As we move further away from the Christmas season, the socks and tie I received at Christmas have taken their place in my closet. This is another way of saying that it is only barely in the realm of possibility that I’ll ever see them again. You can tell a lot about my Christmas by the fact that someone gave me a pooper scooper. Sadly, for me it may turn out to be the best gift I received.
How did my life come to this? Well, as Snoopy might have written, “On a dark and Cheap french bulldog stormy night…” Actually I don’t remember when or where, but at some point my spouse said, “Why don’t we get a dog?” Those words would change my life.
Yes, we now have a dog. Stonewall is an English Bulldog and I confess to having owned one before, so nothing that is happening is completely unexpected. My veterinarian is likely calling the Cadillac dealer now, assured that my bill alone will make the payments.
Bringing home a puppy has a number of similarities to bringing home a baby. Instead of a crib, we bought a crate. Unfortunately, Stonewall hasn’t taken to life in a crate and when inside he jumps against the side until we let him out. This meant several nights of no sleep for us since the crate was strategically placed next to my wife’s side of the bed. Instead of a playpen I bought an exercise pen that can be moved around. Thankfully, Stonewall likes to sleep in this and so we now have a permanently empty crate in the bedroom. Wonder if I could sell it on eBay?
Whether your dog comes from the pound, my daughter has two pound pups, or a breeder, be prepared to fork over some dough. Your purchases will include; a dog collar, dog tag, leash, bed, and training pads which cost more than diapers. Then there is food and treats and a variety of unexpected items such as shampoo, nail clippers and other stuff an old farm boy never thought was necessary for a dog.
Now my life goes something like this: I sit down on the couch with my handy laptop computer and, you guessed it, the dog needs to go out. I get up and take him out and play with him and give him a treat and put him back in his exercise pen. I sit down again and, you guessed it, the dog needs water. I get up and fill his bowl and resume my position on the couch, now the dog is barking. My wife engages in a game of: “What does the dog need?” Whatever she determines his needs to be I will likely be leaving the couch yet again.
Now some questions do arise. Why does the dog wake up at 6 AM? Not 7 or 8 or even 6:30, but 6 in the morning. This means half the time I’m so sleepy that bed looks good anytime after dark, and it gets dark real early in the winter. Why does the dog wait until I sit down to need a potty break? Is it the sight of me on the couch that makes him need to go?
Oh, yeah, about that pooper scooper. We have a small yard and it is difficult to believe how often and how much poop a puppy can poop. So here I am, scooper in hand, cleaning the front and back yards, and oops, the neighbor’s yard.
Of course, after all the complaining, I’m keeping him. In spite of obvious shortcomings one look at the face and you’re hooked. Keep all this in mind if your spouse suggests that the house is lonely since the kids are all gone.