Chiweenies and Teenagers

I wrote a post yesterday that was pretty good, but I worried that it would send an unintended hurtful message to some readers, so I’m going to think more on it. See, I actually do have a filter! Sometimes. I really do care about people’s feelings, and if at all possible, I want to say what I have to say without causing pain.

Yesterday I was frantically searching the internet for everything I could find about dogs and chocolate poisoning. Pepper got into a package of Swiss chocolate cake rolls and threw our chaotic home into a whirlwind of phone calls, internet searches, and panic. Half a package of cake rolls, a $65 pet poison hotline call, and a good night’s sleep later, and Pepper is none the worse for wear. She only weighed in Tuesday at 2.5 pounds, so we have to be super careful about what she eats. It wouldn’t take much to kill her.

This is Pepper this morning eating dog food mixed with tuna. Much better than Swiss Rolls…….

As I was searching, I came across an article with a fearsome dog with hackles razed, barely contained by a muzzle. It was a jarring image with the title, Ten Most Aggressive Dog Breeds; ten meanest dogs. I clicked on the link and was surprised to see number one on the list was……the Chihuahua. Yes, the smallest dog in the world is, according to this article, the meanest, most aggressive, most dangerous dog in the world. I can only assume that size is not considered a factor because I hardly think an eight pound chihuahua is as dangerous as a 70 pound Doberman Pinscher. Still, the article gave me a moment’s pause. Consider the picture they have. If looks could kill!

I thought when I adopted Pepper that was was getting a sweet, calm, docile animal. She was. But now she is growing up, and she is finding her mean Chihuahua side. Seriously, I have probably twenty tiny puncture marks on my hands where she has bitten them. Some of this biting is typical puppy teething, but sometimes it isn’t. I get the distinct impression that this dog wants to be large and in charge. She has a thirst to dominate me.

For anyone who is concerned that I have a three year old at home with this fearsome beast, let me put your mind at ease. She bites me and Wesley mostly. Wesley is nine, and although this is not cool, he is not in danger. Austin and Pepper have a strange relationship. Austin loves Pepper. Pepper fulfills the need of all little people to find something smaller than them to boss incessantly. Austin is constantly issuing commands to Pepper, and when she does not obey, Austin picks her up under her front paws with her back legs hanging pathetically. It is usually at this moment that she turns her liquid black eyes on me silently pleading with me to take her away from her tormentor. Still, she does not bite or act aggressively toward him. I’m not sure why this is. Sometimes she has had enough from him and she will growl at him. At those times I tell him to back off. Austin is not the slightest bit frightened of her. Maybe that is why she doesn’t bite him. She senses no fear in him. Anyway, she is wise not to hurt my baby…..that would not end well.

Back to the aggressive dog list. Number two on the list is…..the Daschund. So, as some of you know, Pepper is a mix of uncertain parentage, but she is mostly a Chihuahua/Daschund mix. So yeah. I have the most aggressive, dangerous dog in the neighborhood. Don’t mess with me!!

She is a natural hunter. She has hunted down and killed probably close to ten June bugs on the back patio. She loves it when she finds the occasional mosquito eater that floats into the house. Insects fear her. Beware the tiny dog!

We are settling into our role as a puppy family. She is very good at following her sit command. She can sit, stay, jump and do combinations of those things, but we have had a few struggles which might warrant a round of dog training classes at Petco. With such a dangerous and aggressive dog breed, we can’t be too careful. I might have to get a ferret sized muzzle…… With animals living in the house that want to rule the roost, parenting can be difficult. Which brings me to my teenager.

He decided some time ago that it wasn’t worth it to do his chores which he earns a modest allowance for. His room became so messy, I couldn’t walk around in it. That’s a problem for me, because his room is also Austin’s room. Eventually I cleaned it for him, thinking that perhaps he just needed a fresh start. Nope. It is getting to be just as bad as it was before.

Eventually, Ben and I realized that this situation could not continue. We started issuing consequences. Every morning Ben gives the boys a ride to school. Now those rides are conditional on whether or not chores were completed the day before. Our other boys have responded well, buckled down and started doing their chores. Our oldest has procrastinated, whined, made excuses, and moped. It is now two hours into school, and he still hasn’t left the house. This is the second day this week that he has pulled this crap. When he asked me this morning if I would take him to school if he got his chores done, I told him I would drive him to Coal Creek, which is on my way to the preschool, and that he would have to walk from there. “What motivation do I have to do my chores then?”

I thought for a second and then answered, “That’s actually a very good question. What is your motivation? What kind of person do you want to be? Someone who respects your mother and completes his responsibilities? That is the question you need ask yourself.”

Between the dog, the toddler, and the teenager, I have a lot of things draining my energy. Good news is, I’m handling it. I’ve been painting a lot; portraits mostly, but also some flowers. Everyone is alive. Hopefully everyone is learning and growing to become the creatures God created us to be. Whether that is the most aggressive, dangerous, tiny dog on the planet, or the most stubborn teenager ever, or the strongest, wisest Mom on Crystal Brook Ct.

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