Thursday, December 19, 2013
Pushover, Thy Name is Anna
When the kids were little, we told them that if they asked one of us for something, didn't get the answer they wanted, and then tried to go to the other parent, the answer would always be NO. Tim and I didn't always agree, but we agreed to back each other up. This helped keep the good cop/bad cop dynamic out of our relationship with the kids. And we were consistent with a NO BADGERING rule, too. Badgering = Not a chance.
Then we got Shadow.
From early on, it has been clear Shadow loves Tim best. He is her Alpha. We tested this theory a few times by each taking a piece of dog food, and scattering to hide in four different areas of the house. We would make little noises and see whom she would find first. Always, always Tim. Her fave.
Tim is firm with Shadow, and she adores and respects him. Me? Not so much. Shadow does not give me the time of day unless she wants something. I'm like the indulgent grandma who has taken things too far. And what does Shadow want? Food. Always food. If Tim and I are both home when she wants to eat, suddenly I become Miss Popular. She comes to find me because she knows I will break down and feed her earlier than Mr.Scheduled. In an instant, I become the most fabulous, adored pet Mom in the entire world.
Things have gotten out of hand since I started working from home a few months ago. Shadow starts jonesing for her evening meal around noon. Noon! I try to lay low and keep my motions to a minimum, because any trip to the bathroom or the fridge seems to awaken her desire for dinner.
In the past, I would get home from work and school pickup around 3:30. That seemed at least in the dinner-zone, so I would indulge her. After all, she'd been shut up in the house all day, and I felt sorry for her.
But now we are home together all day, and I know what to expect. First she gets off her dog bed, which is next to my desk. Then she stands next to me, looking so cute with her big amber eyes. Then she starts to talk, "Mwwoorrarooar. "Which I guess means 'food.'
I talk back.
I am firm: "No!" "Go sit down!" I reason with her: "If I feed you now, it's going to be a looooooong time before breakfast tomorrow! You'll regret it." But if I don't hop up immediately to feed her, she starts to bark, and bark, and bark.
And I break down.
I know it's kind of embarrassing that I don't let children badger me into things, but more often than not, I give in to Shadow. I tried earplugs. Bark. Bark. Bark. I tried putting her outside. Bark. Bark. Bark. Bark. Bark. I tried conducting my life from a table at Panera to avoid the whole issue.
The earliest I've given in was at 1 pm, okay maybe 12:55 during a conference call, when one of the other participants suggested I perhaps should go take care of my dog. Bark. Bark. Bark.
I know I'm teaching Shadow that I'm a pushover. "That Lady in the slippers gives me food when I bark! Yay! Let me not slacken in my barking! My barking works! Best barker ever!"
I'm hoping with Tim home more over Christmas break, we can get Shadow back on her old routine.
If not, I could always do what my sister, who is the dog-Mom of Shadow's sister does, hide in the car checking Facebook until she reaches a respectable feeding time.