Friday, June 18, 2010
Adding a puppy to our family has been equally awesome and exhausting. The best thing I can say about Jackson is that it feels like he has always been ours, that it's just natural having him around. He follows us from room to room, loves us with his whole body wags, and clearly sees us as his own family now. He lies with Skyler on her bed until she's asleep at night, and tolerates all sorts of tucking in and stuffed animals being arranged around him.
Skyler has started calling him Jacks, or Jacksy, and she also says things she must have gotten from me, like: "Jacksy, you sure are a piece of work, aren't you?"
But he's also a 6-month old pup, and the more comfortable he gets here, the more his naughty ways are coming through. The boy needs to chew constantly. We have provided him with every kind of rawhide bone, chew toy, tennis ball, ropey thing, ropey thing with a tennis ball attached, bacon flavored treats, etc, etc. He still prefers my slippers, Sam's flip-flops, and the kids' toys. And if it gets quiet for one minute in the house and you think... "hmmm. Where is Jackson?" It's a sure bet that he is upstairs in the bathroom grabbing one of Reed's pee-filled Pull-ups out of the trash. (Trash-can with a lid is on the list.)
I think that Reed and Jackson might be working together to bring me down.
Here is how it is around here:
"Jackson, NO!... wait, where is Reed?"
"Reed, NO!... wait, where is Jackson?"
It's just that when I get tied up taking care of the dog, I forget that we have kids, and when I get tied up with the kids, I forget that we have a dog. I'll get this all figured out eventually.
"Reed, we don't sit on Jackson!" "Jackson, get off of Reed!"
The kids think it's hilarious to have a member of the family who is just blatantly disobedient and doesn't seem to mind being scolded. They love to correct his indiscretions: "Jackson, NO COUCH! Jackson, THAT IS DADDY'S SHOE!" Skyler has been an especially great help policing everyone. One minute she'll come running in to say: "Mom! Jackson has a Lincoln Log!" and the next minute, "MOM! Reed has the fridge open and a mouth full of strawberries!"
Oy. It's a lot of work to have a puppy and a Reedo.
So, I decided to leave Jackson home this morning and take the kids to Petco to pick out a few things we needed. It seemed suddenly easy to navigate the store with just two kids, until we made it to the check out line and Reed took a huge bite out of an unwrapped dog biscuit on display. I noticed that he had his mouth stuffed full and it was too late to stop the ingestion. "REED! THAT IS A DOG TREAT!" He just kept chewing, and said: "This is not for dogs! It's for cookies!"
Our friend Maureen came by with her dog Sophie the other day and delivered Jackson some presents, including Frosty Paws, yes, ice cream for dogs. Jackson is a huge fan.
I can tell that Jackson is a great learner, and responds to our training. He now sits on command and he comes almost everytime he's called. We have made a lot of progress on teaching him not to pull when he walks on the leash. Today I got one of those "gentle leads" which is like a collar that goes over his nose. With that thing on, even Skyler and Reed can walk him on leash because there simply is no pulling. So, thanks to the several people who suggested that.
I love having a dog in the house again. He's such a lover. In fact, if you could print out a transcript of Jacksy's brain, it would read: i love you. i love you. i love you. i eat your slippers because i love you. love. love. love. love. love.