Kids Need Puppies

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Kids Need Puppies _MG_9294Photo Courtesy of Cathy Miller

Kids Need Puppies

After a weekend at The Viceroy Hotel it is to be expected that I would experience some sort of emotional let down when I returned home and what could be better to lift the spirits than driving eight hours in one day to pick up our new puppy, Muki? I’ll tell you in a nanosecond!

Enter Muki, a fifteen week old white fur ball with paws as soft and cushy as sea sponge, chocolate markings and green eyes that my nephew Devon says resemble the inside of a blueberry. She is intelligent, sweet and lives to please and we can tell that if we put our time and effort into it she will be an easy study, but there is one enormous psychologically draining glitch that we did not anticipate, Muki appears to be a “Velcro” dog. Ask me how I skipped that description on the Spanish Water Dog website? I went back to read all of the information at 2:00am when I couldn’t sleep because I was so distraught that Muki had no desire to bond with anybody but me. This is what I read:

Spanish Water Dogs are very intelligent, faithful, energetic and happy dogs.  Sometimes they are known as “velcro” dogs and usually stick very close to their owners.”

Note to self: When doing research don’t get blind-sided by words like “intelligent” and read more thoroughly.

After three days I called the breeder in a panic telling them of Muki’s behavior, “She completely ignores the boys, growls and runs away from Baddy whenever he comes into the room, and ferociously barks and lunges after other dogs when on walks,” I said choking back my tears. The man who chose Muki for us told me that he was a horse whisperer and that I just didn’t understand dogs. That I needed to be patient. That Muki would come round. Years later I found out that other families in Aspen found new families for their dogs that they got from the same breeder because they were too aggressive. I sense that the dogs are overbred.

When I called my mother ridden with concern, she suggested that we get another puppy, one for the kids and one for me. She also told me to let the puppy sleep in the bed with the boys for the bonding. Problems solved! I said, “Just as I will always be like you, spontaneous, optimistic and often impulsive, Muki will always be like her mother, on the extreme side of shy and nervous and a one person dog,” character traits that were revealed to me the day before she was flying to us.

On Thursday I decided that it would be a good idea to leave the family alone with Muki for a short period of time and so I hopped on my bike and took off. Twenty minutes into the ride Thumper called me sobbing so hard that I could barely understand what he was saying. He had been working so hard with Muki in these past few days, they all had, showering her with gentle love, feeding her, walking her on the leash, trying to train her and play with her but she was not responding.

I told Thumper to listen to what I had to say and when I finished I asked him to repeat to me what resonated with him most, “you said something about a dog whisperer and that because I am like a dog I should practice being the Alpha-leader and that I need to calm down and drink some water,” he said between sobs.

There is no question that our family is receiving valuable lessons as we work through this extremely emotional time and I firmly believe that this dog has come into our lives for a reason. Thumper is showing me perseverance: IMG_4175
IMG_4189
_MG_9347 Photo Courtesy of Cathy Miller

As for Baddy? He is once again showing his true colors. Where any other husband would turn his back and say, “I told you so,” Baddy is convincing me, as Muki bares her teeth at him, that we cannot give up so quickly and that we have to try and make it work.

Each day brings progress and greater insight into our family as a whole and I am hoping that I will not forever rue the day that I chose to pick up Muki without bringing the boys.

In the meantime, we will, “explore the deeper dimensions present in a relationship with a dog,” as stated in the highly recommended book, “Raising Your Dog with the Monks of New Skete,” and do our best to create a family bond with Muki and to detach the prongs that cling her to me so aggressively. IMG_4173

 

23 COMMENTS

  1. Jillian,

    Our now 2 yr old chester is like this he follows me like a shadow and I am constantly tripping over him and he shows passing interest in the kids and Mike..one thing that helps is the kids give him treats and I try to not give him treats..sounds minor but I’ve noticed a bit of a difference..but truth is dogs know who the mom is instinctively too

  2. Hi Jillian! LOL – dogs! No different than kids – but in the end, easier to train – they never arrive doing what you expected. I had to laugh so hard about your caution to read on about the descriptions BEYOND the word intelligent. No Kidding! We had a VERY intelligent wired hair fox terrier – he was so stubborn he didn’t ACT smart – totally defied all but housebreaking training in 11 years! haha! It doesn’t matter WHAT breed you get, they will velcro to you regardless. They always know “mom” best. Even my son’s dog (who doesn’t live here but with him) will totally follow ME and ignore him completely when they come over for dinner.

    I look forward to hearing all your adventures – rest assured, you will have them! Just remember, you CAN train them, well, mostly.
    hugs
    suZen
    Come by the blog tomorrow – sorry the video didn’t work today!

    • Thank you SuZen, again, for shedding some light for me. I had a flash forward to Brevitt coming home from college to visit us and Muki, and I got all teary eyed! Is Muki going to help ease the pain of empty nest syndrome?

    • Hi Darrelyn,

      Yes, my mother is a very funny, quirky, witty woman but it is the nonsensical side of her that I find most amusing and this is the side that she hates to read about otherwise I would devote many more pages to her!

