We’ve had our dog Teddy for over two months now. One thing I can say as someone who’s never owned a dog before – it’s not what I expected.
My twins had been begging for a dog for years. Finally, they persuaded my husband and I to get one. At 14-years of age, they convinced us that they would be responsible for most of the care-taking.
Teddy in the backyard
I imagined life with a canine companion… a long pleasant walk with him in the morning, whilst thinking about my current work in progress. Followed by sitting at my desk writing as the dog slept peacefully at my feet. In my day-dream, after school one of the twins would take the dog for another walk. We’d all get more exercise.
Any parent reading this knows exactly where this is going…
Sleeping-in on the weekend is right out. Somebody has to let Teddy out of the crate for a potty break, and that somebody is me, the mom.
I hardly ever see our two cats anymore, and I miss them. They come out of hiding only to eat and use the litter box. There is no doubt in my mind that Teddy would kill them if given the chance. I asked the private rescue organization if the dog had been tested for compatibility with cats, and they told me “it’s all about how you introduce them.” I should have known what that really meant was: “He loves cats, he just can’t eat a whole one.”
Walking Teddy is hard work, and requires constant attention. So of course, it’s my job. He weighs eighty pounds and lunges away at the least whiff of a rabbit, or the sight of a bird or squirrel. Teddy’s current body count is two: he’s killed one rabbit and one bird, so far. We’ve been working on leash-walking in obedience class. He’s getting better, but walking him is a long way from a pleasant, relaxing experience. In fact, for now training means no long walks at all – I’m stuck in ultra-boring up-and-down our street mode.
Teddy with one of my kids
Other than his enthusiasm for murdering small animals, Teddy is a very sweet guy. He’s very gentle with people and doesn’t pay attention to other dogs. He’s smart and quick to learn. He’s motivated more by attention than treats. Except for the cats, we all love him.
I have hope that eventually, he will get used to our cats and see them as companions rather than potential chew-toys.
Do your pets help or hinder your writing efforts?