My family has owned little dogs my entire life, specifically dachshunds (wiener dogs). My dog, Susie’s, biggest fear was thunderstorms and her biggest accomplishment was climbing up onto the footstool beside the couch. My grandparents’ wiener dogs sleep in tiny kennels that fit easily into a car’s front floorboard, and they can be carried around with one arm when necessary.
Our dog is not like that.
Meera’s kennel doesn’t fit into a car unless you take it apart; she eats about five pounds of dog food a week; and, at five months old, already has a bark that puts fear into the hearts of visiting maintenance men. Meera has long conquered the footstool and is now working on the kitchen table. Heaven help us.
So here is a list of things my dachshunds never made me think about, but that Meera sends through my mind on a daily basis.
1. If she stands on her back legs, she can reach things on top of the kitchen table. Soon she’ll probably be able to just eat at the table.
2. She doesn’t have to jump against the bed to wake me up in the morning; she just sticks her nose into my face, since she’s as tall as the bed anyway.
3. One rawhide bone typically lasts about two days.
4. She can get stuck under the bed and sometimes requires help to get out.
5. I can’t pick her up easily anymore, which makes doing things she doesn’t like, like climbing into cars, rather difficult.
6. I have to check the kitchen counters (still thankfully higher than the table) before I leave to make sure there’s nothing out that she might like to try jumping for.
7. She’s grown out of sleeping on a little rug in the floor and has now claimed the futon as her personal bed. (She takes up half of it.)
8. She has graduated from shredding the husk off coconuts and can now break them open and scatter the pieces to the ends of the earth.
9. I only remember one person (coughAnnaLisecough) ever being afraid of Susie, whereas I get frequent requests from visitors and maintenance people to “put the dog away before I come in.”
10. She will one day take up the entire backseat of our car, rather than just the front floorboard.
But, despite all these things and regardless of the way my family feels about her inevitable size, I love every big-dog inch of her. It’s just a learning process to go from ankle-size to waist-size.
Oh, and she has developed some sort of vendetta against paper products. Writing paper, paper towels, Kleenexes – it doesn’t matter, it must die. When she knocks over the garbage can (thankfully still the small ones in our room and not the big one in the kitchen) she leaves everything where it falls except paper. That she shreds into thousands of tiny pieces and scatters throughout the house so that they can’t magically reassemble. Who knows? Goofy dog.