What’s harder, dogs or kids? Now don’t get all torch and pitchfork on me, I’m not comparing child rearing and puppy parenting as equals, obviously birthing a child and rearing it from infancy until, well, forever is not in the same ballpark as adopting a little fur ball and naming her Fluffy. But society is changing as more couples opt for career over family and dual incomes are needed to support a desirable modern lifestyle. Thus the family dog has risen in stature to pseudo child for many the modern individual.
Doggy daycare, puppy spas, and pet hotels are popping up all over the place and let me tell you, they aren’t some overpriced gimmick designed to drawn in the rich and famous. Chesney now attends a doggy daycare (which he LOVES) twice a week where he gets to play all day, work on his manners, and have some oh-so-important socialization time with his peers. Sound familiar? There’s a screening process to be accepted, trial period, and dogs to daycare attendant ratio to abide by. Our pup has an emergency contact and “approved pickup person” list. This is not uncommon. In fact, the days of Fido sitting patiently by the door awaiting his owner’s return are waning.
There are classes available for all types of dogs and their many quirks including puppy preschool, courageous canines, manic manners, life skills, and, for the more athletic hound, agility, dance (I’m so not making this up), and a myriad of other outdoor sports. Your dog can carry or be carried in his very own backpack, ride in a car seat (Chesney totally has one, don’t judge me he loves it), go boating safely in a doggy-approved life vest, enjoy a windy car ride while wearing his sunglasses (I swear I’m not making this up…I saw it. I promise), and climb his own little staircase to your bed to sleep. The amount of gear one tiny 7 lbs. dog accumulates would shock and amaze (or maybe appall) you, and I’m not even as bad as I could be.
Ever looked at your Facebook feed and be inundated with images of your friend’s new puppy? Fluffy’s first car ride, her first day at the vet, her first puppy class, her first play-date…there seems to be an endless stream of puppy parenthood pride that comes from rearing a little biting barking ball of fury into a respectable doggy citizen and valued family member. Do you have that super annoying friend who incessantly refers to herself as “mommy” and her precious hound as her “baby”? What?! That annoying friend is me?! I can’t even argue. But I’m not alone! Our pets have become an extension of ourselves in a way, as we include them in our daily lives and ooo and ahhh over their triumphs. We as a group have begun to go beyond the simplistic owner/pet relationship and are driving a deeper meaning into what it truly means to be “man’s best friend”.
That’s it for my philosophical musings today puppy peeps! Check back soon for more pup-dates. Coming soon, Chesney reviews some canine products!!
Chesney’s latest canine enrichment class is dubbed “Courageous Canines – How to turn your Chicken into a Lion”. Chesney has decided, in his teenage phase, that new people are out to get him and any and all dogs should immediately be jumped on regardless of size, breed, or personality. If this act is prohibited by his strict puppy parents he goes into full meltdown complete with screaming, scrambling, writhing, hopping, choking desperation. He also goes temporarily deaf when sniffing the grass and no amount of calling, coaxing, hollering, or natural disasters can cause him to snap out of it. The infamous “recall word” puppy class expressed as essential to dog obedience has not stuck with our model hound. You know, in case of emergency your dog should have a fail-safe word that reboots their brain and causes them to drop everything and rush to your side? Unless you are wearing a suit made of puppy biscuits, dancing an Irish jig, and blithely calling the “recall word” you may as well just accept the fact that he cannot, nay, will not respond to this command. This latest class is aimed at teaching him that a) people are nice b) he can’t always get what he wants and c) other dogs are not as patient as his cat brother and will destroy him for his lack of canine manners. So far it’s going well as he’s not the worst behaved dog there. He’s the second worst.
This weekend will be the first time we’ve left our littlest crew member overnight. Not just overnight, but for TWO nights. The overprotective dog mom in me finds this prospect slightly horrifying, but the logical responsible pet owner knows it had to happen sometime and he won’t actually die without us. Our pampered pup is much too spoiled to go to a kennel, so he’ll be having an in-home puppy-sitter (AKA my most delightful dog loving friend and future bridesmaid) come stay with him. Whenever she comes over he immediately forgets I exist and spends the entire duration of her visit following her, sitting on her, and trying to find ways to get his small self even closer to her. Therefore I’m sure he’ll be fine… right?!
