Living Life in Puppy-Defined Increments
As I write this I am six days into owning a dog. Six days of living my life in 90-minute increments. You puppy people know what I am talking about. The time I have between taking the dog out for potty.
To say I am not a dog person is an understatement. I have never owned a dog before, lived with a dog before, or, quite frankly, really loved many dogs before (actually, just two – during childhood my cousin’s and now my mother-in-law’s). In fact, for most of my life I have been terrified of them.
But for several reasons that I wrote about here, six days ago my family welcomed into our home and our lives Kirby, the cutest Cavapoo you have ever seen. And since then, I see everything in 90-minute increments.
Now, when I agreed to get a dog I wasn’t dumb. I knew that most (OK, all) of the work to take care of the dog would fall on me. I just didn’t realize all that the work entailed. Every morning, I look at my calendar to see what is on the schedule for the day. Can I find time to go to the gym? The supermarket? To cook dinner? To write this blog post? If I drive the kids to school do I need to stop at home before I go to my volunteer job? Who do I feed first – Kirby or the kids? My kids can whine louder, but I’m more concerned about throwing a ten-week old puppy off his schedule.
This isn’t to complain about our decision to adopt Kirby. I am in love with him already. I have such fun playing tug with him and his favorite chew toys. I giggle as he attacks my 8 year old son with kisses. I beam as my 11 year old takes on the responsibility of watching Kirby while I put my younger son to bed. I appreciate that when my husband comes home after a 12-hour overnight shift in the ER, just one look at Kirby immediately brings a smile to his face. And in the evening, sitting and stroking Kirby’s soft fur while I watch TV brings a calm end to my day. He is already, as I affectionately tell Kirby, my puppy love.
I know that as the weeks go by and Kirby grows and develops, these 90 minutes will expand to two hours, three hours and eventually even four hours or more. And what a luxury that will be. Until then, I gotta go.
Time to take Kirby out for a poop.
Alissa Stonehill Butterfass is scared of dogs and somehow is now a Dog Mom. She blogs at www.reducedfatbutter.com and has also written for the Adult Congenital Heart Asssociation and parenting site kveller.com. Alissa previously worked in marketing at a cable television network (where she and Urban Dog founder Sean Sheer were colleagues) and at a Fortune 100 company, and is now trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. Any ideas?