Reprinted with permission from Bryn Nowell, A Dog Walks into a Bar. This article is original in content and not to be reproduced elsewhere in any form. Copyright February 21, 2017.
I close the door behind me with a thud and, shivering, I remove my layers of winter clothing. Scarf, hat, gloves, coat, sweater are all abandoned on the kitchen table, which is really just a home for outerwear, and not ever used for dining.
There’s a THUD in the living room, and the flurry of paws pounding on the hard-wood floor. Before I can make it to the next room, I hear the tinkle of broken glass and I’m greeted by the widened eyes and crouched shoulder of “the guilty one.” Yoda, our black and white Boston Terrier, is almost always the reason why we can’t have nice things, as I’ve heard myself saying out loud in the same tone I’ve heard my mother use while growing up. This time is no different, as I realize the broken glass is from a special vase we had received for our wedding that was decorating our bookshelf.
I shake my head, sigh, and quickly put Yoda in a safe space while I clean up.
Yoda, is basically a bull in a China closet. He doesn’t realize his strength when he jumps from couch to couch. He also doesn’t understand how to stop before barreling into the blinds.
I share this with you to illustrate that Yoda is not a perfect dog. No dog (or human for that matter) is perfect.
I was inspired to write about our imperfect life because a fellow pet blogger, Maggie from Oh My Dog Blog had the strength to write a post about her two dogs fighting. It was a brave move, because it showed vulnerability. It also took away the glossy veneer that we as pet bloggers sometimes convey. It reminded me that the reason people visit us, and read our pages, isn’t to see something that is always “just right,” but to learn that we are also grappling with issues as pet parents and hopefully help other caring pet owners to realize that they’re not alone.
Let me share some things that we are continually grappling with in the Nowell household.
Our two dogs don’t love each other
They, at best, tolerate each other. They’ve grown accustomed to each other and are fine in the same space at the same time, but they get annoyed with one another, and have had fights. We’ve redirected, given treats for good behavior, and continue to go to training together, but that doesn’t guarantee that something won’t happen down the road.
Our dogs are gross
Well, to clarify, Yoda is the gross one (for the most part). There’s a lot of snorting, farting, and fur, that’s a given. But Yoda also has the ability to harbor sludge in his jowls that he rubs on the soft surfaces in the home. Goodbye decorative pillows that can’t be washed. You had a good 48 hour run…
Our house is a mess
It’s never dirty, but it is cluttered. I strongly dislike putting away the clean clothes so it’s normally a combo of books strewn about and piles of laundry in varying stages of folding. Don’t be fooled by the photos, things are not as they seem. It’s a white sheet thrown over the larger of our two loveseats (yep, our living room is too small for a couch, so we have two loveseats). There’s no fancy backdrops and I don’t have lights or flash. I fight for daylight in the morning when I should be brushing my teeth which means I’m normally at least 5 minutes late for my job.
Anyone’s Dog Can Become Reactive
With age, Bean is getting more reactive, which is trickling down to Yoda, which is impacting my confidence with taking them places, which is isolating us, which is making Bean more reactive when she DOES go out. It’s a cycle that I’m trying to nip but it’s hard. When dogs get older, sometimes they get crankier and Yoda most certainly picks up on her energy.
One Dog Just Won’t Eat
Just because we have access to great treats and fancy dog food, doesn’t mean Bean willeat it. She’s always been a picky eater. I remember hand feeding a single morsel of food to her tiny mouth over and over and over when she was a puppy, yet another reason why I was late for work. Now, we think we have the perfect combo of food for her. Currently, that’s a mixture of Stella and Chewy’s meal mixers, Precise Holistic Grain Free and SuperGravy from Clear Conscience Pet. After close to a year of that combo being great, she literally began refusing to eat starting this week, leaving us scrambling to find a new combination. We’ll keep you posted on what winds up working.
There’s More to Life than Getting “Likes.”
Getting a ton of “likes” on social media, in the real world, means nothing. It simply means we used hashtags to our advantage. I am happy to report, that we have been blessed to develop close connections and friendships with folks through social, especially Instagram, but many folks are visiting us with the hopes that we’ll visit them. It’s self-gratifying for them and honestly has very little to do with us.