October 17, 2022

One year in this world

Ziggy at 1 year; Ziggy at just over 3 months 

The 1-year landmark

I genuinely believe, like most dog owners, that my dog is the cutest, best, most perfect dog in the world, but the truth is it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows living with and raising him. At the hardest moments, I've been reassured by other owners that it gets much better when the puppy turns one. And I think this is true! A quick accounting of things that used to be a problem, but have largely resolved due to training, intervention, or maturity (from most annoying to least): 
  • good night and good morning howl 
  • general barking, whining, SCREAMING (the boy has a distinctive, unique screech)
  • screaming fits when he doesn't get what he wants (like saying hi to another dog or person)
  • a crippling, desperate, noisy, destructive confinement anxiety 
  • licking himself into oblivion until his skin starts scabbing
  • vacuuming sidewalks, parks, our home; eating everything on the ground
  • pulling on his leash or plopping on the ground and refusing to move
  • scratching at the baseboards and walls
((See how much fun having a puppy is??))

He's been a tough little one, but he's also incredibly  
  • loving
  • bold
  • curious
  • playful
  • adventurous 
  • expressive
  • indomitable
  • creative
  • empathetic 
  • intelligent, almost witty 
and, as my friend Genesis put it, as all dogs are, actually very patient. Dogs rely on us for everything, and have no agency. We are their world, and they have needs that they, Ziggy included, are very patient to seeing met.

And through the tears and laughter of raising a difficult little puppy, Peter, Ziggy and I have bonded intensely. We have all worked so hard to communicate with one other—and I think this is truly where an unbounded loving and joy will continue to grow from.

I separately have a ton of thoughts on raising a baby living thing, and society's expectations on that process, and especially where this falls on women. I was criticized for not doing enough, for doing too much, for doing everything exactly right. There was no end to the critique, and it makes me wonder how mothers raising human babies do it (among the other burdens physical, emotional, and financial). But I note with gratitude the gently constructive (Genesis!), the quietly supportive (my Mama!), the sympathetically listening (Isabelle!), the enthusiastically loving (Jasmine!), the relentlessly encouraging (Kalvin!), the collectively struggling (Andrew & Brian!), and obviously my steadfast partner in all of this chaos, Peter...Ziggy truly seems to have required a little village.

And holy heck do I love our little buddy:

The joyous boy on his first birthday 

Bonus: the pekes that preceded Z

One of our neighbors emailed me yesterday saying P.G. Wodehouse was her favorite author growing up, and she thinks his favorite dog was a Pekingese. I looked it up, and lo and behold:

And it turns out Peter's family have had Pekingese in the past:
Peter’s grandma with one of her Pekingese (either Feathers or Joey)