Wednesday, September 18, 2013

An Ankle Biter Among Us


A tough face to resist. 
I caved. For several weeks now, my son has been hinting, nay, downright asking for a puppy. He has been going through some medical stuff that’s pretty tough, and although I was resistant at first, I had to admit that a little critter to care for and love just might be the perfect distraction and therapy for what he is enduring.

I saw an ad in a local paper for little puppies, ¾ German Shepherd, ¼ Great Pyrenees, 100% huge. My son had mentioned he liked German Shepherds, so with some trepidation I placed the call and left a message. “Hi, I’m calling about the puppies you are selling, wondering if you have any left. Thanks.” 

Phew. No response. For fifteen minutes. Then I got a call back from a very nice young gal, “Oh, I’m so sorry! We just sold the last one this past weekend.”  

“No, it’s fine,” I said, secretly relieved to have that decision delayed. I then told her why I was looking for a puppy. That’s where I might have committed the Big Cosmic Mistake. Immediately, she told me how she had M.S. and how very good this breed of dog would be for my son. She then told me she had her doubts about the couple who took the last puppy. Apparently they had really debated about the decision and weren’t sure their landlord would agree to it. In short, I could tell, after hearing our situation, she was determined my son should have a puppy.

Sure enough, three days later, we received a call, “Good news!”

Maybe. Depends on your perspective.

Mr. Blue, aka Dog-Dog, has had a difficult adjustment. Puppy is a bit of an ankle biter and very rambunctious. We anticipated it would take a couple of weeks for the two to grow accustomed to each other.

But what really has surprised me was how much of a curmudgeon I am being about this new puppy in the house. Me! A self-proclaimed dog lover!

Blue and Puppy meet

I remember my mom once saying, “There’s a reason you are young when you have kids. They take a lot of energy!” 

I think the same can be said for puppies. Dog-Dog and I are used to our routines. We get up early, very early. He gets fed then goes back to sleep; I sip coffee and enjoy a couple hours of quiet time before the house gets up. Or at least that’s how it used to be. Now we get up early and puppy wants up too. And he does not go back to sleep. He chews slippers, drags shoes out to gnaw, bites at Dog-Dog and generally wreaks all kinds of disruptive havoc on my quiet morning.

Having a puppy requires a lot of vigilant attention. He is still being house trained and likes to chew. Catching him mid-piddle requires alertness and quick reflexes. My quiet mornings of writing are shot. Finally, this morning, I snapped. Puppy had a rawhide, Dog-Dog felt it should be his, after all he is the senior dog in this-here house, and much snarling and yipping ensued. In a fit of impatience, I yanked the offending bone out of the puppy’s mouth, scolded Mr. Blue, and perhaps threw around a few cuss words. My son apologized and got his puppy. I muttered, grabbed my running shoes and the leash, and Dog and I went on a much-needed quiet jog.

For the first mile and a half, I grumbled.

By the time I turned around to head back home, I had relaxed (well OK was winded and panting). I reminded myself why we had got the puppy in the first place. Both Dog and I would adjust to the new little critter and could handle the temporary disruption in our routine. I took a larger picture perspective and let the need to control and defend my time and routine go. By the time I walked through the front door, I was even looking forward to seeing the little furball and giving his nose a kiss.

The puppy has been a good reminder to me about how easily I can let the “I” in my agenda very quickly take over. He’s been a good lesson in letting go and enjoying a little playfulness.

I’m not sure Dog-Dog agrees with me yet. The verdict on the little whipper-snapper is still out, pending the biting and general mayhem and disruption to his turf. 

This is when Blue and I like Puppy best. 

48 comments:

  1. The puppy is adorable! He will grow, faster than you think, and while it's hard to be patient I hope he's helping your son.

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    1. It's been so great for my son and my son is really attentive and good with the puppy. He works really hard with him to train him, love him and care for him. THAT was the perspective I needed to remember!

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  2. Oh.......I can relate to the quiet time and the "I." When we first moved to Arizona and in a two bedroom duplex there were nine of us living under that roof at one time.......Quiet time? What's that like.......Maybe I should have went running too Julie!! All the way back to Gunnison!!! LOL!! I've got to say that God turned the hard times in to some good times and we would have not done anything differently.........Maybe focus on the sweet puppy breath all little ones seem to have......I love that!! :)

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    1. Oh Deb, I forgot you had a full household for awhile. I should chat with you. Just when you are anticipating a certain stage in life, God reminds you of the blessings of it being delayed, and that is exactly the conversation He and I had this morning! Thanks for the little hug here.

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  3. Adjusting to new people or animals in your casa takes a great deal of patience. Especially when one of them is young and so full of curiosity and desire to learn...chew...and yes, get scolded.

    But you're a good Mama for doing just that. ;)

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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    1. I SO AM!!! lol

      Actually, and don't tell anyone I said this, but I'm rather fond of the furry little guy. He's so cute! We'll get it worked out and then they'll both move out and then I'll be writing another post whining about them being gone. Sigh.

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  4. Cute! Yay for your son, but goodness, I'm glad it's you. Maybe if I could train the kids to clean up the mess... Who am I kidding? They don't even clean up after themselves!

