12 years and 84 dog years later, Raider is finally branching out into the world. And surprisingly enough, after spending his whole life in the backyard, he’s good at it.
My decision to bring Raider to Huntsville was not made lightly. I wasn’t sure I could do it, or if I should. My weeks leading up to the move were filled with excitement and little sleep. I agonized over the details of owning a dog in an apartment with my free time. Even with all of the details perfectly ironed out and the support of my loving boyfriend pictured above (the one without fur), when my parents returned from our Easter rendezvous without him, I began to panic. Raider was finally my responsibility.
Two days in, and I don’t regret a thing. He adapted better than we could ever hope to my college life. He got a nice bath, lots of brushing, and so much love from his new family. As worn out as he was, his first night was a little disappointing. He was still too hyper to settle down while everyone slept, and when 7:30 am rolled around, he made his boredom known to the world. My Monday, which is normally the longest and most exhausting, started much earlier than I had anticipated. There was much grumbling and pushing of butts to get him taken care of and myself out the door. Since then, he’s become an important part of my life. I practically take him everywhere! (With the help of Jared of course.)
Raider’s move has allowed for a huge rise in mental stimulation. He gets to go to so many different places around my apartment and town. He often visits Jared’s house and enjoys frequent car rides as we run errands. No, we don’t leave him in the car unattended. Tonight, he walked around Petco with us as I scoped out good dog food brands (recommendations totally welcome) and tried to find a toy that he will actually like. To my dismay, he doesn’t seem to be a toy loving dog. This, I found out after spending $11 on a Kong toy, only to have him eat the peanut butter out of it then walk away. Never the less, we enjoy bringing him with us through out our day and will begin to show him around campus as things settle down.
A few things I’ve noticed about my new status as dog mom: where as I was always the chauffeur by choice among my friends, I now keep my back seats down for Raider to lay on. My room has been completely de-classified to support his new kennel (which he elects not to use, to my extreme irritation. This shall be fixed shortly, I assure you.) I have taken apart my apartment given dresser and slid it under my bed to make room, which isn’t my favorite way to use it, but absolutely necessary none the less. I can’t put anything on the floor at night. My extra pillows have to be carefully placed somewhere he can’t possibly get them should he feel frisky while we sleep. I’ve already learned that he gets out of character when we don’t exercise him….this, after he tried tearing up my favorite boots. I’m still salty. I have been reduced to putting my homework and other things off for after-dark dog park excursions when Raider is feeling restless. One day we’ll find a rhythm… Finally, my monthly budget and selfish desires have been put on hold in order to make sure Raider has everything he needs. I will not be cheap with him when it comes to his health and well being, so he will always come first. This is definitely a new and welcomed development in my growth as a person. He’s my baby, and I will do anything for him.
We love him dearly, and even though he can be a little asshole sometimes, and doesn’t seem to know anything about authority and right from wrong, I’m very content with my little family. TBC