I read a lot of parenting blogs. Both for work and now I am one, to read about people in the same boat. The ones I love to read and will laugh out loud at are where the parents are really honest about how hard it is sometimes. My absolute favourite is The UnMumsyMum, who recently said something I thought we could all relate to. Just like a mum who waited years for a baby through IVF treatments shouldn’t feel bad for not ‘enjoying every second’ of being a parent (because it’s bloody hard work), I think us dog owners shouldn’t feel bad for finding our pets annoying at times. Even those rescue dogs who may have had a bad start, I reckon they have equal potential to drive you round the bend just once in a while.
So with all that in mind I thought I might inject a bit more honesty into my own blog. and more importantly, find out what my readers think and if we are all in the same boat too?
I can’t be the only dog owner who is driven mad by their dog sometimes. Who dreams of a lie in, or to have more spontanity without having to worry about where the four legged furry one will be looked after. I’m going to share some of the times Lupo drives me round the bend. The times I’ve sworn at him or more recently started to talk to him like my toddler. Lupo: “whine, whine, whine” Me: “What’s the matter darling, I won’t know unless you tell me?”. I know, I know. Worrying.
I must make it clear, that these are just moments from a day and not a reflection of how much I love him or care for him. In fact, it should show I care enough to put up with them! I’ve only once considered calling the Dogs Trust… Just kidding.
The curse of the nickname
Velcro Dog came from the trait of a Doberman being it’s owner shadow. Whilst this is very endearing and ego boosting (Oh he can’t live without me! I must be amazing!) it can also be THE MOST ANNOYING THING IN THE WORLD.
Especially with his size. I mean, our house is a decent family size house, but when you try to get through a doorway with a baby gate and your dinner in one hand at the same time as a Dobermann, I will give you £50 if you don’t swear at him in the process for getting under your feet/ knocking you sideways/ spilling your drink/ all of the above. So for once it would be nice not to run that gauntlet at every room exit.
Now I’ve no idea if I got the weirdest one out of the ten strong litter of puppies all those years ago, but Lupo communicates in loads more ways than simply barking or wagging his tail (I’ll get to the tail later). For example, this particular pose, in front of my view of the TV, the cutesy way he’s positioned his blanket for comedy effect. It may have looked funny and made for the perfect Instagram shot but what I didn’t convey is the noise that accompanies this behaviour.
It starts of as a very short, sharp “ooo”. If you ignore him, he builds the pitch and holds the note further. “oooooo” “oooooooooo”. It’s not a growl or a bark, simply something he has perfected to annoy the hell out of me. His symphony continues and he adds in some REALLY high pitched barks. So loud my toddler will cry as it’s usually right next to her ear he’s that close (see point one). We give in by either letting him on the sofa, playing tug of war, giving him whatever we’re eating or putting him the garden muttering threats of the RSPCA under our breath. (We don’t want him to hear, obviously).
Being crap at being a Dog
When you get a dog you often think, oh aren’t they handy, they’ll hoover up crumbs and dropped bits of food in the kitchen. How delightful and normal for a dog to do. Does mine?
Does he heck.
Meat? Yes. Yoghurt? Yes. Anything else? ANYTHING? Lupo is really rubbish in this department, and that especially annoys me as someone who doesn’t put cleaning at the top of her hobby list. (before you recoil in horror, I realise dog saliva is not a substitute for bleach, honest). If you want a laugh, give Lupo a crisp. He will nibble at it like a Rabbit and spit each morsel out again. the absolute opposite to my parents Golden Retriever who eats anything and in lightening speed.
Lupo will show promising signs he’s cottoned on. He’ll barge us out of the way to ‘clean up’ after my daughter’s tea meets the dining room floor, but this is just for show. He’ll sniff, offer the odd lick then turn his nose up unless it is meat or yoghurt based. Bloody useless.
Another sweet, enduring Dobermann trait. Lupo needs approximately five blankets all at once. He will drag them all into the living room from his bed in the kitchen. He will then rag them so hard I watch his spit fly and land on our TV, white walls and sofas. I know, it’s grim. He’ll then pile them up by doing that weird digging thing, to gather them into just the right position. by now he has chosen one blanket to be THE ONE. The rest are merely to lie on, but one blanket is for sucking only. This is as weird as it sounds and just like a child with it’s thumb, Lupo needs a blanket to suck. We didn’t encourage this nor does it stem from any sort of trauma, he’s just always done it and will fall asleep with it in his mouth.
What’s annoying about that, you may ask? Well it means we have to take the bloody things everywhere we go with him, if he’s ever to relax at my in laws or stop hassling my parents dog to play, he needs a blanket to distract hime. This is also expensive. Even at Aldi these things are £8 each. And this racks up as he doesn’t just suck them, he will grind them on his back teeth, creating tiny holes everywhere, until they eventually fall apart after frequent washing by me as I gross out at the smelly things being in my living room.
Whipped and Flogged
I am whipped, on a daily basis. My family and friends have been whipped, my daughter has been whipped and the dog walker has been whipped. But before you call social services or indeed, Mr Grey, I am talking about the ridiculously long, boney tail of my dog that does the whipping.
I may have (more than once) cursed the law from 2007 that saw the ban of tail docking in the UK. I obviously agree with it, it’s barbaric and can affect dogs communicating with body language. But when you are whipped by an over excited dog. get woken up by him entering your bedroom and whipping the wardrobe doors, or watched as your favourite vase, cup of tea or treasured family photo in a glass frame is whipped across the room from the coffee table, you can kind of understand where those tail dockers were coming from. I mean, look at the size of the bloody thing…
So tell me, does your dog do anything to annoy you, or do you think I’m being too harsh? Lupo is annoying, but we love him all the more for his weird traits. Who could resist putting up with this daft sod?