Let me start by saying this. Dogs are a lot more like humans than I thought. There I said it.
I’ve always been of the firm believe that animals are animals and should be treated as such. I roll my eyes when I see people carrying their dogs in little hand bags or wheeling them around in prams. I scrunch my nose in disgust when I hear people talking about how their dogs/cats sleep on their beds and sit on their furniture. I tremble in hair-raising-fear when people discuss dog poo. Baby poo stories are cool, but when my work colleagues discuss dog poo I feel physically ill. I mean really, animal excrement is like poison, I don’t want to see, touch or hear about it. Ever. I am most unsympathetic to people who have sick animals. My friend Kim can relate – she had the most unfortunate experience of dealing with her kitten that had contracted some life threatening disease and after expensive treatment which included drips and staying at the vet for however long, the thing still died. My words to her were something along the lines of “don’t worry, you can get another one.”
So Rocky came home on Sunday. And this little thing is so cute. I cannot believe I am about to do this… but… I’d like to compare him to an 18 month old. OH EM GEE, I just compared a DOG to a HUMAN. He is exactly like an 18 month old though – the good, the bad and the ugly of an 18 month old human.
The crying, whining and tantrum throwing. He is an outside dog, and as such, must STAY OUTSIDE. The first night he cried hysterically for about 20 minutes and then settled down. He woke up twice during the night for a little cry and then went back to sleep. He doesn’t know me, he doesn’t know I have the iron will of a mother who has tried (in vain) to sleep train two humans. I WILL NOT BREAK. You can cry, stand on your head, chase your tail, whatever – you will learn to sleep through the night! And night two was much better! The whining and tantrums – YOH! The crying at night I expected, shame it was his first night away from his mother, I get that. But yesterday morning, Rocky threw a tantrum of note when I shooed him outside so that we could get done for work and school. He didn’t have a little cry, this dog was HOWLING, throwing himself against the door and scratching his little nails to the paw I am sure. I was like “HEY, ARE YOU THROWING A TANTRUM?!” Then he looked up at me with those big eyes (just like my babies used to) and I felt my insides quiver with what felt like tenderness but I quickly recognized that ploy from having a clever 18 month old who tried to manipulate me and I scolded him and left him to tantrum.
Well, I thought my potty training days were over. Cleary not. He has been very good, on the day we fetched him he waited until we got home and dashed out of the car to do his business on the lawn. But this morning, he was pottering around the house while we were getting done, and then he started whining and I didn’t know why and he was looking around in confusion and jumping on the spot and THEN I realised what was happening and I rushed to let him out but it was too late… arrrgghhh.. a POO on the passage floor. Now I have wiped poo off the floor before, scrubbed poo stained underwear and followed my nose to find a blob of baby poo behind the couch (this was Hannah’s preferred spot when potty training) but I never thought I’d be picking up dog poo off my wood laminate floors. Just gross man, gross.
Oh golly he is cute. And cuddly. And playful. And lovable. He loves to be the centre of attention, he loves to be made a fuss of, and loves to be loved. JUST like an 18 month old. He follows me around the house, right on my heels, and the minute I sit down he wants to hop on my lap or he drops to his back and demands a tummy rub. He doesn’t know his own strength. I remember 18 month old Liam pounding 3 month old Hannah and we’d all jump up hysterically to stop him. Same thing. He nibbles at the kids, and jumps up at them, almost bowling them over, and scratches them unintentionally. And he just can’t understand why they yell at him when he hurts them by mistake. He is terrified of the big dogs. We attempted to walk him yesterday, not a moment out of the gate and the neighbour’s dog went biserk when he spotted Rocky. Rocky shot between my ankles and pulled me back towards home. Poor thing! He gets bored of his toys very quickly just like an 18 month old. Did you have an 18 month old who preferred the TV remote over Fischer Price? Yup, that’s Rocky. He prefers to chew on my big toe, or ruffle a shopping bag, or rip a newspaper into a million pieces than to play with all his cute puppy toys.
So while I still don’t get people who’s pets are their lives, I can see how a pet becomes part of the family. I can see how easy it is for the lines to be blurred, I didn’t think I’d ever let a dog waltz around my kitchen (and he does the cutest thing: gets a fright every time he spots himself in the oven door and then stares for ages at himself with his head tilted to the side in confusion!) but here we are. He will NEVER sit on my furniture or jump onto my bed, but I can already see that he’s getting way more human privileges that I ever thought he would. Because little puppies are just like humans! Probably nicer than a lot of humans too. Ha.