Attempting to Adult,  parenting

That Time I Broke My Dog: Pet Mom Life

I have awful sleep issues.

So, what actually happens when I wake up at ungodly hours and cannot fall back asleep? Well, sometimes I turn to Netflix and just watch a show I have seen a million times over and fall back to sleep. I cannot fall asleep without the TV on because then I hear and see everything normal people can tune out when they’re tired. I cannot read at night because I just don’t stop reading. Boring, or not – I keep going. Sometimes I try turning my sleeplessness into productivity with some middle of the night cleaning, laundry or writing. But lately my brain has been too garbled to focus on any kind of writing. I don’t know why my brain is the way it is, but that’s just the way it is.

But when I wake up like this, it’s usually with random and bothersome thoughts. They actually make zero sense in the end, but sometimes chaos ensues. Call me Calamity Jenn.

Why Can’t I Name My Own Pets?

So anyway – I woke up in a fit one morning… the usual 2am… completely bothered by the fact we never got to name our own pets. Lola’s name had already been changed three times by the time she came to live with us, plus she’s like a little old lady now. Lola can keep her name. But Otto… Otto is young and spry. I don’t really know his story except he was found cruising the streets. He came to live with us for a couple weeks while we tracked his parents. That was like 3 years ago, so it’s pretty safe to say this dog is not going anywhere.

My Goodest Boi

And that’s how I decided to retrain my dog to answer to a new name at 2 in the morning on a Tuesday. And that’s exactly when the renaming began. ‘Bowie’ is perfect! Yes… as in David Bowie. Our dog is a cool ass dog who deserves a cool ass name. He’s also the goodest boi who keeps me company when I can’t sleep at night.

A Dog Has No Name

I spent the next 3 hours calling him Bowie and trying to get him to forget his old name. Yup! I stayed up until 5 in the morning calling him Bowie. Then I took about an hour nap and got ready for work. Now, Otto may be the sweetest and goodest boi, but he is also a furry bag of neurosis. Dog has issues. I did not take this into consideration when I decided he was The Dog Formerly Known As Otto.

By the time I left for work, The Dog Formerly Known As would not answer to any name: new or old. He just cried and hid in his kennel. Sh*t. That’s probably just temporary.


I had let The Boy know of the recent change of events in the house. Bowie is his new name and the name “Otto” is banned   You miss out on a lot when you selfishly sleep through the middle of the night. Since he’s known me, you know.. ALL HIS LIFE… he went along with this.

When The Boy got home after school, he called me to angrily let me know The Doggo Formerly Known As was having some sort of mental allergic reaction to his new name… and also his old one. When he called out to Bowie, Doggo just cried and peed himself a little. So he gave up on that and called him Otto. Doggo cried at that and hid under his blankets. “YOU BROKE OUR DOG! YOU BETTER FIX HIM!”


I fixed him. Mostly.

After a couple weeks, Otto… yes, Otto (had to give up the big “Bowie” dream) is as back to normal as he could possibly be. The “B” word has now been banned from the house because we don’t need Otto wetting himself every time I want to watch Labyrinth or sing Let’s Dance.

He sometimes still looks a little confused when we call to him, but at least he doesn’t cry and hide about it anymore. He also has a naturally guilty/paranoid face, so this is probably as back to normal as it’s going to get.

I think I’ll spend my witching hour shenanigans studying pet psychiatry from now on. That might be more useful.

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