Tuesday, July 9, 2013

She Drives Me Crazy

Whooo hoooo! (that song is in my top five least favorite songs ever...that song drives me crazy...yuck!)

The "she" I am referring to is my dog, Ellie. Oh, Ellie. Where do I begin?

c. 2007 Oh pooch - I bet you miss these
days of being #1 in our hearts
We adopted Ellie back in 2006. We had been married a year, knew we were going to start trying to have kids in the next couple years, and figured we would get a dog. I didn't grow up with dogs (we did have two Siberian Huskies when I was just born, but they were quickly given away after delivering the neighborhood farm's bloody goat to my parents' doorstep) and neither did my husband. I just figured we were perfect dog owners at the time - I was doing the jewelry thing full time and had a pretty flexible schedule, we lived in a very dog friendly neighborhood, we were two blocks away from the beach, we had a back yard and I was ready to give this parenting thing a try before we actually gave it a go with a human baby.

We should have known that we might have made a mistake when Ellie decided to poop all over the crate, and all over herself, on the drive home from picking her out at the Puppy Open House. Seriously, after a week of having to carry her up the stairs (she was only 9 weeks old and couldn't do our steep stairs) in the middle of the night to go "potty" out back I was ready to give her back. But we quickly fell in love with her, and treated her like a baby (a big baby who now weighs 65 pounds). I got her little doggie coats and a Halloween costume (no she did not put up with being dressed up), and I took hundreds of photos of her and shared them constantly with my friends. Hubs would sit with Ellie's head on his lap and watch TV every night. We would hold her in our arms like a baby. And we watched all of our new furniture get chewed, scratched, and peed on over the first year of having the pooch, but we didn't care, she was our dog-ter.

Then we had actual babies. And the pooch took a back seat...in the third row of the car. She was no longer allowed on the couch, or any of the furniture for that matter. We weren't taking pictures of her, now that we had these two beautiful human girls in our lives. She became more of a bother, I am sad to say. We were now snuggling with our babies in bed and making the pooch lay on the floor.

Last year she started to have anxiety issues in the months before Val was born. She could tell I was changing, and there were baby things around the house again so she was freaking out about anything and everything. If I got up to leave the room she would whine incessantly. If it started to rain she would howl and run around the house like a crazy person. She started refusing to sleep in her bed on the main floor of the house, and breaking down the gate to get up the stairs to our bedroom.

Then Val arrived, and everything seemed to be back to normal. Ellie and Val have a great relationship - Ellie always seems to collapse on the floor wherever Val is playing and she will let Val smack her face, or chew on her ear (I even caught Val her her mouth on pooch's foot once - gross yes, but hysterical).

But in the last couple months Ellie's anxiety issues have been resurfacing. She would force her way out the door, knocking over M, whenever we would try to leave the house. She would cry constantly if we left her downstairs while we went upstairs. She would scratch at the back door to go outside, and then go outside and turn right around to come inside - and do this constantly for 15 minutes straight. And forget about a thunderstorm - she would shake uncontrollably with her tongue hanging out of her mouth.

I took her to the vet and he put Ellie on 2 different anxiety meds. Within 24 hours we noticed a difference, but with the calmness came loss of bladder control, as well as a set of iron balls. Let me explain further - Ellie has always been a jerk of a dog (barking at the mail man, begging for food, barking when there are stranger in the house, etc.) but it was taken to a whole other level. She started jumping up on countertops to search for food. She was begging constantly...normally it would be just for meat, but if I was sitting there with a cup of tea, she would be begging like I had a steak on my plate. The meds were making her so ravenous that she spent half the day at the door to the pantry where we keep her food just scratching and whining.

And then yesterday I about had it - I wouldn't give her food (it was only 3 PM), and while I was upstairs she actually chewed a chunk of wood off my beautiful beige desk. I was irate. Beyond irate. I would take nervous anxious dog over this brazen effing jerk of a dog any day. So we stopped the meds last night. Who knows what is going to happen next, but I can't take her like this anymore.

My parents were witness to this craziness a few days ago and as usual their response was "you can always just get rid of her."

Can we? I guess technically we can, but would I? I think about life without her and think about how much money it would save us in dog walkers and boarding and how our house wouldn't have a layer of dog hair on every surface. But then I think about not having her in my life and I get sad, because I love seeing the girls interact with her, and I love taking her to the park on the weekends with the whole family and seeing her run around with other dogs. But then she will do something like pee on my bed and as I am changing the sheets I am thinking about accidentally leaving the back gate open...

I would never get rid of Ellie - she is my "furst" born (ha) and has brought so much joy to our lives, but most of the time lately she just drives me crazy...whooo hoo! Damn pooch and her midlife crisis!

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