This is the heel of my favorite Rocket Dog platform flip-flops. You’ll notice that someone has gnawed on the heel and ruined it.
You probably don’t want to read this post. It’s just full of my dismay about the problems of having a dog.
Toast is on a little vacation to his grandparents house. They live only about a mile away and are happy to have their grand-dog over now and again. After I dropped him off today, when I walked into my house, I was struck by the most powerful sense of relief I have experienced lately.
And since I have been home, no one has tried to chew up my water bottle that I sat on the floor next to me. No one has interfered with me taking out the trash or the recycling. No one has sniffed any part of me as I get ready to shower or change. No one has eaten my shoes, Kepler’s shoes, Greg’s shoes, or any one of a hundred other things. I haven’t had to make sure every door is closed. No one has followed me down the stairs, up the stairs, into the bathroom, or to the door. I haven’t had to finesse getting in or out of a door. I haven’t had to be on full alert all the time to spy what is on the floor and then making sure it gets picked up by me before it gets eaten up by him.
To wit, a number of stressors have been minimized or completely gone, since he has been on vacation at grandparents home.
You may recall we got the dog for Kepler. Yet, even more than a typical situation, the dog is completely under the care of me (and Greg, when he is here). Kepler is not big enough to help train the dog. And the dog is still too unpredictable to trust him with Kepler without constant supervision.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out a way for this to work better. But I don’t know how to change the experience I have of needing a break from being in charge of someone 24/7. I think it’s just that I don’t really have the brain space or perhaps it’s energy to deal with first thing in the morning getting the dog squared away, working on controlling and/or training him while I get Kepler out to the bus, in the house from the bus, into bed, and then all the minutes in between.
Toast probably needs closer supervision. Toast probably needs more toys to play with. Toast probably needs a lot more exercise. Toast probably needs a lot more training time during the day. That all makes me think that Toast probably needs someone else to be taking care of him all the time. I already have a full plate.
It’s hard to even write these things down, knowing others will read them. I have this idea that for many people, owning a dog is a joy. Even my mom said it this morning, how wonderful it is to have someone be so happy to see you.
I don’t want the stress. Although we are working on helping Kepler to know how to behave, he will still throw Toast’s toys outside, even though they are inside toys. So, when I am looking for something that belongs to Toast, I never know where it might be. I do not see it as possible or desirable to keep track of all of Toast’s stuff, let alone keep track of Toast.
Even though we put things where we think they are out of Toast’s grasp, he still is able to find things and get them into his mouth. This morning, it was the DirecTv remote. I got it before he chewed it up. And, daughter had left her door open, so he snuck in there and grabbed some papers. Kepler loves to have a snack and drink while he uses the iPad. Whenever he gets up, the snack and drink are accessible to Toast, and I need to be alert as to whether or not Toast is trying to get the snack. He has ruined several cups.
Now, after several hours of Toast off at his overnight, I am aware of the many complications he has brought to my life. No wonder I have been dragging through my days. No wonder.
Certainly, the puppy months/years are challenging for anyone. But I didn’t realize until today how the dog that we got FOR Kepler is actually making things more challenging FOR and WITH Kepler.
Conventional wisdom says it’s a great thing for a child to have a pet. The sunk cost fallacy has me loathing the idea of finding him a new home. But if today is any indication, and I think it is, our most excellent dog is being a serious energy drain for me.
No conclusions here, yet. Just some of siouxsie’s musings.