Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Puppy: 6 Months Later

Right before I got a dog my mother told me that pet owners have less stress and live longer.

At times with Winston, that seems impossible.  Right now he's making noises like he might barf.  All this week he's woken me up at 4 to go to the bathroom (better than the alternative).  I come home, and he's chewed the deck.  He knows he's not supposed to do it.  I know this because as soon as I open the door he starts his guilt walk, a low, scooting waddle like a ferret on rohypnol.  Or like a cobra trying to charm me.  So I look around for what he did wrong, find the chewed wood, and take him over there for some firm "No!"-ing.  

Now dog people might tell me won't know what I'm talking about if I didn't catch him in the act.  But Winston is smart, I think he knows.  Or at least has some idea.  Now he gives me puppy dog eyes, head cocked to one side, tail wagging.  He wants forgiveness.  I pet him and all is well.

Now scratch my belly!

People say labs are people pleasers, and that side of Winston becomes more apparent each day.    He attends my every move, to the point of annoyance.  Sometimes I just watch him watch me.  In all things he wants to make me happy.  Not being able to do what I ask stresses him out, like when I tried to teach him roll over.  He pawed here and there, snorted and turned in circles.  But once he did, he jumped for joy seeing how happy I was.

The bottom line with Winston is this: I clean up a lot of his poop, and I'm sure glad I have him.  He eats my deck, but he loves me unconditionally.  All in all, I'm probably getting the better end of the deal.

Though I'm 29, this is the first time in my life I've been the sole provider for any living thing bigger than a gold fish.  Yes I had dogs and cats growing up, but my mom took care of those.  I've never had a pet since then.  No kids either.  And though he is just a dog, Winston has helped me understand a little better the meaning of unconditional love.

I never intended for this blog to be about dogs.  I've looked through blogger, it seems like every other blog is dedicated to some four legged creature.  When I started this blog I was in the middle of starting a teaching career and running a non-profit.  It was about social change, changing the world, etc etc.  And now, about Winston pooping on deck.  There is probably some significance to that, but I am too tired to find it.

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