Sometimes even puppies are too much

Puppies! They’re driving me crazy. Unlike human children, dogs move into the “terrible twos” by the time they’re three months old. Mine, now one day short of 16 weeks, have already gotten too big to carry, and they are so tall they can reach things I never thought they could reach, like my favorite shoes. Yesterday I looked out the window and saw them carrying something big and white. Didn’t take me long to figure out what it was. If they can reach that, they can reach everything on the tables in the back yard, so my ceramic frogs are doomed unless I figure out someplace higher and more stable—but not so high that the raccoons can get them.

They’re not only tall but energetic. I remember tales of my young cousins found climbing on top of the dining room table and such. At least my aunt had a year or so to get used to having them around, feeding them and changing diapers and such, before they learned to walk.

Speaking of diapers, Chico is fairly well house-trained, but Annie either doesn’t get it or chooses to express herself in the form of urine. The vet says she’s marking her territory. Lovely. I cleaned up an ocean of pee this morning. When I went to feed them, I was so flustered I forgot to make the dogs sit and Annie knocked the bowl out of my hand. Puppy chow everywhere.

The fact that it has been raining all day (this is Oregon in June) does not help. When I bring them in, the dogs are so restless they go after every electrical cord, gnaw every wooden furniture edge, and even chew the nubs that stick up on the carpet. They grab tissues out of the trash and carry them under the bed, somehow making themselves flat enough to crawl around under there. We hear muffled barks and see the occasional face sticking out.

They accidentally got locked outside when we went to lunch. When they came in, they covered the floor and my jeans with muddy paw marks. I guess they finally got some exercise because both are sleeping now in the crate in my office. It took a lot of doing to get them in there. Two months and 40 total pounds ago, they went in willingly and fit easily. Now if I leave the room, they’ll probably wake up and start gnawing on the door.

Whether you ever wanted children or not, you have to admire mothers. You can’t lock human babies outside or toss them a rawhide bone to amuse them for awhile. It’s a round-the-clock obligation for years. I don’t know if I ever would have been ready for that, but the payoff would be grown children and maybe grandchildren in my life now.

The dogs are asleep, all wrapped around each other. One of them is snoring. Nap time is the best, whether you’re raising children or dogs.

I’m heading out of town to sell books at a festival next week, so the next blog entry will either be early or late, depending on how the rest of my work goes. I promise to get back to serious childless issues.

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