I sat down this morning, like I have every morning since the new year began, with ideas swirling around in my head, blog posts begging to be written.

But then my new dog, Abbott, started nibbling on my toes, and then on my robe, and then he needed to be fed, and oh is he sniffing? Oh crap, come here Abbott, let's go outside, let's go potty, let's go play, let's do anything as long as it doesn't sound like urine puddling on my floor.

Puppies don't just chew slippers and socks. They chew up time. Puppyhood is officially kicking my arse.

I don't remember puppies being this time intensive or exhausting before. Of course, I have never raised a giant breed from puppydom before and comparing Abbott the English Mastiff to Nixon the Boston terrier is like comparing apples to parsnips. Useless.

It became clear on day two of puppy ownership that everything I thought I knew about raising dogs was absolutely wrong. I was speaking a language Abbott didn't understand. I'm not kidding when I say adopting Knox was an easier transition than bringing this dog into my home.

That's right. Adopting a non-verbal, quadriplegic, blind, deaf, developmentally delayed kid was easier than bringing an 8 week old Mastiff into the family.

I can see my husband rolling his eyes at me in my imagination, but what would he know? He left for work not more than two hours after walking our dog into the house.

It turns out Abbott is less a dog and more a chicken. I fully expect him to start clucking at any moment. It took me a week, A WEEK, to get this damn dog into the kitchen. Apparently the ghosts of both my dog and my kid dance around the kitchen table and Abbott is all "I SEE DEAD PEOPLE" and then can't hoof it back into his crate fast enough. He practically leaves skid marks on my linoleum in his haste to flee the area.

So now my days are now entirely filled up with coaxing this dog to do things he clearly doesn't want to do and introducing him to people he doesn't want to meet, all in the name of socializing the soon to be 250 pound monster he will grow to be.

My monster dog

Such a fierce monster. 

Just yesterday, some contractors came to work on the Zeppelin Hangar and I noticed one had a beard and the other was a dark haired lanky fella. All I could think was "Fresh meat! They look nothing like us! Abbott needs to meet them!" and suddenly I was the crazy lady wearing a bathrobe while clutching a fist full of ham, running out to demand they "Pet my puppy."

I'm fairly certain the bearded dude thought I was speaking some sort of weird sex talk until he noticed the puppy hiding between my legs.

That's right, Boo. You think you are paying service men to come finish your garage but really, you are just paying random strangers to play with your wife's pet. I can only assure you, it was money well spent.

Yet, as much as I adore Abbott, more than once I have sat down exhausted and defeated. This dog has reminded me of things about myself I'd rather not remember.

Things like how I get bored easily. Repetition drives me insane. I have no patience. I actually fell asleep on the dog bed yesterday as I was working with Abbott.

How I can't stand bologna and yet I reek of it from all the time I spent doling it out to my damn dog.

There's a voice in the back of my head, whispering doubts and fears, as I go along. "He's too much dog for you. You made a mistake. Nixon was easier." More than once, I've nodded in defeat and wondered if I could do this.

And then Abbott comes over and sits in front of me like I've been training him to do, and tries to lick my face, his breath a mixture of sweet puppiness and sour bologna. His fur is so soft and as I pet him, I'm reminded that life is always hard and messy but so far it has always been worth the proverbial puppy kisses.

I believe that, really. And it's a good thing too, seeing as how house breaking is still a work in progress.

Puppyhood. One great metaphor for life. And one giant advertisement for paper towel.

Life with Abbott

Puppy breath. Better than crack.