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Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2014

Poor doggies

Thursday, July 14, 2011

So, when I signed up for motherhood, I didn't realize I got to be mom not just to our kids but to our pets, too. We never had pets when the older girls were babies but when they were 3 and 5 years old we were living in Oklahoma and bought some property out in the country. Well, apparently, there's some unwritten rule that if you move out of town, you have to have animals, so right off the bat we got two adorable puppies.

The first was a chocolate Lab named Osborne. He was the biggest male puppy from the litter and my hubby instantly fell in love with him. He's the only "boy" in our all female household. I read that dogs need a companion so a few months later we brought home Devaney, a petite, female yellow Lab. (By the way, NO ONE in Oklahoma understood the meaning of our dogs' names.)

I admit I was in love with the dogs at one time. That time being, when they were little and cute, with soft hair and big blue eyes. Even though they were bought to be outside farm dogs, I let them come in the house when they were puppies all the time.

Then, the two adorable puppies grew up and boy, did they ever grow up! All the things they did that were once cute were now either painful or annoying. The girls couldn't even play in the yard with them, for fear of being trampled. Their barking became super loud and super irritating, and they managed to smear Oklahoma red dirt everywhere and on everyone. Osborne resembled a grizzly bear, no kidding, and the two of them on a dead run could scare the pants off an approaching stranger.

Although, I still loved them dearly, I found my emotions for them changing to more of a "one more thing to take care of" type feeling. We were in the middle of building a house and just had baby girl No. 3, so the poor dogs were getting shoved to the wayside.

When we moved to McCook, I was worried about bringing two huge, dirty farm dogs in town, but I imagined taking them on walks and to the park. I pictured them running around the backyard with the girls playing fetch and alerting us when someone unwanted entered the backyard.

Only bits of that picture have come true. I do put them on leashes but mainly they take ME for a walk, anywhere they want to go. I practically pull a shoulder out yanking them from marking their territory on neighbors' yards, and have leash burns on my palms when we get home. The looks I get when I take them on the walking trail through the park are not friendly "ahhh, they're so cute" but rather looks of fear and maybe a little disgust.

My giant, filthy dogs are really super sweet and have never hurt a soul, but they have absolutely no manners, can't fetch a ball or catch a Frisbee, and never learned a trick in their life. They eat any leftover put in front of them, poop all the time and everywhere they're not supposed to, and dig holes in the yard the size of a small crater.

They've adjusted to city life fairly well, though. The only thing that really bothers them is their kennel. Since they grew up on 10 acres, they expect to be out roaming aimlessly most the day. Not anymore. It's really not fair to them but the talk of giving them away to a farm, brings our kids (and me) to tears.

Although I'm saddened to think of them with another family, there have been a few times lately where they almost got their walking papers. Because they hate being in their kennel, as soon as the sun rises, they expect to get out and run around. Doesn't matter what our schedule is, they want out and the designated loudmouth, Devaney, begins her morning chant. She has this high-pitched bark that in succession will drive a person batty.

Because were in town now, I hate to be "that" neighbor with the annoying dog so we all try really hard to shut her up and fast. During the week, hubby lets them out between 5 and 6 a.m., before he goes to work. That usually does the trick and eliminates barking.

However, on the weekend, both dogs stand at the front of the pen staring at our kitchen window until they see movement and then the barking commences. Anyone close to me knows I am NOT a morning person! I need a few minutes with food and coffee before I can function in a cordial manner. The very LAST thing I want to hear in the a.m. is Devaney's piercing bark.

Usually one of the girls will go out and let them out but a few months ago on Saturday morning I had to get up early before everyone else. I tried sneaking my breakfast and coffee without the dogs seeing me but Devaney spotted me through the blinds and the yapping began. Time alone for a mom is very rare, usually late at night or early in the morning, so to have that time interrupted by the "dog" is extremely aggravating.

This kept happening every weekend and by this time I had had it!! In my pajamas, bed head and my husband's work boots, I stomped through the yard, teeth gritted and eyes squinted about to let Devaney have it. It was still a little dark, so I was sure all the neighbors were still sleeping. In my rage, I karate-kicked the gate to the pen open, and yelled to Devaney, "Shut your face!" Both dogs just stood stunned for a second then they tore out of the pen for fear of my wrath. I clomped after Devaney and very angrily, with teeth still gritted, asked her, "Why don't you just run away?"

Then as I was irately telling her, "I can't stand you," I looked up to head back inside and saw my neighbor guy standing on his back step. Ahh geesh! I must have looked like a mad woman who'd lost her marbles. I was completely humiliated, but also still extremely mad, and very tired all at the same time. I thought for a second that I should explain the whole "not a morning person" and "I don't mean those things I said, I really do love my dogs," but I didn't.

I'm positive he thought I lost it and I'm sure he said after I left, "poor doggies."


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Jennifer Morgan
Motherhood Moments
-- Jennifer Morgan is the mother of three girls and lives in McCook.