When I say what I’m about to say, anyone with a human infant right now – or anyone who’s ever had a human infant – may laugh at me. Or yell at me. Or roll their eyes. (Be advised, I could win an eye-rolling competition, so go on, roll ’em at me. I’ll be rolling right back.)

I’m going to say this thing anyway: puppies are ridiculously hard work. And I am tired. Not I’m-not-getting-sleep tired, but is-it-necessary-to-pee-on-all-the-things tired.

You may remember that we decided to get a dog. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter (shameless plug: please follow me, won’t you?), you may know that we did, in fact, recently adopt. She’s not so much a dog, though, as a puppy. We ended up with Piper, an adorable three-and-a-half month old of indeterminate parentage. Austin Dog Rescue named her, and told us we could change it as the puppy was unaware she had a name. My boys loved Piper, however, and it does suit her, so the name stuck.

picture of a puppy

The pink dragon is gonna get it.

Ah, Piper. She is cute and cuddly, liking nothing more than a warm lap to wallow in. Lies. She likes chewing on my rugs and new shirts more than she likes laps. Why must puppy teeth be prison yard shiv sharp? So… laps are second place.

We all love her, but we are all weary of living with a four-legged land mine. You never know when she’s going to explode. (This is a metaphor, people: what we’re afraid of is the pee – or worse – on the floor. As far as I know, dogs do not spontaneously combust. They don’t, do they? Because that would be just my luck.)

Last week I was a shell of a woman. Mark and I slept restlessly, always sure we heard Piper whining to go out. She usually wasn’t. We arranged our daily routines around potty breaks (for the dog; we didn’t have time to take our own breaks), always keeping one eye on the land mine. It’s better this week, mostly. I mean, she’s a puppy and therefore without manners or scruples. We’re still on wee-wee watch, but we’re settling in. Kind of. At least I’m stringing together a few complete, non-dog-related, sentences each day.

I would like to offer you a masterful blog post, but since I only get a few cohesive thoughts a day, it’s not happening. I do have things I want to tell you, though. So stick around for (quite) a few more paragraphs, please?

The Things…

A Book Recommendation

I’m considering doing some book reviews in this space. At the very least, I’m going to tell you what I’m reading and whether I think you, too, should read it. I want to write a glowing review for one recent read, and perhaps I will soon, but for now: read Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles. Just do it.

I picked up Rules at BlogHer Writers over a year ago, and it sat in the queue far too long. Once I got around to reading it, I was sad I didn’t start sooner. Then I finished the book, and was sad it was over. It’s set in New York City in the late 30’s, so if you like period fiction or New York City, you will love it. I’m going to gamble and say that even if you’re not a huge fan of period fiction or NYC, you’ll like the book. You’ll like it, because it embodies all that makes story telling beautiful: multi-dimensional characters in a setting that’s as much a character as the people.

I’ve read a couple books between Rules of Civility and what I’m reading now (Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore – more on that one another time), and I still think about the story often. For me, that’s the mark of a good book, when it doesn’t release you once you read the last sentence.

A Stage Recommendation

Literature, now theater. So artsy today, right? Time is running out to submit for this year’s Listen to Your Mother Show in Austin. If you have a mother, are married to a mother, are a mother, know a mother, then you have a motherhood story. Please consider telling your story.

And please plan to attend the show. You will not be sorry, I personally ga-RON-tee it (Justin Wilson, anyone?). It’s not a money back ga-RON-tee or anything, but that won’t matter because you would never ask for such a thing because you are going to love the show. Thursday, May 9, AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center. Be there. If you’re not in Austin, check the Listen To Your Mother website for a show near you, since there are 23 other shows to choose from, all across this great country of ours.

A Race Recommendation

Oh, yes, I’m still training for the Zooma Texas Half Marathon in March. Man, has it been a bumpy road, but really, if I ever say I’m having an easy, pain-free season nobody will believe me. My IT band is acting up, and my problem foot still hurts frequently. I’m in love with compression socks, ART, and Trigger Point; they are my trifecta of pain relief, and I will gladly talk for many, many minutes about the benefits of each if you’re interested. Email me (wonderfriendblog @ gmail dot com) if you have nagging sports injuries and want my thoughtful thoughts on recovery.

Anyway, as for my training, some days I doubt myself, sure. Some days I feel like a beast. Most days it’s a combo, switching from beast to bumbling idiot and back every few steps. I know from past experience that it might hurt, and there are no ga-RON-tees on race day, but everyone who crosses that finish line will feel positively beastly, in the best sense of the word. So I beg you to join me on March 23 to run either a 5K or a half marathon. I’ve mentioned the wine and massages, haven’t I? You can register here and use my fancy, schmancy code while you’re at it: TXAMB6

That’s all, folks. For today anyway. The land mine is whining and the two-legged children are restless. I’m headed outside to watch the kids stuff rocks down each other’s pants while the puppy eats mulch.

I wonder…

:: Have any puppy-raising tips for me?