You have all most likely been introduced to Sir Ian McKellen, the dog. Usually called Ian-dog in case newbies to my blog get confused and wonder why my boyfriend seems to be obsessed with squeaky toys & squirrels, and why I would take my dog to see a movie. But you have never heard the journey of Sir Ian McKellen. It’s a rough story to tell because it does not put me in the best light. I wanted to write it to let others know that pet owning isn’t always cuddles & treats. Sometimes it is hard work, and that it is totally worth it.
In the Beginning
Back in 2009 shortly after my father died. I decided I needed to get a dog. Boyfriend had just moved in with me at the time and he was very wary about this decision. ‘Remember Loren, you’re supposed to wait 6 months after a big loss to make any life changing decisions.’ He didn’t say ‘no’ though.
So approximately 8 months later (which is totally more than six months) I adopted my friends wire-haired mix. She was threatening to take him to the pound because she was in college and living with her parents and just couldn’t take care of him anymore now that he wasn’t an adorable puppy.
So we drove over to her house, and after playing with this 11-month-old pup for about 3 minutes I was ready to take him home & love him forever. I’d read LOADS of websites about dogs, talked to the ladies at the pet store about what he should eat, bought him a crate to sleep in so that we could crate train. He was cute & cuddly & the best thing ever. And me? I was totally & completely 100% prepared. Does this feel ominous to anyone? Because this is where the story takes a turn for the worse.
He was awful. He barked constantly at anyone who walked past our door, he destroyed random things in the apartment any time we left, he whined all night long, he hated being crated. He ripped up rugs & books & shoes & anything he could get his little teeth around, he jumped on everyone & everything, he nipped at everyone’s hands. He was virtually UN-WALKABLE. Constantly pulling and lunging at anything that crossed our path. Please picture grainy ‘recreation’ videos zooming in slowly on a torn book, and slowly panning across a black & white photo of a gouges he carved in the bedroom door.
But it was ok, I was prepared, dogs are hard work. I would do everything right and he would be a good boy.
Except that takes so much longer than you think. Eight months in I was ready to quit, he still destroyed everything in the house. He still jerked me around on walks, he still tormented the cat.