Monday, November 05, 2012

Trying to Reason with the Dog and other musings about pet ownership

Oswald (my dog) is odd.  I mean, he eats cat poop.  So, there is definitive proof that he's odd.  He is also a bag lady:

He has a couch of his own, and until recently he had a dog bed (he ripped it, so the stuffing was falling all over the place and I was too frustrated to try and sew it up.)  He has pillows and blankets and sheets all his own (*cough*spoiled*cough*) but he'd prefer to sleep half way under the bed in our spare room.

He has attachment issues. He gets upset when I don't  sit on the couch with him or if I leave the house without him... or if I go to bed before he does.  And heaven forbid I sit on our extra bed, because it's too high up for him to climb on to sit with me.  How is it I wind up with codependent animals?  Is it because I spoil them?

Cuddley snuggies.
He has toys and balls and treats, but he would prefer to chew on an old, gross plastic bottle.  I guess I should be glad he doesn't chew up my shoes.

Today, though, he's acting particularly strange.  He normally goes out to pee when my boyfriend gets home from work.  He went today and peed and came right back in. Since we moved, we have to take him out on a leash because we don't have a fence anymore.  It's more inconvenient because he likes to go on adventures where he sniffs leaves for 45 minutes, but I suppose the exercise is good for him.

He sleeps with his tongue out.
So, today, he went out when Boyfriend got home from work, and then he was at the door an hour later, asking to go out again.  I took him out and he did his business and we came back inside.  No sooner had I gotten dinner in the oven and sat down, when he was back at the door again.

So I said to him, "Come away from the door. You just went out. You pooh and peed. You can't possibly have to go again. If you have to pee again, then you're sick and you have see Doctor [Vet]. That's it. Come here and sit down."  As if 1) he understood that and 2) he would listen even if he did.  I feel like that's probably an sign of early onset dementia, trying to reason with a dog.

And yet, I find myself having these one sided conversations with the dog all the time, attempting to reason with him.  I'm sure my neighbors all think I'm insane, running around the 'hood talking to the dog at all hours of the day and night.

I suppose my reasoning is that Oswald loves me, and the tone of my voice is more indicative of what I want than what I'm saying.  It's my way of comforting him, I suppose.  Of course, most people don't get all wishy washy over animals to the extent that I do, so they likely think I'm crazy for talking to the dog.  I mean, I do have conversations with him.  I ask him how his day was.  I know that he won't answer.  I know that he doesn't understand.  But he still wags his little stump of a tail when I talk to him.

Boyfriend comments all the time about how much Oswald loves me.  Even though Oswald is technically Boyfriend's dog, he clearly prefers me.  He follows me around the house, sits next to me on the couch when I watch my trashy reality TV, and I know that if Boyfriend would allow it, he would sleep in the bed with me.  He lays on the floor next to me when I'm working on the computer, when I'm eating, and he sits outside the bathroom door when I'm... doing bathroom things.  He's either very suspicious of me, or he loves me.  I'm going to go with love.

And why shouldn't he love me? I feed him, bathe him (he doesn't like that, but I think he understands that it makes his itchies go away), I brush him, I play with him, I pet him.    I make up his little bed and spread his blankies out for him.  I give him ice cubes on hot days.  I take him "bye-byes" (on car rides).  I'm like, the best thing since slice bread as far as he's concerned.  And Oswald REALLY loves sliced bread.

It's not all wine and roses though.  He's a lot of work.  He has to have his ears cleaned every week, and his stump (where his tail was) cleaned every day or so.  His face wrinkles have to be cleaned as well.  His nails have to trimmed.  He has allergies and hot spots, so those have to be treated with cortizone and peroxide to make sure they don't get infected.  He has to be given frequent baths.  He often wakes me up barking because he's spoiled and wants to be near me.  He eats leaves and then pukes them up.   He jumps on strangers in petsmart.  He bites when you pick him up.

But, he's a sweet, gentle, loving dog, despite all that.  And he's mine.