In case you missed our big announcement yesterday (and if you did, what’s your problem?), The Mouthy Housewives are now two years old! Wheee! And all week long we’re asking YOU to give us advice on some of our issues. Today, it’s Wendi’s turn:
Dear Mouthy Housewives Readers,
One of my very good friends recently got a new puppy (“Snoogies”) and she’s become obsessed with it. The dog is all she talks about and it seems like she plans her entire day around him. The one or two times I’ve “puppy sat” for an hour, she’s left three-page instructions for me and then quizzes me on how it went.
Last week we went to lunch and she asked if we could sit outside so she could bring Snoogies. Then she fed him her lunch and talked baby talk to him the whole time. (She also lets him lick her mouth for “kissing time.” It’s not fun to watch.) I like the dog just fine, but she’s gone nutso. How can I let her know that I don’t want to talk about the dog non-stop without hurting her feelings?
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My husband and I purchased the cutest little mini schnauzer puppy. My husband had wanted a dog since we bought our home 3 years ago, but due to his hectic work schedule (2 full time jobs) and my 12 hour work day, this wasn’t an option. Unfortunately, he was laid off and has been for the past year and a half. So I finally decided having a puppy might be fun, so we went for it.
Well, the day before we bought the puppy, he tells me some story about how he got another job only working a few hours a week locally near our home. Not a big deal. Well, the truth came out after we got our puppy that he’s really back full time. The job is fabulous, and the money is better, but our new puppy now spends 11-13 hours alone depending on who makes it home first. Yes he has food, water and puppy pads, but who in the world wants to live like that? So now I feel awful for the little guy who’s only 8-weeks-old. He was doing his business outside fairly well until today when it became a free for all in our home.
Should I find our puppy a new home or let him hang out in our upstairs bedroom in a gated play area all day?
Sad Puppy Mommy
You know what that dog needs? Marriage counseling. Oh, I mean, not the dog. I’ll get to that cute little 8-week-old pup in a moment. Just to clarify, your husband lied to you about his employment status (claiming he only had a part-time job and was free to be home with the puppy) and then changed his story once the dog was yours? Maybe I’m missing some details here but it sounds like you and your husband need to work on your communication skills. Because lying to your spouse to get what you want is not exactly a healthy foundation for a marriage. Perhaps some counseling might be a good idea. But unless your marriage counselor has a second career as a dog sitter, this will not solve your puppy problem.
I think it’s really unfair to leave most dogs (especially a puppy) alone for 11 to 13 hours a day. So you have a few options. Find the puppy a new home which will be incredibly sad but then probably a big relief. Another option is to find a dog walker to come spend time with your pooch every day. Or you can bring him to a doggy day care center where he can be around other dogs and people while you are at work. Sure, some of your friends might start calling you ooh la la fancy doggy pants for doing this but you won’t get any judgment from me. Of course, I used to have a personal trainer run my hyper kangaroo dog 5 miles a day so I say, go for it.
But if the elitist dog route isn’t for you, you could always acquire another dog to keep your current one company. Of course, that will be double the amount of dog crap all over your house but on the bright side, less guilt!
Good luck with the dog. And the husband.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
On a routine trip to the pet store to get dog food, my 10 year old fell in love with the hamster/gerbil/guinea pig section. Now she is DYING for one. The problem is that we already have a dog and a cat and everything I have read confirms my suspicions that the cat will eat the thing. So is there a cat proof hamster home out there?
I explained that we have to respect our current pets that were here first and not tempt them with meaty chewables and I thought that worked. But this morning I woke to a full page letter wishing me all the luck in “finding” a hamster. What should I do?
We Love Dogs, Cats and Rodents Too!
Dear Animal Lovers,
I am going to tell you a very unfortunate story and I only hope you will learn from my wise words. When I was a kid, I had the chance to bring home the class guinea pigs for the summer. This was an honor indeed!
And I made sure those guinea pigs had the most fabulous summer (sun bathing, frolicking, water skiing) – right up until the day they got eaten by our two dogs. There is nothing worse than having to explain to your teachers why you are coming back from summer vacation with an empty guinea pig cage.
