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February 12, 2014

My Pet Parent Mistakes? How Much Time Do You Have?

Eko’s birthday is next week and it has me thinking about our past three years together.  Of course I remember all the joys and adventures, but I also am reminded of all of the ridiculous mistakes and dumb things I’ve done as a pet-parent. The nice part about

Eko’s birthday is next week and it has me thinking about our past three years together.  Of course I remember all the joys and adventures, but I also am reminded of all of the ridiculous mistakes and dumb things I’ve done as a pet-parent.

The nice part about this blog is that I get to post the fun highlights of my life with Eko, but I think it’s only fair to shame myself for some lapses in judgment.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, dog blog, adventure, pet-friendly

1. Underestimating the escape artist  mistakes(Part 1) – While crate training Eko I misplaced the divider for his crate while moving it between houses.  I planned to pick up the divider the next day, but in the interim decided to use 2X4s to segment the crate.  I was pretty pleased with myself.

Until the middle of the night when Eko knocked two of the dividers away and then managed to get his butt stuck between the other two and I awoke to his yelps. I immediately saw how dumb my plan had been, I just wish I had seen it beforehand!

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, dog blog, adventure, pet-friendly

2. Underestimating the escape artist mistakes (Part 2) – From the beginning, Eko always came everywhere with me.  In the above photo I practiced getting him comfortable in the backseat of my stationary car.  Again, I thought I was a training genius. Eko quickly relieved me of that delusion.

One day, I parked my car in the bank parking lot, unhooked Eko’s seat belt and headed to the ATM outside of the bank.  My car was in my view the whole time.  However, between the time I opened my door and turned the car off, Eko put his paw and rolled down the back window all the way.  I was terrified when from the ATM I saw Eko hop out my back window.  Luckily the parking lot was mostly empty and a young woman quickly picked him up as I sprinted over.  This was the scariest moment of Eko’s puppyhood, he easily could have gotten hurt.  I’m very lucky Eko was unhurt and from that point on I was always doubly conscious of his safety.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, dog blog, adventure, pet-friendly

3. The “I didn’t think this all the way through” mistakes – When you have a pet, you often have to think for them and plan on their behalf.  Over the years I have gotten much better at thinking through my plans from Eko’s perspective to make sure incidents like the photo above don’t happen.

Stepping on an escalator was easy for Eko, but I clearly did not think about how he would have no idea how to step off. Eko retreated down the steps for a few bounds but eventually gave up and pulled a backwards jump to extricate himself.  The incident was a minor discomfort for Eko but it has stayed with me as a reminder to consider details ahead of time.

4. The happy mistakes – Luckily not all mistakes are scary or bad. For instance, I was mistaken when I thought I could put my feet under the desk at this hotel.  I should have known Eko always gets the sunny spots, no mater where they are.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, dog blog, adventure, pet-friendly

5. The “that guy” mistakes – No one wants to be “that guy” but unfortunately I have had a few “that guy” mistakes I need to own up to.  I was that guy who visited the dog park with lots of tasty treats in my bag that distracted all the dogs.  Not only that, I put the bag down!  Thankfully I had adventurous pups quickly show me the error of my ways

Rhodesian Ridgeback, marking our territory, dog blog, adventure, pet-friendly

6. Random “Acts of dog” mistakes – Many insurance policies specifically exclude “acts of god” like natural disasters from their coverage.  Similarly there are some “acts of dog” which seem impossible to avoid.  I guess a dog has to try everything once and Eko once decided to try a taste of money.  Similarly, there was the one time he chewed through an unplugged power cord or gnawed on the couch corner.  He only ever did each of these things once so they were impossible to predict or prepare for

Mistakes, mishaps and misadventures are inevitable in life, especially when that life involves pets.  What’s most important is we learn and grow from those mistakes. Thankfully Eko is a forgiving and patient teacher who has taught me a whole lot!

Comments for My Pet Parent Mistakes? How Much Time Do You Have?

  1. Victoria says:

    Lets see – power cords, slippers, socks, dryer sheets and kleenexes – all mistakes to leave around my pups – especially kleenexes – i have no idea why muffin finds them so tasty but she sure does. And Rigs, well he likes to eat the bills that come in the mail – only those that i don’t like to pay – things that i get billed for once a year -like taxes, Sheriff and Ambulance fees – now all of my Berkeley county (WV) offices know that my dogs eats their bills -its every year. I suspect they soak the bills in beef or chicken broth and then let them dry and put them in the mail but they haven’t owned up to it yet.

