Perfectly Fine with Puppylessness

Recently, Grimm's mom griped about the family's inability to squeeze another puppy into their little house. That was dumb. Puppies are too much work. Grimm's mom is pretty over them. This new opinion developed over what is now being called the Weekend of Mud and Fur.

Over the rainy, stormy weekend, Grimm hosted TWO puppy guests - one planned and one quite unexpected. Hill had been there all week, and Grimm was already beginning to tire of his enthusiasm, when Grimm's mom agreed to also take Finley back for two nights. Grimm was baffled. Hadn't he just left? It was easy for Grimm and his mom to imagine a cozy, rainy weekend, during which all three pups would schnuggle up on the couch, and everyone would watch Netflix together. <3

Such imaginings were foolish and naive. What happens when you add three under-exercised, newly-befriended dogs to a gravelly courtyard that has gathered a few days' worth of rain? Two words: Mud. Wrestling. Even after Grimm's mom figured out to let them outside individually, the muddy paw prints were difficult to control. When that was compounded with three dogs' worth of hair and occasional accidents from the smallest one, the house began to look as though the storm had just welcomed itself inside.

With the storm raging, no one got walked, and everyone cried about it. Since a certain Australian Shepherd wasn't sharing toys well, all of those were taken away too. The fur-kids were bored and cranky. Grimm's mom tried to stay positive and remember that they still had power, at least, but she was rapidly becoming the crankiest of all. When Grimm decided he needed to go outside at 2am, of course they all had to go out (individually, to top it off). Wide awake, 20 minutes later, Grimm's mom tried to lull her tired mind back to sleep. Instead she ended up swearing off puppies for the foreseeable future (or at least until the cuteness-difficulty balance is restored).

Current stance on puppies: GO.

Doomed to Be Puppy-less

There's a new student auditing the lecture series that Grimm's mom gives each day, typically over a sink full of dirty dishes. He's not particularly focused, as he's a three-month-old fur-nugget, but the class is glad to have him anyway.

Today's topic was, once again, the utterly soul-crushing housing market in Seattle. That's been a recent favorite. Unbeknownst to the canine teddy bear, he himself was the reason for the most recent ravings. He's just too cute. (The way he and Grimm get along so perfectly is just the icing on the cake.)

You see, Grimm's parents occasionally discuss adding another four-legged member to their family. (Admittedly, it is often a rather one-sided discussion.) When they look around their adorable little home, however, they are reminded that four bodies would make it just a little bit cramped. They decide that a new home should probably come before a new pupper. They are responsible adults.

And along come Finley to remind them that little furry storm clouds exist. It's unfair how cute he is. Simply unjust. He runs like a bunny, plays like a kitten, schnuggles like a fluff monster, and steals Grimm's favorite toys like a tiny pirate. He gives endless kisses with the warmest, pinkest, littlest tongue. He still has occasional accidents in the house, and even THOSE are small and cute. What kind of sorcery is that?!?

Unfortunately, no amount of witchcraft is going to make housing prices come to their senses. The family is doomed to stay a trio for the foreseeable future. Seeing as neighbors' houses are selling for an actual million dollars, they may be doomed forever.

Do you have an insights into the Seattle real estate market? Do you have advice for first time home-buyers? If we have to take on a dozen roommates, do you want to be one of them?

FAQ: What is a Pit Bull?

1. What is a pit bull?

"Pit bull" is an abbreviated form of American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), and nothing more. The APBT is a strong, compact dog that was originally bred from the ancient bull dog (quite different from a modern bull dog) for bull baiting. After that sport was banned, they were used to fight each other. More responsible uses of this working dog have included hunting, security, athletics, and therapy.

