Tuesday 27 Sep 2016

Puppy in Charge
Jennifer Flaten

Recently, I realized our house had settled into a nice quiet routine. I actually had a minute or two to myself. Such luxury goes unspoken in our home.

We decided to do something about it; we bought a puppy.  Yes, we now have a puppy, a cute roly-poly full of fun puppy. If your idea of fun is biting the furniture and terrorizing the cats, which it is in this house, we have a fun puppy.

Really, on some days, the only way I can tell the difference between the puppy and the kids is by who walks on two legs. I give the puppy about 2 months before she figures out how to walk on two legs.

We haven’t experienced puppy-dom in a very long time. Now, I am remembering why I wanted to forget it in the first place. Puppyhood is simply an endless loop of taking the dog outside, letting the dog inside and telling the dog “No!”

I’ll be the first to admit that the puppy is stepping into a big collar. After a long wonderful life, our old dog left for the big couch in the sky. We have high expectations for our new dog.

Okay, we don’t. We don’t expect the puppy to actually protect the house or do our taxes. We will be completely satisfied when the puppy finally settles into the routine and takes on the heavy responsibility of sprawling on the sofa and occasionally stealing the kids’ snacks.

Now, instead of an old dog, who relaxed a great deal, but a dog that knew the routine, and frankly didn’t care what happens as long as at the end of the day his bowl has kibble in it, we have a white-hot ball of menace. Puppy, whom we call Hellhound, not her real name but it might soon be, arrived a mere week or so ago. She has yet to reach her full potential for menacing, but if her early efforts she has potential. In the space of two hours, she stole two waffles from one kid, ripped up an entire section of sofa and menaced all three cats.

At first, the puppy wasn’t sure what to make of the cats. On her first encounter with them, she actually seemed frightened. Much to the surprise of the cats, used to running this house, the puppy decided she was in charge of the cats. She’s made it her mission to boss the cats. 


To accomplish this she barks loudly anytime a cat appears. The cats are not at all happy with this turn of events. The cats think dogs are over-reactive.

I must say it is nice to see the cats displaying an emotion other than apathy. I would say the emotion they display most now, is hate. Yes, I would say they are showing a deep-seated loathing of the small furry interloper who is constantly in motion and will not stop barking-especially when they are napping.

All this noise is impeding sleeps. Cats need 26 hours a day of rest they require. Now, the cats have filed lawsuit against us, claiming emotional distress.

Meanwhile, the kids, who absolutely adored the puppy, right up until the moment she attempted to eat their Wii remote, are referring to her as my dog. It didn’t take the kids long to realize it really wasn’t that fun to take the puppy outside in the middle of an ice storm. Told you my kids were smart.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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