Reflections on my “Challenging” Dog
It’s a new year. This is always a time for reflection and resolutions. Today I feel compelled to reflect on my partnership with a certain little dog. Her name is Wakey.Wakey’s mom (a Corgi later named Taylor) was surrendered to rescue while she was pregnant. I volunteered to foster her until she had the puppies and they were weaned. It’s safe to say that I did NOT know what I was in for.
(By the way: I promised my husband that I would NOT keep any of the puppies. We see how THAT turned out.)On Valentine’s Day 2015, six little bundles of adorableness arrived. Three girls and three boys. Taylor was a wonderful mom. (She was later adopted by my sister, so I still get to visit her little fluffy butt!)
(Side note: Almost 2 years after Wakey was born, I had the privilege of fostering her biological dad! He is a black and white Sheltie now named Webster. He has a WONDERFUL home and I get to see him on occasion.)
Wakey was the fattest puppy. A little butterball. She also escaped the whelping box TWICE. Just so you have a basis for comparison… her littermates crawled out a combined total of zero times.As the puppies grew, Wakey was clearly the trouble maker. In fact, my daughter (5 years old at the time) named her Wakey because she never slept. Even at 5 weeks old. A nosey busybody.
While all of her brothers and sisters were using the potty pads, I saw Wakey pee on the blankets where her siblings slept. Multiple times.
(Indeed, this yucky habit had to be remedied during the crate training phase when she was 9 weeks old.)
I was in love with the naughty puppy. And also, I felt like she would be too much for the average pet owner to handle. She was a handful right from the beginning. I didn’t really NEED another dog. But Wakey stayed. She belonged with us.Wakey is the dog who challenges me. She’s almost three years old, and still requires A LOT of supervision.
Wakey’s life motto is “Eat crayons, poop rainbows.” Seriously. The girl is obsessed with crayons. Her second obsession: chapstick. (What’s that you ask? Does eating chapstick give her diarrhea? Yes. Yes it does.) Thirdly: anything that resembles food. She is always starving. (Not really. I feed her plenty. But SHE will tell you she’s starving.)
Highlights of Wakey’s mischief:
- the day she dumped an entire Dunkin Donuts coffee all over the inside of my car while I stepped out for 30 seconds
- the day she chewed a hole in my daughter’s canvas bookbag to reach a dum-dum sucker
- the day she ate an entire package of dog vitamins that were shipped to my office as samples. (Don’t worry. I called the company and the overdose didn’t pose any health problems.)
You get the idea.Wakey is a challenge. She requires a lot of mental stimulation and exercise. If she’s bored, she gets into trouble.
But she’s also an amazing dog.
She loves to learn new things. She loves to go new places and have new experiences. She loves to come to work with me every day.
Sometimes the most challenging dogs are also the best dogs.