I have been house and dog sitting for my aunt and uncle for a week. One long week. It’s necessary to point out that I’m childless, by choice and dog-less, due to circumstance. If I lived in an apartment that allowed dogs, I would have become a dog mama a long time ago. Forget “baby fever”, I have “puppy fever” something fierce. The second I see floppy ears, awkward paws, and big puppy eyes, I melt. I become that annoying, squealing girl, the kind of girl who says, “OMG, it’s a POOPY! WANT!”
So, I used to have puppy fever. I think I’m good for at least another 5 years before I will think I want a dog again. Maybe that’s being dramatic, but in my exhaustion, I have lost all desire to wake up to puppy breath. For those of you thinking of getting a puppy, let me tell you, puppy parenting is some serious, life-altering shit.
The dogs I am watching are actually total sweethearts. The younger one, Pepper, loves to cuddle. The old guy, Marley, loves to be by you at all times. With being alone in a big house, these traits are much appreciated. They also, for the most part, come when they’re called (unless they are in the middle of eating a turd, you can’t just leave a perfectly good poop uneaten like that), and they don’t bark at all.
This is where the easiness comes full halt. I am reminded why I don’t want children: I adore my sleep. Guess what? Dogs are like babies, in that they don’t give two shits if you get sleep or not. I’ve probably slept a total of 5 solid hours this entire week.
The first night, both dogs must have felt unsettled, as all I heard all night was toenails clicking on the hardwood floor and collars going “jingle-jingle”. They apparently didn’t need their sleep, like I needed mine. The next night, I got smarter, and moved to a room with carpet and I took their collars off. This was the only night I got any real sleep.
Marley has never really seemed thrilled his mom and dad have been gone. To self-soothe, he has been obsessively licking his butthole. He won’t stop and it’s red and irritated. Instead of calling and freaking out his parents, I asked my mom what to do. She said to make sure he poops and “just tell him to quit licking”. I’ve spent an ungodly amount of time yelling at a dog who is going down on his asshole.
3rd Night: Pepper decided the human bed was a better place to be than the dog bed. She slipped under the covers and literally slept with her nose between my buttcheeks all night. I was so scared she would suffocate, so all night long, I checked to see if she was still breathing.
4th Night: Both dogs woke me up no less than 3 times to go outside. Their potty breaks must not have been enough, as Marley unleashed farts all night that made me cry. Sleep was filled with nightmares and night sweats.
5th Night: The temperature dropped drastically and I was able to sleep with the window open. I woke up with a start to Marley having a nightmare. After I spent 10 minutes reassuring him and petting his belly, I worried that he was too cold. I found a blanket and covered him. I checked on him throughout the night, as I didn’t want him to freeze to death. Pepper was warm, as she still felt the need to sleep directly on top of me.
6th Night. I smelled poop. Pure poop. I guess that happens when a dog’s asshole is directly in your face. I still feel dirty.
7th Night: At 3:00 AM, I hear barfing. I hope it’s a nightmare, but it’s not. Marley is barfing in the corner. I can’t even, so I just go back to sleep. At 7:00 AM, I check to see if maybe, hopefully it was a nightmare. Nope, there’s puke in the corner. I resolve to be fully awake before I have to clean up dog vomit, so I go back to sleep again. 8:00 AM comes around and I let the dogs out, and, the puke is gone. HE ATE HIS OWN BARF. While I’m eternally grateful that he cleaned up his own mess, I’ve been dry heaving all day at the thought that he ate his own barf.
While it’s been nice to hang with some legit pups and drink free beer every night, I have bags under my eyes and I have 80 new gray hairs. I’m exhausted, and I can’t wait to get back to my bed. A bed that doesn’t smell of dog asshole and farts (well, at least dog farts).
Pepper and Marley are sweethearts, but just like with babies, I prefer to squeeze their cheeks, ogle over them, and then hand them back.