One would already think I am a mother. I am woken up each morning by my “kids.” I brush their teeth and take them on daily walks. Each night, I tuck them into bed. Both grandmas jump at the opportunity to babysit them.
No, I do not have children yet. These are my Chihuahuas and they have personalities of their own.
Dixie, also known as Granny or Doody (pronounced: Dude-ee) Head, is my oldest. We think she is about nine years old. We do not know for sure, since we adopted her from the Animal Humane Society and they only had an estimation of her age. She is our diva. We get her haircut at the salon and I dress her up in clothes. She “talks” and asks us for either a walk or a cookie treat.
Calvin, or Cal, is our most recent addition. We think he is two years old. He is among a group of Chihuahuas rescued in California and flown to our cold state on a Delta flight. Poor guy. Calvin will do anything for someone to pet him. He hyperventilates from excitement when we try to leash him before a walk. Cal also knows how to dance in a circle and loves playing with (aka: humping) his dog cousin, Ruby.
Dixie and Calvin. They are my two dogs, together weighing under 15 pounds. Seth shakes his head at me sometimes, due to the fact that I treat these two like my children. He says we have “two dogs too many." But the truth is, they are my children. I know they are furrier than most, but they bring me and my family so much joy. Whenever I’m feeling down, I know I can grab one of them for a snuggle. They are my little stinkers and I love them so much.
Recently, I brought Dixie into the vet for her annual teeth cleaning. (Yes, my dogs have health insurance, and this includes one professional teeth cleaning a year). The funny thing about this is Dixie has about nine teeth. When we adopted her, we noticed a foul odor coming from her mouth. A good chunk of her teeth were rotten and at her first cleaning, she had to get many of them pulled. That’s how she earned the name Snaggle-Tooth.
For the cleaning, Dixie is put under anesthesia. This has many side effects, including big black and watery eyes, confusion, delusions and diarrhea. I always feel a little sad when I pick her up from her appointment, because she acts like she doesn’t even know me. I put her in the car and she whines. Although her teeth are clean, the day I bring her back from her dental appointment is never fun.
The day after Dixie’s cleaning, I received a text from Seth that read, “Our house is full of shit!” He attached a picture of our spare bedroom floor full of little brown blobs.
Instantly, I was thankful for two things: 1) My husband almost always arrives home from work first. 2) We recently removed the carpet in our home and refinished the wood floors.
This was not our first rodeo with dog accidents, so I was confident that Seth would clean it up.
I drove home, and sure enough, the crime scene was spotless. On the positive side, Dixie was feeling better and we continued with our nightly routine of dinner (salmon anyone?), a walk and watching Parenthood.
The following night, I was the first to arrive home. I put the dogs out on their leashes and watched them as they walked around outside. Dixie popped a squat and began to go potty. However, she was not pooping on the grass. She was pooping on top of her leash that was tangled between her legs. As she walked back to the house, the mess got all over her.
At that point, I knew it was time for a bath.
I try not to complain too much about the small problems I encounter as a dog owner. Yes, we have accidents here and there, and I get embarrassed when they bark like banshees at our neighbors (what's a banshee anyways?).
I do not have to wake up every few hours at night to feed them. I do not have to change their clothes multiple times during the day due to a leaky diaper (brand suggestions, please!). I am not cleaning up projectile vomit off of the walls. They are dogs. Most of the time, they are pretty darn easy. Other times, we have a little poop to clean up.
I am going to do my best to treasure my childless days as long as I can, because I know there will be a day when I'm wishing all I have to clean up is dog poop.