Ever see the movie Marley and Me? You know, the one with the big, bad behaving yet lovable yellow Lab? Well, I’m currently living the female version over here, hence ‘Melicka and Me’.
Note: Her name is pronounced mell-ick-a, not ma-leek-a. I had initially spelled it ‘melika’ but the Receptionist, Vet Asst., and even the Vet continued to call her ‘ma-leek-a’ so I’ve changed the spelling in hopes of clearing up any confusion. Melicka, Amira, Sheikha — yes, we have a theme going on with pet names. However, she’s taken on the nickname ‘cray cray’. The ebonics version of a new level of crazy. Rest assured she’s not the least bit offended, she doesn’t even know her real name, much less her nickname.
So yeah, me and ‘cray cray’ are living a real, live comedy movie together. I assumed the first few days were just an adjustment period and things would settle down soon. After all, I really am quite an experienced puppy owner and have trained previous pets extensively. Labs have a reputation for being such great, easy going, fabulous family dogs… how difficult could it really be?
Oh. My. God.
Fortunately she sleeps really well through the night… as long as she’s in the bed taking up as much room as she possibly can. I often wake up gasping for air realizing she’s sleeping with her head on my face, or I wake up to find my husband sleeping on the bottom corner of the bed in the fetal position. But hey, she does sleep through the night!
Amira (the cat) determines the time I wake up in the morning by sitting on my pillow clicking her nails as loud as she can until I start to move. In turn waking up Melicka and Sheikha.
Let the games begin!
While heading to the back door grab a can of cat food, feed and water the cats, run outside with Melicka, long walk around the property (fortunately she’s good about going outside for the bathroom), come back in, feed Cray Cray, start coffee if we didn’t program it the night before, clean up dog toys, shoes, clothes, and any other damage from the evening before, run back outside with the puppy, come in to grab a cup of coffee, clean up anything she’s messed up while pouring coffee, clean up cup of coffee she’s knocked over while cleaning, pour another cup of coffee, feed cats again, clean up 2nd cup of coffee (I’m learning to keep it in the kitchen until all tasks are completed), take away whatever she’s chewing on that she got while cleaning up coffee, take her back outside, chase her around the yard to take out of her mouth whatever she found and can’t have, go back inside, start breakfast, clean up whatever she’s torn up while breakfast was cooking, play with her in hopes total exhaustion will take over, get cup of coffee when Melicka falls asleep, sit down, drink coffee. By this time it’s 6:30am and the sun is coming up. She takes a 20 minute nap and then it starts all over again.
Tasks such as showering, work, checking emails, or blogging all get squeezed in throughout the day — after my husband wakes up and ‘babysits’. We’ve left her with other family members when my husband and I are going out at the same time, but we’re now to the point of getting outright refusals. Not the polite, “So sorry, I’m busy” refusals, but the, “Are you crazy?! Oh noooo! Never again! Don’t even think about asking me to babysit her!” refusals. This coming from serious animal loving family members.
So, after almost a month of insanity I’ve given in and decided we’re going to puppy training class. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve trained a puppy, perhaps I’ve forgotten certain techniques? And what pup can’t benefit from socialization in a class with like minded friends? Let’s just hope she doesn’t get us kicked out of class She’s proven her ability to drive people insane.
At the end of the day, when she’s finally exhausted and passes out on my feet, I remember there’s not much that can compare to the unconditional love of a dog. Yeah, she makes me crazy and certainly keeps me busy, but I can’t imagine any better way to spend my time. I know the day will come when the puppy energy will be gone and I’ll miss it. So for now I’m embracing our crazy days filled with unbridled energetic mornings and snuggle filled nights.
When does that obedience class start?