flashback friday

A look at the blog posts of yesteryear…


what to do with a coletrane

I feel badly for our dog, I really do. Eleven months ago, he was pretty much king of this place. He was allowed up on the bed with us and his needs were met and discussed with thorough interest. Shawn and I both spent intentional time rolling around the floor and playing with him, and I tried to take him on a run or walk a couple of times a week (before bedrest, anyway). Now, the poor guy is lucky if Shawn or I remember to feed him by 5:00pm and if we give him fifteen minutes of dog petting goodness after Bug goes down for the night.

Cole’s a good dog. He’s very loving, he’s protective, and has not ever…not once…growled at or threatened Bug. Not even when Bug crawls underneath him (while he’s eating) to get to his food. Not even when Bug uses Cole’s head as a stepping stone to the coffee table. Not even when Bug decides to take Cole’s kong (Cole’s one and only toy in a menagerie of plastic squeeky things). Cole just looks at Bug like, “what the heck, dude?” and calmly walks away.

So I know we have a great dog – I do. But we also have a dog who barks at the neighbors ALL THE TIME. We have a dog who – at least twice a week – poops or pees in our house. On our freshly cleaned, baby crawled on carpet. We have a dog who decides that 3am right next to our bed is the best time and place to obnoxiously clean every last flippin’ part of his body. We have a dog who loves to sit outside Bug’s door while we’re trying to rock him down for a nap, and has the uncanny timing to stand up and thwap his huge ears, jangle his collar, and make a frustrating amount of noise right as we’re laying Bug in the crib.

And did I mention that Cole’s decided our living room is a perfect place for his bathroom needs? Because that’s the one that’s really getting to me lately. Our home isn’t perfectly clean, but we do our best to keep it tidy and at the very least – sanitary. In looking around my living room right now, I think that if you dropped by, you’d be impressed at its cleanliness for having an 11 month old and a sewing business. Sure, everything heavy or breakable is on top of our highest furniture – making it look strange – but clean, nonetheless.

And I don’t have a lot of spare time. I’ve become an expert in efficiency, and I have very specific tasks planned for the amount of attention Bug requires during the day. I have things that I can do with one hand planned for the times he needs me to hold him, I have things that I can do with him crawling at my feet planned for the times he needs me nearby but not necessarily playing with him, I have things planned that need intense concentration for when he’s napping or content to play alone, and I have things planned that can be done in spurts (like writing a blog or shooting out emails) planned for when he’s in his highchair and needs intermittent attention (like giving him bits of food).

See? It’s crazy, but yes…I even plan out when I can go pee.

And cleaning up dog poop? NOT. IN. THE. PLAN.

And while I’m grumbling about wasting my time and all the things I need to be doing with that time, I know in the back of my mind that it’s partly our fault. Our once beloved dog is now on the bottom of the priority list.

And part of that, I know, is healthy. Bug will always come before Cole. Always. If we need to spend money on Bug’s college fund or Cole getting some kind of $5,000 surgery – Bug’s going to win. If both Cole and J. Bug are in a life threatening situation – Bug’s getting saved. Cole’s a dog. Bug’s a human. Bug wins.

But I also know that as responsible dog owners and lovers, we need to take better care of Coletrane…or give him to someone who will. And so this is the crux at which we stand.

I don’t want to give him away (and I know Shawn doesn’t either). Bug’s finally getting old enough to have a sort of sibling-like relationship with Cole. JBug laughs so hard when Cole does silly things, and Cole and I have a similar understanding of being driven nuts by Bug sometimes. Cole keeps me safe when Shawn’s gone on trips, and that daggone dog loves the heck out of us. He handled taking the brunt of my postpartum depression with grace and an unconditional love surpassed only by my Savior.

But we can’t keep him cooped up in our tiny house and expect him to behave, and I can’t keep cleaning our carpets like a madwoman twice a week. This isn’t working, and something has to change.

So I’m asking you – blog friends – for advice. I’ve been looking into invisible dog fences and would love any thoughts or reviews you have on those (especially on how not to spend a lot of money). How do we take care of our sweet puppy in this different phase of our life? What do we need to do differently, and how can we fit in taking care of his needs with the current demands of our all too busy life?

steelers diaper love
Oh man, the things Jude and I do because we love Shawn. Like sew aSteelers patch onto a black diaper with dark yellow snaps. And then wear it on our cutte little bum (that would be Bug’s role in this whole thing – not mine).

And in case you’re wondering, I’m sorry, but I can’t make you a diaper with your favorite team’s patch sewn on the hiney. There are way too many licencing issues that it makes my head spin. But I WOULD be willing to be hired by the Steelers Coorporation to make official Steelers cloth diapers. Or any other team, for that matter. After all, the Steelers are Shawn’s loyalty – not mine.

…Just sayin’

I think Coletrane’s jealous. I guess his yellow collar against his black fur isn’t “Steeler-y” enough for him. Okay, Coletrane, I’ll make you a Steelers diaper. Or maybe a Steelers dog bed would be more appropriate?


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