March 7, 2013

The Adventures of Mama Dog: One Year

One year ago today Baby O-nee was born. (He is quickly outgrowing "baby" status so I'm going to have to come up with another name for him, but I figure I'm good for another 3 or 4 months anyway.) He sure is a cute little guy. And busy! Oh my ... He is like a little demolition baby in the church nursery! Most of the time that I get to spend with him is in there, usually along with Peabody, and she loves to make him laugh.

Also one year ago today Mama Dog became part of our family. I gotta admit, at first I didn't think we'd make it this far with her. For the first six weeks I had this thought multiple times daily: "If I can just make it to six months I can beg Eric to agree to get rid of her." Oh, the money she cost us, and the anxiety she caused me. But my anxiety, the visits to the vet, and the insane amounts of shed fur in the house gradually lessened. Around the six week mark I realized that I wasn't having that particular thought every single day, and then over the next few weeks I had it less and less until it stopped popping up altogether. Eric kept encouraging me, "She's a good dog, and good with the kids." He was, and still is, right. She's very patient with every kid who comes over.

Her anxiety at being left alone has greatly improved, and for several many months we've been able to safely leave her gated in the kitchen when we're not home. She adjusted to sleeping in her crate (though we have to leave the door off or she won't even go in.) And, she is wonderful incentive to go for walks! I feel guilty if it's a nice day and I don't take her. When she sees her leash or harness she starts to wriggle crazily, squirming and jumping.

We've tried and tried to get a good picture of her but it is much harder than it would seem. She turns away, or the angle is weird, or the usual is that she puts her ears back and slinks over to us when she sees the camera. Eric says, "Of course she doesn't like having her picture taken. The last time that happened she ended up on Craigslist." She really is awfully cute and I wish I had a really good picture of her with her ears up. The occasional lucky cell phone shot will have to do for now.

She's a funny little thing -- yesterday I was working in the kitchen with an old movie playing on my Nook. A dog in the movie was barking, and Mama Dog came rushing into the kitchen, barking and searching everywhere for that dog. She kept looking quizzically into the open dishwasher which cracked me up. When the girls watch any of the Toy Story movies she goes crazy at any squeaky toys or barking dogs.

She will often get "the crazies" as we call it, and dash madly back and forth through the house or around the yard. She doesn't like change and will mope around for hours if we rearrange furniture or bring something significantly new into a room. If she wants our attention she will come over and step on someone's foot. She loves to carry things around in her mouth and when we are outside she is never happier than when she's carrying a stick or leaf around.

She LOVES cheese and comes running when she hears us open any kind of bag. She sniffs around at our feet in hopes that we dropped any food.

For Christmas Eric gave me an anti-fatigue mat (or whatever those things are called) for in front of the kitchen sink. Mama Dog quickly claimed it for her own. I have to nudge her out of the way if I want to stand on it; sometimes I realize that I've been working around her for a while!

She's kind of boring too, though. She'll fetch a toy a few times and then she's done. She'll play tug-o'-war if she feels like it. She doesn't know how to do any tricks. I know she's smart enough to pick it up quickly if I would work with her -- I keep telling myself that I should at least teach her how to shake hands and lay down and roll over.

Mostly she's kind of a couch-potato dog (who isn't allowed on the couch) which was just exactly what I wanted. She's pretty mellow, and mostly obedient, and friendly. She likes to be loved on and will always roll over for a good belly rub. I don't love her the way I loved the dogs we had when I was growing up -- I guess having kids changed how I feel about animals! But I do like her pretty well ... most of the time ... and I'm thankful that God matched us with such a nice pet.


Cove Girl said...

Awe I'm so glad she worked out for you. The pics are nice too. My dog is the same way with his kennel. For the first month I had him he drove me crazy busting out of it multiple times when I would leave, but eventually I moved it to my living room and leave the door open for him to come & go as he likes. Warning with the shaking hands though, once you do that dogs usually don't stop. And tricks have to be incentive based, i.e. a treat. Riley's trick is to stand on his hind legs and go around in a circle. That way he can get a treat when I want to give it to him and not when he decides to do it. Bottom line, I'm happy you kept her!

Rhonda said...

Wow! A whole year with Mama Dog. She sounds like a good dog and I'm glad you hung in there. Pat pat on your back.

POP POP POP said...

Great to hear that you and Mama dog are getting along. I do like the pictures