Saturday, April 07, 2007

4 weeks on...

Someone to watch over me
London, ON, March 2007 [Click to enlarge]

We've learned a number of things about owning a dog in the almost-four weeks since we brought Frasier home (see here if you're just learning about our new addition.) Here's a quick sampling, categorized neatly for your reading pleasure:
  • Play: A puppy will inevitably decide to play - and play hard - at precisely the late-night moment when you decide it's time to tuck in for bed. You're too tired to play along? Too bad.
  • Sleep: If you wake up in the pre-dawn murk to see a furry face staring at you from beside the bed, don't be afraid. Make sure you have your clothes already laid out so you can quickly get out of the house without waking everyone else up.
  • Wardrobe: It's OK to go for an early-morning walk in your one-piece gigantic red jammies as long as you're wearing a similarly long trench coat to hide most of it. It's NOT OK if it's too warm for a trench coat. (See previous clothes-layout suggestion.)
  • Instinctive behavior: Once outside, he will attempt to pee on every tree, bush, rock, stump, fencepost, or any other protrusion he can find. If he runs out of pee, that won't stop him.
  • Making friends, part 1: When he sees a stranger, he will bark loudly enough to be heard from a full city block away. He will pull hard enough that you will cross your fingers that you bought a decent enough leash and collar.
  • Making friends, part 2: When he sees a strange dog, he will bark loudly enough to be heard from the adjacent zip code. You hope you injected your steroids that morning as you strain against the leash.
  • Making friends, part 3: He will inevitably make a bee line for the person who either hates dogs, or is afraid of them. Eventually, said non-dog person will smile at least once.
  • Perpetual motion: Smaller dogs seem to have more energy than larger ones. I'm not sure why that is.
  • The front door: Homecoming is a delightful and frightening time. Delightful because you're thrilled that any being would be so happy upon your return. Frightening because you worry he'll scoot out the door and never be seen again.
  • The bottom line: You'll wonder what your home was like before you had him. They seem to weasel their way into the fabric of your family without too much difficulty.
More observations to come, I'm sure. We're just settling into the dog thing, and already I wonder why it took us so long to jump in.

Your turn: If you've got a pet, what observations have you made?

Administrative note: I've finally gotten off my duff and upgraded the blogroll in my sidebar. If I've missed you, please accept my apologies - it wasn't intentional. If you're a regular visitor here and you'd like to be added on to the 'roll, post a comment here and I'll add you in on the next update cycle. Thanks for your patience in helping me spread the bloggy love.


Krista said...

Hello, Michele sent me.


Love the blog.

Unknown said...

The hardest lesson I ever learned about being a dog owner? When your dog dies, you still step over the spot where he slept, you still hear his collar jingling, and you still smell him after he's gone.

Now we have a cat. Yeah. What I have learned from my cat? Claws are sharp and the really leave scars. You should SEE my stomach!

Anna said...

Now THAT is a relaxing Saturday! Nice shot.

Thanks for your tips on the macro. I'll let you know what I end up doing.

Have an even better Sunday! :) Happy Easter!

Linda said...

I don't have a pet anymore, but I had cats...and my one observation was that when you needed loving or sympathy the most, the cats would come to you. My cat Skittles spent the better part of my first marriage sleeping on my back...she knew it comforted me in a way that nothing else could. I miss her.

Thanks for the blogroll!!!

OldLady Of The Hills said...

Hi Carmi....Lobg time no see....As they say, somewhere! (lol) It sounds like you are having a wonderful time with the newest member of your family...A Delight!

What I have learned from ALL my cats over these many years is...Everything is on their time...when they want to come up on your body...not when you want them too---Oh it might work, but only when your cat is very very old....! I happen to love that about cats---their independence, you know? And the biggest nyth about cats is that they are not loving sweet dear creatures. They are, I am thrilled to say....!

sage said...

Aren't dogs wonderful. Our dog is great, except that he's afraid of the camera, but the other day while hiking I got a face shot of him and posted it (in a post titled "Walking along the Coldwater")

Thumper said...

My pet observations?

1) I am not worthy.

2) They have an uncanny ability to know when I have to pee, and will pick that moment to jump on my lap and be cute.

3) Their love for me depends on how willing I am to use my opposable thumbs for their benefit.

4) They will wait until 5 seconds before my mother in law enters the house to fouls their litter boxes in the most disgustingly aromatic way.

5) I am not worthy, but they'll make sure to wake me up if the bedroom fan motor is about to burst into flames...

Anonymous said...

Well, I've never had a dog, but two cats are quite enough! Lesson learned on cat #1 (Tucker) is that he can and will be spiteful when left alone for too long. The main reason I have a friend stay at my house if I go out of town for over 1 day... sad, very sad. Lesson learned on cat #2 (Samson) must be loved on numerous times when home or else will meow and meow until I pick him up and let him lick my cheek, thus exfoliating it in the process. I wouldn't trade either of them for the world! Your dog is so precious sounds like he has been a wonderful addition to your family.
Beverly (Lacoochee Kid) sent me... I'm her daughter.

srp said...

We have cats and dogs. One of our cats thinks he is a dog, or more likely that he is human. He knows how to use his eyes to pierce your resolve about pretty much anything. He is a great foot warmer and offers a gentle paw when life isn't going well.

The dogs are comedians to make you laugh through tears, or give kisses to ease the hurt and stand between you and anyone whom they think might not be "just right", protecting.

I've learned that they are with us for too short a time, but when it is time for them to go, they do so with such grace; taking the time in those final moments to try and ease our pain with a last loving kiss and a look that says, "I'm OK, thank you for holding me while I go, don't cry." And it works, the pain subsides, the joyous memories remain and soon enough another helpless creature is there to worm their way into your heart.

