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The Terrible Teens...

Technically, since our toy Poodle, Pootie, is a little over a year old now she is actually entering her teenage years in “people age” according to the current dog charts. Needless to say, she is starting to act like it. She is rebellious, never brings the ball back when we play fetch anymore, has stopped coming to you when you call her and you can just forget the “lay down” command altogether. She has begun to have a mind of her own while walking on the leash and is not following commands like she used to staying close to Mom’s leg and avoiding traffic.

Worst of all, she has taken on this ridiculous habit of barking at any little noise that happens outside our door like it is someone coming to rob us. Here’s the problem…we live on the ground floor and our front door faces the main entrance walkway of an apartment complex!!! Do you realize how many people walk past our door in a single day? These poor people must jump out of their skin when they walk towards the building and are met with this RAWW-RAWW-RAWW-RAWW until we can get her to calm down and realize that a.) they are not robbers, b.) they are not coming to kill us, c.) she is safe, d.) there is no reason for this insane barking and e.) she is driving us cray-cray in the process!

However, along with Pootie’s tendency to bark at the front door for any noise whatsoever, which is not always a bad thing mind you, she has brought so much into our lives that I thought that I would give you a little photo montage of her past year growing up with us.

Pootie likes to start her day reading the newspaper with Mama. She has to get caught up on all the latest political issues, doggie park progress and sports updates (especially during football season-Go Patriots!) Occasionally, she finishes before Mom so she just sits in the window and watches people go by. Funny, she won’t bark at them when she can see them coming…unless they have a dog with them or if there is a squirrel passing by. All bets are off then!

After reading the paper and having lunch, it’s time for a walk in the neighborhood or on the beach if it’s not too hot. It can get REALLY hot down here in Florida for little doggies like her so there is no way that she is going out there when it is 98 degrees outside with the sun beating down on her. She wouldn’t be able to handle it. But when the weather is nice, she loves to go for a ride in the car just about anywhere you will take her, even if it is just to run errands! She is still shy around strangers because she came from a rescue shelter but we are slowly getting her socialized with both people and other animals. She has come out of her shell quite a bit already.

When she gets home it’s time for a little snack and a nice long nap either along the body pillow on the couch (like above) or snuggled up with someone in the recliner. Anywhere there is a comfortable lap or throw blanket that she can scratch into a big fluffy pile to settle down into, she is happy and ready for dreamland. That lasts for a couple of hours and then she is full-on puppy speed again for play time with the toys in the living room!

Of course, everything STOPS if her Patriots are playing football on television that night. All of her toys get put away early, her teeth are brushed, face is washed and she is in her Patriots Pajamas ready to watch the game with Mama until the final second comes off that clock! She doesn’t even notice if anyone passes by the front of the house because she is so focused on the game. It’s incredible. Either that or Mom’s yelling at the TV is drowning out the noise so she isn’t hearing it….. Did I mention that my mother happens to like the Patriots too?

All in all, I would say that Pootie has settled in nicely to our house and has become an important part of our family. I know that Mom would really miss the quality time she gets to spend with her when she gives her “brushies” everyday and they cuddle. For me, my special time is nap/cuddle time while Mom goes to church every day at noon and I get bedtime kisses every night before she goes to bed, Hey, I guess everybody has their thing with their pets right? Especially if you treat them like your children like we do.

Pet ownership is a lifetime commitment to an animal in our household. It’s the way that I was raised and it’s the way I will always treat any animal that I take into my home. Whatever they need, no matter the cost, I will do whatever it takes to provide for them until they pass from a painless cause, surrounded by love, if at all possible. Our last three pets were a dog who passed at 12 yrs old, a cat at 17 and another cat at 21(!) so we mean what we say. I imagine Pootie has a long way to go and we will cherish every minute of it.

Little did she know… that when that man shoved her in a crate and put her on a plane in China, with her little red passport and papers to safely leave the country (which we now have in our possession), that she would end up in a home like this! I can only imagine what she went through to get to us. So, thank you for listening to my story about the bundle of joy who brings happiness into my life every day, despite her “Terrible Teen’s” lately. I know it is just a phase and this too shall pass. For those of us who were not blessed to have children, such as myself, our pets mean everything to us.

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