Tina and I LOVE or pitbull/boxer Talulah. She’s an amazing dog.
There were some days when I wondered what the hell we got in to by adopting her. We’re still dealing with the anal gland thing, despite giving her a couple scoops of pumpkin for fiber at ever meal. About every two weeks, I’ve had to “express” them again. And pee-ewe, those things stink!
She requires an amazing amount of exercise. I imagine it’s partly her puppy talking, but partly her breed. When she’s exercised, she is really good. Which is what all dog owners need to know, but many don’t.
If I don’t run her, I take her to the park. She’ll fetch for 30 minutes (or more) no problem. I discovered that I rarely realize how much time I’m away from my desk. If I leave the house at noon, walk two minutes to the park, spend a while there, come back to a clock that reads, “1:30,” I wonder, “Where did all the time go?”
Talulah is a goddamn wormhole. There’s some space/time disconnect. I leave the house thinking I’ll return in minutes, and it ends up being an hour or more.
Perhaps it’s good for me. In some ways, it changes my perception of the world. Talulah gets a priority usually reserved for work, or blogging, or TV time, or web surfing. I can adjust accordingly. I have so far, I think.
There are times like this week when I understand just how big of an impact she has on me. Tina and I are shooting in New York City from Wednesday to Friday night. Saturday we are shooting a wedding all day in the suburbs. We have to board Talulah from Wednesday to Sunday.
Did you hear that cracking noise? That’s the sound of my heart ripping in two.
It’s best for her to be boarded this time. When we went to DC, we left her with our friends whom we dog sit for. I’m sure Talulah had a blast, but that was a weekend. Talulah isn’t going to get enough exercise if her uncles are at work every day. We’re boarding Talulah at the place we adopted her from, with other pits. There she’ll get all kinds of attention.
I never experienced the phenomenon of becoming family to close friends and pets. For instance, Miles and Jay are the couple we dog sit for. Talulah is their niece. Their dogs are my nieces. Corny, maybe. But it’s so damned endearing.
Tina and I are uncle and aunt to Mile’s nephews Chris and Alex. They call us Uncle Jeremy and Aunt Tina. The phenomenon isn’t exclusive to Jay and Miles. I’m an uncle to more kids than I ever thought I would be. I love it.
Back to Talulah
Talulah’s bag of tricks grows weekly. Of course she can sit. She high fives, shakes hands, stays for inordinate amounts of time, and she lays down. Laying down was hard at first, because I had to make a gesture about an inch from the ground. Bending over got a little old. Now I make the gesture at my hip, and she goes down immediately. I love that.
I can throw her ball and have her get it immediately or make her wait and get it on command. She will come on command, unless all of her friends at the park are putting peer pressure on her. She’s our little teenager. At the park, she often ignores us. I’m just the guy with opposable thumbs who can throw her toy. Apart from that, she’ll have nothing to do with Tina or me. “She would rather we dropped her off at the corner, so her friends don’t see us,” I tell the other dog owners. They laugh politely.
She’ll go in her crate on command, but I want her to go from where ever she is in the house. I don’t want to walk with her to the room and point at the crate.
In home etiquette, she’s always been pretty good, but she’s much better now. She lays down immediately if we’re eating, without us asking. If she gets confused, because I’m at my desk eating a sandwich instead of the table, I can say, “Go lay down.” She’s pretty good about going right away.
She’s not allowed on the furniture unless invited. And she’s a snuggle bug once she’s on the couch. She thinks she’s a 15 lb dog.
She’s such a Witteveen with all her fart noises
I’ll finish with this story. When I take her to the park, it’s a training opportunity. The park is the ultimate treat. When her friends are there, it’s ten times greater. I’ve used the park to get her better on lead, and more patient with staying and leave it. Talulah gets REALLY excited at the double gate leading into the park. And when other dogs bark at her, she loses control and barks back. If she can’t hold it, I lead her back out of the park and make her re-enter until she gets it right. Sometimes this takes a long time (see wormhole).
She tries soooo hard to get it right. She howls and whines, because she just can’t control herself. She starts doing this thing to shut herself up where she puffs her flabby cheeks out with repetitious quick breaths while murmuring a weepy whine. She gets carried away, and trying to control herself, she lies down on the ground dying to go inside. With her muzzle to the ground, the exhalations makes a fart noises against the ground. She exhales and dust blows away from her face. It makes me laugh which makes being authoritative impossible.
She gets it right after a few tries, and then she’s off to the races. Oh how she loves the park.
We love the wormhole that is Talulah. She’s a great girl.