Not Feeling the Cute

(I hope this blog post is semi-coherent--it has been a looong week.  It turns out that my younger daughter Jane's elbow isn't broken-- it's sprained--but learning this necessitated many, many hours in medical facilities waiting and waiting and waiting.  Which would have been okay if I hadn't had to rip out almost all the knitting I accomplished during that time. Then, you know, I discovered that Edward Kitty had used Jane's closet as a urinal during his last illness--which meant we had to throw a lot of stuff out and boil what could be washed.  Truly disgusting.  Coop was out of town.  I'm dieting and have spent too much of my household budget, thus I am having to resort to actually COOKING (the horror!) --and I can't stop thinking about the Haitian people--especially the parents who are looking for their lost kids. But if I think too much about that, I can't actually parent my OWN children so I just walk around with part of my brain and heart engaged elsewhere.)

(Yes, I can even BEGIN a blog post with a digression. I am gifted in that way.)

So, can we talk about our puppy for a minute?

He'll be one year old on Valentine's Day.

He is the size of a small pony.

He is destroying my house.

As he barreled into me this morning and spilled my coffee in his haste to get to me before I petted Scout (our older dog) good morning,  I realized that he just isn't as cute as he was.

It's the Kitten Theory of Childrearing, only ...well...bigger.

He's ridiculously orally fixated, he's insanely jealous of any attention paid to any other pet, he sleeps on the couches when I'm not looking, he's destroyed two area rugs, the coverings on all of our basement window wells, one external hard drive, countless towels, some flip--flops and a lot of our hardwood floors.  He's relentlessly underfoot in the kitchen, he teases the cats, he eats EVERYTHING, he will NOT let a person put her shoes on in peace and, worst of all, he runs early timewise.  No, seriously, the dog can tell time and about ten minutes before it's time to go pick up one of the girls, he will sit by the back door and whine until I get my dang keys and get in the car.  (Last week, I found myself leaving to pick Jane up from school a full ten minutes early.  I had to drive the dog around the neighborhood to pass the time.)  (He LOVES to ride in the car. It's adorable --or it would be if I were susceptible to such cuteness.  Which I'm Not.) 

He is the Master of the Fly-By.  Not only can he sneak in and grab a bit of Scout's food faster than Scout can raise an alarm but he does this other... thing.  I will be cooking and will have just washed my hands and be on my way to the pantry and he will raise his head and lick my hand as I pass.  I will turn around, wash my hands again and he'll freaking do it AGAIN.  Over and over.  His nose is just the wrong height--the skin on my hands is starting to peel.

He has boundless energy and if I don't make sure he's gotten some exercise he will torment me until I retreat upstairs to escape him.  Or worse, put my shoes on and get out the leashes and take the dang dogs for a walk.  Often I have exercised when I had no intention of doing so.  (Luckily for me, Coop takes the dogs most days when he's in town.  UNluckily for me, he takes them much farther than I ever would which builds up their endurance, which makes me have to exercise for even longer than I had planned.  The world conspires to get me fit, I swear.)

I have great fear for our backyard once it thaws out there.  For one thing, it looks like some sort of horror movie gone wrong, what with all the old marrow bones littering everywhere. (When I take him with me to the butcher, the guys leave their counters to come visit the puppy in my car.  Then they give me marrow bones for him which I take home and boil.  (I tell you what, though, it's good for at least an hour of silence while the puppy works that bone over.) (I am less excited about the game that goes on between 4:00 and 5:00 IN THE MORNING when the entire house is awakened by the sound of marrow bones falling on the hardwood floor downstairs.  Left to his own devices, the puppy will throw the bone up into the air and try to catch it.  He's not a very good catch.)) (Oh, a digression within a digression--am I good or what?)

The backyard is also dotted with pieces of the tarp we used to have over our firewood and smaller pieces of the grill cover.  Also, those window well covers are apparently made of very flimsy plastic. Plus dog toys and giant doggy foot prints-- it's just darn attractive out back.

So, even as I write, the puppy is sitting under my desk with his head on my knee.  His ears are impossibly soft and if I stop petting him, he nibbles my elbow.  This is interfering in the worst way with my production.

Darn dog.


I was just telling my husband I needed a puppy to curl up against my legs at night. Thank you for pulling me back from the brink.

Your Kitty Theory was great. You still remind me somewhat of Anne Lamott. I just (belatedly) read her "Operating Instructions" - you'd think I wouldn't find it worthwhile, me being so much more jaded than a first-time mother with a new baby would be - but it still sucked me right in. Great book.
DK said…
Ohhh. Puppy. Awwwww.....

