Friday, May 27, 2011


I. Am. Frustrated.

You could probably tell that from my post title.

Seriously, though, I am frustrated.

And it's not just one thing or another. It feels like it's everything.

The dog. The apartment. Work. Finances. The only things that aren't frustrating me right now are my relationship and writing, for which I'm profoundly grateful.

The dog, though...these last couple of days have been really rough with him. A few days ago he twisted his foot, and while we think he's fine, sometimes it looks like he favors it a little. I don't want to make it worse if there is something wrong with it, but I also need to make sure that he's exercised enough before I leave him to go to work. This was thrown into sharp relief the other day when I arrived home to find the apartment quite literally torn apart.

Torn. Apart.

Garbage all over the kitchen floor, things pulled off the table, the cat scratcher utterly destroyed, at least five cardboard boxes shredded and the pieces scattered to the four winds...I've never seen anything like it. I mean, I expected to encounter something like this, having a puppy and everything, but he's close to a year old, hadn't shown any particular tendencies towards this kind of thing before, and I thought he'd do most of his acting out while he was still adjusting to us. But now he's adjusted, and the acting out has begun. I really don't know what we're doing wrong, but he seriously has all kinds of attitudes going on right now. He's still mostly very good, but we can't get him to stop pulling on walks with the three of us (he's fine when it's just Nate or I with him), and he will not listen when I tell him that he has to wait to go in or out of doors. He absolutely insists on going first, which means that he thinks he's in charge, but...I don't know. I really don't.

He's also identified me as the "weaker" one, which I hate. I got so mad today when we went outside - he caught me by surprise and dragged me through the entryway instead of letting me go first. But the entryway has this stupid concrete step, so of course I tripped and almost bashed my head in on the pavement. I rolled him, though, and he submitted, but damn. I was absolutely furious, and worse, stressed because I only had so much time before work and had several errands to run. It made me not even want to take him to the field. He was pretty good from then on, though, so...I suppose I'm glad I did.

He's kept us so busy, though, that we've been too tired to really work on unpacking and organizing the apartment, which has built up this steady layer of grime (half figuratively, half literally, unfortunately) over the last week. I did some cleaning last night, but it barely made a dent. I hate being in there. I can't think, can't write, can't even relax. The mountain of clothes in the bedroom has gotten worse, not better. The kitchen is awkward and makes doing dishes utterly suck. It's just...AGH. AGH, AGH, AGH.

That felt good.

How do you keep a dog from controlling your life while still giving it the attention and exercise it needs?

At least it's a three-day weekend.


  1. Wow. Yeah. Mango and Lilly will sometimes try to get into the garbage when we don't put it up, but they haven't gone on a rampage in a long time. One thing that has been suggested to me multiple times is to put the dog in a room - like the bedroom, perhaps - that has relatively little they would be interested in chewing. But that only works sometimes.

    Other than that, Lilly is pretty certain she's in charge, so I haven't figured the "I'm the boss, not you!" thing out yet.

    I understand the messy apartment thing. I feel like if I don't dedicate at least an hour to cleaning every day, things just get grimy or cluttered beyond control. Dishes and clothing piles especially.

    At least Nate and writing aren't frustrating. That's something, right? :)

  2. Hmmm...having a puppy sounds a lot like having a baby! Except for the whole destroying the apartment thing. That won't be for a couple years...but we have the cats to help with that for the moment :/

    My mom said that dogs don't really "grow up" until about three years old. So um...only two more years of chaos for you? Things will get better. He just needs to get adjusted to the new environment. I know it's probably impossible with finances and schedules, but is there a dog training class you guys could take? I remember a class really helping my mom out with Caesar, especially with establishing the alpha dog thing. It's ok to be frustrated. I get REALLY frustrated with baby stuff sometimes like when he's overtired and screaming and I know he'd be fine if he would just SLEEP! Cause really you're not frustrated with the baby (or pup) since you know they can't help it, but the situation makes you just want to scream. Could you guys maybe get a big crate to keep him in? I don't know much about dog psychology so I'm not sure if that would be considered cruel or not for when you're not in the house, but if he's really unmanageable you might need to look into one. I mean, probably better having him in a crate and then giving him lots of love and exercise when you're home than totally going insane and having to give him up because you can't handle the stress. Hope you guys had a good three day weekend, at least. Ours was SOOOO HOT and humid, totally awful until today! Today it's 70, breezy, and no humidity. So gorgeous! Oops, The Baboo is awake. Need to go!