Monday, April 28, 2008
Three Amigos: Living with a Pack
When I tell people I live in a zoo, I'm only half kidding.
At the moment, the current count is 3 dogs, 3 cats, 2 hamsters, and a 100 gallon fishtank. I've always surrounded myself with animals and I suspect when I finally move it will be to a farm (I have my eye on a pig, goats, and miniature horses). I mean, who doesn't adore being followed to the bathroom? Or constantly tripping on chew toys? Or waking up with something furry asleep on your face? My idea of heaven, really.
So when I decided to add Miso Luvlee, my beloved Pit Bull, to my existing pack of two - Harley the Pug and Chubby the French Bulldog - I figured I would be tripling the fun. And tripled things have, although it's definitely more than fun I'm getting extra doses of!
I've heard people say 1 dog is easy, and 2 is fun, but 3 is work. While there's definitely some truth to that, I think it depends on the combination of dogs you have too. With certain breeds come certain challenges, and as you can guess, it's been quite a challenge training and managing my.....Pug.
That's right. Of all three dogs - Pug, Frenchie, Pit Bull - the one with the glaringly difficult issues is the wee Pug. (Please don't tell her I called her "wee" - I'll get an earful for weeks).
On any given day, I can be heard yelling for one or more reasons:
1) Somebody is trying to scrape the flesh off my legs, begging for breakfast to come sooner. Honestly, what kind of kitchen is this?
2) Somebody peed on the couch leg. Or my favorite blanket. I mean, gosh Mom, you just LEFT it there.
3) Somebody eats a turd. Don't ask.
4) Somebody chases the cat. Apparently the Triple Crown for pet dogs is fast approaching, and speed is everything.
5) Somebody barks their head off. The dogs next door have wildly fascinating things to say, and conversations must be kept at full volume for the benefit of the neighborhood.
But that "somebody" is not Miso! Of course, any dog can develop bad habits. I fully accept my complicity in rendering my first furry child a spoiled brat. (And honestly, for as much as I complain here, I truly adore ALL three of my dogs). But gosh, it sure is nice to have a Pit Bull.
When I yell, "QUIET!" the Pit Bull is the first to stop barking.
When I demand the kitty pursuit cease, the Pit Bull turns around and comes back to me. Apologetically.
When I catch my wolf-pack devouring the dirt in my potted plants, the Pit Bull somberly comes back into the house (with the Frenchie in tow, and the Pug still head first in the pot).
I have yet to have a potty accident on my favorite blanket or elsewhere from the PB.
It's not that Miso is perfect. But, true to her breed, what I think of her matters to her. A LOT. In fact, my boyfriend and I have a running joke about our Pit Bulls. Scold them and they'll be needing to call their therapists. I mean the regret and remorse is absolutely tragic, dahling. They practically can't keep on living in such shame. The miserable look on their faces, the pathetic slump of their dejected bodies.....somebody fetch the leather armchair, quick!
But that's a Pit Bull. Cuddle they must, scold them they bust!
Granted, I'm responsible with my pack too. Everybody is crated when I leave, no valuable treats or chew toys are left on the floor, everyone eats in their crate, I keep tabs on their play, things like that. And yeah, it can be a hassle sometimes. But the payoff is HUGE. Who wouldn't want their life filled with this much cuteness?? ~ Stephanie Lam, Our Pack volunteer