So this week I became a first-time dog mom. I have always been a cat mom before so this is somewhat new territory. Your average cat comes home with you; you show it the litter box, the cat food dish, and the water dish. The cat proceeds to howl or ignore you. Or to howl and ignore you until the cat has punished you for being kind enough to take it in. Then it sets about making you it’s servant for life. Dogs are different. They are like toddlers cute, independent, needy, and lost in their new home. Little changes throw off their routine and like small children routine equals security. This week as I was walking Baxter I received my first unsolicited dog mom advice it was an interesting experience on two levels. First it gave me a faint glimmer of what it is like to receive unsolicited parenting advice from comparative strangers and second it wound up being a little funny.
It started out innocently enough; I was walking Baxter and encountered one of our neighbors at the corner of her yard. She came out to greet my new dog and introduce her tiny bit of nothing dog. I asked her an honest question, she answered. Then the tiny bit of nothing came over and my puppy tried to get a closer look at it. She scooped her dog up and informed me I was walking my dog wrong. I responded that Baxter was new to a leash and he was doing better every day. Baxter began to be bored and fidgety so I gave him an animal cracker from my pocket. You would have thought I’d given him chocolate the way she carried on! How much was I feeding him? I should stick to his diet! I wondered to myself, “What diet?” How many times a day was I feeding him? In the meanwhile her husband had sauntered over and like the good ole Texas boy he is he slid in with, “Like you stick to their diets?” I have a system she declared, like a gambler who doesn't have a problem, “When I make a sandwich for me I make a half a one for them and cut it into pieces.” Then she changed the subject….