I have, at various points in my life, been aware of relationships of which I am envious. The way two people seem to interact with each other is sometimes just so sweet or imperfectly adorable that I have wished for something like that. I like to think, now, that people see Turtle and me and think that way. Yeah, we’re kind of awesome.
But really what I want to talk about is experiencing this envy – recently! We were having dinner at the house of some friends of ours – an adorable couple I admit to admiring/aspiring to someday be like in the past (hi guys!) – and it happened.
What, Rough-it? you say. I thought you were happy in your relationship! What’s going on that you are missing something so much that you envy someone else’s relationship? What does this mean for your marriage?! Is everything over?!?!?!
No, dear reader. Do not worry. I have puppy envy. The relationship I covet is that between this couple’s dog, Harriet, and, it seems, everyone Harriet meets.
Harriet is a hound dog that our friends adopted a few days before we adopted Daphne. They have, then, had her for the same amount of time that we have had Daphne, and of course we would go through some similar experiences and some different experiences. For example, both dogs, being hounds, have been known to take off and disappear for a not-so-reasonable amount of time. They both came back.
On the other hand, Harriet destroys stuff. Like, she ate through a door once, and if I remember to ask Rainbow for pictures, I will post them, because you should see what she is capable of. Daphne never destroys anything. Good dog, Daph! On yet the other hand, Daphne likes tootsie rolls. Straight from the cat litter box, if you know what I’m saying.
But here’s where the envy comes in: Harriet ran up to everyone wagging her tail and being so happy that there were people in her house, more people to pet her, people who had laps she could rest her head on during dinner. Daphne, our lovely dog, barked at Rumble when she got home to her own house. We were like, “DAPHNE! She lives here!” Argh.
And that’s not the half of it. She has started chasing cars and lunging at other people and dogs while on leash (off leash she’s fine). It’s frustrating, and it’s scary. Here is an example of why it might be scary:
(This is actually Daphne playing with the kitten on the table, who she is so gentle with – but I thought it was a good representation of how scary she can be, if a little exaggerated.)
So we’re working on it. Lots of treats, rewarding every time a car drives by and every time there’s a person or a dog – the trick is rewarding her before she does anything bad, because otherwise you’re already too late.
Sometimes – often, even – I wish we had a dog who we could take out in public parks and not worry about. I wish that when people asked if they could pet our dog, we could say “of course!” instead of laugh awkwardly and explain that we don’t mind but she probably does.
There are lots of things that make up for it though, like how adorable she is when she’s tired and feeling cuddly, or how happy she is when she sees people she does love. And it’s so powerful to know that she doesn’t just love us because we’re people who feed her – she loves us because she knows us and trusts us and she learned to love us.
(adorable sleeping Daph – she’s such a good dog when she’s tired)
(um, she’s totally not allowed on the bed. That said, this picture is of her on my first sick day after I got her, and she was the best snuggle buddy I ever had (ahem, who wasn’t human. or Jake. cough cough.))
I love this dog like crazy, I do. Even if she wasn’t socialized properly as a puppy, even if stupid things like cars and mailboxes scare her. She’s somewhat redeemable. For example, she has never destroyed a thing we own, though she has done her fair share of sucking on dirty socks (ew).
If you could change one thing about your pet, as perfect as it may be, what would you change?