This Sunday will mark three weeks since I brought Jordy home to live with me. In that time, he has grown literal leaps and bounds, coming out of his shell and displaying a unique personality all of his own. For a dog that I expected to have so many behavioral issues, he continues to surprise and amaze me in how well he has seemingly adapted.

Change, however, isn’t always a forward motion I have learned. Sometimes that kind of progress is two steps forward, one step back.

We have our usual morning routine: we get up and go outside so he can pee, he eats, I shower and then we go for a 20-minute walk before I leave for work. Jordy has always done his “business” on our walk, much like clockwork, for the past two weeks.

This morning I got out of the shower to find that he had done his “business” in five different spots on the living room carpet and peed on the leg of the freshly-washed jeans I had laid out to wear today. I was totally disheartened and had one of those “what have I gotten myself into” mommyhood moments of self-doubt as I fought back tears. Who was I kidding? Raising a dog on my own?

When I was in negotiations to adopt a rescue dog, the group’s director cautioned that I’d have a few months of hard work ahead of me. I think perhaps I have been getting comfortable in our life together, forgetting that Jordy is one-half of the equation and maybe he hasn’t caught up to me. Three out of the last four nights this week, I have gone out after work. I had planned to again tonight, but this morning’s events were a huge wake-up call.

While I have adjusted to life with a dog, Jordy hasn’t adjusted to life with mommy in a new apartment in a new city with new toys and new food. His behavior hasn’t otherwise changed, and he’s still the same lovable ball of energy he’s been from day one. What I have realized, however, is that it’s me that needs to take a step back.

Henry David Thoreau said “things do not change, we change.” My life isn’t just about me anymore and I was shown that in a rather obvious way just an hour ago. All my experience with dogs in the past is meaningless in some regards because no two dogs are alike, and Jordy has specific needs that only I can meet.

I think the best thing I can do involves a little bit of self-sacrifice, meaning sacrificing my weekday social life in evenings for the next month or so. I can’t provide a routine that Jordy can get used to without some consistency. Maybe only then can we start to dip our toes and paws into different streams.

Please tell me Jordy and I are not alone in this.

Out Cold

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11 Comments on “YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE

  1. I think sometimes it’s easy for us to forget that we, as humans, require just as much training as our furry companions do to reach a routine. It’s very responsible of you to acknowledge this and to react.

    My only word of caution would be to remember that, once you establish a real routine, that you are human and have needs too. Once you both have a routine you are both comfortable with, don’t guilt yourself about leaving him once in a while … I’ve told you about my past experience with that problem … once you have a secure base, it’s okay to flex it a little.

    PS – When the boys get more comfortable with each other, you can totally bring your boy over for babysitting if you need to go out … you can pay me with cookies 😉

  2. Little Jordy – who knows the stories he could tell before you found each other. I think, although worrisome, this is normal behaviour for a dog that is not used to relying on stability. Perhaps a diversion in your routine did startle him a bit. I think you guys’ll be okay. You’re still so early on in the game, and you’re kind of meshing together two unique personalities and trying to find that middle ground where everything is perfect.

    You’ll find that place soon, it’s so close.

  3. Our puupy has been with us for 2 months.
    And you are definitely not alone in this world…

    Both you and Jordy will have your ups and downs, don’t get demotivated about it!
    There are weeks when everything is fine, and all of a sudden (out of nowhere, right after his walk) he decides to pee on the carpet)…. I had those “mommyhood’ moments quite a few times already, but you know what it’s all worth it when you think about the other moments, where you just couldn’t stop hugging, petting and pampering him.

    You will have some difficult times, but you’ll both get over it, you have each other, and that’s what counts!

    You’re both trying to find out what you can do and where to draw the line, give it some more time! You’re doing an awesome job!

  4. Welcome to motherhood, Keira! You hit the nail on the head.

    While you have many different needs and many other people to see, Jordy only has you. You already know that he makes all the effort worthwhile at the end of the day. I think you’re doing a great job. :)

    I’m with you in thinking that this morning was just a hiccup as Jordy gets used to his new environment and routine. Shower him with love!

  5. For such a cute dog such sacrifice is absolutely a no brainer. If it takes us humans a few days or even a few weeks to get used to a new environment, it’d take dogs just as much time if not more.

  6. Hello! I have to say, Jordy is such a beautiful dog! I’m really happy you went with a rescued animal.
    When I met my boyfriend in 2006, he had had his wonderful dog Abigail since 2002. He trained her well, she is one of the most well behaved and adjusted dogs I have ever met. She rarely is on a leash, she comes when called and heels to the left. She’s very social and goes everywhere… errands, friend’s, family’s, walks and to dog parks.
    But… she is about 9 (we’re unsure, she is a rescued pup as well) she still has had her moments to show me she is unhappy with something. Even with all her training, she sometimes acts out… and she knows she’s in trouble before we can figure out what she’s done. We get over it and love her just as much.
    This past winter, she had one night of getting on and off the bed. She kept waking me up and I finally told her to lay down somewhere. She tore a hole in a quilt and tossed the chewed up stuffing all over the couch and floor. The next morning she knew she was in huge trouble.
    Once last year, it was to hot to take her with us when we went to dinner. She had also been left by both us of us when we left for work, and once more by me when I had to run somewhere. She got into the recycling and chewed up a bunch of cans.
    Or even one time I ran a bunch of errands with her all day. The last stop I had was to get some produce. When I came back to the car she had shredded a Starbucks pastry bag and napkin.
    There could be a whole pile of reasons for what happened. Give it time. All the effort you put forth is so worth it when it comes to the end of the day.

  7. You are totally not alone. When we got Lucy, she was just an eight week old puppy. She used to pee all over the floor, poop inside when we left her alone, and cry and cry if we left her. She kept up the separation anxiety until she was about eight months old. What helped us was making the decision to “crate” her when we left her alone. When we did that, it stopped her bathroom issues immediately, and also gave her comfort that she had her own “space” that we couldn’t invade either… but that just worked for us, may not work for you. You just need time, it gets easier.

  8. hello.
    the dog so cute:)
    i always think dogs r good friends…u r so happy with ur friend><

  9. Jordy has only been with you for only about 3 weeks and in all that time has only once shown these signs of anxiety. The only thing you’ve done differently is go out in the evening and that wasn’t part of his new routine he was just getting used to. Maybe given his past circumstances he needs more time to feel he truly is home.

  10. You are NOT alone. Heres a smile~with Jordy going multiple times while your in the shower thank god he’s not a German Shepard. Go by a childrens resale shop and pick up a play pen. Any time you must shower for a couple of hours the playpen will confine the mess. A quick note to Jordy~chew a hole in the end of those boots and help mom get sand out.

  11. What a cutie!

    Poms don’t like to be alone. He’s reacting to you not coming home when he expected you to.

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