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    1. My son is 23 and actually has been doing everything himself, so I'm fortunate there. I don't have a single care issue with this puppy. But yeah, I do remember that issue with previous pups.

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  5. What an adorable puppy! And I would've done the same thing. Further, I can very much relate to this. Eleven years ago we gave in to our then-4th-grade daughter to get a puppy. Abby was a wild maniac around old Bo (almost twelve). I remember feeling just the same way. Abby won me over (not sure she ever won over Bo, though), and she is now my self-professed "soul dog," and at least partly because my daughter is now busily leading her own life and Abby is her pup.

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    1. Oh see? I love a happy ending. I'm so glad you shared this story. My son just came in with a picture of the two dogs laying side-by-side. Proof that there is hope. :)

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  6. All I can say is, Awww... and I feel your pain! I just posted a pic of our latest ankle biter (Yorkie Poo) and my older Shepard, Glen Ellen on FB. I very much agree. Bentley is my oldest daughter's dog, who now is away at college 4 days a week. Guess who's in charge of Bentley now? Yup, me and Glen Ellen. Needless to say, our routine has been interrupted. :)

    But your son's puppy is so adorable! I bet he loves him so!

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    1. Oh I have to go look for your puppy pictures. How did I miss that? Yeah, it is a routine disruption for sure.

      I just asked my son if he loves his puppy and he said yes. That's all I needed.

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  7. Oh my gosh the puppy is so precious! But I can understand how you and Blue feel. I don't know if I have the energy to keep up with a pup anymore LOL. Adorable!

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    1. Julie, that's just it. Sooo much energy, but to be honest, it's really my son mostly who is doing all the work. There may be a couple days when he's getting his treatment and wiped out that "Gramma" will take over. ;)

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  8. Your puppy is a cutie. I'm sure he'll adjust. My dogs were always so calm and laid back. Of course they always had so many kids to pay attention to them they were worn out each day. Hope you share some pictures as he grows.

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    1. Hi Susan, thanks. The puppy is super cute. That's the problem isn't it? They sucker you in. ;)

      Hoping all calms down in a couple weeks when the newness is off. You must be doing something right if they're so calm.

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  9. Be assured that I am laughing with you (and not at you) at this time. 'Tis subject to change, of course.

    Alas, I must admit that I do feel somewhat sympathetic. For not everyone can have three pups living in perfect harmony under the same roof like we do, with no drawing of blood over regular food, treats, prime real estate, nor absolutely nothing at all (except for maybe general principles).

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    1. Oh good for you for accomplishing that Jerry. I think they'll get used to each other and reach a truce, but I'm sure the puppy would love more affection than I'm afraid Blue may ever give.

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  10. My dog Buddy is undoubtedly one of the best parts of my life. My home is happier, warmer, brighter because of him. And the hubby and I frequently talk about getting another one- but then we think about the first few months with Buddy. The whimpering at all hours of the night, the endless energy and demand for play that exhausted us and left him still bouncing off the walls, the months and months it took to housebreak him, etc. Then we pause and think "... maybe we'll wait". I think they're just like kids: an insane amount of work and worry, but also the greatest gift in the world.

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    1. Bev, I'm not even sure I can add to what you said. I agree 100%!

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  11. He sure is a sweet-looking pup, Julie. I bet he'll be a real help to your son because cuddling even a rambunctious puppy can be a real comfort.

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    1. He's been great for my son-- given him a focus and yes, he's a furry lovikins!

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  12. Oh my gosh! He's so adorable! But yeah, what a handful. My son wants a dog too, but if we adopt, we'll get an adult dog. A calm and gentle one. I don't have the energy for a puppy and a toddler!

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    1. Christine, Mr. Blue is ten and we adopted him when he was five. He certainly came with a few quirks, but he was house broken and well past the chewing stage. I hear you! Thank goodness this new little guy is mostly my son's responsibility. Phew!

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  13. He's cute! Lol! But I know what you mean with the grumbling. I was nodding and sighing through your whole phone call story. How familiar that sounded! *sigh* My kids each of their 'pet-wish-lists' ready for after the move. With the farm, there'll be tons of space, right?
    :) Life of a mom.

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    1. ...each have their pet... not 'of' ;)

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    2. It does help having space. We live on a couple acres, so that certainly helps (although my dog still has wander-lust and manages to jump the fence and go for a walk about from time-to-time!).

      I really do think pets are good for kids-- loving companions and teach responsibility etc. Just.. wow... the puppy stage is a lot of adjustment.

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  14. And this is why I adopt adult dogs only LOL!! But, sometimes I wish for the little balls of energy, and their perspective - nothing keeps them down, the world is a wonderful place. We could all use that kind of outlook :)

    Enjoy the little tyke, he'll have Blue wrapped around a paw soon enough LOL

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    1. You know, Blue was our first adult adoption and man, I'm inclined to agree with you. He was pretty easy, although came with a host of kind of weird quirks.

      But yes, puppies are surely very joyful!

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  15. Good story of life changes. :) Puppies and kittens are indeed a handful + some!

