I’m allergic to dogs. This meant that I never had a pet dog growing up, but I did have a few of them chase me on my walks home from school. As an adult, I still experience unleashed dogs racing after me, especially when I’m running on urban trails. Of course their owners always tell me that their dogs are friendly, even while the dogs are nipping at my legs and butt. And when I lived in Zimbabwe, I often had to start my morning runs carrying two large rocks that I could throw at the wild dogs terrorizing the neighbourhood. I’m definitely not a dog person.
I’m not sure how I was talked into this, but I brought home a bichon frise puppy last November. The boys named him Shadow as he’s always following us around the house. This breed of dog is hypoallergenic, so I don’t have trouble being around him … at least with my allergies. However, the first six months were very stressful for me, as I couldn’t get Shadow to stop peeing and pooing in the house or biting our ankles or fingers.
The good news is that he’s stopped using the house as his personal washroom. I think the warmer weather helped with this, as did his desire to have free range of the house. He’s also getting much better with the biting, but he’s still a bit nippy when he wants us to play with him more.
Shadow is always so excited to see us when we come home. He’s particularly fond of peanut butter and is extremely clever at convincing the boys to give him some of their human food. Most of all, he loves cuddling with us on the couch once he’s used up all of his puppy energy. It’s these quieter moments that I enjoy the most. No matter how hard of a day I’ve had, I know that I can sit with my faithful friend who always seems to appreciate me.
I’m still not a dog person. But I’m my dog’s person.