I know what you’re thinking: “When you didn’t post anything for months, even about your dog, we assumed you were dead.”
And yet none of you sent flowers to my widow. Tacky.
Not that I’m married.
Or like flowers.
But it’s the thought of an unliked gift to a non-existant spouse of someone you mistakenly thought was deceased that counts.
In other news, my puppy reproduced asexually. Like cells reproducing, she grew and then split from a copy of herself. I got a picture of it happening:
Turns out, when the dog groomer says you have to bring your dog in to get her hair trimmed every 3 months, they mean it. Or else this happens.
So now I have two puppies. The new puppy is great!
Really, really great!
Okay, I don’t like her.
We’ve been having trouble bonding. This is the strangest thing for me. To me, puppies equal happiness. Yet here I am in some bizarre alternate dimension where this little not-even-10-pounds of fluff smiles up at me and wags her tail so hard, she literally knocks herself over and all I can think is, “Couldn’t you go bother someone else with your overflowing, unconditional adoration?”
I don’t know what the problem is.
Oh, wait. Yes I do: it’s the puppy. She is definitely the problem. I know it’s not me. I’m delightful. Just ask the puppy. She thinks I’m amazing.
So it’s definitely her. And I think I have narrowed down the exact cause.
How I can I say this nicely?
The puppy is very special . . . in her brain.
Granted, Dog #1 has given me unrealistic expectations about how smart a dog should be. Dog #1 is incredibly smart. She actually manages my personal finances for me. You may not believe that, but if you saw the ratio of doggie toys to human possessions at my house, you would believe.
But my unrealistic expectations are not the problem.
Because even if I had no expectations, this puppy would still fail to reach that bar. Here are the sorts of less-than-minimum-expectations my puppy fails to meet:
- Not running head-first into large, static objects, such as closed doors
This puppy runs into closed doors. And not like sliding glass doors (okay, including sliding glass doors, too). I’m talking about solid, wooden, incredibly visible doors.
I think what happens is that the puppy gets very, VERY excited. Many things seem to trigger this excitement: people, towels, the floor, air, etc.
My theory is that the puppy gets so excited that, while her eyes see the door, her brain is so overwhelmed by processing the overdose of excitement that her brain isn’t able to translate the image into action, such as, “Hey! We should stop running before plow our fuzzy little face directly into that door.”
She’s not blind. I know that for certain because when I’m sleeping, she can stick her tongue directly in my ear canal with 100% accuracy. The first time that happened, I thought it was an accident, like she was trying to lick my cheek but missed. By the tenth time, I realized she’s hitting exactly where she’s aiming.
Which leads me to the next basic expectation my puppy fails to meet:
- Not licking the inside of a person’s ear while they sleep
It’s called common courtesy.
- Using the great outdoors properly
To her credit, my puppy understands that there is a difference between inside and outside, and also that only one of those places should be defecated upon.
Unfortunately, she picked the wrong one.
She often will come in from a nice romp in the yard only long enough to do her business before heading straight back outside.
I have a theory about this, too. Most dogs won’t mess where they eat. At first, I thought my puppy lacked that vital survival instinct. Then I realized that my puppy’s main source of food IS the outside. Sure, I give her name-brand puppy food, but much like a rabid squirrel, she subsists mainly off of pinecones, sticks, leaves, dirt, and those objects that make me exclaim loudly, “WHAT IS THAT?! IS IT MOVING?!? OH MY GOSH!! DROP IT!!! DROP IT!!!!!”
I guess in her puppy mind, nature is her dinner plate, so it makes sense not to do her business outside on it.
- Believing in Gravity
Again, to be fair to the puppy, it is a character trait of this breed of mutt (bichon frise-spaniel-100% cotton-wool blend) to not believe in gravity. I know because Dog #1 is the same breed and also does not believe in gravity. She believes she’s too adorable to ever fall to the ground. And she is correct.
You would think the puppy would catch on, though. She has fallen off the couch more than once in extreme tail-wagging incidents. But that only happens when something particularly exciting happens, such as the universe existing.
Given all of these traits, I eventually had to accept that I was out of my depths with trying to train this puppy (if I knew how to do things, I wouldn’t be a blogger). So I called a professional puppy trainer.
Within two minutes of meeting the puppy, the professional had soaking wet inner ears.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “She usually only does that when you’re asleep.”
The puppy trainer had lots of good advice for us. Optimistic, perhaps, but we’ll give it a try.
On a positive note, having a 2nd dog does have its advantages. Somehow, in complicated math that I do not understand, having two puppies has significantly increased my budget for doggie toys.
And I have to admit that, despite my best efforts, I am starting to fall in love with the puppy.
And I’m not just saying that because she’s watching me type this right now.