  3. Muki is adorable! My kids have been begging me for a dog, but with a 2-year-old crazy girl, I just don’t think I have the energy to raise a puppy. Good luck with the adjustmens of your new family member. Before you know it, you won’t remember life without her.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Operation: "No" Elimination =-.

  4. That is one VERY adorable puppy. I am in love already. His. Furr looks like someone knit him! He is so wooly and sweet and cuddely. As. U know, my home resembles a petting zoo. With each knew pet, I get promises of pleeeeeese just one more pet…..I swear I will take care of this one.. Sure enough the animal becomes one more furry pet that has bonded to me!!!! (to bad the men I date to not resemble the animals in our lives!)
    give miki time… Huge adjustment 4 everyone. With u as a mother, he wll end up a perfect, well rounded dog!!!! Do not put him back on the plane (you will get dog social services after you) I promise u will all live happily ever after!!!
    I am in RAINING Key Biscayne. Mommy just got here. Children r catching lizards and want to bring them back to wellesly…how do u think airport security wld feel about lizards? I claim no fur, no animal! Besides, u can’t cuddle a lizard and they eat bugs, which l would have to buy!
    Typing from my phone so have no idea whAt I just wrote.
    Is muki coming to nAntucket? U remember flying with basin, 2 babies and a cat (where wS the husband????)
    love u
    melanie

    • Hi Mouse,

      I love that, “his fur looks like someone knit him,” why can’t I write like you??? I think your dyslexia makes you an even better writer because you don’t stress over the small things.

      I disagree that the men in your life have not resembled the animals in our lives. I’m certain that you had a few that resembled Stormy and our guinea pig, what was its name again? You were the one who took care of it.

      Your comment about my being a good mother had me thinking today. The reality is that the dog will end up just as untrained as the boys, loved but crazy and uncontrollable.

      Glad that mommy finally made it to you in Fla. albeit late. Look for the big, fat, green iguana and the lizard with no tail that Brevitt pulled off by accident and left it wriggling, without the body, in the sand.

      Muki was originally coming to Nantucket but if she can’t be nice to other dogs than she will be given to a dog whisperer, do you know one? Maybe you should find one for Muki and for yourself.

      I keep telling you that you need to hang out in the vets office and meet a nice, furry, soft, gentle man to sweep you off your feet and feed you kibbles and bits and the two of you can live happily ever after with your furry pets and soft children.

      Love you back!!!!

  5. Nothing more precious than a puppy and their sweet puppy kisses and warm breathe when they want to snuggle right next to your face. They also have the sharpest little teeth, the most uncontrolable manners and shortest attention spans – gee – wish I could have one 🙂

    We are puppy raisers for “Guide Dogs for the Blind” there’s a great book out there if you’re interested called “Good owners, Great Dogs” (Kilcommons) http://www.amazon.com/Good-Owners-Great-Brian-Kilcommons/dp/0446675385/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271717091&sr=1-1

    It’s soooo helpful!

    Kristin
    .-= kristin´s last blog ..{lovely lovely lovely} =-.

    • Hi Kristin, How right you are!

      I will check out the book you recommended. I need all the materials I can get to figure out how to stop her from growling and lunging after every dog and my husband.

  6. What a darling face! Give her time, she’ll come around.

    Do the boys play ball or frisbee with her?

    Maybe they could offer goodies if she sits, lays down, etc…

    Dogs are like men- they go for the food!

    • Hi Carolee,

      The boys are haphazardly trying to teach her how to play ball but things are getting so much better. She loves them and follows them around now, unless I am around.

      Yes, you are right, dogs are like men in many ways!!!

  7. Hi Jillian,
    It wasn’t too difficult to track down who the author of this Readers’ Photo was on NYT.com:

    http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/03/22/science/20110322-pets-20.html

    I really, really, really, REALLY hope you were joking when you said you’ve had thoughts of letting coyotes get your dog. I was shocked and appalled that anybody would say such a thing, especially in a public piece about people and their love for pets.

    I am not a dog person either, but I am involved in dog rescue because I don’t like the idea of any pets getting killed just because someone didn’t want it. I help hundreds of dogs a year get transported from high kill shelters in the south to fosters or no-kill shelters in New England.

    Labs can still be a handful. My parents lab chewed up the entire inside of their Mercedes. He’s been in dog obedience school for years, and he continues to go.

    I married a man with a pit bull (who is better behaved than my parents lab). You can bet I was uneasy about moving in my 2 cats with his dog. It took a year of introducing them slowly, but it all worked out and they all curl up together (usually all around me in bed).

    By the way, she too follows me around the house like a velcro dog – it drives me up a wall, but I have to find the humor in it and I’ll go up and down the stairs a few more times just to get a chuckle out of it. I think she took to me because I’m the one feeding the animals most of the time.

    It takes a lot of patience, and possibly time and money, but having a pet is worth all the unconditional love they give you.

    • Rachel, I am a “real life” writer discussing true emotions and my readers enjoy my writing for my authenticity. Now that you have read more of my writing, I am assuming that you now understand that everything I write comes from the heart, with a whole lot of infused humor.

      So sorry to have shocked and appalled you. I am a very loving and caring person and although I regret my decision to get this particular dog, I would NEVER jeopardize the life of any creature.

      Thanks for reaching out and sharing your concern.

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