Our First Year Together: A Furry Love Story
Mar. 21, 2012 1:24 pm
Updated: Apr. 20, 2012 9:11 am
I've always thought of myself as a cat person. Don't get me wrong I'm a card carrying animal lover period. It has been said of me that I like my animals better than some people I've met. I can't refute that statement! But now I can say that I am officially
a dog lover also. Again don't get me wrong, I've always liked dogs and there have been a few that have shared time here with us. The last being, Spot, Ryan's dog of 12 years. She was a dump that I took care of and that would tell me if we had unexpected company.
Beyond that she pretty much did whatever she wanted. When she passed away June 2010, I missed her but I didn't really want another dog here. Because I swore if we EVER had another dog it would be trained and become a part of the household which meant ALL the
care would be my responsibility. So I politely didn't listen anytime the DH would bring up an ad for a puppy. Until that fateful day in December when a little old lady walked into my house and used my bathroom. Then I was all ears because having a total stranger
just walk in made me realize exactly how much I needed a four legged companion who would at least say someone is on the property.
Yes, we drove all the way to Tyler, Texas to get a Chow puppy. The DH insisted on getting a dog with papers for various reasons. A pound puppy would have been fine with me but he who was footing the bills vetoed that idea. So back we came with this ball of
We picked this breed for several reasons. I had read somewhere Chows are catlike in nature. This is true, but they also have a protective nature not only for their owner but towards the "whole" family of the owner. They are definitely a one person dog. My cats
would disagree with the whole family protection bit and Pip has his own side of the story.
Besides having my heart stolen by Bane what have I learned about dogs?
Don't get a puppy in the winter time.
He loved the snow even when he had to slinky his way through it in my footsteps. I didn't love having to deal with potty training since about the only area without 3 foot of snow was the driveway last year.
Also a dog with a beautiful thick coat, has just that and it must be taken care of!
This is one brushing, something that has to be done regularly or we have dust bunnies bigger than our cats!
Since we had such snowfall last winter, Bane and I played in the house. One of our games was "what's in your mouth". It was a chase game and Bane had lots of fun because he was getting exercise and he could easily slide under all the furniture.
He also liked to sleep in cat territory.
They still fit, Bane not so much!
Ok, so I had lots to learn about raising a puppy properly. The one thing I did do right was find a very good trainer. We had a private lesson and then we took an obedience class. What I learned in class was worth every penny because Chows can be aggressive
and they are most decidedly stubborn. Bane proved he had both of those traits one night. He thought helping himself to a hamburger off the counter was just fine. Granted they were Rachael Ray's meat lover hamburgers and very tasty but Bane didn't want to give
up his purloined burger. One of Charlotte the dog trainer's mantras is "you get the dog you deserve" and I was sliding by letting Bane in the kitchen. To say he got in a lot of trouble was an understatement but if Charlotte hadn't given me the knowledge to
deal with Bane we might have had a serious situation on our hands. Being banished from the kitchen, Bane has appointed himself the guradian of it. He will place his toys and himself at the entrance to keep thieving felines out!
He is especially good at alerting me to Glove's misguided attempts at helping himself.
Since the kitchen episode has really been our worst experience, I can truly say I get dog lovers now. There are so many positives that have come from having Bane. I have someone who loves to play and go for walks so I get exercised. He really loved playing
in the one an only snow we had this year. Although, that is a basketball he plays soccer with it. Quite well I might add.
It is kind of like having a little child in the house. I find myself picking up toys on a daily basis or walking on them. He always wants to know what I'm doing. I certainly never have to worry about getting lost because my every move is noted. He is funny
with an odd quirk or two, like not wanting to get his feet wet. It takes a behind foot push to encourage him to go out in the rain for potty duty. Sometimes he will go out if I go first; today wasn't one of those days.
Unlike my child, Bane loves anything I cook. He is not allowed table scraps but he would eat them happily if given. I do make treats for him. So far I have made carroty crunchies and liver treats. Finding hormone free, grass fed beef liver was a trick but I
have his full attention when he sees them coming out of the freezer. I also had my DS's full attention when I made them. It has been requested that I NEVER make those in the house again. It is very rewarding for the cook to have someone get so excited over
her cooking that they practically dance down the hallway to have some.
It is surprising how fast this first year has flown by. Maybe it is because Bane is never grumpy or in a bad mood. He is up and ready to go at the drop of a hat. He is always glad to see me and he greets me when I came back home with lots of love. He makes
me feel safe knowing while he is on duty no one will open my front door and just walk in. Most of all who could resist this loveable face?
Certainly not me!