Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Pet Bull refuses to labor on Labor Day!

While I am new to the breed; I am one of those people that actually consciously chose to get a pit bull and a fair amount of research went into the decision. We wanted a medium sized dog, with short hair that didn't drool. The dog needed to be stocky and able to withstand the occasional accidental purse to the head and foot on the paw - because graceful I am not.

We also wanted an extremely affectionate dog. Our previous dog was a Basset Hound - Ms. Frances Abigail - and we loved and lived with her for almost 14 years. But Ms. Frances; and I hesitate to say this as it almost feels like speaking ill of the dead; was not so affectionate. Either that or both myself and my husband are too emotionally needy in the canine love department; because Frannie spurned the majority of our affections with a decisive nip to the face. Our fault entirely, we were the idiots that kept going back for more.

So we did want a dog that could be manhandled; hugged and kissed and squeezed - with the added benefit of actually liking it. Everything screamed pit bull and our decision was made. I confess the possibility of dog aggression sounded like a pain in the ass. Manageable and not as bad as drooling; annoying but not in a deal breaking kind of way.

The real possibly deal breaking concern was energy level. The reality of our situation is that both me and the husband work fairly long hours. and while the dog wouldn't be alone during the day; my 70 year old mother was hardly fit to provide day care for a psycho dog off the wall with pent up energy.

But with everything else seeming so perfect, we were determined to make things work. We had to start with a puppy as that was Grammy's preference; and since she wasn't a dog person and would be providing a fair amount of care and was only right to consider her preference and comfort level. But that did obviously make it more of a crap shoot in terms of the ultimate temperament and energy level of our dog-to-be

Thanks to my copious amounts of research, I knew to avoid game bred lines as the general consensus seemed to be that they tended more towards the very, very, energetic side of the continuum. We settled on a nice UKC Pitter-staff and began to rearrange our lives to provide the optimum stimulation and exercise possible for our high energy pit bull (which included the purchasing of a $1700 tread mill).

So little Veronica Lynn came to our home; and as most puppies are want to be, she was fairly energetic. Nothing off the wall; but I was prepared for her energy and exercise needs to climb as she aged.

Well, turns out...not so much. I hate to say it, but my little high energy pit bull turned into a couch potato power-napper. She has no interest whatsoever in the treadmill. Despite that she learned to use it quite easily, she seems to feel it is boring and she has absolutely no interest in walking on it...or jogging...or running. While she of course can't actually tell me this; sitting down, sliding off and looking at me with disgust....sends a clear message.

This past weekend she even refused to take a walk with me. The day started out well enough. She needed some things, so we ran to the pet store to do her monthly shopping. She was quite into and pleased with that activity; and especially loved helping herself to the biscuit buffet that Pet Supplies Plus lays out at dog‘s eye level. Then we went home to drop off her Dad so he could work on some lesson plans and we could get some treats for a nice long walk on an absolutely gorgeous day.

We stepped outside the front door and Veronica planted all four feet solidly; and took a deep sigh. Definitely not boding well.

"Don't you want to go for a walk"?, I asked in a cheery peppy voice.
She sat down.

"Come on! It's beautiful out"! I pleaded and pulled. She continued to sit and offered the resistance of a 60 pound sack of potatoes.

"You'll have fun I cajoled", lifting her up on her feet and pulling while she simultaneously sat down again.

"Think about it", I begged turning away from the car and encouraging her to sniff about the yard hoping she'd get revitalized.

"What do you think? Walk?" I asked hopefully.
She laid down in the grass.

"Stop fooling around! It'll be good for you"! I commanded.
She rolled over on her back, swishing from side to side in the grass.

So there I was. I could force her to walk with me; which frankly is right up there with paying for sex...

"Do you want to go home", I asked, hoping against hope. And up she jumped with a spring in her step turning towards the front door and scampering up the steps in eager anticipation.

In she went and joined her Daddy in her dog bed under the desk while he worked on lessons.

I thought about going for a walk by myself, which was immediately followed by the thought of "how sad and pathetic is that". I then thought about going to the shelter and borrowing a dog; but considered the logistics of "Hi, you don't know me, but if I could just borrow a dog for a couple of hours, promise to bring him back ship-shape, now hand him over"…

Ultimately I decided that I had no choice but to accept the fact that I, a soon to be 45 year old woman undoubtedly entering peri-menopause; officially has more energy than my "high energy" dog. So I left her in her dog bed and I went to Wal-Mart.