Montag, 11. März 2013

This cliché: good cop bad cop

Having a puppy means being strong, patient and a disciplinarian. I spend the majority of time with Penny in our household and so I own the lion's share of the responsibility for Penny's obedience. This makes me "bad cop."
I prefer being bad cop to being "en Hündler." When we first started talking about getting a dog, this was a slur that was bandied about by our loved ones. The term describes a "dog person" but with the characteristics an American would ascribe a "cat person."; a person who only thinks of their dog and becomes defined by them. The use of this term in early doors makes me twinge every time I notice how often I'm posting about Penny on Facebook. It also makes us aware that we should never use the lil' pendulum as an excuse to not go out.
In addition, an old habit of mine is to not get too close. I'd hoped that my role as bad cop would help me create distance from her. Sadly, however, her constant trips to the doctor have proven that I am indeed close. Meantime, hours spent with her means that I also experience the lion's share of the negative aspects of puppyhood: the nasty habits of eating grotty things, the stubborn days, the unpleasant interactions with alcoholics (the more peripheral edema the better as far as she's concerned.)
Now Ivo is away and I am both cops together. This contains all of the parts at the same time. When I leave her to go to work, I leave her with a special treat. I bought her a valentine's day gift and we cuddled on that day and watched a romantic comedy. Yesterday I had the blues for a moment. I got on the floor and played with her and she made me laugh and laugh as she climbed me and cuddled with me. I realized that this would not have been my instinct in the past. Normally such fun play with Penny is reserved for Ivo, who, upon coming home, hasn't just had to force and cajole her to be a good puppy.
As with so many things, this is one of the experiences of Ivo's absence that help me learn and grow in the meantime.

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