Dog Lovers Unite!! I absolutely love my pup and I look forward to the moment I get home every day because he makes me feel like a celebrity without fail. I open the door and he comes sprinting down the stairs at lightning speed to greet me with his goofy grin and wagging tail. His excitement is liberating and I always feel like he loves me most in those moments of saying hello. Panda is a Jack Russell Terrier/ Chihuahua Mix. He really is the best dog ever although some would say I am biased. When people find out what kind of dog he is they automatically assume that he is wild, hyper, and must bark all the time. Panda is none of those things. He is so calm and loves spending time under blankets and warm clothes out of the dryer. He only barks at strangers and his biggest downfall is being afraid of absolutely everything which, in turn, causes him to bark at every living thing (and sometimes the occasional floating plastic bag) that tries to approach him outside. But he is my baby and I look past those small faults because he is the most adorable creature in my life.
In saying all of that, I am sure that all dog owners can agree that there are some moments our pups leave us exasperated and sometimes even embarrassed of their behavior. This morning is a prime example of a moment I was reminded that my perfect little boy is not so perfect.
It was just before 7 and in between the “It’s not dark outside but the light is just barely peeking over the waking sun” transition. After 7-8 hours of sleep, Panda is always roaring to “go potty” first thing in the morning. No matter how fast I move, he still whines and groans in hopes of me hooking that leash just a little faster and opening the door to his beloved morning walk. No sooner do I have the front door open and he is in full force run mode out the door to his favorite pee spot “the hydrant.” Look, my morning routine is just that: Routine. I basically sleep through those moments leading up to me leaving for work. My body works off of command and day after day memory of the same movements. I really don’t have to do too much because my brain just works my limbs for me off of pure memory. Anyways, we round the corner and Panda just lets out this shriek of loud barking and pulls the leash so hard it lifts him off the ground. I am dazed and confused and trying to figure out what the hell he is having a conniption fit about. I squint because the darkness is lingering just enough to inhibit my weak eyesight. Is there a bear? A wild raccoon? Nope. About 20 feet away, there is a lovely young woman enjoying her morning jog. She is running towards us which means she is clearly out to brutally murder the two of us in serial killer fashion. Of course Panda has reason to terrify her with his little body and big bark. I have to stop and hold him still while she gives me the “You are a terrible dog owner and have no control over your pet” glare as she runs by. Meanwhile, I am smiling and doing the “My apologies” wave to try and make up for my overly protective 11 pound killing machine. Sigh. I haven’t even had my coffee yet.
Here are a few truths that every dog owner can relate too and has probably said or done, as well as moments your dog has left you with some form of anxiety:
- The moment a small child is outside playing, sees your pup, and let’s out a squeal of delight exclaiming, “Ohhhhhh look mommy! It’s a puppy!” and then proceeds to run towards you and your pup. The mother (if you are lucky), is all like, “Wait darling, you must ask before you pet the puppy.” Sometimes the parent doesn’t have the common decency to teach their children this invaluable life lesson and you end up with a crazed 5 year-old running at you like a stampede of wildebeest. Your pups’ hair raises and his body goes tense and you have to swoop in before this child shoves her hand in his face like a dangling treat. I always have to explain that my pup is not comfortable with small creatures he doesn’t know and then I am left with a sad little girl and a mother who thinks me and my dog are of Demon Decent. You’re welcome lady for not allowing my dog to act on instinct and snap at a foreign tiny hand being shoved in his face. SMH.
- When you take your pup for a walk and he chooses the one spot that is most visible to every house in the neighborhood to take a poo, and you don’t have a doggie bag with you. These Number Two’s take the longest and your pup sits in the squatted position for at least 5 minutes trying to get every last bit out. In these moments, you glance frantically over your shoulder because you are sure you are being watched. A car is approaching and you feel the need to bend down to make it look like you are picking up poop because you really don’t need another neighbor thinking you are an irresponsible pet owner; the lady jogger is enough for one day. Sometimes, he isn’t satisfied with his work and decides to do a couple of circles in the same area before letting more of last night’s dinner out. So you end up with two piles of dung in an arm’s length radius that you can’t pick up. Oh sweet Jesus, the HOA will be coming for me today.
- It’s so hard to leave our beloved furry relatives. I don’t know about you, but every time I go to leave the house, I make a point to tell Panda how long I will be gone. I tell him I won’t be long and explain I am either leaving for work or going out to dinner with friends. Each time, I tell him to be a good boy and I promise to be home before 10. If I happen to be late, I feel like I am a terrible person and I shower him with kisses and treats the minute I walk in the door.
- Speaking of kisses… You have no problem kissing your pup on the mouth. He is your baby after all.
- The most important part of my day is asking Panda how his day was. I will have a full blown conversation with him about what he did, how many naps he took, and whether or not he was a good boy. It really doesn’t matter that I mostly get blank stares from him when I ask these questions.
- There is always that one thing your pup is petrified of and you giggle a little when he jumps out of his skin. Ok, so if I am being totally honest, my pup is afraid of so many things and hardly any of them make sense. My fiancé is obsessed with washing his car (which I secretly admire) and when he is washing his car, he has every product imaginable out and an extended hose to reach every crevice of the vehicle. If I try and take Panda out for a walk, he will stop dead in his tracks at the sight of the hose on the ground. His eyes get wide and his body tenses up and he refuses to step over the vicious hose. It’s seriously the funniest thing ever. It’s also annoying because I have to pick him up and step over it before he feels like it’s safe to continue. Then there is the broom, vacuum, and any seasonal decoration that is bigger than he is which sends him into a state of shock. Panda is not a fan of my Santa Claus statue that sits by the front door. He will twist and manipulate his body in ways that look painful just to get away from Santa. LMAO.
- The Laser Pointer. This little piece of technology is amaze balls. Dave and I can literally play for hours with Panda and that little red dot.
- Sleeping with your pup. Every night, I look forward to that beautiful extended queen mattress and my amazingly soft down comforter. Sleep is supposed to be blissful and rejuvenating. If you have ever slept with a dog, these things go out the window. I spend the first half of my night contorting my body in ways that will not disturb my fully out-stretched pup. I will scoot to the very end of the bed before disturbing Panda’s sweet slumber. After 5 hours of uncomfortable feet being pushing into my back, I will ever so gently push Panda away and he will let out a dissatisfied growl which makes me immediately feel guilty for wanting comfort of my own. Sigh.
- At the end of the day, you love your dog more than you love most human beings.
No matter what your pup does, he is still your pup and the love you have for him is unconditional. Panda is like my child and to all my fellow dog owners, I know you feel the same!