Monday, March 15, 2010

In the Dog House

I am NOT a dog person.  Not at all.  And I am becoming less of a dog person every. single. day.  I  don't really understand dog people.   My husband's brother used to call us up all the time before he had children, and tell us how busy his dogs were keeping them.  I kept thinking that he had no idea what busy was.  I just don't get what makes people call their dogs their babies, buy them presents at Christmas time, or even let them in the house!  Admittedly, I have a low tolerance for chaos.  And being as I have three kids and a husband to clean up after, any mess the dog makes threatens to send me over the edge.

This is Cooper.  We got Cooper as a teeny-tiny puppy in the middle of my pregnancy with Abby.   Just for the record, getting a brand new puppy while you're in the throes of pregnancy-induced insanity is an incredibly bad idea.  My husband came home from work one evening to find me sitting on the floor sobbing because the puppy had peed all over the floor again, and how in the world was I going to handle having a baby if I couldn't even get the dog to stop peeing on the floor, and why don't they just make diapers for dogs, etc. 

Despite that initial ugliness, Cooper has been with us ever since.  Even though I threaten to kill her at least once a day for the last nine years, she has managed to survive fairly unscathed.  We put up with the barking, (although I think about shooting her every time she barks and wakes up the baby,) the shedding, (we fill at least two large-size garbage bags every summer with dog hair.  It's only about half of the hair that she's shedding, and it's completely disgusting.  And just for the record, don't believe someone when they tell you that long-haired German Shepherds shed less than short haired...) and the smell.  (I decided once at approximately 9:30 at night a few weeks ago that I couldn't take the way she smelled anymore and decided to give her a bath.  Not a great idea.  Because then instead of just smelling like disgusting dog, she smelled like disgusting wet dog, and two out of three floors of my house were soaked, which is infinitely worse.)  She is most definitely my husband's dog, and something I tolerate in the name of familial harmony. 

Enter my husband, and his big heart and desire to help people, and last week we ended up with two more dogs while friends of ours are in South Africa trying to figure out their lives. This is Sadie.  I couldn't get a picture of her brother Koda because he is constantly spinning in circles like a tornado on crack.

I have three kids, fourteen violin students, and a  life I barely have a grip on.  (On good days.)  These dogs have enough energy to power a small country, with enough left over to destroy my house in the time it takes me to eat a brownie.  The dogs and I are not friends.

My kids are in heaven.  Abby spent the first few days they were here waking up at 4:30 in the morning to check on the dogs and make sure they were still here.  Max, who is obsessed with dogs, is thrilled that these dogs are just the right height to give him slobbery dog kisses and then knock him flat on his diaper-clad bum.  Gross.

So yeah, I'm counting down the days until the dogs are gone, the muddy dog-prints are reduced by a third, and our normal amount of chaos returns.  And this week has helped me come up with a very important set of rules.  You didn't ask, but I'm telling you anyway. 

So here they are.  Rules to be followed before we ever get another dog:

1- We have to be done having children.
2- All children we have must be potty trained.
3- The dog will be our only pet.
4- I will be the Alpha.  The dog WILL listen to me.
5- The dog will be smaller than a German Shepherd, bigger than one of those annoying ankle-biter yapper dog, AND
6- The dog will not be allowed to shed, and I will not be picking up any poop.

I'm thinking this set of rules might keep me dog-free for at least another 3 or 4 years.  One can only hope. 

I mush prefer my cat, who spends approximately 23.5 hours a day sleeping.  (How do I get in on that gig?) 

So tell me, are you a dog person?  Do you like pets?  How do you keep a house, kids, and pets without going crazy?


  1. We will never have a dog. There is no way I'm cleaning up after an animal. My kids keep me busy enough. We will never have a cat because Luke doesn't like them.

    We had a fish once.

    Bless you for putting up with the smell and the mess. I don't know how you do it.

  2. I have dogs because somewhere deep in my guilty conscience I thought dogs were a good idea for a house full of boys. I will not do it again. I think puppies are adorable and I don't hate dogs, I just am so insanely busy that all my dogs seem to do is irritate me. Not their faults I guess.

  3. Managing a house, kids and a dog is a secret I need to get in that we have a house of our own a dog is inevitable.

  4. Definitely NOT a dog person. If my husband were, the dog would be outside and I would NOT be in charge of it EVER. I like cats, but even those I can't stand to have in the house, because besides sneezing my head off and making me itch everywhere I've touched a cat, I hate the hair all over the place. And the idea that something that licks it's butt and then licks the rest of it's body and then sleeps on my couch/bed/pillow just GROSSES me out. We have a cat, it's outside, and I am never responsible for it. EVER. :)

  5. Nice Blog...

    We love dogs and we have two naughty street dogs living inside our Bedroom for the past 3 years...:)

  6. Oh my, I am most definitely a cat person!! We tried to have a dog once, thinking that we must be missing out on something, since the entire universe seems to be in agreement that life in America is not complete without the faithful family dog. Yep, that stupid dog made us realize that we are absolutely not dog people. Not. At. All. Definitely not a fan of the slobbery doggy kisses, and the waggy tail that knocks stuff off my tables, and the taking him out to pee and poo at some god-awful hour of the morning in 15 degree weather.....stupid dog!!
    I much prefer the sassy, aloof, "you'll do whatever I want because you are my human servant" attitude that cats have. Bless your heart for keeping your friend's dogs! You're a better woman than I am!

  7. My husband would like a dog, but I tell him 7 living beings is enough for me to take care of. I have given instructions that if my kids get older and I turn a puppy into a substitute child to please, please shoot me (or at least snap me out of it).

  8. I like your rules at the end. We have the one dog, which we got before kids. The kids love him. He actually listens to me, I am the alpha dog. I told my husband that the dog was his, but he never does jack with him, so the dog has become mine. I am the only one he listens to, so in addition to corralling four kids under the age of 7, I also get to handle the dog. But, my husband picks up the poop. And our dog sheds, but we have a great vacuum. When he dies, we may or may not get another dog. That is yet to be determined. But there will not be more than one dog EVER.

  9. Lol! He is so funny! That is so gross though. I won't let them even lick my hands. I am most definately a cat person


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