Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I don't think it's a big secret that, for whatever reason, I don't handle stress very well. And if I feel overwhelmed with responsibility, I get a little nutty. So what better way to send me over the edge and into the arms of madness than to bring home a puppy. The primary reason for bringing another dog into the family was the boy - he wanted a dog so badly. Whenever we encountered dogs, he would ask the owner if he could pet their dog and tell them, "Our dog's dead!" Then later he would say to me, "Mom, we need a dog that's not dead." How can you argue with that kind of logic?

Then there is the girl’s irrational fear of dogs, which some people would argue is a good thing for a young child as it will deter her from petting strange dogs and possibly becoming the dog’s next meal. However, as a lifelong dog lover, I simply cannot allow my kids to grow up with a fear of dogs. I believe dogs teach kids a great deal about loyalty, companionship, and unconditional love. Yes, there are some dogs that are aggressive and need to be handled with caution, but our pup doesn’t fit in that category.

So we decided to go ahead and get a dog. In my defense, I wanted to adopt an adult dog, one that was already housebroken and loved kids. My husband wanted to get a puppy because it could “grow up with the kids." A friend of mine told me one day that a friend of hers had some black Lab pups he was giving away for free and I should have run screaming from the table with my hands over my ears, but instead I think I told her, "I want one!"

So the puppy came to our house and the first thing we noticed was that she was big. HUGE. With enormous paws. That's when we found out that one of her parents is a Lab/Great Pyrenees mix. She's going to be a little bigger than the average lab. And really, I'm okay with that. She's mostly calm, fairly gentle with the kids, and very sweet and affectionate. What I'm not okay with are the enormous lakes of urine and mountains of poop on the kitchen floor. Yes, she’s a puppy and will eventually learn to hold her bladder and bowels longer than 30 minutes at a time, but it’s very frustrating right now. My husband keeps saying, “She’s going to be a great dog when she grows up.” So I sigh and keep cleaning up the pee and poop in the house, and giving her treats and lots of praise for doing her business outside.

And let’s talk about the chewing, which I’m surprisingly okay with. So what if she chewed up the phone book. I never use it anyway. So what if she has peeled the wallpaper off the wall in one spot. I wasn’t married to that wallpaper and had secretly dreamed of redoing it – she must have sensed that. And the kitchen table and chairs that now have teeth marks? I have had my eye on a different set for months now so this is remarkably not bothering me. This is not to say that I condone her chewing on my furniture. If I catch her chewing on something she’s not supposed to, I will gently scold her, give her a toy, and then praise her for chewing the toy. But I realize that all puppies chew so I am cutting her some slack.

It took us a while to come up with a name because each one we’d suggest was shot down by the boy, who wanted to name her something bizarre like Spider-Man, Optimus Prime, Bumblebee or Chickee Boo Boo (I’m not even kidding). Finally the hubby said, “Hey, what about Socks because each of her paws has a white spot on it?” The boy liked it, the girl could say it, and I said, “It’s settled then. Her name is Socks.”


Blogger Meira said...

She is beautiful & perfect! She looks a bit like my Nigel, he is the best boy ever.

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Sleeping Mommy said...

Socks is a pretty girl. As for the pyrenes part of her, in my experience they are very gentle and great with kids.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Krista said...

AWWW--so adorable, but your posts reinforces my vow not to get a pet right now. But you have just the right attitude and it will be good for you and your kids! Happy new member of your family!

10:13 AM  
Blogger Shan said...

AWWWWW! I'm a sucker for new pet stories. And yours was told very well! I am amazed at how patient and kind you are about the whole thing. My emotions over such matters more resemble bi-polar behavior I'm afraid. Lots of love and hate carefully blended together in my early puppy times. I'm glad I made it through it because I love my poopies now. Enjoy Socks! He sounds like a sweetie.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Happy Belated Birthday to your two babies!

The puppy is a cutie! We just got an English Setter puppy last month and she is INCREDIBLY stubborn and naughty. One thing we found that worked is to spray vinegar in an area that you want the dog to leave alone. Actually it's 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water, but it works very well!

11:00 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Socks is just adorable and it looks like your little one is rapidly getting over her fear. I admire your patience with the puppy process!

6:49 AM  
Blogger Jenny, the Bloggess said...

She's beautiful.

I need a dog that's not dead too.

8:02 AM  

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