Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How I Fill My Days

Gone are quiet mornings that began whenever my husband I felt like getting out of bed.  Gone are the days when we leisurely read the paper, slowly sipped coffee, and ate breakfast when we got around to it.  Gone are the mornings when we had no schedule.  Things have changed, big time, since Boston, our 13 week old puppy became a member of the household.

These days, we are up, out of bed,  and down the stairs at the sound of the first yelp that emits from our puppy's mouth at about 6:30 every morning.  He lets us know, in no uncertain terms, that he is awake, tired of being in his kennel, and ready to get outside to do his business.

We have a schedule these days, and it is a demanding one.  It has been set by an equally demanding little creature who is challenging us on who will really run the household.

Early in the morning, we are now out walking the dog.  If you see me, be forewarned, my appearance may appear unkept.  As I walk the neighborhood in weird outfits that I throw on when I get out of bed, I remind myself of a quote by Barbara Ueland, "If I did not wear torn pants, orthopedic shoes, frantic disheveled hair, that is to say, if I did not tone down my beauty, people would go mad.  Married men would run amuck."

The truth is, I look this way because I am a bit frazzled these days.  I walk the dog several times a day.  In between walks, I am trying to keep Boston's puppy mouth full of toys rather than then having him chew on my expensive furniture.  I am mopping up the floor.  I am feeling like the mother of a very active toddler.  I am busy.  I am tired.

A former colleague asked me today why I felt the need to take on a 15 year commitment at this point in my life.  I guess no one had put it that way before.  We have taken on a 15 year commitment by getting a new dog.  That is a long time.  My husband and I will be really old in 15 years.  I hope we both live 15 more years.  I hope the dog lives 15 more years.

For now, my husband and I are filling our days by caring for a new puppy.  We know we are the ones who are benefitting from taking these twice daily walks.  We comment about how we certainly would not be out walking if it were not for the dog.  We are filling up our days with new duties, new experiences, and at times we wonder if we were crazy to take on a task like training a new puppy when we were getting quite settled into a quiet retirement schedule.  Wish us well.  We need it!

34 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

It's just like having a new baby in the house, isn't it?????

I'm sure that it's good to get out early and get some exercise though...

Enjoy your little cutie.
Hugs,
Betsy

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

The puppy will keep you young! And I love the quote about toning down one's beauty. I may have to borrow that!

Lynilu said...

I'm happy to wish you well, but I also know that Boston will bring you mounds of pleasurable companionship, and in the end, I think it will all balance out. Our furry friends are .... the best!!!

KleinsteMotte said...

Good luck!! I think it is a very grand idea. The routine is better for everyone's health and the puppy will give lots of affection in time. Just be sure you are the boss. Too often the pet is treated too much like a human and then there's a control issue. I guess you know that already since you taught.

Kay said...

I was just at the hospital today getting an echo cardiogram. The technician asked me if I had a dog and spoke at length about how good it would be to have a dog because they force you to get more exercise. Looks like it's holding true for you. :-) They're also supposed to make you feel more at peace.

Rita said...

It sounds like he is good for you, though. Routine and walks...and somebody to love and love you. Worth it! ;)

Grandmother said...

From training and raising two Malamutes I know what you're describing. Don't forget the obedience classes to make the next 15 years enjoyable with the lines of authority solid and the behavior excellent. Boston is from a smart breed so the time investment will pay off. Good luck and have fun! Dogs add so much to our lives. That's why we make the commitment.

Linda Reeder said...

That's quite a commitment you've taken on. Good luck. I hope your puppy is bringing you pleasure with the pain.

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

Puppies are as exhausting as toddlers! Congratulations on your new addition and new routine. Good things will come of it. ☺ Happy Thursday!

Jeanie said...

The times when you ask yourselves "what were we thinking?" will be far fewer than the times you say "we are so lucky to have him" as Boston gets older. As I say about our dog, Dodger, he will keep you active and he will keep you laughing.

DJan said...

Remember, YOU are the alpha dog! Make sure Boston learns who is in charge, or he will be. He sure is cute, and he's getting you outdoors for walks. Are you going to take him to obedience school? Or is he taking you? :-)

rosaria said...

First I laughed; then, I commiserated big time. Though we raised a few dogs, we had lived in Southern Cal., warm enough for dogs to live outdoors and do their business. Here, however, it would be work for us. As the new cat reminds me, pets are the bosses around the house, like it or not.

p.s. you will gain stamina and strength from all that walking. Plus, that dog will so love you that you'll never feel lonely.

Olga said...

What a cute puppy. I can imagine how you are feeling, but I can also imagine the joy Boston will bring to your lives.

Mage said...

What a great entry. I started by smiling, then I began feeling sorry for you. Then again, that puppy will energize you into more than just 15 years of life.

Beth said...

Now dog walking is one good way to get exercise. This puppy will get so twined around you heartstrings that you will wonder how you got along without him.

Joanne said...