2. Isn't it an umbrella term?

One horribly common but inaccurate use of the term is as a catch-all for any dog with a muscular frame and a blocky skull. This has included everything from the preciously small "pocket pittie" to the monstrosity know as The Hulk. Breeds commonly lumped into this category often include the American Staffordshire Terrier*, American Bully, Bull Terrier, etc. Unfortunately, many shelter dogs also pick up the label if they fit the profile. This is almost always a death sentence. Please do no use pit bull as an umbrella term. Instead, the term "bull breed" is more appropriate and causes fewer problems.

* Depending on which kennel club you ask (AKC or UKC), American Pit Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers may be considered the same breed.

3. Why does it matter?

Here's why this is so important: when we lump together distinct breeds into one large category, we also lump together their bite statistics. Let's look at an example:

In a completely imaginary city, with completely imaginary statistics, grouping all of the "pit bulls" together suggests that those dogs bite at a much higher rate then other dogs. If those "pits" were to be accurately separated into their actual breeds, we see that they bite no more frequently than other dogs. As one might imagine, combining the statistics of "hound" or "retrievers" might cause a similar incorrect analysis.

Poorly kept records such as these have resulted in pit bull bans in many cities (or, in some cases, entire nations). Montreal is the most recent one to make headlines and create an uproar in the dog community. In other areas, "pit bulls" may not be in public without a muzzle and must be be kept on a short leash.

4. So what's Grimm?

Since Grimm came from an un-papered litter and his mom didn't care enough to ask for any information about his parents, it's impossible to be sure. His physical appearance suggest that he is at least mostly APBT. His size, however, indicates that something larger got mixed in somewhere. True pit bulls shouldn't reach 75 lbs.

Doggie DNA tests have been shown to occasionally be imperfect, but Grimm's mom is considering ordering him anyway. It's as close to the truth as she could possibly get, and it would satiate at least some curiosity. The timing of Zak George's review of the Embark DNA Test (and coupon code) seems to be just too perfect to ignore.

Did you learn something? Share to combat doggie discrimination. Find out if a breed ban exists where you live, and do something about it.

Not for Everyone

Last week, Grimm's friend Hilo visited for a few nights. Hilo is one of the few dogs Grimm has met since his reactivity issues began, and the two get along rather well. 

Hilo as a itty fluffer

Hilo as a itty fluffer

Grimm's mom has been walking Hilo ever since he was a tiny fluff, but he is not an only fur-child. He has a mature, big sister who lives with him. Naturally, all of the humans involved know that it would be easiest for everyone if Hilo and Kona could both board in the same place when their parents travel. Of course, that would just be too easy.

Kona was the third new dog that Grimm met since his case of the Seattle Freeze developed. At that point, his mom felt like she knew how to structure their meet and greet and what to expect. The two were gated seperately, attention was diverted, treats were given, and time passed before they were allowed in the same space. Unfortunately, Grimm's little house was not large enough for the two enormous personalities that tried to fill it.

Grimm likes to bound into the personal space of new friends, and that's just not for everyone. Kona is a reserved, guarded individual who likes her space until she's ready to invite someone into it. Warnings were issued and promptly ignored, leading to hurt feelings all around.

Princess Kona wasn't buying the charm that Grimm was peddling.

Princess Kona wasn't buying the charm that Grimm was peddling.

Appalled by his oafish behavior, Grimm's mom sentenced him to more time on the other side of the gate while the tension dissipated. When the dogs' emotions had cooled, they were again allowed to meet. Grimm, of course, hadn't learned anything about how to tactfully approach this new friend.

The separating process happened three times before the humans were ready to call it a night. It was clear that these two weren't going to become friends (or even neutral acquaintances) in a single meeting. They decided to let them try again another day.

Grimm's mom has eight days of this to look forward to.

Grimm's mom has eight days of this to look forward to.

Kona visited a few weeks ago now, and a second visit still hasn't been arranged. Grimm can't figure out why, but his mom is just too nervous. She's scared that he's going to mess it up and make Kona a lifelong enemy instead of a potential friend. As a result, when Hilo returns to stay with them again next week, he's coming by himself. His poor big sister has to stay with someone else.