my side filled my head.
Reality: She is practically running on two legs because I have to hold her back so much, whilst at the same time she is darting this way and that, almost taking me out with every stride. Even when I hold the leash below the handle to make it shorter, she still manages to trip me up. Sometimes she stops suddenly. The whole run is spent with my arm muscle engaged in vain attempts to keep her at only one of my sides. The other night when I took her for a run, I dropped my phone after nearly falling over her and decided walking would be the safest option. So much for our exercise.
9. Dream: Once trained, naughty behaviour would be a thing of the past. Puppies don’t know what they aren’t supposed to do until you teach them.
Reality: Rosie does know what she is not supposed to do. She just waits to do it until we’re not looking. If we catch her in the act, she runs off immediately after only a glance in her direction.
10. Dream: The backyard we worked so hard to get looking nice, with lush green grass and a cleaned up cement patio thing would look a whole lot nicer with an adorable puppy running around.
Reality: Rosie is a digger. Everyday she digs holes. As soon as we fill them in, she digs them up again, past bare earth to the point of dangerous ankle grabbing holes. Bits of stuff she steals and chews up adorn the lawn and patio. The thick plastic sheet I put on her dog crate when it’s outside is being systematically torn up each day and the little bits of chewed up plastic are strewn about on the patio, lawn, and even in the house.
She will settle down with age, right?
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Copyright 2014 Sheri Thomson