Puppy Love

September 12, 2011

in Guest Hosts

As you read this, I am either:

a) Frantically running around the house and grabbing kids, bottles, diapers, and assorted snot-covered toys and tossing them in the back of my suddenly miniaturized car in preparation for our 6hour solo road trip to Vermont.

b) Driving down the interstate on cruise control, one foot hovering over the break and one hand on the wheel while the other foot braces me just enough to reach back and twist my shoulder out of its socket while giving the Little Miss her pacifier, the Little Man his sippy cup, or the cop my license.

c) Carrying/Corralling/Changing/Feeding two kids under the age of two at your local road side Wendy’s.  By myself.  Unless that cop managed to catch up with me.

d) Waiting for Bail money.  And a clean diaper.  Or two.  Hopefully in Vermont.

So while I’m away?  Maggy – yes MAGGY, will be entertaining you.  I hope to convince her to eventually stake out her own claim on the internet prairie because I KNOW I’m not the only one who finds her pretty, witty, and wise….


I don’t have kids, even though Meg (1) makes it looks so fun I want to, and (2) actually tells how hard it is and makes me realize how not qualified I am.  Or thought I was.  Because now, I have taken on the ultimate chore-incurring, financially burdening, poop-producing responsibility.  A lab puppy.   Granted, I probably should have known something was up when, after informing a friend of my surprise plans, she said “I’ll pray for you.  Our triplets were much easier than our lab.”

Last week, after a series of poorly concocted lies about “conferences out of town” and stuffing bags of chew toys and puppy treats stuffed under the seat of our car (just try hiding something in a station wagon you carpool to work with your husband in), I set off to pick up the perfect 13-week-old surprise chocolate lab puppy for my sweetheart.

Guess what arrived the same time as the puppy?  Hurricane Irene.  Guess what is harder than trying to housetrain a puppy that’s spent his entire life in a 10×10 kennel at the pound?  Trying to convince that same puppy that instead of copping a squat in the warm, soft carpet behind the sofa, he should come out into the darkness, howling wind (gusts to 74 mph!) and sideways blowing rain (8.5 inches in 7 hours!) through the muck and puddles to pee outside in the cold, wet bushes.  All I can say?  Thank God I also hid one of those spray bottles of “Urine-B-Gone” in one of those bags under the car seat.

Urine-B-Gone not only removes whatever the “proteins” are that are supposed to stain my carpet, but it masks the odor with the scent of flowers and oranges.  Flowers and Oranges?  I don’t understand the combination either.  But I do know that if I get one more compliment on my new perfume by a coworker, that I’m going to start marketing this stuff in tiny glass bottles.  To the incontinent.  If Paris Hilton can sell a perfume, anyone can.

Speaking of puppy-created assaults on the senses…I’m down two pounds this week!  I’m also down two pants, one shirt, FIVE shoes, and a sports bra.  This is all due to a miraculous substance called (I am not making this up) “Nasty-Eww”.  Nasty-Eww works as follows:

  1. See your puppy chewing on an inappropriate surface or object (sofa, chair leg, your underwear….)
  2. Spray Nasty-Eww directly onto the surface you wish the puppy to avoid.
  3. Watch as your puppy immediately returns to chewing the exact same spot with increased enthusiasm and vigor.
  4. Spend the remainder of the day washing your mouth and hands and trying to find anything that doesn’t taste like a rotting lemon rind.  Give up on ever eating again.

Eating and pooping hasn’t gotten any easier since the weather cleared up.  In the last week, I’ve had a dozen people say to me “Housetraining a puppy is easy!  Just provide a regular schedule and positive reinforcement!”  What I want to know is, what kind of schedule do you give for a dog whose last five poops were the following amounts of time apart?


Poop #1 –> 11 hours  –>  Poop #2  –>  50 minutes  –> Poop #3  –>  80 minutes  –>  Poop #4  –>  6 hours  –>  Poop #5


And yet…when I’m done cleaning up the spilled water bowl and turn around to remove my 19th sock from the puppy’s mouth, he looks at me with those big golden eyes and floppy ears and paws bigger than his head…I’m in love all over again.


In love, and aware that in fact I may be qualified to run an entire orphanage of incontinent, emotionally disturbed children.

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