The dog days of summer start early for us

It’s not August, or summer yet, but our dog days (and nights) are here. We spend a lot of time playing with, talking about, watching, and walking the dogs. Our dogs consume our days. And it’s pretty darn nice and stress-reducing – most of the time.

Yellow Labrador on a hammock

We’re going to dog training classes. We have Nylabones in most rooms of our house, which, by the way, make for a heart-racing experience when you step on one on a wood floor. Like stepping on an ice cube. Surprise, you almost broke your backside because of a plastic dog bone.

We continually summon each other to see something new the pup is doing: “She’s yawning. Come look everybody. Bring the video camera.” 

And I’m tired everyday.

Cali has been doing great sleeping in her kennel through the night. But when the sun comes up, she comes up. I wake up on my dog couch with our yellow lab sleeping on my legs and two little brown eyes staring at me from the kennel. Out Cali goes to the backyard, sky barely awake itself. Then I try to go back to sleep for an hour. I try.

It’s amazing how important that last hour of sleep is to staying awake the rest of the day. No wonder I haven’t been blogging. I’m exhausted at night.

Cali is a bit of a conundrum. She’s shy with new people and dogs, but in the house her confidence grows each day and she’s become quite the playful pup. The trainer said she’ll become the dominant dog to our older dog. My wife and I were skeptical until this morning.

I walked into the kitchen while my wife was trying to explain a “neverbeforeseenact” of dog behavior – humping – to my daughter. But without using the word “humping.” As in, “Cali is humping the living daylights out of Luna.” Or, “humped,” as in, “Luna is being humped by Cali.” It was like watching a game of Password where you can’t say the word and have to dance around it.

Our unpredictable troublemaker

“So, you mean she’s riding her, Mommy?” Clever Mommy. Glad I missed the beginning of this conversation.

“Yes,” my wife said.

“She’s riding her like a cowgirl,” my daughter added.

Apply Parental Strategy #101-294-44B: Don’t say a word. Don’t laugh. Zip it. Yawn. Act like nothing important is happening. Continue with your daily tasks. 

And we did. And it worked.

My wife and I gave each other knowing looks of “that was close and awkward.”

I’m not looking forward to the day when my daughter comes home from school and tells us the more accurate word. It’s a shame kids and puppies have to grow up. They both peak at their maximum cuteness level when they’re young. At least dogs become less work when they get older. 9 year-old girls? Clearly, the opposite.

10 thoughts on “The dog days of summer start early for us

  1. I’m so glad the dogs are lighting up your days! Although we are a dog-owner, Maggie is an 11-ish year old mutt that is extremely low maintenance. I truly can’t imagine the love it takes to let out the dogs before the sun is really out … I mean that time of day is hard enough to be motivated to get up for even something as precious as a hungry newborn. I applaud your dog love/dedication.

    And I laughed aloud at the humping explanation to your daughter – I really wouldn’t even know where to start with that one! Um, they are being friends by ‘hugging’?!?

    Try to get some sleep tonight, okay?

    CF wife

    • Hello, Liz,

      Nice to hear from you. I’m not sure it’s love that gets me up as much as it is the whining and worry she’ll pee or poo in her crate, which I’d have to address right away. Getting up is like an insurance policy to protect against bad things happening. And I am tired each night.

      I’m glad my wife was leading the humping discussion. Had I been, my daughter would probably know the word “humping” now. Don’t all friends hump? Friends with benefits?

      I will do my best to get some sleep.

      Best to you and Chris.


  2. Raising a pup is definitely hard work! We forgot about the sleepless nights. It has taken a while, but we are finally getting to where we only get up once and then Miss Stella usually will go back to sleep for a short while longer. Even after rediscovering the hard work involved in raising a pup, I would not trade it for the world. Just remember, like with our children, one day you will be looking back at these puppy days and wondering just where did they go so quickly. That, and find a good pillow to hide under in the meantime. : )

    • Just Ramblin,

      I agree with you that the puppy stage is very nice – and goes by quickly. I’m feeling pretty tired getting six hours of sleep each night. I do enjoy when they grow up and get in the groove with the family and become more low maintenance. But then no one will notice her at PetSmart and her rockstar days will be over, which is a little sad.

      Thanks for the visit and comment.


      • Those “rockstar” days are pretty cool. : )
        I just wanted to let you know that you are a Genuine Blogger. Celebrate your blog, as it is comes across to the reader as heartfelt and genuine. There are no rules with this honor. Accept it and relish in the thought that your blog is “award worthy” without having any strings attached. It is an award that I hope allows recipients to know that their work is appreciated, valued, and noteworthy by a fellow blogger and it does not have the pressure of “rules and requirements” to follow. Receive and value it for the gift and honor in which it is intended. If you choose to give this award to a deserving fellow blogger, please do so with no “rules.” Award it to someone for his or her genuineness in blogging. Free and clear. Here is the post that explains the reasoning behind this award: . Here is your “badge/button” for you to grab your Genuine Blogger Award to post in your sidebar if you would like.

        Just Ramblin’

      • Just Ramblin’,

        I really appreciate the award and more importantly the thought behind it. I probably should have some “rules” to follow but I don’t. And I have a feeling I won’t be winning any other awards. I keep the blog pretty low key and have enough good friends online to make me happy, including my newest who owns a big fluffy newfie.

        Thank you for recognizing my efforts here, though I’ve been lazy of late playing with Cali and Luna and reading summer books.

        Best wishes to you, the family and Miss Stella. I know all will go well tomorrow. We’ll be taking Cali in soon for the same procedure.


  3. Sorry youre tired. Glad that Cali is coming along nicely for you and your family. Caitlin learned about sexual and asexual reproduction this year in science class…..she was 10. They didnt go into great detail with them, but my daughter is inquisitive and draws lines that perhaps shouldnt be drawn quite yet. It was not fun. Hope your little one accepts your answers for a VERY LONG time. much love ~j

    • Juli,

      I’ve been wondering what’s up with you. Glad to see you surface here. Thanks for the advice on the 10th year. This transition from 3rd to 4th grade is going to be a tough one. She wants to be a big girl, but really isn’t yet. She’s very emotional. I’m sure the science of reproduction will be an interesting conversation at this age. I’m let Mommy handle it.

      Hope all three of you are having fun this summer, and I it’s warmer in LA than L.A. I’m freezing here.


  4. Humping = confidence! Sadie humps the living daylights our of any dog that she feels needs to be put in it’s place. Like Seymour. Or anything resembling a basset (like a beagle). Hope you don’t have to go into any more depth explaining this action to your daughter. As a kid, the first time I saw this was when our male fox terrier grabbed onto a neighbor boy’s leg and started “dancing” with him. My brother and I thought it was cute. Took me 5-10 more years before I realized what he was actually doing.

    • Dr. Nanos,

      Confidence, huh? Interesting. I hadn’t thought of it that way. I was thinking more of dominance or something sexual. I have put any future conversations about the topic out of my mind. I will have my daughter call you for the scientific explanation of being “full of confidence.” 🙂


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