Dogs and cats are always going to be very interested in eating hamsters, guinea pigs and gerbils. So there is always a risk of little Herb the hamster becoming your kitty cat’s next meal. I would advise a cage with a very secure top. Ask your local pet store what to buy. And I would put something heavy on top of it to make sure no one gets out and no one gets in. Like a big fat hardcover book. Because your Kindle ain’t keeping anyone out of that cage.
And one more tip on animals: If you ever get bunnies and let them run around your yard, they, too, will be eaten. I know. I’m not a fast learner.
Good luck to you.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
The route for our nightly dog walk takes us down a street that has four houses of dogs that bark. They aren’t in a row, but scattered down the street. About a month ago, the woman in the last dog barking house (she has yap-yap dogs) came outside when we walked by and gave us a dirty look. Then a couple of weeks ago, she was outside when we walked by, so I smiled and said hi. In return, she gave me a dirty look and said, “Oh, she’s walking her dog again.”
She has now rudely complained to me that her dogs bark every time I walk by. I find it really hard to believe that my dog is the only dog that her yap-yap dogs bark at. By the way, my dog is very well trained and doesn’t participate in any of the barking.
Am I wrong here? Should I do the mature thing and change our route?
Who Let the Rude Dog Owner Out
My most recent experience with dog ownership was our frantic, high energy lab mix that once chased after a one-armed jogger at the beach and nipped at his heels for the entire length of the shoreline, so I may not be the best judge of dog etiquette.
However, my mother knows all when it comes to man’s best friend. This is the woman who once gazed at my newborn daughter and said, “She’s so beautiful. She looks just like Lilly.” Lilly happens to be her dog and yes, she meant it as the greatest compliment one could bestow on a newborn baby.
So after reading your question, I immediately gave my mom a ring. She claims that some canines can dislike certain dogs, so it’s possible that these neighborhood dogs do have a problem with your pooch. Of course, I don’t know if my mom can be trusted because she also insists that her beautiful dog Lilly never barks except when my family comes to visit her, which just can’t be true.
Now that we have established that my mother is probably a liar, let’s review your options. Change your nightly walk, which sounds like the best idea since there are four houses with barking dogs and you can find a quieter street. Or torment this rude dog owner by walking your dog multiple times by her house every day and giving her gift wrapped dog muzzles for the holidays. Your choice. I hate dealing with mean people, so I would take the high road, or rather the quieter road.
Good luck to you.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
I am in a serious romantic relationship with a man who is very wonderful. Except he hates the fact that I let my dog sleep on my bed. He says that it’s disgusting and that dogs are not clean and he wants her off the bed.
The problem is that my dog is 6 years old and the foot of my bed is her place to sleep. It doesn’t bother me at all, and I think it’s terrible to throw her out just because my boyfriend thinks it’s disgusting. My boyfriend and I have discussed marriage, and we agree that’s where we’re heading, but this bugs me. What do I do?
Dear Puppy Love,
This is the precise reason why pre-marital sex is the root of all evil. Because if you just held off inviting this man into your bed until you were lawfully wed, we wouldn’t be having this problem. He would never suspect that you slept with a dog in your bed and by the time he joined you in the marital chamber, it would be too late for him to do anything about it. Like, what, is he going to file for divorce over it? Besides, once you married, you may have moved to his place, or a new place altogether, and then your dog would get so confused and disoriented that she wouldn’t care where she slept. Problem solved! But you had to have your fun, and now the barn door is open, the milk is free and we have ourselves a situation.
Assuming that you don’t want to resort to doggy actuarial tables, you have a few choices.
1. Compromise: Have designated dog-off-the-bed nights. It may take your dog a while to get used to a new sleeping arrangement, but with proper reinforcement, she’ll master it.
2. Prevent grossness: I don’t know where you live, but unless it’s somewhere that allows your dog to run through the meadows and return at the end of the days with paws smelling of crushed thyme and lavender, your boyfriend has a valid point. Hose the dog down and scrub the paws until they smell less like the outdoors and more like Fritos.
3. Be patient: Chances are, over time your man and your dog will bond and he will welcome her into the bed. Rent Old Yeller to expedite the bonding.