Training wheels for parenthood

We were never “pet people.” We thought dogs were smelly, messy, and too time-consuming. Until we decided we wanted one, that is.

Meghan was the first to bring it up.  She wanted something small like a shih tzu.  No.  Sorry.  I wanted a big dog, but her allergies were a problem. Then one day I was paying our water softener bill and the most amazing dog popped his head up over the counter and peered at me.  His name was Dewey and he was a goldendoodle.  And the rest is history, as they say.

Before we got our dog, we set out ground rules.  He would be crate trained.  No people food.  He would never set paw on the on the furniture, and definitely not on our bed.  He would go to obedience school and be a perfectly well-behaved pooch.  Most of that went to hell in a handbasket fast.  In our defense, well. . .just look at that face!

Years before we had a dog he had a name.  Steve.  We just always thought it would be funny to have a dog named Steve.  And it is.  It still makes us laugh.  And nine times out of ten when someone asks his name the answer makes them laugh too.  He was destined to make people smile.

Now Steve rules the roost with a fluffy fist. Not only is he allowed on the couch, he will sprawl himself across it, and if you try to sit down you will get a look that seems to say, “You aren’t seriously going to sit there, are you?” He rarely spends the night in his crate anymore, but “prince and the pea” (as we like to call him) can rarely get comfortable on our bed. So after 15 minutes of thrashing around, he will stalk off in a huff and collapse in a heap on the bathroom floor (his preferred spot for snoozing).  He goes crazy for bits of banana and apple–hey, at least it’s healthy people food.  For the most part, Steve is a very good boy.  His downfall is that he is a lover.  He is under the impression that everyone wants an enthusiatic greeting and big, sloppy kiss from him.  I imagine what goes through his mind when someone comes over.  “HiI’mSteveIloveyoucanIkissyoulet’splaywhyaren’tyoupettingmepayattentiontome!”

Steve has literally become the center of our lives.  Our house is littered with dog toys.  For exercise, we hike at the dog park. Meghan drives a station wagon–with a special place in the back for Steve. We have made new friends thanks to him, and we have doggy play dates. 

One of our friends who is aware of Steve’s trips to doggy day care and my habit of picking Steve up and carrying him around like a baby said to us, “Geez. . .Steve is like training wheels for parenthood for you guys.”

In a way, he is.  We made it through the puppy months, fighting over who was going to get up at 5:00 in the morning to let him out into the freezing cold to pee.  We have gotten to see each other’s nuturing side by caring for Steve.  If we can pick up his poop without gagging, maybe changing diapers won’t be so bad after all. And we definitely know who the disciplinarian is of the two of us.  I won’t say who, but it isn’t Meghan.

We leave you with some pictures of our little Stevie. Credit for the last two goes to our very talented iFriend Carrie. You can check out her blog, Bonjour Badger, to see more of her fantastic photography.

AP

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7 responses to “Training wheels for parenthood

  1. I swear, our pet has been a training tool for having kids someday, too! “Who’s going to take him to the doctor this time?” We definitely learned a lot from getting a pet.

  2. Hee. I love it! Cute baby pics, Steve.

  3. Aw, sweet post! We just got our first dog a few months ago and everything you say here is true!!!

  4. Even though I haven’t met Steve I love him

  5. milwaukeebuckeye

    Steve is a great name. My in-laws last dog was Steve. The new one is Katie.

    I once “went out with” (it was 6th grade) a guy who had a dog named Sara. It could never last.

  6. I’m now in love with Steve and any blog full of pet pictures 🙂

    I’ve know 3 people with dogs named Jessie. I didn’t know what to think about it.

  7. I absolutely love that his name is Steve. Love it.

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