September 16

Things have been doggie dominated in my house since I brought Chance home a couple months ago. We are all getting more acclimated and into a routine, but there are still moments of extreme frustration. Like last night when I was on the phone with the cable guy who was walking me through a problem with a non-working tv, and I realized the house was too quiet. Once I was able to get away from the tv, I found the dog chewing the decorations off my daughter’s sandal. It was the first time he had actually destroyed a shoe and I couldn’t yell at him because I had a cable guy chatting in my ear. Instead I gave him my most “I’m disgusted with this” look and a shake of the fist while mouthing “bad dog!” None of which made an impact on his tail wagging as he sat waiting for what I could only guess was a treat. Or lunch time yesterday when my daughter sent me a picture of the bag of expensive orchard apples that had been scattered all over the kitchen floor and carried outside onto the porch. Now every apple is bruised or bitten. Apparently leaving things on the kitchen island is no longer safe, even though he usually never bothers stuff sitting there. And this evening, instead of heading out for a walk like normal, he unexpectedly darted out the door and took a quick left through the landscaping, pulling me almost directly though the butterfly bush laden with bees. What the heck, dog.

I’m trying to remember what I read last week about the phases of puppy growth. Apparently around his age is when the “teenage years” begin. When puppies start pushing boundaries and testing limits. Glad to see he’s on track. Part of me wishes he’d just jump ahead and past this. But I know now is the time to stick with the training and discipline because it will make a big difference once he’s full grown. I think if we don’t get off-track now, he’s going to be a great dog. Fingers crossed. In the meantime, I’m exceedingly grateful that he’s able to hang out and get worn out with my boyfriend’s puppy. After some time together tonight, Chance was asleep by 8:30 and I was able to get homework done in peace.

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