So, let's just get right down to it then, shall we?
I've been neglecting my bitz. I've also been neglecting my health, my husband, my chores. You name it and I've been neglecting it. It's been so much easier to just hide out and pretend that everything is okay.
Well, try to hide out. It seems the very source of all of my stress and worry and sloth like behavior is the very thing that keeps me occupied most of the time.
It's this guy.
He is my 11 month old mixed breed puppy. I adopted him from my husband's cousin's dog's unexpected litter. He came home with us the day after we returned from our honeymoon.
I love the little guy. I really do.
He is so handsome. He is super smart. He is an excellent snuggler. He is a great guard dog. He loves to play. He is silly and funny and full of puppyhood.
He is also exhausting.
He consumes all of my time because he follows me around the house constantly. Atticus is not the type of dog that can simply be left alone to play by himself. He needs your constant attention. If you do not give him your constant attention, he finds ways to make you give it to him.
This usually includes finding one of your prized possessions and destroying it while you chase him around the house, desperately trying to salvage whatever is between his teeth.
So far, he has destroyed 2 of my bras, 5 pairs of my underwear, countless socks, several books, several flower pots, my butterfly bushes, all but one of my couch pillows, 2 dog beds, 1 pair of clogs, 3 pairs of flip flops, 1 pair of bedroom slippers, the linoleum in the kitchen floor, 1 oven mitt, countless rolls of paper towels, 1 steak knife, 3 pairs of sunglasses and 2 pairs of actual prescription glasses. I'm probably forgetting a few things, but you get the idea.
He's a bit of a terror.
His shenanigans can bring any rational person to the point of a nervous breakdown in 7 seconds flat. Trust me.
I am not proud to admit this, but it's time to just spill my guts already. I'm tired of hiding it and pretending that I'm okay.
I'm losing it. I end up having a mental breakdown at least 5 times a week because of Atticus. I can't even explain it. That adorable little man can turn me into a raving lunatic in a heartbeat and I can't stop it. I can't 'just walk away' as I've told myself to so many times.
Part of that is the fear of what else will be destroyed while I'm locked in the bathroom regaining my composure. Part of it is that I just take myself from 0 to 100 so quickly that I can't simply go back to 0. I physically can't do it.
When Atticus has hold of my bra or any item from the above list, I use all the appropriate techniques to get him to sit, stay, drop and for the love of god give me the god damn bra before you choke on it or I rip it from your angry jaws.
However, it only works about 1% of the time. That's only when MB and I work together to trap Atticus under the dining room table so we can get the bra from between his teeth.
The other 99% of the time, things just escalate quickly. He doesn't listen so I yell louder. He still doesn't listen so I yell even louder. He thinks it's funny that I'm chasing him in a circle around the living room, using my 'mean' voice. I do not find it funny.
You would think at some point that I would realize that the damn dog doesn't speak English and does not understand that my tears are not tears of play. They are tears of OMG I CAN NOT TAKE THIS ANYMORE...GIVE ME THE FUCKING BRA BACK AND STOP DESTROYING ALL OF MY SHIT AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SIT GOD DAMN IT!
Yeah. It's really not pretty. Also? Surprisingly ineffective in getting him to actually listen and drop the bra and be obedient. Shocker.
It actually tends to escalate his behavior (again...shocker) so that he is so riled up, he is barking and biting at me. Then, I really can't control him and can only hope to grab him and put him in the crate without either of us getting hurt.
It's really not the kind of person I am or want to be, but here we are. This is what I've become. I know that it's my problem, not Atticus'. I know that if I could just figure out how to de-escalate myself before losing control, Atticus wouldn't lose control.
Easier said than done. Way easier.
I'm a god damn mental health professional, for crying out loud. I KNOW all of these things. I have excellent insight into all of my behavior. I know that I'm allowing myself to project all the stress about being broke, being fat, dealing with eye issues (another story in itself), having a house that's falling apart, being too broke to fix said house, hating my job and blah, blah, blah onto Atticus.
I know this, but instead of do anything about it, I've chosen to just let it get worse. I've chosen to keep it to myself and not deal with it.
If I had taken a little more time to myself, to blog or to walk or to do whatever, I would probably not have gotten to this point. I probably would've dealt with things a lot better.
That's why I'm here now, spilling my guts. I need to get it all out there so I can move on from this point. I need to get my snark back. I need to gain some much needed control over my life.
It won't change the fact that Atticus is a bit of a terror. It just might make me better equipped to handle him when he becomes a terror.
I can't accept that he is too much for us to handle. Trust me, we've had those conversations. However, the consequence of that realization is too much for me to bear. Atticus deserves a chance and I want to give him a fair one. If I do that and the behavior doesn't change, I may have to revisit that awful realization. I'm not prepared to do that yet. Don't even think about asking me to.
At the end of the day, all terroristic behavior aside, he is a pretty great dog. He deserves a mommy who doesn't lose her shit every time he gets near the laundry basket.
So, thanks for letting my vent. I'll try not to bore you every day with the tales of my terrible dog, who is currently carrying a tree around the yard. I'll try to find my blogging feet again. There is so much that I have wanted to share, but just...haven't.
But, you should probably expect a pretty Atticus centered blog for a bit. You know, since it's healthier to blog it out as opposed to entering a screaming match with a puppy who just likes the taste of imitation satin and boob sweat.