December 25, 2012
approx. 8.5 weeks, 17lbs.
February 20, 2013
approx. 16.5 weeks, 41lbs.
I've been meaning to write a very special blog to introduce a very special pooch named Sadie Mae- but as I discovered, oh, the morning after Christmas... what I have on my hands here is a third child in my house. No. Strike that. Not just a third child. A third toddler- a gigantic toddler with ADD who is growing at a freakish rate every day and has more energy than my 21 month-old and 4 year-old human children combined, if that's even possible. So, this being said, I have even less time now to do recreational things that I like and need to squeeze into my schedule to accomplish (if I'm lucky).
I had conveniently forgotten how much time and attention puppies require- if you want to be the best dog mom you can be, because the way I see it, and what I find myself having to remind my impatient husband, is that we (happily) volunteered to take on the responsibility of bringing this puppy into our household, despite the stress and responsibility and patience and lack of time we already juggle on our every day day to day.
Naive? Absolutely. I like to think of it as an endearing naivety, but naive nonetheless.
The morning after Christmas, on our first true day of puppy having, it only took an hour for me to ask myself,
"What in the HELL were we thinking????"
Seriously. I was about in tears like 3, maybe 4 times. It was out of control. Screaming, poop and pee everywhere, chewing up everything- chewing up the KIDS. It was mayhem.
I know it sounds awful, after all the excited Facebook posts and picture taking and stuff, but let's be real here. I have my hands full enough as it is, keeping Mochi and Jude from beating the crap out of each other, breaking up fights, picking up the ongoing trail of toys and messes they leave, dealing with potty issues and schedules and meals and trying to make sure they each receive a healthy amount of my undivided attention individually so that they don't feel overlooked or ignored (which is easy to do sometimes unfortunately).
I drift in and out of different extremes of crazy trying to keep them happy, disciplined, entertained, fed, clean, polite, safe, loved, and all in all, ALIVE.
Now we have a puppy in the mix- who also needs ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
Between the kids and the puppy, since Christmas, I've felt like I spend most of my days trying to discipline three little creatures who have no interest in listening to a word that comes out of my mouth, unless I either A.) Use my "mean mommy" voice or B.) Bribe with treats.
I'm learning that my "mom guilt" extends very much to my puppy- when I feel as though I'm not giving her enough of my time and attention, but as much as I try to include and incorporate her into the family circle as much as I can, there comes a point when it gets to be too much and she has to go outside or into her kennel to decompress and chill the fuck out.
She's crazy. I thought she'd be great for wearing my children out, but on the contrary, she's always the first to go. I underestimated the energy sucking powers that my children have as a team. Even my crazy puppy is no match most of the time. She puts up a good fight though.
Sadie's favorite chew toy is Jude's legs- and this makes for AWESOME screams from Jude. She too has more toys than she probably needs, and they mingle and mix with the kid's toys and can be found strewn around the house. Sadie loves to snatch up a My Little Pony or a stuffed animal and take off, shaking the MLP until its neck "breaks." This too makes for AWESOME screams, from Mochi, who has a hard enough time keeping her brother from taking things out of her hands.
You get the three of them together and their combined energy is like putting Red Bull, cocaine, Kool Aid and Pixie Sticks into a blender without the lid on.
Yup, Lady Sadie Mae Stark of Winterfell has had quite an impact on our household.
Oh, yeah. The Lady Sadie Mae Stark of Winterfell thing. That's her ridiculous AKC name. I don't think you can give a dog an AKC name without it being a little ridiculous and pretentious, don't you think? AKC is dumb and we weren't looking or an AKC Shepherd, but her mother and father were AKC (dam and sire, as the fancy papers read *said in a snooty dog show judge voice*) and the family we adopted her from gave us the papers upon adoption. I could've cared less, but it did make for some fun with her name.
Taylor and I are really into the medieval fantasy world of Game of Thrones right now (the HBO show- not the encyclopedia-long book series, pshh. Yeah right, I wish I had that kind of time!) and for those not in the know, the wolf is the icon or whatever of the House of Stark... in Winterfell. I can't explain this with a straight face to people which makes me feel like I've chosen the perfect pretentious AKC name for our dog. That and the fact that Taylor is totally embarrassed by my dorkiness when I call her this- all the more reason to make it official. I sent in the papers so it is, in fact, official. He doesn't know it though, so she's only really Lady Sadie Mae Stark of Winterfell in secret... and that's even funnier to me.
Here's some things to know about Lady Sadie Mae Stark of Winterfell (*snicker*):
*She's about 90% potty trained already- and hasn't had an accident in 3 weeks.
*She's finally getting "ball" down.
*She refuses to pee/shit in the grass when it's too snowy or raining, so she uses the back patio. Gross- but at least it's not my floors or carpet.
*She's doubled in size since Christmas. I swear I'll have her in her kennel for an hour or two, and when I let her out again she's BIGGER.
*She loves the car. She rides with us to drop Jude off at school and goes with us to pick him up.
*I take her just about everywhere with me, and she's happy to hang out in the car with a giant bone- and this being said, my car smells like and is littered with what looks like giant BBQ brontosaurus bones since they are the only thing she can't destroy in 5 minutes. Gross, but at least she isn't destroying my car.
*Leash training. We're getting there. I forget that dogs aren't born knowing how to walk on a leash, and that training needs to be done when you ARE NOT dragging a wagon with two fighting children in it down the street.
*She has a bedtime. After an hour or so of playtime all to herself and no children, she's in bed with lights out at 10:15 p.m.
*She wears me out, but our household is more fun with her in it. More tired and messy- but fun. And I think every household needs a family dog- just my opinion.
*She's pretty much, on most days, solved the answer to the question of whether or not Taylor and I want more children (a question that we are being asked more than we are ready to hear right now!).
For now at least.
My relationship with this dog is already substantially different than the one I had with Gretchen. Which is only natural and right. I'm momma, she's one of my babies. The girlfriend factor probably won't happen for awhile- it'll take time. It has been an experience thus far adjusting from having an adult, trained, well-behaved dog to a spastic puppy- on so many levels. But I'm starting to see little windows of a special friendship between Sadie and I.
Like yesterday, for the first time, I noticed that she was following me everywhere, and not just bouncing off the walls and getting into shit all over the house like she had been since Day One.
For the first time really, she was following me, then would camp out by my side or my feet, and just look up at me attentively and intently, waiting for my next move, or next affectionate ear scratch or treat or conversation directed just at her- and I realized that all the time and attention I have been investing in her is creating the friendship and relationship I'm going to have with this dog.
Duh, right? Well, I admit to getting too busy to slow down and really acknowledge this much of the time. I don't have the time to spend one on one with her like I did Gretchen, and my mom guilt about that bothers me- but it also makes me more diligent about scheduling the time with her- whether it's "ball time" while Mochi naps, or rope tugging time while the kids eat dinner- because I want her to be happy with us and know that she is and always will be a valuable, priceless, important, integrated part of our family.