Monday, February 23, 2009

Should everyone own a dog?

Just now I watched a bit of Jon and Kate plus 8 - only the last 10 minutes or so of the new episode wherein the family gets a pair of puppies. I couldn't actually tell what kind of puppies they got and no doubt I could google it, but whatever, that's not the point anyway. The part of the show I saw was where they brought the dogs home and put them in their basement, and then a bunch of discussion about having two puppies. At various times, the puppies are seen peeing on the carpet or tile. At one point, Kate says "I've potty trained 8 kids, I didn't want to potty train the ones in fur too. You let the dogs outside and they play, then they come in and pee on the carpet." Another time, she says that some of the little kids don't like the puppies because the puppies bite.

I've really stopped watching this show for the most part because I'm starting to find it kind of upsetting. I think it's great that they've chosen this lifestyle to earn their income and why shouldn't they take advantage, I suppose. When the show brings in enough revenue to support the purchase of a mansion, why not go ahead and buy it. I wouldn't deny that they need space.

But do they really need dogs, specifically puppies? I mean really, house training a puppy is a difficult process even if you don't have kids. I think it's ridiculous that Kate would express surprise that the puppies would be "let outside" and not pee. They don't instinctively know to pee outside, you have to teach them that it's the right thing to do. Also, you can't let puppies bite and nip, you have to teach them it's not okay to do that. And finally, if you are a clean freak, don't get a puppy. They *will* have accidents and you *will* have to clean it up.

We aren't perfect dog owners or anything, but I feel like I did a substantial amount of research prior to getting Kodi. I knew we wanted to take her to obedience school and I knew that puppyhood would be a tough go at the beginning. Of course, her breed does come with a great disposition and a general attitude of wanting to listen and behave well... but we, particularly the hubby, spent a lot of time in training with her. People often tell us that she's so well behaved, and they can't believe she'll listen so well. She isn't perfect but she is well trained, if I may say so myself. I find it so irritating when people obviously aren't interested in training their dogs, or who think that having a puppy is either a great novelty (the fun of which wears off quickly) or a pain in the rear (in which case, why did you get one!?)

To be honest, we kind of wanted Kodi to be a little bit older before we had a baby... I think she'll handle it well but at the same time she is still a puppy and is still full of energy. It'll take work to train her to respect the baby as a pack leader :) One day I'd love to have a second dog - maybe in a few years!

I'm hoping that in the first half of the episode, Jon and Kate talked about things like obedience training, spending lots of time with the puppies in training, teaching the kids how to take care of puppies and not to provoke them, etc. But I sort of doubt it. Too bad. The show is watched by so many people that the family could have been a great influence on future dog owners. Instead, we're left with more of the Kate-screeching over pee and having to clean it up. Unfortunate.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

32 weeks

Dear little one,

The doctors aren't agreed on your exact due date, but apparently I'm somewhere around 32 weeks, and happily, you're not measuring ahead or behind. I like normal, so good job. I met the OB today and she said your head is down and your legs are on my left side. That explains a lot of the odd kicking recently.

I'm finding it difficult to believe that you're really not that far from your arrival into this world. There's no way I'll ever be fully ready for your presence in my life, but here's a little of what we've done so far:

- set up your room - mostly. The crib hasn't arrived, but when it does, you'll have a place to sleep. You already have two dressers and a super cool bookcase. Your daddy didn't like the bookcase as much as me, but I thought it was fantastic; plus, I love books.

- set up your diaper changing area. We're planning to use cloth diapers so I have purchased a ridiculous amount of diapers for you... I have a stash of newborn fitted diapers and covers, and when you outgrow those, I've got a second stash of one-size pocket diapers that will hopefully take you to potty training time. I can guarantee that people reading this either will care deeply about diapers, or will think I'm crazy. I've spent a lot so far on diapers, but I think it's still less than I would have spent on disposables. Please don't be allergic to cloth diapers. :)

- met the OB/GYN.... who might not necessarily be the one who delivers you, but since the family doctor doesn't deliver.... anyway. I'm trying not to fret about this process.

- attended pre-natal class. We went with the class-in-a-day option rather than the six weekly session option. I think that was a wise choice; I doubt that in the pain of labour I'll really remember much anyway.

I'm sure there's more, but I'm exhausted.

Can't wait to meet you!

Off topic: I watched a bit of American Idol tonight. Why do I put myself through this terrible show. Every year I tell myself I won't watch any more and yet every year I keep tuning back in. Paula Abdul is still beyond crazy and incoherent, although she appears to be trying to tone down the insanity a smidge. The finalists are BAD, at least most of them are. Please don't sing Mariah or Whitney, people.

I'm still faithful to Heroes, 24, and new on the list, The Office. Don't get me hooked on any more shows though!

Monday, February 09, 2009

30-31 weeks

Dear Kodi,

Mommy is writing you this letter because as we all know, it isn't all about the baby right? Besides, what baby? As far as you know life is peachy with just the three of us, who needs a baby to take attention away from you!

I want to tell you that I love you so, so much. I sometimes find myself tearing up for no real reason because I love you and worry about you constantly. You recently went through a third bout of giardia and we were sad to see you sick. In your short life you've also had kennel cough, an oral papilloma, and a cyst on your foot. Poor doggie. Today I had plans to leave you at home for most of the day to see how you could handle it. I changed my mind at the last minute though because as Daddy and I always say, we didn't get a dog so that we could leave it at home. You have no idea how good you have it, Kodes. We didn't crate train you, so you have no idea what it's like to spend hours a day inside a little box, waiting for your owners. On days when we know we can't have you with us we send you to doggy daycare where you wrestle with other dogs for hours on end.

I know that your life will change a bit when the baby arrives and I wish with all my heart that I could promise you it wouldn't change... but I would be wrong. All our lives will adjust somewhat. I'll have to get used to less sleep, and you'll have to get used to the sounds of crying. I hope that you and the baby will become friends and that you'll learn to love him/her as much as you love us. If it's any comfort, when I go back to work I'll still be able to take you with me and I won't be able to take the baby.

Kodi, thank you for being such a great dog. I only have to show you your leash now for you to get super excited. Here's a picture of you that I like, because it looks like you're talking. "Say, mommy, is there any food? No? how about now? now? now??"