Chance is my 6 year old Boxer, also known as "The Chancellor" or "Chancey Pants" and sometimes things like "Ya Big Goofball." Sometimes I think he is really good practice for when I have kids. He can be whiny and he follows me around everywhere. And when I say everywhere, I mean from the bedroom to the living room and back to the bedroom and back to the living room as I put folded clothes away or put sheets back on the bed or wander in to get a book. Sometimes it gets on my nerves and I tell him to sit and stay while I walk back and forth, but most of the time I just let my furry shadow follow me around. I've purposefully walked circles around the kitchen for no reason, just to see if he would catch on. He usually does eventually, but only when I start laughing and then it becomes a game of one of us chasing the other.
He even follows me into the bathroom and I've often laughed with Jason about how convenient it is that our bathroom is spacious because we are often all three in it at the same time. Chance usually takes up the entire bathmat so I am standing on a tiny edge or on the cold tile. In the winter I make him move because I am not standing on cold tile. No matter what I am doing in the bathroom, he comes with me. To me, there are times when you might not want to join someone in the bathroom, but Chance's love knows no bounds.
Last year Jason and I redid our two guest bedrooms. We put down new carpet and painted the walls. We don't have carpet in any other room in our house, and since I wanted my kids and guests to be able to hang in a dog-free zone, I gated off that portion, so Chance can only hang out in the living room/kitchen/laundry/master bedroom area. Now that my study is in the front room (I call it the ballroom because it is one big useless room that I've divided up into a sitting area/study), he can see me from his gate and he sits there and whines until I tell him to stop. Then he sighs and goes to lie under the kitchen table or look out his window. Sometimes he lays directly behind the gate. Either way, he is very close and I'm not sure why that isn't enough. I guess because we aren't touching.
In truth, I think dogs are a pain. I'm just going to be real. BUT, I also believe if I am going to have one, I should give him love and attention, and as much as possible, he should be with us. Most of the time I also think Chance is worth all the work pets require. It means regular vacuuming (I do it once a week, but two times would be even better) and wiping slobber off the walls occasionally when he drinks and then shakes his head. He is not allowed on furniture or beds, so that helps minimize the cleanup. He doesn't destroy anything except his own bed when left alone with it too long (makes absolutely NO sense to me), and he has never had an accident in the house. I also like that he's in the house, roaming around and looking out his window so that any possible intruders would think twice before picking this house to visit.
He's usually a big love and I've only seen him aggressive once. It was when we were in Nashville and he was in the back of the 4Runner. A homeless man approached the car, Jason shook his head that we had nothing to give, but he kept circling as we sat at a red light. I became nervous and Chance sensed this, I guess, because he stood up looked out the window and let out a growl I'd never heard before. The hair on his back stood up and I was all of a sudden more interested in my dog than the man outside. I was surprised and pleased to see that response. Lord willing, there will never be a need to see it again, but I'm glad it is there just in case.
I think Chance sensed when I became pregnant because, for a brief time, he reverted back to some of his old ways. He ate his bed, wouldn't come in when we called him from the back yard, dug a hole, and basically got put back on lock down until I felt him cured enough to once again earn his freedom to come and go unsupervised. I increased the attention I gave him and started taking him on walks more regularly as well. Things improved, but I've been very curious to see what he will do when Eloise is actually here.
I'm not really worried because he is so good with people and kids. We've taken him to Trunk-or-Treat at my church the past few years where there is an endless stream of kids who squeal, pet him, touch his ears, stick their hands in his mouth, hug him, and all the while he sits there wagging his tail, loving every minute. I plan to take him on walks with us when Eloise can get out in the stroller, and teach him how to be around her. He has a habit of sometimes putting his paw on me or Jason, and we have begun to enforce more strongly the fact that paws are not allowed. It is a big paw, so not fit for a tiny person.
And hopefully we don't have long to wait for this tiny person! I am 36 weeks pregnant TODAY! And let me just say, I am ready for her to be here. At first it was just because I was so excited to see and have her, but now that feeling is also being mixed with the one all pregnant women feel at this point... I am tired of being pregnant! This week has been a bit more challenging as tiredness sets in so easily each day, my big belly seems to be in the way all the time, my back has finally caught up with my pregnancy and has begun aching more frequently, I can't find anything cute to wear other than Jason's t-shirts and my khaki maternity shorts (which on a cuteness scale are probably quite low) and I am ready to eat and drink a normal amount without feeling like I can't breathe. It has still been a smooth ride and for that I am SO grateful, but I am definitely to the point of being ready.
Until then, however, its just me and Chance hanging out each day, getting ready for Eloise, waiting on furniture and painted book cases... and yeah...maybe we are both whining a little too.