    Yeah, when I decided to get a dog for my niece and nephew, I made the mistake of getting a puppy and thought taking a week off work would be enough. I, unfortunately had to return her because she needed much more than we could give her and her needle-like teeth were too much for us. So we later got a two-year old Shepherd mixed from Craigslist, who was already potty trained and a sweetheart. Best dog ever!

    Hopefully Puppy will outgrow the obnoxious period soon!

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    1. Nancy, our weimaraner is a rescue dog we got a five-years-old and yes, we missed the chewing and house training stages. It's a good thing this little puppy is so danged cute! I don't know how anyone could do it if they weren't home a lot to take care of it!

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  16. He is very cute in that last photo! My hubby nagged me into getting a dog. For the first few years he was definitely his dog, but I've mellowed now, and sometimes I even pat him when we're alone!

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    1. Yeah, I swore I wasn't going to get attached to this little guy. He's my son's dog and hopefully by next spring, my son will be moving on past this medical stuff and starting his post-college life as he intended. That means, of course, he and pup will be moving on! They do sucker you in with their cuteness.

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  17. I'm so glad that I could help you in your creative writing skills... As a fellow blogger I know how we often need outside (seemingly unwanted) inspiration ;)
    I truly loved the pics and could see everything as I have also been down that exact road.
    Thanks, made me smile
    Jenny

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    1. Jenny! Doggy Mama and wonderful friend who shared her baby dog-dog with us. Thanks for stopping by and yes, you certainly were an inspiration not only for a post, but for my son's life. Thank you for letting your heart lead you. He LOVES Kodiak and I can so tell the difference in him already. Warm and grateful hugs.

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  18. This melts my heart! I have his father, Brutus, and this guy looks just like his dad! Brutus is also an early riser who absentmindedly barks at the chickens until we get up to feed him at 6am. I'm so happy your son has him and that puppy has such a wonderful family!! Jenny shared this with me as she knows that I'm eager to watch the puppies grow, I look forward to more:)

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    1. Oh I feel like we're related now :). I'm so glad you stopped by. You know, I kind of poked fun at myself and my reluctance to get a puppy, but seriously, I could tell Jenny's heart when she found out why I was calling for a puppy and somehow I knew, the first time we chatted, that her prayers would make this happen.

      He is really a good puppy and my son is IN LOVE with him. It's nice to see him have a focus and that puppy adores him.

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  19. Oh my goodness, you are a puppy parent. . .or a puppy grandparent really, if the puppy is your son's. . .:) Good luck. I really think the beginning of a puppy is very similar to having a baby. TOTALLY worth it, but a lot of hard work and not much sleep. But as you know, those puppies grow up and become the best friends ever! :) (One day, Blue will like him , too. . .)

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    1. I told my son that I'd help take care of him when he had his next medical treatment: I'd take care of him when the puppy's sleeping, and he can take care of him when the puppy's awake. I thought that seemed fair....

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  20. So far I have resisted my girls plea for a dog. We travel too much. My favorite line here: "Maybe. Depends on your perspective." Thanks for the laugh. BTW - your puppy is really cute, and what a great thing you are doing for your son.

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    1. Hi Rhonda,

      Yes yes it IS a great thing LOL. I'm nominating myself for Mom of The Year. Actually, the little menace is getting much better and he and my dog-dog, slowly but surely, are finding a peace amongst themselves. Most days. He's awfully darn cute, which is a good thing for him! I appreciate you stopping by.

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  21. He's so adorable! I enjoyed this very much.

    www.modernworld4.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Gina-- thanks for stopping by. Yeahhhhh he's cute all right. ;)

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  22. Hi Julie, For some inexplicable reason I've never visited this blog of yours before (only A Thought Grows). And it's wonderful - I love it! I hope your 'Ankle Biter' is settling in now and brings your son some of that special 'animal medicine' to boost him on his way to recovery. I enjoyed your post on the sky too, and couldn't agree with you more - being out in nature connects us to something bigger than ourselves. Magic. You take care, love Jenny

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    1. Hi Jenny-- thank you for visiting. I've not pumped this blog up a lot-- I kind of play with my writing here, so feel a bit reticent to do a lot of promo for it.

      Ankle Biter is a cute little muffin-menace. He's adjusting and we're all getting very attached!

      And yes, I love nature. Just sat outside this morning listening to the coyotes carry on and watched the stars fade into the dawn. Lovely.

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  23. Julie, you are such an inspiration! I love how you share your life with us in such beautiful writing. You're so "human!" I'd feel exactly the same way....the interference with my solitude and routine, etc. AND the change that would be forced onto poor old Vern! And yes, I particularly would not have the energy for a puppy....or as your mom said...a baby! :)
    Now, with all that said.....Puppy is ADORABLE! And I wholeheartedly agree about the healing effect animals have on people! Hugs!

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    1. Hi Becky :) We're getting kind of use to the little fellow, but he is a busy, busy critter still in high-intensity bitey phase. I like to kiss his nose, and he still smells like a little puppy.

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  24. Oh my gosh. He's so cute I can't stand it. I hope he acclimates to his new home soon! :)

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