Monthly Archives: December 2011

On Being A Dog Owner

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I finally became a dog owner. I had dogs throughout my childhood, and loved them all. After all these years I felt I was responsible enough to own one, and I no longer have those urges to move across the country and start a new life on a whim. Yes, it is a change, my life now revolves around that scruffy white ball of fur. Gone are the days when I would take off for the gym, and come home 10 hours later because I become distracted by all the other things I need to do or want to do. All because I have to get home and make sure Henry did not chew up anything and he needs to be fed.

I want to make sure I give him the best and I try to be a good master. I decided to make the Henry homemade dog food. I Googled, I researched, and came up with rice, chicken, and vegetables. I would make a batch that would last about 10 days. Three day portions, then the rest was put in 3 day containers to freeze and use. This was such a production, and I felt satisfied that his nutritional needs would be met and I would never have to worry about ingredients. After 10 days of “loose stools” I gave up. He looked relieved when I opened the dry kibble and mixed it with broth. Treats. All dogs need treats. I am a label reader and I did make a decision not to buy products from China. I was in one store, and every product, with the exception of one came from China. Off to a pet store where I paid twice the amount for his chew toys, but I felt better knowing I had given him something I knew in my heart was safe

Which leads me to my next dog ownership “duty“ for no better word, poo. I cannot figure how a medium small dog can produce and leave so much. Not that I keep track of his output, it needs to be picked up before the gardeners arrive or the leaves do not get blown if poo is in the midst. So, at least once a week, the gloves and the ziplock bag comes out and I pick it all up. The dog trainer mentioned timed feeding=timed pooping. Well for the most part it really does work, he goes in the morning after breakfast. However, in the afternoon, I can pack up the dog, go for a ride, and what does he do upon exiting the car, he begins the humping motion to poo. He never does it in a convenient place, or around people who seem forgiving. It is like he does it to humiliate me, or perhaps it is a dogs sense of humor. I never imagined I would be walking after a dog and picking up poo. I used to laugh to myself when I saw people do this, and now it is me .

Then there is exercising the dog. My agreement with the adoption agency was that I would take the dog for walks, which I enjoy. Then a woman I met on the walk was appalled that we had not been to the dog park where he could run free. This left me guilt ridden so off to the dog park. I carefully read all of the posted rules on the fence and there we were. Henry does like to chase the other dogs, but lately, he would rather sit next to me on the bench or follow me as I stroll within the gated boundaries. He had a couple of negative experiences where smaller dogs nipped at him, and he did contain himself but he was not too happy. I learn a lot from the dog park people. I listen to their stories of vet bills that run in the thousands. I pray that Henry remains healthy and does not accrue a large vet bill. I explained to him I do not have insurance and he will have to rely on Dr. Google if something goes wrong. So, with those words I told him not to run in the street and get hit by cars, or fight other dogs.

I love the joy and happiness that Henry brings to my life. He is part terrier and sometimes I call him a terrorist. He has torn into the trash, ripped up sheets and pillows, but when you look at him as he slinks away there is still love in my heart for him. He does not mind his occasional bath and puts up with the lightly scented shampoo and then smells like a girl. He does not shake until I dry him with a towel, it is another thing to appreciate. I love it that Henry sleeps on the foot of the bed and patiently waits till I open my eyes to leap all over me, it is a delightful way to start the day. All I have to do is look at my dog, or even a picture of him on my phone, and I smile from the inside out. Yes, I love Henry with all my heart and soul.