Saturday, April 19, 2008

Things Maia has taught me

With the recent (yet still sporadic) temperature warm-up I’ve been trying to make a point of taking Maia on walks in the evenings that I don’t have other obligations. I love being outside and these walks give me a chance to clear my head and let the creative thoughts flow. But the reason I take her has nothing to do with releasing stress or coming up with my next idea for a business venture. Very simply, it is because she loves to go. She starts to get excited as soon as I mention the word and by the time the leash comes out I’m sometimes worried she might actually pee her pants. I’m not going to lie and say she walks well on a leash, because she doesn’t. She’s a 100+ lb puppy that was bred for pulling carts in the mountains, a task I’m certain she would be good at. She hunkers down, bulges her muscles and pulls. And when she sees a bird flying over there or a twig blowing across the road over there, she darts to it. There have been times where I was certain I was going to return home with skinned knees or a broken ankle. But those moments are always overshadowed by the joy I see in her eyes when she climbs up big on a snow bank or looks out into the field and lets the wind blow in her face. And when we get home and she looks up at me with the big brown eyes as if to say “Thank You”, I promise her we’ll go again soon.

On a recent walk I started thinking back to a year ago. She was just three months old and the furthest we’d get on our “walks” was down to the end of the road. And often times I’d have to carry her up and down the driveway because she was so scared of the puddles that had formed after the snow melted and the rain started. I can’t believe she has been with us for over a year already. I can’t believe how much she has grown in that year. And I can’t believe how much I have learned in the last year.

1) You will have pee, poop, and puke all over your house. Including on your new off-white carpeting. Some stains will come out, others won’t. In the end, as long as it doesn’t smell, you don’t care.

2) Your puppy may piddle 7 times within an hour after you return home from work. You will tell her if she does it one more time she is being shipped back to Iowa. On the 8th time you scream NO! but love her anyway.

3) After catching her pooping inside the house you will yell Get Out! Get Out! Get Out! She will take you very literally and bust through the screen door. 9 months later that screen will still be flapping in the wind and when you see it you will smile.

4) Pet hair will invade your house. It will be on the floor, furniture, and your clothing. You will not be able to keep up with it and often times you will see big balls of hair hording in the corners. As long as they don’t ask to join you at the table for dinner, you will leave them in peace.

5) Furniture will get scratched. You can either place something over the scratch to hide it, or leave it visible as a character mark.

6) Knick-knacks, pictures, books, paper towels, and other assorted items will be chewed up and strewn throughout your house. Yes, even the figurine you got in Tahiti. It’s all stuff. Most of it can be replaced. What can’t is still stuff and you realize you’re life continues to move forward without it.

7) Socks can be swallowed whole. They can also be puked up or pooped out whole.

8) When your puppy cries at 1 am from her kennel you will get out of bed immediately to take her to potty or calm her down. When she does it again at 3am and 5am the routine is the same.

9) A left-over Thanksgiving turkey carcass should not be consumed by a puppy.

10) If consumed your puppy will have the worst diarrhea you could ever possibly imagine. This will happen on your living room floor and all over the kitchen. Let me repeat, ALL OVER the kitchen. Your husband will find it and for the first time in his life clean up poop without gagging. Okay… he will gag, but he’ll still clean it up. Also, 5 months later you’ll still find poop splatters on the kitchen wall.

11) When your tired puppy climbs up on the couch with you and curls up into a ball, you will find yourself scooting over to make sure she has enough room.

12) The homemade shortcake with filling cookie treats found at the front of Petco taste good. Really good.

13) The teddy graham looking treats do not.

14) Every morning your heart will break as you see her standing at the window begging you not to go.

15) Every night when you come home her snout pressed up against that same window will wash away all the stress of the day.


Kate said...

Oh, what a sweet post! Made me a little weepy.
Maia is adorable!

Aubrey said...

Made me smile. I love that now I can relate to so much of that. And what Millie hasn't done, Mojo did when we had him. Moj was also allergic (?) to mayonaise. Anytime he got it, he'd puke for days. All over.

She is such a beautiful puppy though! Enjoy each day!

Love ya.

Em said...

Definitely a very relatable post. I enjoyed reading it! Guess what? You made it through the first year and you're still alive to tell about it! It is amazing how much crap (literally) you have to deal with having dogs. Nothing prepares you for it. But, like you described, in the end it all seems worth it for the unconditional love they provide, in all the ways they richen family life. I'd say that since you've made it through the worst of the puppy stuff, you are most certainly ready for kids! :)

Em said...

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention the part about wondering if you'd come home with a broken ankle, etc. after walks with Maia, and I just wanted to remind you: it happens...oh happens to the best of us...haha ;) Thanks again for a fun and touching post. Love you!

Michele said...

Too funny - but so true!! Have to love the puppy stage. I'm still getting dragged down the street by Rex. Oh yeah - and he will be 4 next month!! The excitement in him is absolutely adorable though. He's worth it for sure.

Dawn said...

Awesome post. You should send that to an animal shelter in your area and see if they would post your list on their "things to think about before you get a puppy" page! I laughed out loud reading your post!