Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sometimes... you just have to laugh.

If you’ve ever had a dog before, you know that something is bound to get destroyed at some point.  I can’t even begin to count how many pillows and comforter sets Brody annihilated.  Fortunately for me, while the “little things” have been absolutely chewed up or ripped to pieces, I haven’t lost a couch or the blinds or anything of that extent yet.  But, hey, I am only twenty-five.  I’ve got many years ahead of me... in which I’m sure to acquire one of those problem dogs that gets so freaked out that eating the couch is the only way to make it better.

My biggest loss was when Benji was living with me.  Benji didn’t have a great upbringing, so it only seemed fair that he became anxious when I left him alone in the house with the other dogs.  Due to sheer stupidity, I sometimes forgot to shut the door to my bedroom.  I came home one day to find the power cord to my Mac chewed up into tiny pieces.  Let me also mention that I was struggling to pay for anything at the time... as well as the fact that I’m such an internet addict that the thought of my laptop’s battery dying before the new power cord arrived nearly killed me.  I was irate... but what good would yelling do now?  Oh... and let’s not forget to mention that ANYTHING Mac is pricey!  I immediately ordered a new power cord and crossed my fingers that it would arrive before my laptop died.  I swear that I practically proposed to the UPS delivery man when my new power cord arrived just in the knick of time!  I think I had 17% battery life left... or something close.

On top of that, there were plenty of times the three stooges (Benji, Brody, and Meaty) would just get a little too excited and go crazy on whatever they could find.  I remember coming home one time to find that the dogs had gotten into a  container of powdered chocolate milk... which had been spread so kindly all over the carpet in my bedroom.

I’ve come home countless times to find shredded toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls.  Brody got into the habit of taking anything I left in the sink out while I was gone.  After going through puppyhood with quite a few puppies, I’ve even noticed some teethmarks in my coffee table.

My three dogs seem to have finally settled into their own.  I leave the house, and they sleep.  There are foster dogs floating in and out, too, but I usually crate them while I’m gone.  I’ve learned to block off the carpeted rooms.  I’ve learned not to leave anything in the sink.  I’ve learned to put everything away... unless I want to come home and pick up the 3 million remnants of whatever it was that left out.  Cords are all out of reach, too!  When you have free-roaming dogs, you learn to adjust.  I’ve come to the realization that dogs are dogs, and you can’t expect them to always be perfect.  Our intelligence level is much higher - though I doubt that often - so it’s kind of our job to either crate the dogs or learn to pick up and keep what you want safe out of reach.

The creation of this entry was sparked by last night’s events.  It’s my “birthday weekend” right now, so the last few days have been pretty busy.  I haven’t spent as much time with the dogs as I normally do.  Apparently yesterday was the tipping point for the dogs.  Not only had I been out late the night before, but I also had to leave for a horse show in the morning on Saturday.  I left around 9:30AM and was gone much longer than I had expected.  I got home at about 5:00PM.  Since I don’t have a job, my dogs really aren’t used to me being gone that long.  I finally returned home and got to spend a mere half hour with the dogs before it was time to leave again.  Since I didn’t have much time... and had to get ready for a party... I decided against feeding them dinner a little early... and just feeding them later.  Little did I know... I wouldn’t be getting home until about 10:30PM.  Poor Bentley had been in his crate nearly all day... and I was sure that my poor dogs were simply starving at that point!  When I finally returned home and opened the door, I was greeted by antsy dogs and a living room FULL of white fluff.  The pillow that I always leave on the couch had been murdered.  It looked like it had snowed in my living room!  That pillow has been sitting on that couch for months, and they’ve never touched it.  But... I suppose that was their way of saying, “Mom, you totally neglected us today.  Not cool.”  Running on a couple hours of sleep in the last 48 hours, the last thing I wanted to do was come home to clean up the innards of my pillow.  All I wanted to do was let the dogs out, feed them, let them out once more, then go the hell to bed!  But that wasn’t the case.

I wasn’t mad, though.  I was more amused by the fact that that seemed to be their way of saying, “TAKE THAT!  You left us all day AND haven’t freakin’ fed us yet!  Mommy’s pillow must die!”  I walked into my house full of cotton snow and simply couldn’t help from laughing.  With dogs, those sorts of things are going to happen every once in a while.  There’s no use in getting mad.  Technically... it’s your fault.  You should have put your stuff away! 

Sometimes... you just have to laugh.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tied Down

With my impending birthday weekend... in which I’ll be celebrating my 25th year on this earth... I’ve run into a problem.  Well, it’s not that much of a problem for me as it seems to be for others.  Not to mention the quarter life crisis that is sure to come, I feel like I need to discuss something that I hear more often than I’d like to.  That question... phrase... whatever... is: Don’t you hate being tied down by all of those animals?
The blatant answer to that question is... ABSOLUTELY NOT!  “You should really stop fostering...” and “You need to get rid of some of those animals.  You can never do anything...” are the forbidden sentences to cross my path this week.
Yes, having these animal companions in my house does keep me from going places or staying out too long.  Preparing for vacation is almost so stressful that it’s not worth ever leaving.  Let’s not forget to mention that hiring pet-sitters or finding a good place to board is practically as expensive as vacation is.The more I thought about sacrificing vacations and time spent out, the more I realized that I prefer to be “tied down” opposed to having that freedom.  I’m a homebody.  I like coming home to my animals.  I’d much rather spend an evening huddled up on the couch with my dogs than I would out drinking with friends.  It’s not that I don’t love my friends as much as my animals.  That’s not it at all.  I just prefer to relax at home surrounded by my dogs and cats.  Ever since I was a child, I had to have my “quiet time” away from the hustle of life.  I’d spend hours upstairs in the playroom with my animal toys... making them talk to each other and embark on incredible adventures.  I still need my “quiet time” and always have.  That’s just me.
I like going home to tend to my animals.  I’m not angry that I can’t stay out too long or go on vacations.  I have responsibilities to take care of.  While you might think I’m tied down, I feel the opposite.  I’m freer than most of you will ever be.

So for those who understand where I’m coming from, we’ll keep our little secret.  When we say, “I’m sorry, I can’t stay much longer.  I have to get home and feed the dogs...”, I won’t roll my eyes and wonder why you “tie yourself down” with all of those pets.  I get it.  I’m glad that I have dogs... because I love them, and they enrich my life.  But... on top of that... I’m glad I have dogs... because if gives me an excuse to come home, slap on my PJs, and spend some time with the souls that love me most.