I realize that being a 7-month old Golden Retriever, the chances that you will both read and properly comprehend this letter are slim; but at this point I’ve run out of ideas for communicating with you and am pretty much willing to try anything.
So please consider this an intervention and a place where we can talk openly and share our feelings without screaming or throwing poop like usual.
Basically Tesla, what I’m trying to say is that your recent behaviour has been less than acceptable.
Not that your track record is anything to brag about.
I know it’s not completely your fault, and I have to share some of the blame. I acknowledge that naming you Tesla was a mistake. It placed unrealistic expectations on you. Ones you couldn’t possibly live up to. You have to know though, I never expected you to speak 8 languages or invent a new type of electricity. I just expected that it would take you less than 4 tries to pass the 1st grade of puppy school.
I know you tried though, so there’s no hard feelings about puppy school. Sitting on command can be hard, especially when you get distracted by your own tail every 8 seconds. We can’t all be academically smart, I respect that. You’re more about street smarts.
Rather than being ‘friendly’ or ‘obedient’, your teacher described you as being ‘unique’ and ‘having a quirky temperament’. There’s nothing wrong with that. Individuality is something to be proud of.
What’s more Tesla, it’s obvious you’re a social butterfly and a natural born leader. You used puppy school as a place to socialise and master your escaping skills.
You quickly realised that you were the common denominator, the puppy everyone else compared their puppies to. I think when you realised this, you really upped your game. You no longer just ignored a command, you learnt to do the exact opposite. ‘Sit’ meant ‘run away’. ‘Shake’ meant ‘eat your own poop’. The other ‘parents’ were so proud of their puppies when they saw you. I admit this was a little disheartening and embarrassing for me, but I knew you were just doing the other puppies a favour.
Still, I think we should talk about another one of your ‘quirks’ that became apparent in puppy school; your distaste for sharing. I’m an only-child too, so I understand how hard the concept of ‘sharing’ can be, but sometimes it’s a necessary evil.
Tesla, why is it that every time we give you a new toy to play with, you run off, dig a hole the size of a small European country and then bury the toy? I know I initially found this behaviour endearing (and it did wonders to accelerate your digging skills) but now it’s becoming a little annoying. The yard looks like a large family of wild badgers inhabit it and every time we want to play a game with you, like fetch, we have to buy a new ball.
Speaking of fetch, what part of that game don’t you understand exactly? The idea is that I repeatedly throw the ball and you repeatedly run off and and bring it back to me. I know you understand the principle concept as the first time I throw the ball you manage to bring it back. So why is it that the second time I throw it you just sit there with a look that says “You threw it, you go get it?”
These are all little things though, and I can live with you never learning to fetch and even with your desire to spend your days digging to China in the yard. What I can’t live with is some of the bigger ‘incidents’ you caused.
Need I remind you of the morning poop incident? That time when you did a poop on your puppy pad, then proceeded to roll you body in said poop, and then made it your mission to touch every surface in the house with your poop covered body? Do you really think I had nothing better to do than clean the entire house and bathe you that morning? And did you really think I didn’t have better things to do the second time you did the same thing!?
Now, I think we should also talk about the wooden stairs you systematically ripped up and ate (how is still beyond me!) And the countless pillows, blankets, flowers and brooms that have all gone to heaven due to your teething (all whilst your numerous teething toys remain buried in the yard). That being said, I still think the 8 piece dining set that you single-handedly turned into splinters is to date, your biggest achievement.
But despite all your exploits Tesla, you and your cute puppy dog eyes have a power over me. You suffocate the life out of me, yet I still love you.
Thus Tesla, I’m sorry I yelled at you when you ate my socks. I didn’t mean the things I said, it’s just that they were my last pair of uneaten socks.
It’s unfair that you’ve learned how to open a draw but not to sit on command.
I’m sorry I threatened to take you back to the store when you woke me up at 3am for the seventh consecutive night because you’re scared of a possum. It’s not like I would ever actually go through with it – you were very expensive and I can’t get a refund.
I’m sorry for actually enquiring if I could get a refund.
I’m sorry for punishing you when you stole and ate the steak I had defrosting on the kitchen counter. It’s just that that was my dinner, not yours.
I’m even more sorry for yelling at you when you vomited that steak up. But I still would have been less upset if you chose to vomit it outside rather than on the carpet.
I’m sorry I put you on a stringent diet when the lady in the park called you fat. It’s not your fault you’re big boned.
And I’m really sorry I googled “puppy + sedative”. Twice.
You’ve got to understand that you’ve grown so much that you can’t jump around and go crazy like you could when you were little. Now when you jump on me, it literally knocks me over and it hurts.
Tesla, I know you’re currently hellbent on destroying as much property as you can, but I really hope you outgrow this stage soon. Or at least stay as cute as you are so I forgive all the death and destruction you cause.
The hand that feeds you.