My mother loved dogs. It’s something she instilled in us as kids. We would take in strays, pups from a neighbor’s unplanned litter, a dog who needed rehoming and hunting dogs who would live out their final days in the country after they were through working to catch game fowl.
As an adult, I rescued my first shelter dog, two years ago. He was a four, underweight and was great addition to our family. I was fostering pit bull puppies on and off. I didn’t have a current foster when my friend called. There was a pup in need and she asked if I could take him in. Hmm, two full-time dogs, not just a foster. My husband wasn’t too happy about this, having never had pets growing up, but I agreed and the five-month old, Smokey, entered our lives.
Skip forward to present day and boy has the chaos-maker made living more interesting. I have said things I never thought possible. For example, one evening, as I was working downstairs on my laptop, I hear from upstairs, “Smokey, give me the remote”. I hang my head for a moment before I head upstairs. I am greeted by my pup, holding the remote in his mouth. Luckily, I was coming up the stairs and my husband was coming down the stairs. He knew he’d been caught. He “handed over” the remote without incident. That was an easy one.
Before I realized my German Shepherd mix could help me herd Smokey, I had been chasing him all over the house. Who needed a gym when you chased a puppy who was as agile as a speed skater? Phew…he wore me out. When you have a thief of a puppy, an open-floor plan is not your friend.
A few weeks ago, as we were preparing to leave for the day, silly me decided to get dressed. Smokey took the opportunity to redecorate a bit. In his 14 months of canine wisdom, he tore off a nice size piece of leather from the side of the ottoman (insert gasp). Luckily, we were able to face that side to the fireplace and no one is the wiser.
I’ve uttered the phrases, “what do you have against my pot holders?”, “What were you thinking?”, “Bras are not chew toys”, “HEY…that carrot was part of my lunch!” “Come here you thief”, “Why are you eating rocks?”, “Stop licking the dirt.”, “You are not a lap dog (50+ lbs that is)”, “puppies can’t have coffee…no stop that”.
So you see, I may have one human child in the home, but I have an infant puppy who makes sure my life is not dull. He has grown and learned some manners, but I can’t help but wonder, when they say, “boys will be boys” if they aren’t talking about my Smokey.