This is a classic picture of boy and dog... it is a keeper, blow up and put on the wall picture. Someday he will show it to his son and tell him all about that wonderful Frazier, his friend, his buddy.

Oh, and who was it with one piece giant red jammies covered by trenchcoat? You have no idea what picture that conjures up in our heads.

I would be honored to be on your blogroll.

Anonymous said...

My parents have smaller dogs (not sure what kind), and I don't think I've ever seen them stop running around or hopping up on something or somebody. Lots of energy!

I have two cats and they are complete opposites. When I come home, one is ready to jump out the door. The other manages to lift her head up enough to notice something's happening.

Michele sent me here today.

Irish Church Lady :) said...

Life without a dog
would be one
I would find
Not much fun!

caramaena said...

Oh that is a beautiful photo. Made me go 'awww' :)

Thanks for the link too - much appreciated!

caramaena said...

Oh and as for what I've learned from my cats - its expect the unexpected. They have a habit of sitting just in front of me and then as I lift my leg to step over them, they'll dart into the exact spot my foot is aiming for!

Karen said...

Hi Carmi! It's been ages! Hope you've been well. Congrats on the new puppy. It's like having another child, isn't it? Challenging but fun. You'll adjust in no time. And I'm sure your kids will love you for it.

I think I'm missing on your blogroll, but then again, I don't even have a blogroll, so I guess I shouldn't complain. (You'd be on it, of course.)

I haven't blogged in quite a while for no good reason other than lack of inspiration. (Column writing sucks all the creativity out of me!)

Hope you're well. Happy Passover and Easter and such!

Carli N. Wendell said...

Can we trade? My asthmatic, depressed, intestinally-challenged cat for your puppy?

What I've learned is that animals can take over your life without you even realizing it. In fact, right now, I just turned around to look at Wendell on the bed, and he actually looked at me and said, "Are you writing about me? Is that nice?"

When I think of what I've spent on vet bills this year, and how many Buicks I could have potentially bought with the money (well, small, old Buicks), I'm disgusted. But when I think of losing him, I'm heartbroken. And then he does something like try to eat an entire piece of matzo or attack a bird from inside the apartment, and it's all good.

Enjoy the puppy.

Carolyn said...

1st, I love that photo! It's "snugglesome!"

We have 2 cats & 2 dogs. They each have their own personalities, and yet similarities are mixed between canines and felines. They will pick on each other at play, then snuggle together at night. They all want to be "the only one" in our eyes, yet they seem to understand and respect we love them equally. All eyes are upon us when we eat, and if there are nibbles to be shared, they quickly look around to make sure no one else got a bigger piece, lol!

When one dies, they are never replaced in our hearts or photo collection :)

Anonymous said...

I sure can vouch that smaller dogs have much more energy! My Holly is a Boxer/Lab and Duncan is a 21 pound Scottish Terrier. His energy in wanting to play is limitless.
I just can't imagine life without a dog in it. I'm so glad you took the leap and are enjoying all that they give to you.
And what a great photo! Precious and priceless.

Anonymous said...

Let me make this clear.... I - Love - THIS - PICTURE! The accompanying comments are absolutely classic Carmi.

Bud just so you know, you might be the greatest blogger of all time.

Gyrobo said...

I can personally vouch for Making Friends No. 3, if you need an unreliable source.

CG said...

That's a great photo and I loved your observations. I'm typing this in a state of anxiety as one of our cats is missing. I can't imagine my life without my animals but sometimes I wish I didn't love them so much that when they are ill, missing or die that I feel my heart will break!!!

sally said...

What a wonderful photo. I think all children should grow up owning pets. I have a rescue dog, Sophie, now 14, and finally showing signs of age. Her eyes have shone adoring, unconditional lvoe on me for 14 years will I manage without her?

Lee Ann said...

This is the very sweetest of pictures!

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

Hi Carmi, I have been getting seriously behind over the past 10 days to 2 weeks and have just caught up on all of your wonderful stories and pictures. I like this one out of them all. This is an amazing peaceful shot.

I am so glad that you are enjoying Frasier so much, animals have a way of burrowing their way under out skins and becoming part of our families and lives without us even realising they are doing it.

Hope all is well with you.


barbie2be said...

while i have only had my Moo Kitty since october, i don't remember what life was like before i got him.

i'm not in your blogroll... don't you love me anymore?

JAM said...

Awww. What a wonderful picture. That is pretty much perfect of both subjects. Great as a B&W.

SJ said...

I like the post. Great photo once again, and your observations on dog ownership are so true. (I don't have any pets now but did when I was growing up and will almost definitely again, once I get a house.)

Keeping the blogroll updated can be tricky. Funny you should ask if I mind that you add my blog (I don't)... because I added yours without even thinking about it. I guess I tend to assume we write to share, but maybe I should start asking too. =)

Moon said...

The things I have learned about having dogs, is , just as u said, it's hard to what it was like before we had them, and what life would be now, if they were gone.
Also, since we have two, they have such distinctly different personalities yet are always together. I have just posted pics of them in my blog today lol, before and after spring haircuts lol
btw, I would love to be on your blog roll, but I don't have one on my blog if thats a problem...but I am a regular reader here , even if I don't comment on every post. Love coming to see what u have to show and say.

Anonymous said...

Another dog lesson:

The amount of time it will take my dog to find the "perfect spot" to pee is directly proportional to the nastiness of the weather. The colder and or wetter the weather, the longer it takes.
Also, the best spot will require standing in or walking through the muddiest area possible.

That said, I love the great hairy beastie and don't know what I'd do without him :).