My parents used to joke (and still do) that they couldn’t wait until we were grown up so they could see how they screwed us up. I’m afraid I’m already seeing the repercussions of my (our) parenting choices with Quinton.
Our bulldog has a serious case of separation anxiety.
During the months before Quinton weighed more than 30 pounds, we were physically attached to him. He sat on our laps on the couch. He sat on our laps in the car. We carried him everywhere. He slept in my bed with me. But look at that face? Can you blame us? Probably.
He now weighs 65 plus pounds and the separation anxiety has persisted. Our house is not large. 775 square feet to be exact. P can sneeze at one corner of the house and I can hear him in the opposite corner. Quinton, however, doesn’t want to be more than 10 feet away from us at all times.
In the kitchen. Aren’t P’s pajama pants cute?
In the bathroom.
And every now and then, it isn’t enough just to be in the same room.
The other night, I sat in my favorite writing chair attempting to focus on some work. Quinton felt the immediate need to be directly next to me. Not on the floor next to me. Not on the couch next to the chair. But as close to me as I would allow him. He climbed up on the ottoman and just stared at me. And then at P when he took the picture. This is not a large ottoman. In fact, he can’t even lie down on this tiny, unstable piece of furniture. Yet, he has been known to sit on this ottoman for over an hour just to be next to one of us.
As you saw in the pictures from his youth, we cuddled with him constantly on the couch when he was a pup. He was just so soft and sweet. 50 pounds later, he still thinks he can sit on us on the couch. Yes “on us”, not “with us”. His favorite position is to put his front paws and head on your lap. We call it “assuming the position.” But sometimes he will actually claw his way up onto your chest and curl up like a cat.
This is a bulldog who is in complete denial about his size.
However, I’m not being 100% honest with you if I only share about Quinton’s separation anxiety. I, too, suffer from it; most recently this past weekend when Quinton and I found ourselves alone without our chef. P was in Columbia for his friend’s birthday and I was standing in my kitchen helplessly staring into the fridge. My fear of combining more than three ingredients paralyzed me.
Thankfully, sustaining Quinton only requires pouring a few scoops of premixed dog food from a bag to a bowl. Sustaining myself, not so easy. My diet this weekend consisted of several turkey sandwiches, bland chicken breast with ketchup, canned green beans, and one batch of macaroni and cheese. It’s pathetic, I know. Looking back, I’m a little baffled as to how I survived living on my own for several years. But I will say that I did a pretty nice job of cleaning the house this weekend. Now that he has safely returned to the kitchen, we will just stick to our strengths. Or in my case, the lesser of my weaknesses.