Lessons learned by new fur-parents, part 1

August through October 2008

  1. If you let your dog romp through a local creek that runs parallel to the dog park, he will end up with a Giardia Infection and Pink Eye. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just agree it was unpleasant.
  2. People will not be as impressed with your dog’s brilliance as you are.
  3. Lounge-wear no longer consists of underwear, socks and whatever shirt you wore to work. Outside appropriate attire is essential at all times, and a pair of shoes (and/or emergency pants) must be kept by the door for those “Zo’s really gotta go out right… <sigh> nevermind” moments. See also Item 1.
  4.  You will be forced to meet the people who live in your apartment building, especially if they’re dog owners themselves. They will want to talk to you about their dog, and you won’t care but you have to listen because then you can talk about your dog. It’s a cycle, really.
  5. The great equalizer comes at 11pm on a Thursday in a late summer torrential storm when you’ve switched out walking laps with your partner because the dog is too terrified-slash-excited to pee and all of the normal spots have washed away. The elements are against you, everyone is tired, and you have to pee yourself.
  6. The vet may give every pup the “good dog” discount.
  7. The first time Athena swats Zozo’s offending snout, he tries to puppy-pounce. The second time, when she uses claws, he learns. But he’ll still try to sniff her butt again anyway, because that’s the type of guy he is.
  8. You will never again leave the house without dog hair in your food, even if it was prepackaged by Harris Teeter. And yes, it is gross.
    a. Similarly, you will never again leave the house without a slobbery snout mark on your crotch or tush. But it’s a stamp of approval of your outfit.
  9. A new house rule emerges: Mama always shares. Baby carrots, apples, the burnt ends of fries, a nibble of pancake. If you rest your face on my leg and look up at me bovinely, I’m going to give you a small sample of whatever is on my plate. It’s a terrible habit, and I think he knows he’s getting away with Something because he doesn’t beg or return for seconds.
  10. Remember that dog who was supposed to grow to about 45 pounds and be a good size for apartment living? He’s crossed the 55lb mark and he’s gunning for 60. Good thing he doesn’t think he should sleep on the bed with us (yet).

 and just look at that smile… 225752_1049956722092_9176_n

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