Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Update on Pet Ownership

I have to tell you, when we first got Barkley, even though I really, really wanted a dog, I was terrified that we had made a major mistake and turned our lives upside down to cater to the whims of an animal who would destroy our home, our possessions and ultimately, our marriage.

Yes, melodramatic. But the fear, which I didn't realize I had until Barkley came home with us, was a direct result of a dog my family had growing up that managed to do all of those things, very nearly, before my parents finally gave up the fight, and were forced to give him back to the shelter. Basically it was the sanity of the family or the dog. And the dog went.

For the first couple of weeks, Barkley wanted to mouth and nip when playing, a behavior that's not desirable, but pretty common in puppies and young dogs. He'd jump up to greet you. And he was a little on the crazy side when playing fetch in the yard. He ate a couple of Harry Potter books when we let him roam free while we were gone. Every time he displayed one of these behaviors, which I associated with the behaviors of a "bad dog," I was fearful we had made the wrong choice.

But then I realized a few things. First of all, Barkley is a dog, as in, not a human. We made some adjustments. We decided to crate train him. We went to obedience school. And we (MM, Barkley and me) settled into a routine.

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