Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Life with a Big Dog in the City

I am totally a dog person. Always have been, always will be. And you can imagine my joy when my current roommate and I decided to move in together along with her adorable chou-chou puppy, Cheech. I had been wanting a dog for all three years that I lived in Seoul, but couldn't really handle it with my schedule.

I did think about it seriously. I knew that since I would be home during the mornings, it would fall upon me to walk Cheech in the early afternoon before heading out to work, and make sure he is fed and watered and give him love and attention on my days off while I'm at home and she's at work. But, sheesh, this turning out to be a bit more than I expected.

Playing with him- under control. He's a very mild-mannered dog and easy to play with, so if I need time to work on stuff, I can shut my bedroom door for a couple hours and he's happy and calm. No scratching, whining or barking to get in. He's kind of like a giant teddy bear. Watering and feeding is fine too. But walking. Holy wow.

Even though Cheech is still a puppy, he's about 6 months old, which makes him almost full grown. And chou-chous are fairly large and powerful. I've walked him before when my roommate lived in her old apartment, but he was used to the area and pulled very minimally against the leash. Not to mention, she lived near a good-sized park, so it didn't matter where he pooed or peed. But now, we're no where near a park and Cheech is still getting used to the neighborhood. Meaning- he pulls against the leash like nothing else and I've got blisters forming after two days of one 15-minute walk a day.

While he is well behaved around people and especially kids, it's super aggravating walking him while he's investigating every single smell on the street. Half the time, he's walking me, and half the time I'm dragging him away from something. I do stop every so often to give him some time to investigate, because if I don't, he digs his claws in and refuses to budge. Not to mention, I can tell his collar is half gagging him and I feel bad. But I know that I have to be firm with holding him in check, otherwise, he'll never learn to properly walk on a leash.

And although my roommate says it's okay to not pick up the poo here, I beg to differ. People don't mind little dog poo on the street, but they mind big dog poo. We got lucky no one was around yesterday when he pooed, but today I got yelled at, so next time I have the icky job of cleaning up big dog poo off the street. Especially since he likes to poo in front of restaurants. And I always felt a little strange just leaving it there for someone else to pick up.

But it's still tiring. When I thought about getting a dog before, I thought about a nice little pug, which is more suitable for apartment life than a chou-chou. But my roommate had to go and get Goliath instead. We've discussed the possibility of getting another, small dog for me to take care of once Cheech is acclimated, but I'm thinking that's not such a good idea.

That said, I love my roommate and I love Cheech. Inside the apartment he's a perfect angel. Quiet, well-behaved. He doesn't chew on things or jump on people. He likes to cuddle (or occasionally sit on me). He does shed like no tomorrow, which I'll have to get used to. But I did once own a cat, so it's nothing new. But oi vey, I wish I didn't have to walk him during the day for a couple weeks until he gets used to the area.

So, note to future dog owners out there who live in cities, choose a small dog. They're so much easier to handle on a leash. And I kind of feel bad for big dogs. They love to be outside often and poor Cheech is locked up inside for most of the day with both of us working full-time...

1 comment:

  1. Any pictures of the dog? Would like to see him! I'm also glad you're gonna pick up the poo! It's just plain wrong to leave it!