  2. you made me feel somewhat better but trust me, I have made waaaay more mistakes than you have!

  3. Casey says:

    This was great 🙂 I tend think that any mistakes my dog, Audi, makes are probably completely preventable if I would take the proper precautions…but I can’t plan for everything. I had a similar “I didn’t think this all the way through” moment when I tried to walk her over grated pedestrian overpass and she freeeaaaaked out, slipped out of her collar and took off. Then I freeeeaaaked out trying to get her back before something terrible could happen. Thankfully, she came back and we continued to the next street-level crosswalk.

  4. Ah yes, the lessons of parenthood – it seems not to matter what we are raising, the out-takes are many and varied and the chilling moments of ‘what if ‘ are there too. The common denominator of all good parents is that they learn 🙂 Add points for outing yourself and sharing those moments. I did chuckle over the elevator one though – I had just that experience with my own child!! 🙂

  5. Emma says:

    Mom says she doesn’t have enough space on her blog to write down all the mistakes she has made, but overall, she does a decent job and we all learn each time a mistake is made 🙂 That would be scary having Eko jump out the window. Katie jumped out of the back of the Beetle convertible when she saw her friend. Luckily Mom was driving slow and the seat belt kept Katie hanging on the side of the car, off the street.

  6. eldogerino says:

    Great post!! Definitely make us think of all mistakes we did and believe me rising three dogs the same age at the same time … there is platy space for mistakes !! We can not even remember how many stupid decisions we been taken in the beginning thinking that is best for them.It is so true what you are saying that we learn from our mistakes and that definitely make as grow as better humans.

  7. It’s true, Will. Us doggies are very patient and forgiving and also resilient and helpful and open-minded.

    Love and licks,
    Cupcake

  8. They are not mistakes if you learn from them. Simply bumps in the road! One of my “bumps” was not realizing guinea pigs could jump, let alone how high. When Bingo jumped out of his run in the garden and legged it towards the lavender I was so afraid. He was a little troublemaker and taught me so many things. Like a run with a lid is required for garden time!

    ~ Amy

  9. Elyse says:

    No matter how many dogs one has during our lifetime, there will always be different mistakes for each pooch. But no matter how stupid we are, the love us anyway.. As we start lookin for our next best friend, I am reminded that a new dog will keep me from becoming egotistical. Because I will do stupid things with him/her. Sigh.

  10. Jura says:

    Another great (and funny) post. Again I feel some of our mistakes with Tala have been even more extreme… As a puppy my husband left a month’s salary out for our cleaner in Sudan – as only a tiny 3 month old Tala managed to get the whole wad off the table then tear around the garden ripping it to shreds – I think about 30 dollars worth was rendered unsalvageable. Later when she was about 6 months old we were walking along the Nile and two stray dogs ran at us. She reversed and slipped out of her collar (lesson learned always wear a harness as her head is narrower than her neck!) but it got worse as although she initially tried to come back the dogs were still around so she then tore off and ran 2k down 4 lane Nile Avenue crossed the 4 lanes dashed into the University and ran to the top of the roof (6 floor, unshaded and over 110 degrees). Of course I didn’t see any of this as she was so far ahead so we then spent the next 4 hours looking for her and after two hours we printed a flyer – luckily a daydreaming engineering student had seen a dog on the roof of the building opposite ours and and alerted us. If we hadn’t made the fliers and she hadn’t been so helpful I don’t know what would have happened. Needless to say she was very happy to see us and unharmed apart from a little dehydrated. Somehow it all ended up in the papers in arabic with the story being ‘foreigners lose their spoiled dog – 1 million dollar reward (we had just said ‘reward’) Of course we then thought that her kidnap value had sky rocketed!….

  11. I say instead of thinking of them as mistakes, think of them as learning opportunities 🙂

  12. To his last day, we could never trust Cody to not explore anything that had touched food at some point. Including the garbage can. We couldn’t even keep it in a cabinet or the oven. Yes, you read that correctly. Oven.

    One night, he also decided to pre rinse the dishes by standing on the dishwasher door. He was about the size of Eko. (This was in his final months.)

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