I know it’s not the same as being a mom to a human baby, but I’ve been a puppy mom for many, many years now; first to Maggie and Rambler, and now to Lucy. And she’s definitely still a puppy.
We had a rather difficult time with Lucy when she was a baby, and there were plenty of days that I threatened to send her back to the farm she came from, but ultimately we all seemed to reach an understanding. A few nights ago, however, I had the opportunity to practice my ‘mom’ voice.
Lucy has a bad habit of getting up on the kitchen counters. Not leaping all the way up on the counter, but pulling herself up by the front paws to look for good stuff that might be within her reach.
Sunday night, I made spaghetti. I timed my meal preparation poorly, which is nothing new, and while I was waiting for the bread to finish baking I dished up the spaghetti and left it on the counter. As I was talking to Dave in the living room, I heard the distinct sound of a fork clinking against a bowl (my ability to hear Lucy’s misbehavior is stellar, so poor pickle doesn’t stand a chance).
Lucy had not only pulled herself up to the counter and stuck her tongue into one bowl of spaghetti, but both bowls. An entire batch of spaghetti, ruined.
She’s grabbed things from the counter and run outside before (like my precious Milky Ways), but she’s never slurped her way through a bowl of food.
Cue the mom voice.
I scolded her so much that she cowered. You’d think I beat the poor dog the way she cowered. And then she ran upstairs to hide.
We needed to punish her, but we didn’t want to put her in her kennel. She actually likes her kennel, and we didn’t want to associate a place she likes with punishment. So Dave put her outside and shut the door, where she stayed for the next half hour while we made a new batch of spaghetti and ate it. Doggy time-out, I guess.
When we finally let her back in the house, she wouldn’t come near me. In fact, she stayed as far away as possible. Maybe she knew she had behaved badly, or maybe she was pouting. But she kept it up for so long that I started to feel guilty. “What if she thinks I don’t love her anymore?” I asked Dave. He laughed. And reminded me that I need to get over thinking like that.
If anyone has tips for training a dog to stay off the counter, let me know. Somehow, I think it might be easier than raising a human child.