All posts tagged: puppy

I Had a Pet Psychic on Speed Dial

I don’t use the term “fur baby mama” non-ironically or own a collection of seasonal holiday dog sweaters. My pup doesn’t have an Instagram account or eat small-batch, home-prepared foods. But, true confessions: I’ve had my animal communicator on speed dial for the better part of ten years now. They tell you when you rescue a dog that it can take up to six months for their true personalities to come out, and boy was that true with our basset hound, Oliver. My husband Greg and I brought this little dude home to our overpriced Manhattan apartment 13 years ago feeling excited and determined. The first few months were pure bliss. Cue the gauzy slow-mo video in my head: walks to the local dog park, fun conversations with strangers on the street, trips to Petco. Oliver was quiet, loving and shockingly obedient. His sole purpose in life seemed to be pleasing us in any way he possibly could. I guess the changes started happening slowly: an unexpected pull on the leash, a barking session that …

Training El Diablo

I’ve known a few friends who put a lot of thought into getting a pet. They research breeds to the point of becoming experts, citing life expectancy and typical health issues at the drop of a hat. They investigate the lineage of prospective pups with a thoroughness that I’d expect one to interrogate a surrogate mother for their child. They spend days, even weeks thinking of names. I, on the other hand, rolled into a pet-store two years ago during an adoption event and walked out with a scrawny, pee-covered little Westie-poo that I wasn’t aware I even had to name. “We need a name for the adoption papers,” the volunteer told me as the puppy squirmed in my arms, alerting me that bio action that might soon take place on my jacket. “You can’t just put ‘TBD’?” “No.” “Puppy?” Dead stares. So I walked around for five minutes, texting friends and family for their votes on some hasty options and came back with “Ollie.” Soon after I got him home, a better name came …

Puppy Love Landed Me in the Doghouse

As soon as my kids knew what a puppy was, they wanted one. What began as a simple campaign of begging and tears evolved into a sophisticated multi-year mass operation. Sweet crayoned drawings of floppy-eared pooches began to come home regularly in school projects, and Christmas lists for Santa all had one major request: P-U-P-P-Y. My husband and I talked it over. I was for getting one; he was against. After years of asking, the kids started to step things up. In desperation, they began to leave pictures of puppies on the fridge on the shopping list, hoping that if they threw “puppy” on there, something might happen. -Milk-Hoisin sauce-Puppy They brainstormed and decided that maybe enlisting the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy as magical soothsayers on puppy progress would get them some answers. After a lost tooth or on the night before Easter, succinct notes were often accompanied by this question: “Will I get a puppy?” [Check yes or no.] “When? -3 months-6 months-1 year I was in a bad spot. I wanted …

City Dog, Country Dog

The double life of a country/city dog. (Graphic: Helen Jane Hearn/TueNight.com) Owning a city dog is very different from owning a country dog. For one thing, city dogs must be walked. A lot. My terrier, Lucy, gets three or four walks a day (the extra walk depends on my mood and the weather,) whereas country dogs head out unaccompanied through any open door and do their business where they please. No schedule. No leash. No poop bag. I know this because Lucy is both a city dog and a country dog. Along with her human family, she spends weekends at our upstate house, morphing from urban pup to rural pup as soon as we pull in the driveway. One sniff of the piney air and she becomes practically lupine. All fifteen pounds of her turn into an amped-up mini-wolf — hunting, chasing, digging, swimming, and occasionally disappearing into the forest. Lucy is not alone in leading a double life. I know plenty of people who wedge their pooches between kids, coolers and duffle bags as they …