On Being a Dog Mom

Wow, it’s been a year since I’ve filled this space with my usual nonsense. I apologize to those of you who were coming here often for my tardiness! But the cool thing is that I can take a moment to reflect on what a year it’s been since my last post.  I like to think that I’m constantly shifting and expanding but week by week, and even month by month you don’t see the same progress that a whole year provides. It’s neat!

So much has changed in my life since my last post, so I’ll start with letting you all know that I can now officially touch my toes!  Sounds weird right, but a year ago I was the loser that had to crouch down to tie my shoes or pick up the piece of mail I dropped. Now, I am a yogi goddess (well at least that’s how I like to think of myself).  Yoga has calmed my mind, brightened my spirit, and it’s slowly letting my inner hippie out. Ooommmm

In September I went back to Iceland.  Yeah you’re reading that right, back to ICELAND, for the second time, where it’s cold, rainy, windy and full of vast nothingness and elves. Why go to Mexico and sit on the beach sipping margs when you can freeze your ass off on the side of a glacier. Man, I love Iceland, it’s so rad. I’ll post some more photos of that at some point…promise!

Kirkjufellfoss, Iceland

And the highlight of the last year for me was the addition of Walter White, our mini labradoodle (yeah I’m that horrible person who bought a designer dog) who we have both become completely obsessed with. He arrived just before Christmas and threw a major wrench in our holiday plans requiring my mom to fly up from Portland for a week, but I just love this little ball of fluff so freaking much!

So since things have been a little slow and repetitive in the kitchen since his arrival I thought I’d share some thoughts on being a dog mom.  It’s a whole lotta work, even more for P who is a stay at home dog dad, having no office to retreat to. But when I come home and he rushes up all wiggles and wags with his tail hitting his face I just melt. Any amount of stress from my day goes right out the window, and then the work starts, ha ha.

Going from a two person DINK household where you can do whatever you want, whenever you want without a ton of consideration for anyone else to adding a small puppy that needs essentially constant supervision is a big change.  After the first couple days we looked at each other and said “what the hell have we done, he’s a monster”.  But after a few weeks of 1, 3 and 5am pee breaks, constant worrying about my un-vaccinated puppy catching some terrible disease just from going outside, and a lot of no’s we started to see progress.

Living in an apartment with really slow elevators isn’t a great place to raise a puppy. Unless like me, you have a large patio where you can install a Porch Potty!  The Porch Potty is a genius invention, that you could totally DIY, that enables your pup to do its business without having to rush it down 26 floors every time it has an accident. And let me tell you, puppies have A LOT of accidents!  Like more than I imagined possible. Bottom line, if you have outdoor space and you live in a condo, shell out the $300 for one of these things and you will thank yourself every day thereafter!

I would also recommend bell training your puppy. It’s about as lame as it sounds. You hang some overpriced bells on your door (or you get a bell and some rope from the $$ store) and then every time the pup has an accident you take it to the door and say something corny like “ring your bells” and then rush it outside to pee in hopes that said pup will actually make it. I was a skeptic at first but then 2 weeks in Walter started ringing the bells!  It was really magical.  What’s extra magical is that now he rings the bells when he needs to do business, AND when he just wants to sniff around, which conveniently is usually when I’m brushing my teeth, about to hop in the shower, making dinner or trying to relax. Special!

He’s almost 7 months old now…my baby…still growing and losing teeth all over the place. Our house now runs on a ‘sit’ based economy while we transition away from the former ‘treat’ based regime. His curiosity annoys me sometimes, as does my inability to find a pair of socks that matches, but having a dog of my own is so much fun and really rewarding. There is nothing better than a puppy snarffling around your bed on Saturday morning.

I’m sure if you’re reading this and have kids that you just threw up in your mouth a little, but I’m serious.  And hey, you can’t shove your kid in a cage on Friday night and run off to yoga and then grab a beer with your better half. I know Walter will never make me crappy stick figure drawings of our family, or tell me he loves me back, but when he looks up at me with his sweet little eyes I feel an immense amount of satisfaction.  He needs us and he will always need us, and the flip side of him not being able to speak is that he can never tell me he hates me, so for now, this works and our pack is complete.

And since I should probably offer a recipe after my very long hiatus, here’s Walter’s favourite stuffed kong filling:

  • all natural peanut butter, unsalted
  • plain full fat yogurt
  • chopped up apple
  • venison dog jerky bits or beef liver treats
  • 2 dried sardines

Dab a little bit of PB on the bottom of the kong to close the hole, then layer in yogurt, chopped apple and the dog treats. Wedge the sardines in so that the fish heads poke out of the top and seal it off with more PB. Freeze, and then give it to the pup to enjoy!

Yeah, I’m a dog mom, and I’m proud of it. We work hard to train Walter and make sure he’s happy and having fun. We also spoil him rotten, and I love every minute of it. Especially when I’m listening to jazz, trying to enjoy a glass of wine in the bathtub and he barrels in and tries to hop in the tub with me.  Those are really special moments!

Love ya W and the big boy you’re becoming!