I think my dog hates me. Well maybe not hate, but I'm developing a complex that she thinks I'm the least interesting person in her life. Do parents of human babies ever go through this?
When I adopted Lola the German shepherd at 12 weeks old
, I did a lot of research on how to get along with my new best friend. Time and again I was told of the importance of exposing her to lots of different situations, other dogs, and people. And it quickly became clear that a well-trained dog, with structure and boundaries, is a happy dog. Especially an uber-smart pooch like Ms. Lola.
So I enrolled in training classes and my approach has been, I believe, loving but strict. I also found the World’s Best Trainer to take her when I have to travel (which is quite a bit), plus I use a dog walking service during the week for those midday walks, and take her out and about with me as much as possible.
Part of what made me want a dog in the first place is I was also told that this dog will love me like no human could. Complete, unconditional and utter devotion would be given to whomever is her master. Shepherds in particular are known for their loyalty. And for awhile, that’s what it felt like.
Lola – all ears
But now, at 1-and-a-half years of age, I feel like Lola is a surly teenager about to skip town on the next Greyhound (dog, not bus), without a thanks or a high-five. Is this what my parents felt like when I left for university?
In the beginning, Lola followed me everywhere. She sat at my feet while I worked, got in my way in the kitchen, and scratched at the door when I bathed. She cried at night from her crate. As I type this, I have no idea where in the house she is.
I was away for three days last week and after she was dropped off by the World’s Best Trainer, she seemed depressed. Where was that sweet girl who jumped all over me and needed extra love when she came home??
I heard she has a new boyfriend at the World’s Best Trainer’s place. Boy crazy. That could explain the depression. And when I had friends over for cocktails recently, it wasn’t me she wanted attention from but rather everyone else! Did I do too good a job at teaching her to accept others? She may look intimidating, but she’ll gladly go with whomever wants to take her.
We’re working on going for off-leash walks and while she is getting the hang of it, she also insists on walking a few feet in front of me. And she knows “heel” very well. Reminds me of me when I was 16. Has she forgotten where her kibble comes from?
Lola at the beach
Anyone who reads my blog may remember when I first got Lola
, I had a very tough time. She’s my first dog, and while I thought I was prepared for what lay ahead, I really had no clue what I was in for.
She chewed up an entire room and some Dolce & Gabana shoes, she didn’t seem to like other dogs, she didn’t do exactly what I told her, every type of food seemed to give her diarrhea, and she upset my entire life! It’s true, I almost sent her back.
I know all you parents are laughing at me right now. But we made it through, and now she is the brightest light in my life. I absolutely cannot imagine it without her and I miss her terribly when I’m away. Yes, I’ve become one of those dog people. I even had a party for her first birthday.
And now I worry that I love her more then she loves me.
This parenting thing sure is hard. Especially these teenaged years. Will that big love ever come back? Or, horrors, is this a reflection of my own personality?
Right now, I’m living for looks like these…