It’s My Fault My Dog Drives Me Crazy

| January 17, 2012 | Comments (5)

I love my dog. I really, really do. I just have to remind myself that I do. And, between us, I love the way things were with my dog before kids, because having a dog with a toddler and a baby isn’t ideal.

We rescued Howie from Anti-Cruelty Society a year after we were married, following the trend of couples not yet ready for kids. The wedding excitement was over, we bought our first condo in the city, so what’s next… How about a dog?!?! And we found Howie. Sweet, lovable, emotional, smart Howie. We treated him like a baby. We couldn’t help but pull him into our laps or snuggle with him. He was low maintenance and we had time for long walks, obedience classes, and monthly grooming appointments. He rarely barked, stayed nice and clean, and our friends all loved him. He sat on the couch with us and slept in bed with us. There is a reason you aren’t supposed to let your dogs do this, but life was good and we were a happy threesome.

Then came the kids and the suburbs and Howie became a pain… The walks are fewer, so we let him out in the yard, which has a lot of mud, which makes him dirty, which means he tracks dirt on the couch and on the bed. And we can’t groom or bathe him as often as he needs it, so his hair and nails get dirtier and he doesn’t smell as good, so I don’t want him on the couch or the bed. And I’m constantly pulled in different directions or holding someone or begging someone to do something or doing something to take care of someone and when I get those moments without being needed, I want to be left alone instead of petting a dog. And he’s become more territorial now that we have kids and a house to protect and he can actually see the ground through the window, so he barks more, which drives me crazy and wakes the baby, so we yell at him. And we don’t have time to train him or go back to the fundamentals we learned in obedience class, so we drag him around on his walks and yell at him to stop barking, jumping, begging. And he has a lot of energy, so misbehaves more often, because he prefers to take walks on a leash instead of running around the yard, because he’s a city dog at heart and the walks are fewer. It’s a vicious circle, you see?

It’s all our fault, not his. And it’s not his fault that we left the garbage out when we walked to the park and left him at home (barking at us from the window, might I add). But, when I came home to it ripped apart and spread all over the floor with a hungry baby and a melting-down toddler, fault didn’t really matter.

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About lisahannemaniac: Lisa is a the lone female in the house she shares north of the city with her talented husband, adorable preschooler and toddler boys, and attention-craving rescue dog. She's been pregnant for about four years, expecting her third child in October 2012. Admittedly not a mom pro yet, Lisa enjoys daily parenting blunders, works full time in fundraising, enjoys reading and cooking, focuses on healthy feeding, strives for green living, plans to start running again soon, and tries to maintain a social life. Check in on her life and her writings about her often nutty, always overbooked life at Hannemaniacs . View author profile.

Comments (5)

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  1. Kandice says:

    I know exaclty what you are saying! We are in the exact same boat since we had a baby. Except, I have to add that we have all food floors and our dog paces constently and so her nails click on the floor constantly. We had to start locking her out of our room at night because of the clicking. But when we do that she just cries so loud it wakes us up anyway. There is no good solution to our problem. She is now 14 years old…too old for anyone to take her, I would never take her to a shelter, so what can I do? I love her very much but she is starting to stress me out.

  2. Shari says:

    I feel the same way about our Husky, although we adopted him from a local shelter when our girls were in first grade and he was one or two years old. His behavior is related to how much time I can spend with him. When I have the time and patience to train him, he’s a great dog. Otherwise it’s just like having another baby.

  3. tracey says:

    This is why we waited till our kids were all old enough to walk the puppy before we got a dog. I can’t imagine a dog and babies….

  4. adrienne says:

    Perhaps you HAVE to make time to re-train your pet those things you both learned in obedience classes.

    You and your family made a choice for an addition to your family when you got a pet.

    I see in your bio you enjoy running. Your dog could benefit from running too!

  5. Ann says:

    I’m really bothered by the author stating that, “Then came the kids and the suburbs and Howie became a pain”. No, Howie did not “become a pain”. Howie’s people put him into an entirely different situation without preparing him for it. Why is it the dog is always blamed, and yes, the author DOES blame the dog, even though she claims that “it’s my fault.”
    If she really believed it was all her fault, she would not declare that Howie “became a pain”.
    Your dog is a FAMILY MEMBER! When you know there are going to be changes, such as a new baby or a change in lifestyle, consult a trainer for advice about how to ease the dog into the transition. If you can’t afford a trainer, read some training books and do some online research.
    I have news for the author, “loving” your dog is not enough. You have to be COMMITTED to your dog, and be responsible for the changes you put your dog through. Yes, it will take time and energy to help your dog adjust to a new lifestyle. A dog is not something to be tossed aside when you’re done being entertained by him.

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