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.

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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.

No, not dogs again!


Yes, dogs again. Sorry, but that’s all I can think about these days. You see, Fred and I adopted two 7-week-old puppies last week, and it really feels as if I have two babies. They’re the same weight as babies, have the same needs, and fill the same needs in my heart. Last night, my church choir surprised me with a puppy shower. There were two baby blankets, but of course no little onesies. I did get dog treats, chew toys galore, balls, weewee pads, and lots of advice. There was a gorgeous white-frosted cake with big red flowers on it. This may sound totally nuts, but it felt as if I had received something I’d been waiting for all my life. I sat on the floor of the chapel opening presents and soaking it all in.
As assistant director, I was surprised that there had been a wave of e-mail that didn’t include me. Those sneaky singers.
Puppies are certainly not the same as humans. They won’t take care of you in your old age. Conversations are rather one-sided. And they poop and piddle on the floor. But for the childless woman who wanted children and didn’t have them, they’re one way of filling that emptiness.
Has anyone else found that to be true? What other ways can you feed the maternal need? I’d love to hear your ideas.
And yes, I promise to get back to human issues next time.

Uh oh, dogs again

I know I said I wouldn’t mention the dog who came and went again, so I won’t, but my husband and I just adopted two puppies. They won’t actually move in until Sunday, but we’re excited and scared. Just like parents of humans, I suppose. At this stage in life, I can live without a human baby, but I’ve just gotta have a dog to love and take care of. I’m a dog mom. How many of you feel the same way? Show of hands? That’s what I thought.

We bought a boy and a girl, one black, one tan. They’re a terrier-Lab mix and should be smaller than that other dog, and at 7 weeks they’re already better trained than she was. I’ll post pictures as soon as I can. Oh God, I’m a doting mommy already, and we haven’t even named them yet.

Let’s see, we need puppy food, a car carrier, toys, treats, collars and leashes, trips to the vet, training classes, oh my. What have we done? We’re pregnant with puppies.