Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Doggy Motherhood

So as I may have mentioned before, you know, just in passing, that I'm a mother. Well, a dog mother. Well, a dog OWNER (The Hubs hates when I refer to Daisy as "our child", although he seems to have made his peace with it xD).

But lookit that PUNIM, how can you not want to claim that cuteness as your own?

Ooof, those big brown eyes, they kill me.

Anyway, it's really difficult having the world's cutest dog, I assure you. ;D In all seriousness, though, I kind of look at our dog ownership as practice for a kid... which means when I feel like Daisy's not happy that I'm failing as a "mother" (which is probably why The Hubs isn't a fan of my calling her our "child", 'cuz she's a DOG).

To be fair to myself, I think she's a happy dog. She's fed, groomed, and cuddled regularly. But there's things that I worry about, where I feel like I'm "failing" her:
  • When my back's hurting (or when I'm cranky and don't feel like it), she only gets about a 15-minute walk at a time. She goes out about 3 times a day, but I try to make at least one of those times a half-mile loop, which is at least 20+ minutes. The last week or so I haven't because I strained my back and I'm still recovering, but I feel like I should tough it out. I was walking her for a near-mile loop at one point, and I want to get her back to that. 
  • She's not as socialized as she should be, and I feel awful about that. She barks at other dogs when we're out if I don't see the other dog in time and stop her. To our credit, if I see the other dog in advance, we've trained her to not bark by holding her close and saying "No bark" in a firm voice, and she usually doesn't, and when we've taken her to off-leash dog parks, she's been fine for the most part (but we stopped taking her to our local dog park because she got attacked by a big dog). She's also kind of a bully to bigger dogs that we know, and the stress of it has made us stop bringing her to our friends' homes because we don't want her picking on the big gentle dogs. (I think she's just trying to play, but the particular big dogs don't like it).
  • On the weekends, I sometimes forget to feed her for dinner. Breakfast is my habit 'cuz I usually take care of her in the morning and The Hubs handles her in the evening, but weekends get kind of blurred and we'll forget. Just once, and not that often, I swear!
  • When I play on the laptop, she just goes and lays down... and apparently I'm on it too much (well, duh), 'cuz when she hears the laptop close, she jumps up and gets all excited, which makes me feel just AWFUL like I'm on it too much and she's feeling ignored. :(
Of course, all these fears about how I "raise" my dog makes me nervous for the next step, which is children. Kids are even MORE time-consuming and demanding, and if I can't even "raise" our dog right, how much am I going to screw up our children?

The Hubs, who is the sane one in the relationship, assures me that Daisy is fine, she's a happy, healthy dog, and that when we have children we will be good parents to them as well. To be fair, I probably AM overreacting (although she does need longer walks - it's good for her AND for me), and a dog is NOT a child (but she IS definitely a member of the family), and doesn't have quite the same demands. I'm glad we didn't have kids earlier in our lives, because I really don't think I would be as concerned back then as I am now, but who knows? Kids change everything, and I look forward to the challenge; as a friend pointed out to me when I mentioned these concerns, the fact that I'm worried about these things before kids are even around means I'll be a good parent. So I'm going to keep that in mind, and work on improving our walking time and weening myself off the laptop. I'm a good dog mom, but I could be a better dog mom, and becoming a better dog mom could help me become a better MOM mom when the time comes.

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