Don't worry. By next year, this hyper-oral thing will have settled down. Austin is basically a 14 year old boy right now. And you remember what THEY're like....

Yeah. I know. It's lucky they're so damn cute. I have one that plays that card ALL THE DANG TIME as well.

We really should get Maggie and Austin and Scout together, let them wear each other out while we knit and drink cocoa or something. Hmmm.....
joannamauselina said…
Those are pretty soulful eyes. My Leslie was that horrible, but when he was a year old, he got his operation, went to dog school, and suddenly turned human. I'm not sure which of those three things did the trick - probably a combination of the three, but it sure was a relief.
Poor Janie! Sprains are often more painful than an actual fracture.
hollygee said…
Awwwwwwwwww. He is adorable.
Ei said… know on the upside, he's makin' Scout look pretty sane. (I miss Scout stories).

And you gave me reason to be glad my landlord is a dog hating meanie.
Lynn said…
and this is why I'm a cat person. The cats keep you on the couch, nice and warm and relaxed, while the dogs want walks (no matter what the weather) and chewing and attention.....blech.
Barb Matijevich said…
Ei--you can't really mention the word "sane" in the same sentence with the name "Scout." Those two concepts will never meet. Right now, for example, Scout is barking madly at PHANTOM PEOPLE AT THE DOOR. "GO AWAY, PHANTOM PEOPLE! YOU SCARE ME AND MAKE ME PEE!" I open the door for him to show him there are no people. "NO! THERE ARE PEOPLE BUT YOU JUST CAN'T SEE THEM. THEY COME BACK OUT WHEN YOU CLOSE THE DOOR!"

Stupid dog.

For the record, y'all: I would get the puppy again in a heartbeat. He's worth every single bit of trouble, just for those ears.
deb said…
Time for some Cesar Millan books and tapes. He suggests taking the dog out and exercise him beside the car if need be and poop him out. He'll leave everyone alone when he's tired!
Karen said…
Phew. I wasn't sure how that post was going to end. Glad it ended with the cuteness winning over. Though I would have supported you 100% if it had ended any other way. But really glad it ended the way it did.

And do try Cesar. Or there's that British woman on some channel .. probably Animal Planet - she is GOOD.
Barb Matijevich said…
I can't believe none of y'all has said anything about how cute those pictures are. Sniff.
Susan said…
Yup, you have the doggy equivalent of a male teenager. And take it from me who has lived with and survived a male teenager, it will get better. As I like to say about my Dachshund, good thing he's cute. And Austin is cute. Totally. He is just giving your house that lived-in, homey feel.

P.S. The hand lick thing. Quit washing it off. A little dog spit never hurt anything.
Anonymous said…
Great minds...are obsessed with puppies. I just posted about how my little doggie is gnawing at the core of our relationship.

I'm glad I'm not the only one...people keep reminding me that they grow out of it.
Bullwinkle said…
Think of him as blog fodder ;)

Dang. I shall think of him as Ned on steroids -- which is making me much more responsive to the little feline twerp right now. At least he is only 15 pounds.

And besides he's really cute.
Mama Ava said…
You're not a dog newbie, but sometimes it's easy to forget that a year old dog is still a great big pup. Labs, especially, seem to have a delayed adolescence and it's around 2 that they seem to settle. That being said, cute doesn't really cut it when you are dealing with a lotta dog. Just like teens, we can't wait until they are done being teens to expect or train good behavior. Good luck!
ToyLady said…
We watch "It's Me Or The Dog" on Animal Planet with our dog - I like to think it's kind of like telecommuting for him.

You wouldn't believe how much FUN it is - all those naughty dogs, and he just sits and watches them, until one crosses some imaginary line in his puppy mind - and UP he goes, BARKING his fool head off, with his NOSE pressed up against the screen. . .

Any idea how to clean puppy slobber off the flat screen?
Unknown said…
oh that face!!!!!! a look like that can make you forgive almost anything, I have found.
Kathy Ireland said…
Um first of all, Susan....ewww.
Second of all, nobody commented on the adorable photos (and they are adorable) because we were all sitting here reading with our mouths hanging open and shaking our heads and being thankful that it wasn't us(at least I was).

I don't know how you do it. I commend you, but I wouldn't be able to handle it.
Mokihana said…
Very adorable photos. You have also confirmed that we will NEVER have a puppy in our home. EVER. I don't have the energy for it anymore.

But have you ever seen an Australian Shepherd puppy? But NO! NEVER!! Stop me!