Hadley is a miniature dachshund who lives in our house. More accurately, as we’ve discovered since she arrived here at the age of seven weeks, we live in hers.
She’s trained us to dutifully attend to her toilet breaks, prepare meals and retrieve any and all toys that fall underneath the sofa. She’s working on training us to toss those toys to her on a bark command, but it takes time to break in humans.
Hadley is also the first dog I’ve shared a house with, which has led to some insights (apart from the fact that a dog is a constantly-flowing fountain of affection, expressed through face-licking and frantic tail wagging).
Here’s what else I’ve learned since our puppy arrived nine months ago:
- There is no limit to the amount of fun that can be had by tugging on a fake pizza slice. None whatsoever. At times I feel like we could make a whole afternoon of this.
- If your puppy rings the pee bell (OK, bops it with her nose) twice in quick succession, you best move quickly.
- The climatic moment in that Sherlock/Narcos/Sharp Objects episode will correspond precisely with the moment your neighbor walks up her stoop, prompting a flurry of frenetic barking from your seven-inch-high, territorially-obsessed watchdog.
- If it’s on the floor, it’s fair game. And good luck getting it back.
- Chewing on a stinking, desiccated bull’s penis for a hour is a perfectly acceptable indulgence. (Hey, if that was the worst thing humans did, it would be a nice world.)
- 4 a.m. playtime is a good idea. Announcing this by jumping on your sleeping human’s face is an even better one.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Or the big stuff either. In fact, the only things you should sweat are the availability of treats, getting your blanket perfectly situated to sleep for another hour, and the fact that you haven’t licked someone’s face yet this afternoon.
- Anytime playtime is a good idea. In fact, if you’re wondering if it’s playtime yet…it’s playtime. On that note….