I don’t want to jinx it. I just want to note how great it’s been to have a dog so far. Scooby hasn’t had one accident, he hasn’t eaten our food or tried to run away, and he’s still alive*! I guess I was confident we’d keep him alive, but I do worry about him a lot. Is he safe on our balcony even though there’s a 3.5 foot fence? ( I keep him on the leash while he’s out there, just in case.**) Will he be OK when I leave the house for three hours to go to work before Caitlin gets home? (He barks a lot when I put on my shoes to go, but he’s a champ about going in the kennel.) Is it OK for him to eat some grass while on a walk? (Caitlin says it is.) Oh, no! He’s eating leftover chicken on the street! (I think there were bugs on it!***) It’s stressful. But so far, it’s been so great.
*Two notes here: first, Zack can’t jinx it so I’ll leave all of the spelled-out celebrating to him and merely say woo! (since I do jinx things sometimes). Second, in all seriousness — I have to catch myself sometimes when I’m worrying and remind myself, he’s very resilient and it would be very hard to kill him by mistake, so all is well. Breathe.
**I’m afraid I may have instilled this fear in Zack. It stems from my childhood — I don’t know what it was, but I was always afraid my baby brother Edward was going to fall in some pool or pond or other body of water and drown. I’m one of those “fear the worst and you can somehow prevent it from happening!” crazies/self-appointed demi-gods.
***I wish there was recorded audio of how concerned Zack was about Scoobs accidentally ingesting some bugs. It was probably the cutest thing I’ve ever heard him say.
As much as Caitlin and I miss each other during the week, our schedules really do work out excellently for taking care of our Scoobs. It works out really well for me. I get three hours of nap time with him every day. Here’s a typical work day:
- 6:30 am*: Caitlin wakes up with him for a quick walk to the dog park to relieve himself.
- 6:50 am: She gets in the shower to get ready for work and Scoobs jumps into bed with me.
- 10:30ish: I wake up and Scoobs and I go for his second walk. Today I pushed it all the way to noon, and even though he hadn’t been walked in over 5 hours, I was the one to initiate the walk. He’s a champ.
- Noon: I have lunch while trying to distract the pup from wanting to eat it all.
- 1 p.m.: After answering some e-mails and playing iPhone/iPad games, I take him on a longer walk and work on teaching him the “down” trick.
- 2:20 p.m.: I finish getting ready for work and give Scoobs a couple treats and put him in his kennel in the living room.
- 6:30 p.m.: Caitlin gets home from work and takes Scoobs on a quick walk.
- 7 p.m.: Caitlin and Scoobs both eat dinner (He’s a faster eater.**) and hang out for a bit.
- 8 p.m.: Caitlin takes him for his long walk to Zilker or some other park.
- 11 pm: Caitlin brings his kennel into the bedroom and they go to sleep.
*6:15 am actually. And yes, I feel every one of those lost fifteen minutes.
**That said, he’s one of the slowest doggie-eaters I’ve ever had, which is awesome. Instead of scarfing, he seems to take his time and enjoy it all.
- A couple days ago, Caitlin was telling me about dog tags she was looking at online for Scoobs. There were bone-shaped ones, heart shaped ones and all different colors. In the meantime, I was telling her how Scooby pooped on a walk with me for the first time. She asked “color/shape?” “Well, it was brown, you know, human shaped…” She was asking about the tags.*
- Today I was walking Scoobs by our dog park and Caitlin called to check on her boys. At the same time, a homeless looking man asked me “Is he yours?” I said “Yes, yes” and the homeless guy starts handing me half of an orange he was peeling. Apparently he asked “Do you want some Orange?” NO! We’re good!
*The actual word-for-word text went — me: btw which color/shape? (insert dog tag link) Zack: brown, like a human poop me: (Insert huge belly laughs while I’m at work, intense enough that I have to share the whole story with my co-worker because I’m crying laughing, and she starts up, too.)
- The first couple days, when Scooby was still finding his way around the apartment, he kept running into the door stopper. I don’t know why, but that boooiiiinnnnnggg sound killed me every time.*
- I’m proud/excited when he goes to the bathroom. It’s not something I expected, but when he poops, knowing that he won’t have to go inside is a huge relief. **
- It’s always fun when random kids or strangers want to pet him and ask what breed he is. Almost everyone asks if he’s a Chow. Now I’m convinced he’s part chow, but mostly German Shepherd. ***
- I like to disarm the strangers who are afraid of him at first, by telling him how friendly he is and they can pet him. They always walk away saying how nice and handsome he is.
- It amazes me how it’s brought Caitlin and I closer together already. We’re always sharing Scooby stories and pictures and constantly asking whoever’s been with him most recently what he’s doing.
- I love hearing both Caitlin and Scooby’s breathing while they’re asleep when I come home from work and then hearing his silent pawing against his kennel when he hears me enter the room. It’s almost as cute as Caitlin’s non-sensical half-asleep cooing noises when I get into bed. ****
- I can’t wait to spend our first full weekend with Caitlin and Scoobs. We’ve got big plans. Or, he can just lay all over us on the couch and we’ll be perfectly happy.