Posted by: An American Expat | April 25, 2011

Zoe (our new puppy!)

I have officially lost my mind.

We have always been quite aware that we weren’t “dog people”.  We would tell anyone that asked us, and some who didn’t, that we don’t want a dog in the house.

The problem is I have this son, who loves animals.  And my heart-strings began to pull a little.  After all, it wasn’t that I didn’t like dogs- I just didn’t want them to be in my house. So we could compromise, after all, we have a fenced yard and a good-sized dog house.  (any of you that have ever had a puppy can start laughing your head off about now.)

I have a friend who’s dog had puppies.  They were cute.  Really cute.  And after all, I have this kid who loves puppies….so we went, just to see them.  And we picked one out….just in case we decided we wanted one.  And two weeks later, we were owners of a new puppy.

She was so small and cute when we first got her…goodness, is she ever cute.  How much work can a little puppy be?  (This is where all dog owners laugh at me.)  E with Zoe- Aren't they cute?!

My youngest carried her around EVERYWHERE for the first day.  It was adorable.  I heard over and over again from both boys “Thank you for getting us a puppy!  We love her.  This is the best gift ever!”  And right about then, I was thinking, “Yup, cool mom points for me.”

Too bad cool mom points don’t accumulate when you clean up dog pee for the 17th time that day.  -just saying

Anyways, just a couple days after getting Zoe, she became sick-really sickI mean, I prepared the boys that she might just die any moment sick.  It was pitiful and I felt helpless.  And even though I felt like a child in sunday school doing so- I asked people to pray for my dog.  Thankfully God healed little Zoe.  Call to Him for the little things, He really does care.

In one week I went from “not really a dog person” to; getting up to make sure she was hydrated in the middle of the night, feeding her through a medicine syringe, letting her sleep in the kitchen, cooking her chicken and rice, and talking about her non-stop to every dog owner I knew-kinda dog person.  Welcome to owning a dog.

Thankfully Zoe seems to have gotten all her zest back.  Too much in fact.  Now, I have a whole new set of problems on my hands.  My littlest boy, who used to not let Zoe’s feet touch the ground, doesn’t want to be around her any more.  Both boys are afraid of her nipping and biting.  And frankly, I’m quite annoyed at the fact that I bought a dog for my kids to play with, only to find myself playing with her out of sheer guilt that no one else does.  And let’s not forget to mention how much fun it is to search for dog poop in your back yard so that you don’t step in it-again.  Sigh.  One more thing added to the to do list.

I have been trying to teach Zoe not to bite.  And my older son has been getting better about being around her.  This was after a much-threatened conversation where I concluded that if I had to “pick them up every time they needed to go past Zoe, we were getting rid of her.”  Still she constantly biting at pants, shoes, and now even skin.  I tried using water to discipline her, but to no avail.  Then spanking -but that seems to only cause more and harder biting.  I am trying to praise when she is not biting; but goodness- I only have so many hours in my day.  I really need to focus on training my kids– not a dog!

So here is my plea from all you doggie owners- help!  How do you train a puppy with kids?  We really do want to keep Zoe, and the kids love her (from far away, that is), I would really like for all of us to live in harmony together.  Ideas?  Please, please someone have an idea! 😉


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