As you may recall, we purchased a stray mutt a few months ago. Although we love her to bits, it's not all roses.
Don't get me wrong - she's stopped pooping and weeing in the house. Well, - OK, not quite true. When the Little Guy gets up at 7am and doesn't let her out, she sometimes comes upstairs to try to wake the teens up (good luck with that) and resorts to a giant pee on the carpet outside their rooms. I did share my disappointment with her and shoved her outside to show her where she was expected to do it, but really - can you blame her?
She doesn't pull on the leash quite so much, but when she's lying quietly on the floor in the car, exhausted, (you think) after a lengthy chase of other dogs on the dog beach, she's actually chewing through yet another leash. We are seriously considering rubbing cayenne pepper along the length of the next one to see what happens.
No, the slight disappointment about the whole experience is the attitude of some people to the fact that I employed a dog lady.
Since the kids were still in term time when mutt came home, it fell to me to walk her for an hour after taking Little Guy to school every day. When the weather is fine, it's lovely. She's rather an energetic dog though, and needs another lengthy walk later in the day. That would be me walking her before picking up Little Guy at 3.10pm. Hmmm......do I really have two hours per day to walk this mutt? More importantly, since I can't jog more than about 5 miles per hour, is she really getting the exercise she needs? (You can't let your dog off the leash anywhere in Chicago. $500 fine.)
Initially, I heard about the dog lady as a solution to our totally unsoclialised dog. She must have been raised in a field on her own as she barked at every human and dog she encountered. The dog lady used to take small groups of dogs to beaches and parks for hours at a time which exercised Dusty and got her used to her pals in a safe environment. Now they go to the brand new exercise space which has indoor and outdoor areas. Dusty spends about 3-4 hours there, two or three times a week depending on my schedule. Plus, she comes back totally exhausted. (Mothers of boys - it's a bit like running them around to wear them out.)
So why the guilt? Actually, I don't feel guilty at all because I know the dog is getting really good cardio exercise which a Collie mix needs, but you'd think I'd taken up prostitution according to some of my (usually British) friends.
1. - "What was the point of getting a dog?" (We got the dog for the kids, and they all think it's the best thing we've done. However, they have to go to school during the day - when the dog needs to be walked.)
2. "What? You can't even be bothered to walk your own dog?"
3. They don't need that much exercise. (Yes - they do, and they chew and are generally a pain in the arse when they're under-exercised.)
So, in a nutshell - off my back peeps.