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.
5 thoughts on “You’re Welcome. From The Dog”
Awww…I am SO sorry about your beloved Rocket Dogs!! 😦 I guess we should be glad your post wasn’t entitled “Why I Had to Kill My Dog”!! Thank goodness for grandparents; I hope the rest from 24/7 care will help you determine what makes sense as a next step.
It’s true that if you don’t have deep affection for the dog, then it must be awfully hard to put up with the other stuff. I remember the few months after we first got our cats. They hadn’t yet bonded with me and I became dismayed that I’d brought these two little “chores” into my home for which I had to scoop poop and deal with hair everywhere and got nothing in return! Thank goodness we eventually found a sweet connection, though it took patience and consistency for me to keep gently inviting until trust was established. Now the hair and poop are balanced by warmth and companionship, and I get a little thrill every time I come home to their warm and animated greetings. 🙂
I’m available to talk if you want. xoxo
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You have summed up 15 years of my life. Our son needed a dog according to my husband, who traveled. We have lost one of the two and are still so sad we can’t speak about it, but truth is, I do the in and out all day, I stay home while the rest of the household comes and goes as they please, etc. We are not dog people and I am the only one here that admits it. :-). It’s a tough one. There are upsides. (I’m told, again :-).
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Yeah, i have heard about the upsides. Heard about them.
I’m so sorry you are struggling with Toast. If you’re not a dog person I can see how hard it must be to manage a dog. Toast is just the type of dog I’d like as the next companion, both for me and for Poppy. If you weren’t in another country I’d be flinging my hand up saying pick me, pick me! I love him and he’s just the breed I like. He sounds effervescent and with a chewing tendency: that’s all. He’s also super smart. Poppy my dog never chewed: this surprises me. I’m so sorry you’re thinking of relinquishing Toast and I only hope he goes to a loving home with folks who are truly dog people. 😿
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Toasty will definitely always be with a family who loves him, if I have anything to say about it. I definitely recognize what an excellent dog he is. At this point, I just needed a respite to help me understand what has been going on. The clarity is very helpful.
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