21
Nov
11

maybe I’m just not qualified

Those of you who visit here regularly probably know that I’ve recently acquired a dog.

Meet Dexter.

He is, as you can see, very cute, and very sweet.

He also seems to be pushing all of my you-suck-as-a-parent buttons, and I’m having a really hard time deciding I’m qualified to even potty train this dog much less be held accountable for my children. (For some reason “So far I’ve let them live” fails to qualify as a ringing endorsement, although there have been times that this alone was a heroic accomplishment.)

I actually spent several hours today wondering if this 10-week old puppy could actually be smart enough to be manipulating me by running around the kitchen sniffing so that I would take him outside to go potty play.

This isn’t possible, right? He’s a 10-week old puppy. Right? (I have my doubts, and I am definitely watching for other signs of coercive behavior. Just give me a minute until I’ve finished rubbing that soft spot on the back of his ears. . .)

So I spend my only 2 hours off between 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. snatching him up from where he’s running and taking him outside so he can sniff bits of bark, chase the leaves that are blowing around and chew on acorns and sticks. Over and over and over, to no avail. Well, to no avail to me; he got to sniff bits of bark, chase the leaves that were blowing around, and chew on acorns and sticks. He’s a puppy. What more could he want?

I then discover that he had actually already gone poo in his “bed,” and this is not the first time, and dogs aren’t supposed to like to do this, so I decide his “bed” must be too big, and put a giant soup pot in the back of the crate, with the lid on upside down so the crate will close but he can’t get into the pot. I finally manage to coax him into the crate with a toy and a “bully stick” (this is actually, to my surprise and chagrin, a smoked bull penis, but we do not speak of that, although I do like to imagine the boardroom meeting while they settle on the name .  . . bull dick, hmm, can’t call it that, bully dick, only slightly better, and it sounds like someone who would beat you up on the playground so he could steal your Hardy Boys book and pocket protector, [you know, that bully, Dick?] hey! I got it! bully stick! Ah, advertising.)

I digress.

Back to the puppy.

At first he settles in, but then he realizes that he’s been “had,” and starts to express his displeasure over this act of subterfuge and deception. He starts yipping, and just won’t stop, so I finally really start to lose it and put the crate in the garage so I don’t kill him*  can’t hear him anymore. About 20 minutes later Only Daughter gets home from school, so we have a peek to see if all is settled down, and we can’t see him anywhere. When I get closer, bending over and peering through the gate, I realize that he has managed to squeeze himself into the 2″ of space between the top of the pot and the top of the crate, and is now curled up in the inverted lid, sleeping.

What a goofball.

All of this is the day after an exchange with Second Son that went something like this.

Me: “I have kind of a busy day on Wednesday to come pick you up from school,” (it has already been determined that his college isn’t far enough away; IMHO there must be a 200 mile minimum to really encourage independence), “can I buy you a bus ticket?”

SS: “Seriously? You can’t pick up your child?”
Me: “Well, I can, but I have a lot to do, and that’s two hours out of my day, and it’s really not that long of a bus ride, and I’ll buy your ticket.”

SS: “I hate the bus. Can’t you pick me up?”
Me: “Well, I can. But I have a lot to do. Would you be willing and able to help with some Thanksgiving dinner preparation Wednesday night then? I was going to do some of that Wednesday afternoon.”

SS: “Is it really not possible for you to do something for me without me having to do something in return?”

Yeah, that went over like a lead balloon.

After I had shown Husband the email^ I wrote to Second Son, explaining how much I hate entitled children with selfish, narrow world views, and how offended I was that my contribution to his well-being that extended far beyond food, shelter, and clothing, but into tuition and vehicle provision and insurance and maintenance etc., etc. seemed to be not only unreimbursed, but also, more importantly, unappreciated, Husband huddled, shuddering, in the corner of the couch. “Don’t hurt me” he says.

As if.

First of all, he would never say anything so offensive, or ridiculous.

Second of all, well, what else is there?

So I raise selfish, ungrateful children, and my puppy won’t pee outside.

Sigh.

*He was not hurt. Except for maybe his feelings when I told him to shut up. He’s lying at my feet licking his paws, so I think he’s forgiven me.

^Second Son apologized on the phone last night for being ungrateful and selfish. It turns out that he hadn’t even read the email yet (apparently college students don’t check their email anymore, although they sure seem to send me a lot of them). I guess it’s not all as hopeless as it seemed.

And Dex pee’d AND poo’d this morning first thing, and his crate was clean. But the pot’s staying. For now.

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