Since I last updated over a year ago, several things have changed. One major change is that I now have a dog, technically a 9 month old puppy. She is a Golden Retriever and one of the most lovable dogs in the world. Except to me.
I think I hate my puppy.
I know, I know: how can you hate a harmless, cute little puppy who loves you unconditionally?
Let me explain.
My puppy and I, let’s call her Mandy, have a tense relationship, which started from the day I got her in late July of 2014. She was the most adorable thing in the world and I was so excited to have my very own puppy. She squirmed and tried to run away as my boyfriend and I gave her her first bath, and shivered the whole ride home but I was so happy to have her.
Then we got home. Mandy peed on my kitchen floor, then pooped on it a few minutes later, a watery mix of diarrhea. I brought her outside immediately and waited for 30 minutes while she sniffed grass, looked around, and tried to eat bugs. Okay, so she didn’t need to use the bathroom, right? Except she did, and as soon as I brought her back in, she released another sticky brown puddle.
And this was the start of a long journey littered with brown piles: Mandy has big issues with potty training. Mainly, if she feels the urge, she will release her bowels anywhere (including indoors). Waiting until we get to the appropriate spot is not something she does. I have tried tons of training techniques and she does understand the association between outdoors and relieving herself. The problem is that she just doesn’t seem to care.
Now, if her only issue were with potty training then I may not be pushed to the brink of sanity the majority of the time I deal with her. However, I simply don’t like Mandy very much. It is not her fault, and she is a very friendly, playful dog, but I think our personalities are mismatched. In particular, a few things give me the most trouble:
- She is extremely excitable: Yes, puppy have tons of energy, but Mandy never sleeps. She jumps, she nips, she spins, constantly. She is on the alert at all times, and if she is not moving or playing she is bored. If we’re in a place she’s never been or if there is another dog in the vicinity, she pulls on the leash until it feels like my arm will fall off. Having a calm, enjoyable moment is just not possible with her.
- She is needy: Mandy needs a lot of attention. As in, she can never have enough. She is always by my side, staring, and if anyone pets her, they are asking to be followed and licked and jumped on until I pull her away.
- She is greedy: When I put the food bowl down and allow her to eat, Mandy devours it in seconds. She eats her food so quickly that she chokes afterward. Attempts to get her to eat more slowly work for a little while, until she catches on and commences eating even faster than she did before. She is always sniffing around for food and snatches treats from my hand.
- She is stubborn: If it weren’t for the fact that I feed her, I would think Mandy wouldn’t listen to me at all. Of course I couldn’t spend my entire time shoving treats down her throat so for the most part, Mandy tries to do what she wants. Whatever feels good to her is what she is going to do. Whether I like it or not.
- She loves everyone: Normally, being friendly is a positive attribute for a dog. Who wants a people-weary, shy dog that may lash out at someone? Well, sometimes I wish Mandy would show a little more discretion. If someone so much as glances at her, she runs over to them, tail wagging furiously. It is embarrassing the way she follows everyone around, and discreetly tries to get closer and closer to them. It’s hard to tell whether she likes me or them more, and she gladly walks off with strangers.
Needless to say, I’m not sure if I’ll keep Mandy. I’ve taken care of her since she was 7 weeks old, but the frustrations of day-to-day living with her are becoming too much to bear. Every day is a struggle to get her to do the exact opposite of what she is inclined to do. And I don’t think it’s fair to her to live with someone who isn’t fond of her, and someone who is so different from her in personality.
So, beyond that “a dog is for life” idealism, at this point, I’m beginning to think both Mandy and I would be happier if we went our separate ways.
What do you think? Should I keep Mandy and hope for the best or should I rehome her, with someone who loves all of her peculiar traits? Do you have a dog or have experience with dogs? Let me know in the comments.