Chesney has been in our lives for eight crazy months now, and we have actually forgotten what it was like to not see his silly little face every day. There have been challenges, there have been moments of frustration and moments of triumph. There was that one time he nearly gave the neighborhood dachshund heart-failure by screaming at him. That worked so well he graduated to screaming at our human neighbors to the same effect. And the time he ate a frozen turd of unknown origin. The time he got so excited for no reason that he fell over. The way he waits patiently for my better half to get out of the shower so he can lick said human’s toes. And how he gives a look that expresses his eternal sadness when his offering of toe licks is not met with delight on the part of the recipient. That time he redecorated our living room to look like a herd of deranged preschoolers stampeded through it. While we wouldn’t be heartbroken if he abandoned one or two behaviors (mostly just the screaming)….as a whole we find his quirks quite enchanting and secretly I hope he continues to be the little hellion we all know and love forever. Because for all his kookiness, this tiny creature’s entire mission (should he chose to accept it) is to be with us. While we might have to make some adjustments to fit him into our busy lives, his entire little life revolves around us. And chasing the cat. And occasionally eating some dirt. I appreciate the midnight trips to the grassy patch because he didn’t have to go at bedtime, chewed up socks strewn about like wounded soldiers after the most epic of laundry battles, and leaving nearly every function early cause Chesney probably has to pee, is beginning to think we’ve abandoned him forever, and needs his homemade grain-free preservative-free super healthy kibble delivered to his bowl. Because all these things mean I get a little wiggle monster crawling on my face every the morning because he’s just so happy to see me, a tiny dancing bear in my kitchen trying to garner my attention while I make dinner so we can dance to Don Williams together and make daddy laugh at our ridiculousness, and a concerned furry face watching my every move to make sure I don’t stray too far from the pack and leave my little family behind. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
That’s it for this time digital folks! Thanks for reading and check back for a pup-date soon!
Did you miss us? It’s been an eventful month and a bit, but I promise I have valid excuses for my absenteeism. Chesney and I had an unfortunate first half of December, but do not despair! His year and mine both ended on a delightful note. Are you just squirming with anticipation yet? No? Well then…
The early December days brought restructuring for mom and removal of a certain troublesome twosome for Chesney. While I was ousted from employment by a corporate entity hell bent on increasing profitability through employee elimination and subsequent dream crushing, Chesney was having the vet appointment dreaded by six-month-old-pets-with-responsible-owners everywhere. There will be no heirs to Chesney’s throne. He will not go forth and multiply. There will be no chips off his block. No apples will land from his tree. You get the picture. If you don’t get the picture I would recommend Google and the removal of the rock from which you are currently under. I kid, I kid. Honestly I don’t think he even knows anything is missing, and he got to wear an adorable road cone of shame for seven days. He didn’t care so much about the cone’s presence but found himself spatially challenged for the duration of his shaming. This gave rise to him requiring constant supervision, as he got stuck EVERYWHERE. In his crate, in the cat’s crate, under the coffee table, beside the couch, under kitchen chairs… He also lost numerous toys in the depths of his crown, resulting in endless entertainment as he endeavored to retrieve his long lost treasure. Happily he recovered splendidly, but that whole “your puppy with mellow out after being fixed” thing is totally a lie…
Remember the When Puppies Explode episode? That sums up the better part of Chesney’s month. Our spoiled prince of princes now eats only grain-free, naturally preserved, limited ingredient kibble with a side of homemade chicken and rice. Top it all off with a dollop of pure pumpkin and a probiotic chaser for his most sensitive of tummies. He is also watched like a hawk by yours truly to ensure no foreign objects likely to wreak intestinal havoc pass the threshold of his tiny shark jaws. You would be AMAZED what a pup deems acceptable for consumption these days. Frozen turd of unknown origin? You mean winter fudgesicle! Bounty fresh dryer sheet? More like exotic cotton candy! Cat’s scratch pole? Must be a giant fiber lollipop!! Sometimes I wonder about this little guy…
Despite our rocky start the year ended in the most fabulous of ways. Chesney had his first Christmas, received a myriad of gifts and made it his personal mission to systematically destroy them all. He then performed the very important role of ring bearer in the Canadian Rockies as his dad’s adorable accomplice to a cabin proposal. Can you guess what mom said? Well yes of course!! Our little house could not be more full of love right now. ❤
That’s all for now, my loyal digital following! I pinky swear to return soon and provide a pupdate for your reading pleasure. As always thanks for reading! 🙂