Life With Pike

About nine months ago, while sitting on a blow-up mattress in our new (and bare) Seattle studio apartment, me and Sean began talking about all the things we were excited about doing. The number one on both of our lists was to finally get a dog. I have always been fond of big dogs because most of my upbringing was spent around bigger dogs. I adore their awkward size and the clumsiness that comes with it. I felt safer with a bigger dog and would always feel comforted whenever I laid next to one, like Roman, my mom’s German Shephard.

Soon after that night, me and Sean decided to find the biggest dog possible that would also be fun to take on hikes with us. One evening while walking home I noticed a young girl struggling to cross the street while her dog was trying to pull the leash from her hand. The dog was huge and had the most beautiful black, brown and white coat. He looked so happy and playful and I fell instantly in love. I looked at Sean and pointed “that’s our dog.”

Almost four months and a rough Friday morning later… I am now asking myself why did we decide to get a dog again?

Pike is almost 15 weeks and close to weighing 40 lbs. That’s 40 lbs. I carry down three flights of stairs about three times a day because he struggles with going up and down stairs still. Let me just mention that it’s just our staircase he has problems with and has no issues with other staircases. In fact, we are fortunate enough to live on a street where almost every apartment building has a staircase leading up to the main door in which Pike loves to climb. Two to three steps and then we have pick him up and carry him back down. My arms haven’t stopped shaking and my biceps are huge.

Mornings have become strategic. One thing I have always looked forward to doing with Pike was taking him for early morning walks. I wanted to make sure he had a little exercise before being left for the day so he could rest and sleep. Today, for example, was a perfect morning to start with some fresh air, light walking and a little pike and me bonding.

First the harness needs to get over his head…. I’ll use a cookie to distract him and do it as quickly as possible. Next the leash, give him the other half of the cookie so he won’t jump up and grab the leash from my hand. Okay everything is on and we’re walking… to the door… to the staircase… down the stairs… and more stairs… stairs again… out the door and down he goes.

We make it about 10 feet before he falls down to the ground and sits staring at me.

Not again Pike… this tends to happen when he’s realized Sean is missing from heading into work earlier than I do. I tried to bribe him with a cookie and sing “let’s go” in three different variations. Nothing. Next I tried the cheese because he cannot resist a little bit of string cheese and it works… for about two more feet before sitting down again. Next what happens is a little tugging, some in place dancing /jogging and Pike is exactly where the walk started.

Since Pike has arrived things have definitely changed for me. I shower less or most of the time I time my showers to make sure I can finish in under ten minutes before all the couch pillows are on the floor. Baby gates are the perfect barriers to stop intense puppy licking after putting coconut oil on my legs and arms. “Leave it,” “sit” and “stay” have become the most important words in my life along with “go potty.” Believe me when I say that your entire day can depend on whether or not you remembered to say “go potty” at least twenty times.

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and so it is Pike’s. In fact, he loves it so much he celebrates it every morning with a daily humping. My morning wouldn’t be complete unless he grabs onto my leg and humps away until I am literally out the door for work. I take it as a sign of love and appreciation. I assume he is just thanking me for the wonderful bowl of food he just devoured, although sometimes it does feel a little clingy. I mean sometimes it would be nice to not get humped on at 6 AM, but a girl can dream.

Here are some other things you should know about Pike. His favorite game is tearing and shredding potty pads and then peeing all over them. Before he poops he will chase his tail, bark and then jump around before finding that sweet spot. At 15 weeks, he can almost already pull me over when another dog walks by and at fully grown he’ll weigh around 130 lbs. Pike likes to sleep under the bed or couch but is fast approaching to being stuck since he is getting bigger every day. He has figured out how timeout works and is now harder to bribe with cheese (his absolute favorite snack). He pees and poops in the middle of puppy classes while other dogs never do. He also likes to poop in the middle of busy intersections while the countdown begins for pedestrians to finish crossing. Why did we get a dog again?

Don’t misunderstand this post and think I am just complaining to complain because I am not. Me and Sean knew exactly what we were getting into but you’re never prepared enough for how hard it would be. I was also never prepared for how much I would love Pike and how I couldn’t possibly imagine him not being around. I couldn’t imagine not having moments when he’s is half asleep and climbing into your lap to lay down for a cuddle. How happy he looks when he’s outside walking in the sun with both me and Sean on either side of him. How when everyone who passes him truly adores him and tells me how much better their day just got because Pike walked by them.

He is truly the most wonderful, biggest pain in the ass, cuddliest and noisiest puppy who is constantly teaching me to be more patient. I now despise people when they say “it’s just a dog” because they really don’t understand the commitment it takes. To be responsible for this helpless, living creature takes a lot of you if you really want to do things right. We’re better with him than we were without him and I wouldn’t change a thing.