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jenni’s 57 – month five

June 14, 2010

transcript:

May has been a very busy month. I haven’t had much waiting time (one reason this blog is a little over-due) or any other kind of spare time thanks to our new four-legged family member, Dingo the dog.

We always thought we’d get a dog one day. Our girls have been begging to get one since they could talk. When we moved to this house, which has a large fenced-in yard, the idea became much more of a reality. I was the only holdout. Personally, taking care of three children was quite enough work for me, thank you very much. Besides, when we moved here my now 4 year-old son was only 4 months old. I really wanted him at least potty-trained before adding a dog to the mix.

Dog day finally came a few weeks ago. My son is fully out of diapers and pull-ups PLUS he can swing himself on the swings now (anyone who takes care of children understands how HUGE that milestone is) so it was decided that this would be the year. We went to our local animal shelter and found a 6 month-old mixed breed (some have described her lineage as Heinz 57). As far as we can tell she is part German shepherd, Pit Bull, Yellow Lab and who-knows-what-else. Dingo, as the SPCA folks dubbed her, seemed a great fit for our family with one small caveat—we had to train her.

Sure, I said.
That’ll be fun.
Ha!!

My legs tell the story of our first few days in healing bruises and scrapes. She’s a very loving and food-motivated dog, but she plays kind of rough any chance she can get. Since I have become her main trainer (you knew that was coming, didn’t you) I got yhr brunt of the brute force. We’ve finally come to an understanding and a much more peaceful co-existence since the discovery that Dingo hates the Super Soaker. Apparently water gun training isn’t just for felines. The threat of the squirter stops her from digging up my garden, nipping at my children and destroying any more shoes. We were also informed by our vet that tug-of-war play was exactly what she DIDN’T need (thank God for people who know what they’re doing!!). She is actually very sweet with the kids and seems to get along well with other dogs, too. On our lonf walks she’s been very responsive to pats and praise from perfect strangers.

Having a puppy in the house has really made me appreciate the fact that my children understand English and (for the most part) listen to me. Having Dingo is like having a newborn all over again (without all the physical nastiness that comes with giving birth)! I’m completely exhausted but exhilarated, when she starts following my simple sit, stay and drop it commands. And petting her while she’s laying on the floor is a great stress-buster for both dog and human. There will be more time for waiting soon but until then it’s obedience classes, filling my pockets with treats and taking at least one long walk a day.

Woof.

Jenni

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