Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Puppy Prayers

This morning I lost my cool with Raney. She was simply acting like a puppy, but I wanted her to act like an extremely obedient human. I gave her some commands which she did not follow and I found myself making that deep exasperated groan that one makes when there are no adequate words to express frustration.

I realize, now, that what she wanted me to be was a puppy friend... to play and pounce and bite and snatch things from her. She probably would've liked it if I had gotten down on all fours and raised my rump in the air and then POUNCED on her. That didn't occur to me at the time, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have done it, but I think it would've been helpful if I had realized it IN THE MOMENT.

Pet ownership is a bit of a challenge for someone who likes to be in control, someone who likes order and predictability.

Puppies, in some ways, are more challenging than children. Afterall, children don't eat tree stumps and ivy and rocks, and try to chew my hands (with teeth that can seriously puncture my skin)... Stores allow you to bring your children inside. Not so much with puppies. Children can be walked in a stroller --- thus providing me with more CONTROL.

As odd as it seemed to me at the time, I said a prayer for her --for us -- this morning...because I want to have a good relationship with her. I want to be the pack leader. I want her to respect that. But, I also want her to enjoy being with me -- and vice versa.

I'm pretty sure I'll be saying more prayers.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Have you ever had something bug you for a long time?

Something you could do something about like a branch in a tree that doesn't belong there? Or a dirty bathroom sink that just needs a moment of your time so it doesn't look like no one cares? Or dirt on your floor that would only take a minute to sweep up?

Or maybe, like me, it's something a bit more "serious" like dreams you've had or things you've wished for? Like writing a book and having it published? Or, painting a painting that you've dreamed of for a long time? Or, maybe it's the dream of getting your body back into "pre-children" condition and your legs looking like Tea Leoni's legs in "Spanglish."

I'm not sure where people find the motivation to get things done all the time. There are some people, my husband and my sister included, who can't seem to dream fast enough. There's always some new idea or goal or interest that keeps them busy and learning.

Meanwhile, I continue to dream and do nothing about it. And, I have the nerve to get upset because he won't sit still with me.

Hmmm. Sounds unreasonable, if you ask me.

But where do I find this drive that I see in others? How do I break free from this prison of dreams with no wings? When do I begin to fly without fear?

Sometimes, I think I think too much.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Thinking about a dog story.

Thinking about a story with a character with a name I literally dreamed up.

Thinking about how challenging it is to be pleasant all the time with a toddler puppy.

Thinking about how messy and dirty my house is and how I wish it was clean.

Thinking (again) about whether I am really cut out for the writing world (as in going for publication).

Thinking about how I wish I was able to hang out with my sisters and brother without having to take a plane to get there.

Thinking about my mama and how I wish I could tell her stupid things throughout the day.

Thinking about how nice it would be to sit on the porch with Papa.


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Taking Care of Baby

Raney's been a part of our family for one week.

What a full week it has been.

Feed, bathroom break, exercise, sleep, ... repeat.

Every day I try to make sure she gets plenty of exercise and I think I've done a pretty good job of it. Today, however, it's raining. Not just drizzle... The kind where you really need a rain coat on. Not sure how that's going to go.

We found out that she has a skin condition (the name of which I can't remember). So, I have to make sure I bathe her at least once a week with special shampoo and add special doggie fish oil to her food every-other-day. She also may have a slight "female" infection. Culture results back early next week. If so, more medicine.

Dogs are not like cats.

But then again, cats are not like dogs either. :-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


My morning began at slightly before 5:00 a.m. Not bad for a 9 week old, but still early for a 46 year old.

She was happy to see me -- which is a nice way to be greeted first thing in the morning.

I took her outside and she took care of business. Both kinds.

Brought her in and played with her for a little while. Maybe not active enough, but maybe for 5:00 a.m.

At almost 6:00 a.m. I fed her. Now, in the past few days, her need to go outside after feeding her has not been immediate. There has been plenty of time to make a cup of coffee. Maybe not to drink the coffee, but surely to MAKE it.

Now, either she rang the bell while I was frothing my milk or this time she forgot to ring.

Next thing I know she's found the perfect spot in the family room to take care of business. I tried to stop her with my less-than-authoritarian "NO!" but I think it came out more like begging in a loud voice. She was halfway finished and it's not so easy to stop that. I think she realized, too late, that I wasn't so pleased. (Mind you, I didn't fuss, but it took me back to the days of training panties with the girls... I'd always heard not to get upset with your children when they had accidents, but that was a challenge for me. Same thing today, but I tried to remain loving in spite of what I was feeling.)

I took her outside and she wanted to eat the moss on the rocks.

The past was the past to her -- even if I was still reliving it in my head.

Hmm. Seems like a good doggie lesson for humans, huh?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

She's Such a Baby

Just so you know, she's not eating my shoe; she's sleeping in it.

We're having LOTS of fun with Raney. She's cuddly and I'm pretty sure she's smiling when she sees us first thing in the morning. She's pretty calm, but has a bundle of energy, too.

I'm realizing that training can't come soon enough. While she HAS learned to ring the bell to go outside, she's not up to standards for walking on a leash. She is also easily distracted by sticks and moss and dirt. It's hard to help her use up energy when all she wants to do is eat sticks.

Today she's had a difficult time taking a nap. Partly, I believe, because she hears action around her while she's resting and it's hard not to want to be a part of that. What I've been doing is letting her fall asleep with me and then putting her in her crate... which worked fine yesterday, but not so well today.

She's in there now and I hope she'll fall asleep so I can go to the grocery store. :-O

I definitely have a baby in the house.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

She Has Arrived and Stolen Our Hearts

Yesterday at 10:00 we arrived at Raney's former owner's house to pick her up. We had an emotional ride home, but she did great. She had never been in a car, of course, and there were lots of strange sounds and sights to take in.

After a quick stop outside for a bathroom break, we let her explore the house a little bit. It was scary for a little puppy to come to a new place, but she handled it well.

She took a long nap, ate, had a bathroom break and was ready to play with and love the girls when they got home from school.

Then... another nap. :-)

She sat with us while we watched a movie and then, in true Chute fashion, we all retired sort of early.

We all camped out in the living room -- Raney in her crate and the rest of us either on the sofa or in a sleeping bag. Harv took her out twice after we went to bed and she did just what she was supposed to do. She surprised me with how little she whined in her crate. Not that she DIDN'T whine -- she just settled down pretty quickly.
Then, at about 6:00 this morning, she was ready to get up and play.

After potty break and breakfast, she still had a lot of energy so she played inside and then Harv took her outside to "help" him clean up the dog run area. That was FUN!

Right now, after being up for about 3hours, she's having a little snooze. She likes to be near people so the girls have been sitting in the kitchen near her crate so she can fall asleep.

She's a love-bug! She cuddles, and kisses and wags her tail with joy when she sees us. I'm thankful my girls are having this experience and I hope that it's as good for Raney as it is for us.