I’m a hostage in my own home. There, I said it.
As much as I love Milo (which is a lot, considering I only know him a week and a half) my life has changed drastically since he bounded into it, pissing and pooping as he went. His bowels dictate my schedule from when I first wake up at 6.20am til his final toilet break just before I go to bed. And potty training is hard when you live on the third floor, especially since he shunned the idea of relieving himself on newspaper from day one. Up and down the stairs we go, six to ten times a day, in the cold and rain. Honestly, it has become my full-time job. And of course he doesn’t just go out, pee, and come back in like a good little robot. Every sound and smell along the way has to be investigated. It takes years.
Separation anxiety is something else we’re having to contend with. I think it’s fair to say that when we’re at home, Milo stalks me. If I was Lindsay Lohan he’d be in jail right now. No matter where I am or what I’m doing, his little eyes are trained on my face or my hands, which could contain food. At first I was flattered (he loves me! He really loves me!) but it’s started to affect what I can and can’t do. Mostly what I can’t do, which is anything. For example, I can’t ever be alone. Right now he’s perched on the back of an armchair staring me out of it. He’s fighting sleep in case I make a sudden movement and he misses it. As you can imagine, this means he gets very unhappy when he can’t see me, like when I need to take my own potty break. He’ll sit outside the bathroom door whimpering until I come out and then he’ll go nuts. Sometimes I go nuts myself, inwardly.
Funnily enough though, when we go out for walks he will completely ignore me. It’s like I don’t exist anymore. He’s friendly to the point that if he sees another person, especially if that person is a child, he will do anything to go over and say hello. Luckily, almost everyone stops to pet him (he’s exceptionally cute at the moment. A man shouted that out of a moving car last weekend) but if someone walks or cycles past Milo without bowing down before him, he’ll sit down, stare after them and cry. Cute? Yes. Frustrating? Definitely.
And of course then there’s the chewing. He’s just turned 15 weeks old so he’s teething. I knew this was going to happen, and had prepared myself and the house for it, but nothing is safe, not even my own body parts. Suddenly I’m very aware that all our furniture is being leased by The Massive Multinational Company That Cannot Be Named. So far he’s chewed three holes in the couch and ripped up some of the carpet. And that’s just the stuff we don’t own. Yesterday morning he chewed my BlackBerry to the extent that he actually dialed a number with his teeth. Someone picked up and I have no idea how long he was chatting to them for. I can’t wait until my phone bill comes because you can bet your life it was long distance.
So what am I doing in order to try and make him more normal? Well for one thing, I’ve just ordered a dog crate online. Crates don’t seem to be massive in Ireland but they’re de rigueur in America. Apparently dogs love being in a den and once Milo and his new crate get acquainted he’ll happily stay in there, with the door closed, and allow me to go to the supermarket or pee in peace. Well, that’s the theory anyway. I’m also bringing him to a Puppy Romp at a local dog training school this weekend, which should be fun and educational. He’ll get to play with some other puppies and hopefully learn some manners while he’s there. After that all I can do is hope he’ll grow up fast (but still stay cute, obvs).