Puppy problems return to our home

Yep… my dog is “special.”

Dog, what are you even doing?

“Dog, what are you even doing?”

“Mom… what is this?”

“It’s a puppy! His name is Doug.”

And that’s how I was introduced to the newest member of the Vinel family. I came home from Yearbook Club  a few weeks ago, only to find a dog waiting for me at the door.

I had been telling my family for several years now that I didn’t want a dog and that I think my parents should just wait until I head off to college to get one. But that’s a story for another time, my mom had other ideas.

Found by my cousin’s friend, this particular dog was spotted running alone on the banks of the Ohio River, gaunt and covered in mud. No tags, no chip, no records of this dog even existing. She took the dog home, and that’s apparently when my mom received a phone call.

“Suzanne, we have the perfect dog for you,” my aunt proudly declared.

We agreed to let the dog stay at our house for the weekend while we put in calls to different rescue shelters and adoption agencies. No return calls ever came.

Once I realized we were actually keeping the dog, we got to officially name him because Doug didn’t seem to fit. My mom and cousins had been trying different names all day and the only thing he responded to was Murphy. That fit like a glove. So we adopted him and he became Murphy Douglas Vinel.

Now don’t get me wrong, this dog is the cutest thing you’ll ever see, but he’s crazy with a capital C. Maybe the correct term is “special?”

Murph after a long day of playing.

He’s a golden doodle, so he’s not a super small dog. At only five months old, he weighs 30 pounds and is projected to be upwards of 50. However, Murphy thinks he’s five pounds. He thinks he can fit through tiny spaces that he really can’t, like behind the couch, and proceeds to get stuck. He also spends more than 30 minutes a day chasing and biting his own tail. He tries to drink rain as it’s falling from the sky, sits in laundry baskets, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Part of his problem is he can’t see. Since he was a stray, we don’t know which vaccinations he has already received, if any. Therefore, we have to get all of his shots (several months’ worth) before he can get a haircut. The hair around his eyes blocks his vision most of the time so he just runs right into things. He literally just walked right into the side of my car, which had been sitting there for the entire day prior. Then he confusedly looked at it like it had wronged him.

Training a puppy has been an interesting ride to say the least. The last puppy my family had was trained in the months before I was born, so I didn’t have to experience that. I didn’t think it would be so much work.

Murph is actually a decent dog. He sits when told to, has significantly cut down on biting while playing, and is now adequately bell-trained.

Potty training was difficult at first. He didn’t get the whole “ring the bell” concept to go outside right away, so my family had to clean up more than a few accidents in the house. We still have to take him out quite frequently, even when he doesn’t ring his bell, just to make sure he’s good to go.

But the worst though is the chewing. His teeth are currently coming in, so he chews on everything. He likes to shred shoes, tennis balls, toys, couches, blankets, clothes (especially socks), and his personal favorite, my backpack. We try to give him toys or ice to chew on, but he can’t quite keep himself from the backpack.

Even though he’s getting used to the daily routine of our family, we still have to constantly watch the puppy to keep him out of trouble. This peeves me a little bit, because following him around until my parents get home from work interrupts with my after school napping schedule.

The sad part about this is, even with his training mishaps, he’s already my parents’ favorite “child.” Do I get a hello when they get home? Yes, but after they proceed to greet and play with the dog for five minutes. He’s spoiled. I can only roll my eyes at this. Hey, I don’t pee on the carpet. But that somehow endears him to them. If someone would like to explain this favoritism to me, feel free.

Honestly, having a dog again is fun. It’s fun to come home to a furry friend that eagerly wags his tail upon your arrival. Playing ball with him or chasing him around keeps me entertained as well.  Overall, he’s a good puppy.

Note to Murphy: we’ll continue to get along just fine as long as you stay off my damn backpack.