Since I’m relatively new to the whole dog-ownership realm, it seems like every day I learn something new about living with dogs and training them. When we first got Gretchen, the first couple of weeks were kind of tough, what with the potty training and figuring out when and how to exercise her and who would come home when to let her out and whatnot. But I’ll never forget that first night we brought her home. The shelter had to keep her a few days to give her all her shots and let her recover, so I ended having to work the night that Jamie picked her up. I could hardly contain my excitement that whole shift, just thinking about how she had instantly won us over, and how I couldn’t wait to make her life happy again, after her being abandoned and then stuck in a shelter and all that. (Let me tell you, if you really, deep down want a dog but aren’t sure if you should actually get one yet, DO NOT go to the animal shelters “just to look.” Or else you will come home with a dog. It’s pretty much a guarantee.) When I walked in the door, Jamie was reading on the couch and Gretchen was laying on the floor, and I walked around and kneeled down to her level, and she got up and walked over to me and sat in front of me and just put her arms right up on my shoulders, giving me a doggie-hug. I just about lost it, let me tell you.
Since then, she’s given us our fair share of trials (all of the beds she’s chewed up, the neighbors she’s made mad, the walks she’s ruined by turning them into tug-of-war matches with her leash, and the middle-of-the-night puking sessions she has on a regular basis all come to mind), but at the end of the day, when she’s pooped from all her barking and baying and running and playing and chewing and romping around, when she’s so warm and soft and snuggly, you just can’t help but LOVE HER. So much. Because no matter how long we had to leave her in her crate, no matter if it was a rainy day and she couldn’t go on a very long walk, no matter how many times we yelled at her for digging through the trash, she ALWAYS comes back to us and lets us know how much she needs us. Dogs, in my honest opinion, really are just about the closest picture of God’s unconditional love that you’ll find anywhere on this earth. And we’re so lucky to have a little piece of that in Gretchen.
Well, anyway, one of our ongoing battles has been keeping her off the furniture. She adores curling up on the furniture because she can be closer to us and she can see everything a lot easier. And I think it’s probably a little cozier. We tried originally to keep her off altogether. Then we decided just to give her her own little “spot” on the couch, which we covered with a sheet to “protect” it (yeah, right). Well, then she just got too big for her britches, and started gnawing on the arms of the couch for fun and trying to sneak her bones up there to chew on, no matter how many times we scolded her and pushed her off (because those things are NASTY). And the dog hair was EVERYWHERE. So we vowed that when we got rid of our other couch and got the one we have now, that we would start enforcing the no-furniture-at-all-whatsoever-no-matter-how-long-you-stare-at-me-with-those-sad-eyes rule again. The problem was that we got this green chair (off craigslist for $10 at that!) that Gretchen pretty much decided was hers the second we brought it in the apartment. No, really. You know how old men have their special chairs, that they sit in to read their newspapers and watch TV and take afternoon naps? Yep, that would be Gretchen with this green chair. So we tried to keep her off it. We really did. And it worked for a long time, actually, even though we knew she hated being banished to her floor bed.
Well, the other night, she started sneaking up on the chair again. At first, we kept up with our usual absolutely-not-NO-MA’AM business, but eventually our resistance wore down because a) she doesn’t make a peep when she’s curled up in her chair and b) SHE JUST LOOKS SO DARN CUTE IN IT. So yes. We relented. We let her reclaim her throne. We’re suckers, we know.
Well, it was funny tonight, because Jamie took the green chair, and Gretchen was not having any of that. So what does she do? She climbs right on up there. Practically on top of Jamie. Until he eventually got so annoyed he moved to the couch. Yep, that’s how Gretchen rolls.
But I ask you, oh you who judge, COULD YOU SAY NO TO THIS FACE?
Pshhh…. Didn’t think so.