Monday, March 19, 2012

A Woman in her Thirties Teaches an Old Dog Old Tricks

It's no secret that I love my dog Daniel. Dan the Man, Daniel the Maniel. He is a good boy. He is our first child in many ways. Our first, much easier child.

Except lately. Something incredible has happened in Pleasantville over the last few weeks, and it involves a string of 70-80 degree days and sunshine. The snow is gone, the barbeques are out, and the weather people are feeling quite bored and unsure of themselves. I maintain that this is what March is supposed to look like, but the native Minnesotans look at me like I'm crazy.

And then there's Dan. Don't get me wrong-- Dan LOVES the sunshine. As long as he's out in it. If he's not, he revolts. He sits back on his haunches and says, 'I will not sit in this house right now, I will not do what you say, I will only stare out this window and look cute until you take. me. OUT. SIDE!'
Daniel is such a good boy that I don't think it occurs to him to chew up our shoes or hide Anna's toys in protest. Instead, he does what he he knows will DRIVE ME EVEN MORE CRAZY. He refuses to go to the bathroom. That's right. He sits in the mud room and stares at me three times a day as if to say, 'Look, lady. Anna really knocked me down a rung in the hierarchy. I know you've got another one in there. It's the least you can do to take me on a walk to go to the bathroom.'

When Anna first arrived, I wrote this post about Dan's picky bowels. I thought we'd turned a corner in this whole 'doing your business when it's time to do your business' thing. But now that the snow is gone, Dan is back to his old ways. Back to square one. Back to training him with a leash in the backyard, back to locking him up when he refuses to go.

Which has got me thinking a lot about patience. A woman in her thirties is supposed to have a grip on this very important virtue, but even L has noticed that mine has run out when it comes to Dan. I'm shorter with him than usual, more annoyed. I went to bed last night thinking I was turning into a mean dog-Mom, one who only recognizes how much her dog has given to her once he's gone.

So I've made a promise to be more patient with Dan as we figure this out. He's still my baby, even though he's not my baby, but you know what I mean. He's counting on me, the same way Anna does, and the same way Yoda will. And it's not his job to help me figure out the balance between the three-- it's mine.


  1. Uh... that sounds like me... only I'm being short with my husband and toddler... the dog is lucky if I even remember to feed him. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  2. Poor Dan! It will get better! I'm sure a good snow is just around the corner.... ;)

  3. It *is* crazy weather here, so rightly so, all of us are just a little mixed up with what to do :)

    Poor Dan (which is my husband's name too, and I say 'poor Dan' all that time... to him!)