Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the puppy love blues

He only looks innocent...

At this moment, many of my close friends, casual friends, former colleagues, old college buddies, Facebook acquaintances, and first cousins are having babies. That probably seems like a lot of babies, and it is. It is a veritable baby boom in these parts, and for the most part I'm okay with that. Yes, I'm seeing my friends a bit less, as both pregnancy and child-rearing are time consuming pursuits, but I'm okay with sharing. In fact, I may even be an attendant at one friend's home birth, which is pretty exciting. I'm interested in experiencing the process of child birth, but only from a comfortable distance. 

You see, I like children. I love the kids I know - they are often funny, entertaining, sweet, and better company than most adults. But just because I like kids, admire my friends who choose to become parents, and will gladly offer babysitting services when the time comes, I don't particularly want children of my own. I have some personal reasons for this decision, but I think it's weird that while you're expected to have a list of excuses for why you don't want your own children, no one questions you when you decide to become a parent. I don't want to say that I'd rather have a career, or the freedom to travel, or claim environmental reasons, because I know that I could still write a book, travel as much as I want, and save the world, even with a kid tagging along. I just don't feel like having one. Will I change my mind one day? Will my biological clock start an incessant ticking? Will the idea of pregnancy, parenthood, progeny, be more palatable as I grow older? Your guess is as good as mine. All I know is how I feel right now, and right now I just don't see myself ever becoming a mother. 

Which is an awkward way of segueing into the latest puppy drama, because in my world, dogs = children, and Calvin is turning out to be a problem child. You see, he has not yet learned that he's not, in fact, top dog. He is actually the lowest ranking member of our family, but try telling him that. I dare you. I don't remember Seamus being this strong-willed, this prone to crazy fits of jumping, barking and biting. It's kind of like that kid you see throwing a tantrum in the cereal aisle of the grocery store, except with really sharp teeth. I know he's capable of learning, obeying, and controlling himself. He has moments of pure sweetness, of doing exactly what I ask. But then, he gets in mood and goes on a tear, and Seamus is too passive to tell the puppy what's what, and then I find myself pulling Calvin into a corner, saying NO too loudly, too shrilly, and feeling like a failure of a dog parent. 

On the bright side, he is only four months old. We've had him for just three and a half weeks. We start obedience training next Tuesday. Puppy-hood is a stage, and the shortest part of a good dog's life. Hope is on the way. I just wish it would get here a little faster.