Lets Talk with Diane A S Stuckart

Fur Baby Follies
By Diane A S Stuckart

According to the calendar, it’s Spring…though, here in Florida, we’re pretty much Springtime all year ‘round. (Except for those annual forays into “wetter than heck” weather, and a few awful months of “hotter than heck” temps). But I still like to think of this time of year as one of renewal. Trees budding, flowers blooming. And, since I’m an animal lover, baby birds and other cute critters hatching and being born. Yep, nothing sweeter than baby animals.

Except, of course, when said babies are actually furry little devil spawn!

I’m speaking specifically about our new puppy that we got at Christmas. Her name is Nina (coincidentally, the name of my amateur sleuth in my upcoming Georgia B&B mystery, PEACH CLOBBERED), though my husband swears he had no idea about that when he named his hellhound, er, pup). Nina is an Italian Greyhound, a tiny version of the racing dog you see painted on those buses, looking like a cross between a puppy and a mini-deer. Nina is adorable, and I’m not just saying that as her human mom. A police officer actually stopped my husband while he was driving with her just so he could take a closer look. And it’s a darned good things she’s such a cutie, because that’s the only way she gets away with being a baaaaaad dog!

If you’ve ever had a puppy before, you remember the trials and tribulations of teaching your new fur baby not to jump on people or piddle inside or chew up shoes, and not to ignore its human when he or she is calling. We took her to puppy class to learn the basics, which she did master…at least, while she was there with the yummy freeze-dried chicken treats the trainer had. But away from class, not so much.

Which is frustrating, to say the least. Most dogs are eager to learn, and by the time they are a few months old have the sit/stay/come/potty outside thing down pat. But not the Italian Greyhound. As a breed, they tend to be 100 times smarter and 100 times more stubborn than the average canine. Sure, they know perfectly well how to do all this annoying stuff their humans ask of them. But they’ll do it in their own sweet time. Or, perhaps not at all.

Right now, my husband wants to send her off to what he calls “puppy boarding school”, which is away from home training for a couple of weeks. And I don’t. So I’ve been working extra hard with her trying to reinforce her puppy class training. It takes effort, but I’m starting to see incremental improvement. So maybe she’ll avoid being shuttled off like she’s a doggie step-child in some bad made-for-TV movie. Fingers crossed. And I keep reminding myself that, as with any other goal—be it learning a new language, mastering a new dance step, or writing a book better than your last one—the amount of success you achieve is dependent upon the effort you put into it.

So, have you ever welcomed a new pet into your home, only to find it more of a handful than you expected?

While you’re here, visit our contest page for a chance to win a book from any of our six authors. Click here.

Comments

  1. My household has never been a pet household…except for one time my daughter brought home a cat from the county animal shelter. She promised she and my son would take care of it. As soon as that was said, the poor cat was totally forgotten and it was left to me to take care of it…which I did. They named him Rochester, but I called him CAT. Guess which name he came running to? Yep, CAT was it. He would often curl up in my chair along side of me rather than one of my kids. I think they were jealous. I told them this cat knows who feeds him. We had him for about a year and I got tired of doing the whole care and clean-up thing and took him back to the shelter. I hope he found another nice home.

  2. My dog hates the noise. Loved the photos of the dogs.

  3. Maggie Toussaint says:

    In the lifespan of our marriage and while raising our family, we had two hermit crabs who escaped from the sandbox while the kids were playing with them, two guinea pigs who lived to a ripe old age, a couple of cats, and three dogs that stuck. We had two that weren’t good fits and we re-homed them. A puppy and an old dog are lots of work! I don’t know if I’d have the patience to start from scratch again, but you never know. We’re pet free now and very much enjoy spending time with our grand-dogs. That’s like having all the fun with a minimum of the responsibility. I’m grateful for having had pets, though, as it helps me write them into my books. One of our cats is actually the “model” I used for Major, the cat in my new series I’m currently shopping around. Having pet experience comes in handy as a writer. Hmm. Wonder if that means a pet owning writer can take their pet expenses as a tax deduction…

    • So far, I’ve had three of my pets appear on book covers. So I think that tax deduction idea is legit, hee hee! Yep, both the old ones and the young ones are a lot of work, but the love and companionship you get back is worth it. 🙂

  4. We had a golden retriever, and it was totally the wrong dog for us. It had a mischievous streak, needed a lot of attention, dug out from under the backyard fence, and jumped on people. After a few months, we gave up and sold her. We adored the miniature poodle we got instead and had Misty for 17 loving years. A dog is like a child. It requires constant care and attention. I like ones I can hold in my arms. And poodles don’t shed.

    • We always had big dogs when my husband and I first got married. German shepherds and hound dogs and Dobermans and, of course, our Aussies. We loved them all dearly. But, it definitely is convenient to have a dog you can pick up in one arm, LOL. And agree with you about the shedding!

  5. authorlois says:

    No pet experiences to offer, thanks to allergies, but I was reading this post as the leaf blowers started up, which around here is a noisy reminder that spring has sprung. They start up early in the morning and don’t stop until it gets dark, and they continue throughout the summer and fall.:-(

    • Ugh, I agree, those leaf blowers should be banned. What’s wrong with a broom and a little elbow grease? Though, living in the boonies, that’s one thing I don’t have to worry about hearing anymore. 🙂

    • I hate the leaf blowers and weed trimmers. We have them year round here in suburban South Florida. There should be a noise ordinance against them.