A MinD in MoTown

Doggy want a treat?
July 2, 2008, 1:40 pm
Filed under: Adventures in "Motherhood", Foodage

To say my dog, Sophie, is spoiled would be a drastic understatement. Spoiled rotten – a term often directed toward me when it came to my grandmother’s spending habits – might even be a bit on the mellow side. More or less, my little 7 1/2 month old puppy has a really good life.

Since adopting her for $200 in March, I have spent an approximate $500 on her aside from that original fee to make her mine. My mother, who lives in Pennsylvania, also sent a paw-shaped pillow to North Carolina for Sophie just over a month ago, which shows how far the spoiling has reached. Clearly my dog is no pet of Paris Hilton or Leona Helmsley — Who seriously leaves $8 billion to their dog? I mean, really… — but for an average pet owner, I’ve spent a good amount of cash on my Sophie-girl in the last 4 months.

However, upon getting my dog, there was one thing, one tiny little thing, that I never wanted to spoil her with: human food. Growing up in Pennsylvania, I had two dogs who were both fed so often from the table that they practically begged for scraps during a meal. It was annoying, to say the least, and it was not a habit I wanted my dog to acquire.

And then I went away for a weekend and left Sophie in the possession of two people who unfortunately fed her cheese, ice cubes, crackers, etc. Since then, she has become worse than a vagabond. If I’m sitting on the couch, she’s on the back cushions, looming over my shoulder, waiting impatiently for even the slightest morsel of food. And if I’m at the kitchen table, she’s just entirely unsure of what to do with herself, scampering back and forth behind my seat as I eat each bite.

Better yet, the nights I make dinner and decide to watch tv while eating, I have to walk through the kitchen, the middle room and to the couch in the living room. My dog, who must have rabbit in her because she can jump almost as high as I stand – although that’s a meager 5’1″ – likes to leap into the air as I walk with food in my hands, oftentimes nearly knocking over my bowl of pasta or chicken and rice.

I love her, I really do, but moments like those, my frustration builds to a fairly high degree and I yell at her to leave me alone, which generally means giving me about two feet of space as opposed to the 1 inch, or less, I typically receive as I consume my food.

My mother says that breaking a dog of a habit such as this one is extremely difficult, and I am learning, the hard way, the truth of those words. My dog may be a spoiled brat, receiving a new toy every time I step into Petco or Wal-Mart, but mark my words, I will somehow teach her that human food is not for her. She can stick to her beef and lamb pellets, as disgusting as they may be.

A friendly reminder.
May 28, 2008, 6:12 pm
Filed under: Adventures in "Motherhood", Argh

Sometimes all it takes is one adventure with my 6 1/2 month old puppy to remind me how completely ill-prepared I am for children at the age of 22.

At 22 years old, my mother was already diligently caring for my infant self, and I have to give her a lot of credit for being able to cope with parenthood at such a young age – although compared to today’s standards, 22 may not be so young after all. As for me, I truly do not believe I have the skills or the patience to bring a child into this world without having a complete and total meltdown.

I decided to take a quick break from work at the office today and drive home to walk my puppy. We’re still working on housetraining so she tends to have the occasional accident, especially when left in her crate for several hours at a time. Upon opening the front door, I’m unhappily – and that’s putting it mildly – greeted with the smell of shit. Yes, the odor of poop had completely enveloped my entire house.

And there’s my puppy, my little Sophie girl, standing in her crate, all excited to see that her Mommy is home … and covered in crap.

Sophie is a smaller dog, partly due to the fact that she is a baby still, and all four paws, her legs and her black belly with the few white hairs were ornamented with feces. And yet, her tail wagged, back and forth, back and forth, so happy to finally find freedom from her jail-like crate with her Mommy.

But what do I see? The same happiness of coming home and playing with my puppy? Oh no. I see my ever-so-stupid puppy who clearly laid in her own droppings and used that disgested food to paint the entire bottom of the crate with her paws. The black bottom to that crate was no more; it had turned a soft brown color, reminiscent of sponge painted walls.

The adventure ensued when I let her out of the crate and she ran throughout the house, marking my couch and hardwood floors with poop paw prints – nowhere near as cute as the “Blue’s Clues” prints of yesteryear. And after half an hour of spraying down the crate outside as rain fell from above, I tried to hose down my puppy. Needless to say, that was a task and a half. I should have had a towel ready to dry her off when returning inside, but I just wanted the shit removed from my household and did not think through the menial tasks necessary for success. Somehow Sophie found the dress shirt I had worn to work and taken off in place of a hoodie as I cleaned her mess, and it was that dress shirt she used to dry off.

Lovely, eh?

Once upon a time as a child, I reached into my diaper and painted the walls for my parents. An embarrassing fact, indeed, but true, and it was that thought that entered my mind as I cleaned Sophie’s mess. Unfortunately for my mother, she couldn’t drag the hose inside to wash off my artwork. And I, for one, might stick to just puppies and no babies for another decade or so.