01 February 2010

Warning: this is going to be incredibly random and off-topic from anything else in the world.

So I grew up with cats in the house. My family never had a dog..we really didn't have time for one now that I think about it. There were some soccer seasons in middle school that between the three of us kids, there were 4 different soccer teams to follow for my poor parents. High school didn't improve, as we were playing soccer for a school an hour away.
When living in Arizona, Jesse decided one day he wanted a dog. A what? I was promised a cat, very early on in our dating relationship. A dog is NOT a cat..so I was obviously confused. As he continued to talk about it over the next 2 days, I realized I could get on board with this (let's be honest, all it took was him showing me some puppy pictures and I was sold). Within the span of 3 days, we had gone from not having a dog, to deciding we wanted one and making a spur of the moment trip up to Flagstaff to get a Boxer from a breeder. Needless to say, we're impulsive sometimes. This was in August, and it is now February. I thought that I would share some of the things I've learned in the few months we've had Zeke, both about having a dog in general, and having that dog be a Boxer.

1-- probably the most important and basic of Boxers..they are incredibly gassy and playful. An interesting combo, yes, but it also provides endless entertainment. I'm not going to go deeper into the first, but the second..oh the second. There have been many times people have come up to me and asked how old Zeke is. I respond with the appropriate age and the response is "oh my Boxer is 6 years old and JUST as playful and puppy-like as your dog!" Wonderful. Lots of play left in this guy. Also, he recently met a puppy similar in size but younger. Even though Zeke was about to drop from exhaustion of playing so much, if the other puppy as much as twitched Zeke was up ready to play again.
2-- just because one's husband PROMISES to get up in the night the first few months you have the puppy to help you take him outside, this rarely happens. My maternal instincts kicked in with Zeke. Where before we had a dog I would sleep like a rock and nothing short of a band coming into my bedroom and playing full blast would wake me up, now if the dumb dog so much as whimpers I'm awake and alert. Rats.
3-- house training Zeke was fun **note sarcasm**. Apparently with Boxers, you'll think you're doing really well and then they'll fake you out and have a huge accident inside a few days in a row. Back to square one. Then he does really well going outside then another accident. Quite exciting.
4-- treats make excellent bribes. For example: working on the "come" command. He will "come" to me if I have a treat in my hand. Brilliant. I plan on using this tactic with parenting as well.
5-- I also plan on using "move it or lose it, Buster" in parenting. Zeke knows, and understands what this means. After walking slowly in front of me and then being either kicked down the stairs or walked on, he learned.
6-- I have learned that I'm going to be a WONDERFUL mother. haha
7-- if he does something dumb and hurts him, well. He'll learn. He won't do it again! For example, licking a 9-volt battery. Jesse and I didn't want to lick it ourselves to test if it still worked (because yes, that is how we test batteries), so we called Zeke over and let him lick it haha he doesn't like them anymore.
8-- the same with Tabasco sauce. Dog is not a fan.
9-- just when you're about to throw in the towel with the dog, he goes and falls asleep on your lap and is so precious that he is completely redeemed.
10-- I'm learning how similar raising a child is to having a puppy. My mom was concerned when she heard me yelling at Zeke one day that I would also yell at my children. I explained to her it would be quite different. Zeke doesn't understand time-out, and therefore has to be put in his place to understand he is NOT in charge. Children understand time-out fortunately and I plan on using this to my advantage.
11-- shock collars are awesome. But if you're going to use one, you should try it out on yourself first, just so people don't think you're being horribly cruel to your pet. You can always come back with, "well I tried it myself."

I've learned so many other things and I'm still learning. Zeke has taught me patience, that is a definite thing. He has also taught me to love differently and to be more understanding. It's been an adventure that's for sure, but I often remind Jesse when he refers to Zeke as "your dog" that "MY" dog still hasn't arrived in the form of a cat yet, so this is "HIS" dog. He never has a comeback, therefore I win.

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