One thing I haven’t mentioned on here yet is that I grew up with all sorts of cats. There were cats that didn’t want any attention what so ever and you lived with them, and one in particular that I’ll always have a soft spot for that would patiently wait until I was asleep to scurry off to where she wanted to be when I wanted her at night. Yea, she was a sweet one.
So it’s all the more surprising that I have ended up with two dogs now. Riley, who you have seen before, is the white Husky that seems to enjoy making his presence known. Kind of like how Guy Fieri is all over the Food Network. You. Can’t. Escape him. Despite his obnoxious ways, he can be a good dog, he just uses the trademark warble to let us know he wants something. And he always wants something. Really, when he starts talking to you, it’s a challenge to figure it out. It could be a treat, that he wants to go outside, that he wants to be played with, or, as I’m convinced now, just to get your attention. But really, he’s good.
And our newest addition is an adorable Black Lab/Boxer mix (a Boxador, if you will), by the name of Cooper. We may also interchangeably use “Coop”, “Coopy”, or “Poopy Coopy”. He’s a three-month-old pup, so baby talk is allowed, right? Anyway, being so young he is still teething, so there’s plenty of training going on there, but we have managed to get him to understand what a kennel is. Even right now he is laying in there, snoring.
Both of these guys are special bundles of joy and frustration, but more with these two than with the cats of my childhood, I notice they have actual personalities. See, growing up with the cats we had (as many as three at a time. Hardly Cat-Lady-In-Training numbers,) it was the rare occasion for them to do more than bathe each other or cuddle together. As far as I can recall, they relaxed, dealt with children, ate, and went back to relaxing.
As for Riley and Cooper? Sometimes we have to separate them. Cooper loves to play. You can be scratching his stomach, or tossing his toy-of-the-moment for him, and he will be the happiest pup you could imagine. Riley likes to play too, but more on his own terms. When he has had enough, he simply walks away and you will be called upon when he is ready to pick up exactly where you left off. So, you can imagine what happens when Cooper tries to play with Riley. It doesn’t help that Cooper still wants to bite everything that gets close to his mouth, including Riley’s collar.
What I can’t figure out is if Riley likes it when Cooper plays rough and he’s in the mood, or if he hates it. What I do know, is that Riley plays with Cooper as if he is a full-grown dog, and sometimes it’s too much for Cooper. And therein lies the majority of the frustration of trying to raise two dogs at the same time.
And, naturally, I write all of this down, and they choose to have a nap. It’s like they know I’m telling everyone about them, and they want to act good.
But the crazy thing about this is, I don’t think I could go back to being around cats all the time. It’s something special, being around something that actively wants to be around you and play with you. With some of the cats I grew up with, you were a heating blanket, furniture, and a food dispenser. It’s very true what they say of cats. You live with them. Not the other way around. But I’m learning with dogs, they are more like the roommates that don’t pay rent and don’t do chores, but are absolutely happy to eat everything you buy. Especially if it has peanut butter. It sounds positively chaotic (and sometimes it is,) but maybe chaos is exactly what I need.