I have a puppy these days! And, I am the happiest.
There are a few things you should know. It’s absolutely true that Franklin is the puppy I’ve longed for and dreamed about for so many years. And in every way he is just so lovely and perfect. He obeys sit, down, stand, spin, and come commands if given both a visual and verbal cue. I think he is a genius (but doesn’t every owner?). Although Franklin is perfect in so many ways that does not mean this week has been perfect.
I want to be clear because social media can be a bit of a filter (if you’ll allow me that pun). Anyone looking at my own media feed might assume that life is idyllic.
In most and many ways, it has been.
Last night, however, after a week of late nights writing school reports and early mornings taking Franklin out, I just broke down in tears of frustration. And exhaustion. And embarrassment. It embarrasses me somewhat that my dog is so pretty. He’s not a thing I want to be admired or judged for. He’s just my smart, lovely, amazing puppy. I am sensitive to others’ judgment and it upsets me that my dog’s appearance may factor into their judgment.
Other things I’m learning with Franklin:
– I used to think we lived in a quiet Arlington neighborhood. Au Contraire! The many noises you become sensitive to when you have a new puppy (skateboarders! trucks! men with loads of plastic shopping bags!).
– Training is mentally tiring. Often after a session of practicing sit-down-stand-spin, Franklin plops on his belly and zonks out.
– The dog community in our complex is a small one. Yesterday in the elevator, a man I’d never met before turned to me and said, “Oh, so this is the famous new Australian Shepherd!” I wish I’d contained my horror/surprise better. Next time!
– Cold tile floors are just the bee’s knees. After a long walk or training session, Franklin’s quickly plops onto the bathroom or kitchen floor.
– There is no end to the fun one can have with things that roll or bounce (balls, frisbees, kongs, chew toys).
– Puppy eyes are the worst. I melt!! I am training myself to say “no.”
– I adore Franklin’s emerging Aussie traits: needing to constantly be touching my leg, foot, hand OR to be staring at me. What a people lover. We are working to wean him off of this a bit!
Today we are off to a brief puppy social.