The Dog Mom Chronicles: Let The Games Begin

It’s nearly 7:00 p.m. in the evening on a Sunday. Over 12 hours ago, I set out to do one thing: read The Handmaid’s Tale, my current book.

I promised myself when I got out of bed this morning, I would NOT let myself get hijacked by my never-ending to do list. I would not let myself get derailed by the dishes, or waylaid by the laundry. My plan to read – to just sit and read – would not get bypassed by my bills.

It did. I have done everything I wanted to do today BUT read. I did my dishes, did my laundry, walked the dog, got my necessary shopping done, spoke to my son, set up my exterior surveillance camera, installed a new Amazon Echo Show, wrote a post for The Mother Rogue, and started my APMP Professional Certification.

I even managed to meditate, and get in an hour with The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass on Audible.

Just no reading.

Yet. I’m almost done with my writing goals for today. Then I can take TheDog on his last P&P (Piss and Poop) of the day, take a quick shower, and curl up in bed with Margaret Atwood.

Right now Leading Canine #1 is in his crate, cheerfully chomping on a Bullymake Box rope toy – the only rope toy that has been able to withstand The Jaws of Rocky. I have no idea how this toy is still intact over a month later. My dog plays hard and chews his toys harder.

Three months post-adoption, TheDog who adopted us is settling in nicely. I know because my back is perpetually cricked. TheDog sleeps smack between my husband and I, with his back against one of us, and his legs outstretched touching the other… slanted.

There is no moving a 70 pound, made-of-pure-muscle, boxer. I discovered this after multiple attempts to make the bed with said boxer on it. Early on I discovered I could not get TheDog off the bed. There is no NOT making the bed. I’ve tried. My whole day is unorganized if I don’t. Because Asperger’s, I suppose.

I didn’t know it back in October, when Rocky first came home, but the bed thing, to him, is play. That’s because I didn’t know how to play with a dog until Rocky adopted us. I had never run around pretending to chew on a tennis ball. I had never played tug of war. I had never run around with a flashing Babble Ball, much less chased a dog around the house while said canine was carting a bouncing rubber ball in their mouth.

In the last 12 weeks, I have done all those things, repeatedly.

These days all I do with TheDog is play. At least that’s what TheDog thinks; in reality, I am training Rocky. Every hour or so I stand up and spend 3 to 5 minutes walking around with a spoonful of peanut butter saying “heel,” periodically stopping to let TheDog stop to get a lick off the spoon. In the evenings I do the same thing with a thick rope toy. I power walk on P&Ps, too.

My Apple Watch is quite happy with me. I consistently close all my rings. More importantly, TheDog is not ever bored. He never knows what I am going to do next, or what I am going to ask him to do.

When Rocky wants to play and can’t get us to play with him, clothing becomes forfeit. Witness my unfortunate Sketcher, a product of my early, ingenue days of Dog Motherhood. The more I play with the dog, the more better behaved he becomes. The more sneakers I save.

At present, Rocky has given up his Bullymake rope toy and is now jumping on The Omen’s leg. Alas! All of the toys in the world will not entertain a dog successfully. Thus I have learned, dogs need play: not just with toys, or with other dogs, but with their chosen humans, too.

Time to get moving…