Yes, I do spend more time on the computer than I used to since I started my blog. It is my window to the outside world. It is my way of talking to adults, even if it is indirectly. I need this quiet time. My life can't be all Thumbkins and Spike TV.
But, it is getting late (which is almost 9 pm to me), so I'd better go spend some time with him before my strict 10 pm bedtime. And no, I'm not part of the elderly community. I just like to go to bed early because my son wakes up early and if I don't get enough sleep, then it is no fun for anyone.
Speaking of sleep, I was playing with my son in his room a few days ago and when I emerged...this is what I found:
Our bull terrier, Meeko, sleeping on the couch...
Yes, the very one that hopped in our bathtub a couple of weeks ago (I Hear the Wheels of Progress).
He knows he is not supposed to get on the furniture. He KNOWS this. Just like he knows he isn't supposed to pee in the house. And like he knows he isn't supposed to drink out of the toilet, eat from the bathroom trash, lick the baby, chase Pia (our black toy rat terrier), jump on guests, eat food off the table, eat the baby's toys, or bark when someone knocks on the door.
But, he does it all anyway. Why? Because he just doesn't care.
I have never owned a dog who just didn't care. About anything. The rules, getting wet, where he sleeps, what he eats, again, THE RULES. He just doesn't care. I also know that Cesar Millan would say that his behavior is our fault, which is probably true. We rented multiple episodes of his show, trying to learn how to tame the white demon. But, I'm not so sure about this one. We could be the most responsible dog-walking trainers and Meeko would still act like a crazed chimpanzee let out of his cage.
He is the happiest, go luckiest dog I have ever met. His tail is ALWAYS wagging (and knocking things off shelves in the process). He is the most frustrating and stressful dog I have ever met. He is too big and muscular for how friendly he is. But everything we say, everything we teach him (which, I admit, hasn't been much), goes in one pointy ear and out the other.
He can also be scary and unpredictable. He has nipped more than one of our friends (granted, all of them but one were provoking him) and he is so big that we are afraid he might accidentally hurt other dogs, or our son, with his over-the-top enthusiasm.
When my husband and I got married, Meeko was two years old. He had already lived two years of bachelorhood, freedom to run the house into the ground, freedom to make the place smell as much like him as possible.
Our first year of marriage was hard. Why? We had adjustments like everyone else. We were both in our thirties and both used to doing things our own way. But, mostly, ...yes, I said mostly, it was hard because of Meeko.
When I read Marley and Me, I could relate. Meeko was the single, biggest stress in my home life. Still is.
In the beginning, I wasn't used to dealing with such an overactive, hyper, domineering, jumpy, giant, strong, stubborn, and ditzy dog. My doggie contribution to the marriage, Pia, is small, well-behaved, she listens to commands, and for the most part, she is quiet. Pia knows what I am about to say before I say it. It's amazing. Meeko has no idea what you are talking about even when you say his name. He just looks at you like he is thinking, "Meeko? Who is this Meeko character they keep talking about?"
There were nights in that first year when I would just cry because Meeko had raised my anxiety level so high that I thought I might not make it through the night. If he had poop or vomit accidents, they weren't easy clean-ups. It could take hours. One night he had diarrhea so bad in his kennel that it took me over two hours to clean it all up. He had kicked the poop out of his cage and sent it flying all over our bookcases, the books, the stairwell, and the floor. And of course, my husband was out of town that night.
When we have guests over, we have to worry, "What are we going to do with Meeko?" And God forbid someone come over unannounced. I left our den door open one day to let a breeze blow through the screen door and my poor, unsuspecting neighbor stopped by to drop off a baby blanket for Max. I heard Meeko barking like a mad dog, but I didn't think anything of it because he barks like that when he sees animals on TV. Or when Pia bravely ventures off the couch (the only place he can't get to her and torture her). Or when he looks out the window and sees someone taking a walk on our street. Just any reason, really.
I finally went to see what the fuss was about and saw my neighbor cowering outside the doorway, terrified Meeko was going to tear through the screen at any moment. Which is a legitimate fear. He has jumped through THREE of our screen doors and left big gaping holes.
Ah! As I write this, I can hear him peeling out in the hallway, right outside our sleeping son's bedroom door. Great.
Just a few of his idiosyncrasies:
He has lived with Pia for over three years now and still, he takes every opportunity to sniff her butt. Not only does he sniff, but he sticks his nose halfway up her butt and pushes her around the room.
When we sit on the couch watching TV, he circles us like a shark, around and around and around, his tail cutting through the air and whacking anything in its path.
He breathes heavily at all times, as if he is in a constant state of uncontainable excitement. His mouth is always open and he drools, leaving little pools of drool on the floor around the house.
He is impossible to control in the car. He spins in circles on the seat and won't lay down.
He stinks up a room, even after he has had a bath. There is no getting rid of the stench.
His breath smells like anal gland juice.
Speaking of anal glands, he takes every opportunity to expel them, usually when he gets too excited because someone new has come to our home. Then we have to spend the rest of the evening explaining that our house doesn't smell like this all the time. We swear.
He eats underwear, used Q-tips and used Kleenex. Just helps himself to a trash buffet and digs in.
He eats plastic toys. We have found chunks of missing toys in his poop.
He likes to stand in our closet, be really still, and ever so slowly, move back and forth underneath our clothes so they lightly brush against his back. We think he might be contacting the Mother Ship and my husband's first bull terrier, Obi. And now, the bottom hems of all my white clothes are brown.
Everytime we open the fridge, he is there, sticking his nose in the drawers and knocking over bottles on the shelves.
He follows us EVERYWHERE. He can't stand to be in a room alone. Ever. If you close a door to keep him out, he will hit the door with his nose until he gives up and lies down on the ground right outside so you trip on him when you come out. Or he will pee right outside the door so you step in it when you come out. Either way, it's unfortunate.
He sheds. He is loud. He drools. He prefers the toilet to his water dish. Every winter, he develops skin problems and we have to buy creams and pills and gels until we find something that works. We usually have to shave patches of his fur and it takes months to grow back.
He loves playing with bowling balls, soccer balls, basketballs, and has chipped his teeth chewing on balls, rocks, trees, and poles.
He loves to play in the water hose and has chewed up our hose in the backyard into little pieces.
that dog loves us to death.
When Steve leaves town, Meeko carries a sock or a shoe of Steve's into his bed with him at night and sleeps with it. Or he will lie next to the front door until Steve comes home.
Whenever I pet him and give him a little pat on the head, it sends him into a frenzy and he runs through the house at top speed, bursting through the baby gate and running into appliances. Baby talk also drives him into maniac mode. He feels no pain, no matter how hard or what part of his body he hits on the coffee table.
Sometimes we talk about giving him away...and then immediately change our minds when we see him sitting still for a moment, looking at us with his head cocked and his tail wagging. He is part of our family forever, it seems. And we do love him. Sometimes, we just don't like him very much.
Ah, now I can hear him eating from the bathroom trash. Better go before I have q-tips, Kleenex, torn up toilet paper tubes, shredded Kotex pads, and drool to clean up. Again.