A few weeks after we got our Max I said to myself...what the heck did we get ourselves into!!!!! But all your efforts now will pay off in a well trained awesome dog ..and...you'll be in the best shape of your life!
Blessings, Joanne

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Just think of all the great exercise you're getting, Sally! Boston will keep you young for sure -- and repay all the trouble and work of the present so many times over. Of course, you know that. We have never taken on the responsibility of a dog, though we often talk about doing so, but our three rescue cats bring us so much joy. They fill up our lives and our hearts in ways we never imagined before we brought pets into our lives.

Thisisme. said...

Hi Sally. I know a little of what you are saying, because when my family come over from France, they bring over their little French Bulldog, Alfred, and we don't get any lie-ins! Fortunately, we have a very large garden, so I just take him for a long walk round there whilst still dressed in my dressing gown (and my wellie boots I hasten to add! NOT a pretty sight!). It is a huge commitment, but think how fit you both will be with all that walking, and I know that he will bring so much love into your lives. Good luck with it all!

Jean said...

No, you surely are not crazy for taking Boston into your home and your hearts. He will repay you tenfold by being at your side, welcoming you home, covering you with kisses, and entertaining you with his cuteness. I see a lot of happiness ahead for the three of you. We have Molly, our third chocolate Lab. Yes, she often likes to rise and shine earlier than we'd planned, and once she's been walked and fed breakfast she often trots back to bed, leaving us up and wide awake, but we don't know what we'd do without her.

Teacher's Pet said...

A lot of love here, Sally.
I hope that you and your hubby and your puppy continue to enjoy your retirement together. I know that puppies give unconditional love.
Enjoy...

Linda Myers said...

Boston has given you a whole new focus. Ah, exercise!

#1Nana said...

Very cute dog! We've talked about a dog, but can't seem to get to the point that we're ready to make a commitment. I'd like a cat, but then I'd have to have a litter box...I'm destined to be old and lonely!

Sandra said...

love your dog story and is funny. we have 2 rescue dogs, but did not go through puppy time. we got Baby at 10 month and Jake at what we think was 4 months, they do run our house, they allow us to live here with them.

fiftyodd said...

Rather you than me. Our life has become too much 'lock up and go'. We always had dogs when the kids were small, but they just don't live long enough. Much heartbreak. I am addicted to "The Dog Whisperer" now that I no longer have pets - I cried buckets when 'Daddy' died and watched every Youtube tribute to Daddy I could find. I do love a dog.

Dee Ready said...

Dear Sally,
I do wish you well. I hope that for many, many years, Boston will enrich your lives with his unconditional love. I hope, also, that soon he will discover that you or your husband is the Alpha in your home. One of the cats with whom I live has ignored that training!

Thank you for the photo and for the quote from Barbara Ueland. I laughed out loud!

Peace.

Barb said...

Ahhh - yes. I'm glad you've written about the duties of puppy parenthood. That's exactly why I'm torn - should I or shouldn't I? But look how calm he is in the photo - and you're smiling, too. Couldn't be all bad. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Sally! (Don't be giving Boston any gravy, though a little piece of turkey couldn't hurt.)

Friko said...

'Training' is the operative word here. Perhaps he's still a bit young for it.

An untrained dog is a nightmare for it's entire life.

Happy dog walking!

Jeanie said...

How enchanting to discover a new family member! Boston is so darned adorable, it would be hard to decide who's boss! I think he'll be a grand companion. Talk about training -- he's training you well!

troutbirder said...

Good move. Really good move. Puppies (and kittens) are adorable but can be tiring. With proper up bring they grow up to be wonderful companions and friends. Everybody's circumstances are different but I had many retrivers & when I gave up hunting eventually got a really big GSD. On our suburban property we have an "invisible fence" so he has an acre to chase squirrels, and inside/outside door to his garage kenne. Life is good and so is he...:)

Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living said...

I think this is wonderful and it sounds just like having a baby again. I found you on Jeanie's blog and thought as a writer, you might be interested in submitting your own, "My Gutsy Story." I am also a writer and if you care to share a story, please come over.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Sally,
I am so slow in catching up on blog news. Congratulations on your new charge. He is so sweet, and, most certainly, a full-time project. Kudos to you for doing the walks and taking on the commitment. I am sure you will feel so much better from the walking and the nurturing.
Happy Thanksgiving.
Marcia

John Paul McKinney said...

Wonderful to read your story. What a great 15 yr. commitment. We have three pooches and sometimes I think they're the homeowners and Kathy and I are merely the staff. But I can't imagine life without them, daily walks and all. Have fun, Sally, and Happy Thanksgiving to all three of you!

schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

I can certainly identify with this. My parrots begin to squawk, the dogs wake up and its all over. I fall out of bed, pull on some pants and take the two younger dogs out the door. My husband follows shortly in his sweats and carrying the older dog under his arm. We are dog addicts. Dianne

Terri Tiffany said...

LOL I'm glad I read this post! As soon as we buy a home, I want to get a dog even though about three Christmases ago we tried it for three days and had to take her back. Couldn't do the walks or take the work but that was a younger dog--untrained. I'm going to try an older one already housebroken. I love the joy they bring to our lives and miss it so much!