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Doggie parenting, Year 1

March 20, 2012
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Last night Hubby and I suddenly realized a storm was brewing. Our dog has a history of shaking and quaking and having a nervous breakdown when it storms. So we, being the good doggie parents that we are, sprang into action. One of us quickly splatted some Rescue Remedy on some yogurt (for the dog, not us). The other ran for the Thundershirt™.

As a well-practiced team, exuding calm in the face of the storm, we got the Thundershirt on him in record time. One held him and cooed in soothing doggie talk, and the other pulled the shirt over his furry head and cinched tight that comforting shirt, which calms his fight or flight response. (See Edmund’s Sparse Belongings for more info on his clothes.) We are pleased that Edmund seems to be getting over his storm phobia, or maybe he’s just breathless from the too-tight shirt and distracted, trying to figure out how he can get rid of the embarrassing garment and related rituals.

Later in the evening, this same human team could be found crawling on hands and knees in the dark on the carpeted basement floor. One team member held the black light, which makes uric acid shine yellow in the dark. The other team member sprayed the enzyme cleaner and brushed each yellow spot.

It’s shared doggie parenting experiences like these that have helped us grow as a couple this last year since Edmund has come into our lives. Indeed, who would we be without these endearing experiences?

The funniest experience (to me) was when I came home to find a nervous Hubby on the deck with Edmund clamped between his knees, trying to squirt something down the poor dog’s throat with a big syringe to make him vomit. Edmund had been hacking a bit, so Jeff was convinced that he had ingested something deadly. My experienced mother’s ear could tell it was nothing serious, and I convinced Hubby that his pooch was fine. Turns out he (the dog) had been chewing grass. (I’m not sure what the human had been chewing.)

The messiest experience was when Hubby changed the dog’s diet to another food too quickly and he (the dog) got diarrhea on a trail at the nature center. I put his rump in a trash bag and held him tightly while Hubby drove home so we could hose him off. (We voted to a return to the original dog food.)

We’ve bonded over our pride that visits from Edmund make a bed-bound friend happy. We’ve bonded over our horror that Edmund is not friendly when a stranger reaches to pat the top of his head too quickly. We’ve had to work together to figure out how to break him of barking like a maniac and trying to break the window when the mail carrier comes. (Consensus: Remove him from his bay window command station and pull the shade. Celebrate the fact that we have a very effective burglar alarm.)

We’ve had a few “discussions” about things like where the dog should sit in the vehicle and where he should sleep at night and whether a corn chip is ever okay dog food. High praise around here? “Awww. You’re such a good doggie mommy/daddy.”

We’ve jokingly competed for who Edmund will sit by: “Edmund, sit over here. I’m the one who feeds you.” “No, Edmund, sit over here. I’m the one who lets you lick the kefir bowl every night.”

It will be interesting to see what Year 2 with Edmund will bring. No doubt it will bring more opportunities for growth and enlightenment, but hopefully no more yellow spots that glow in the dark.
(Note: Kefir is a probiotic drink rather like liquid yogurt.)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Beverly Stamper permalink
    March 26, 2012 9:20 am

    Julie, I am so enjoying your Edmund stories! We have a “kennel full” of furry dears ourselves; one mixed Cocker Spaniel/Mountain Fiste, two full-blooded Chihuahua’s and a Jack Russel/chihuahua mix. Believe it or not, all of them are quiet natured, seldom barkers with the exception of Rex, the Jack Russel mix. They all rush for the fence when someone approaches them, and bark only when the visitor speaks to them! Even Esther and companion were impressed during a recent visit. Hope to see you and yours soon! Thanks for the entertainment for this shut-in!

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