I’ve always wanted to say, “the dog ate my homework,” but I’ve never had dogs who ate really anything but food (sometimes out of the trashcan or off the counter, but food just the same). Plus, these days I don’t have homework lying around anyway. But what I did (emphasis on “did”) have lying around were a business license renewal form and estimated tax coupons. And yesterday morning, Archie and Daisy decided these forms looked pretty tasty—all those numbers and perforations and such—and they decided to chew the business license form into little, wet, unsalvageable pieces. They waited until later in the day to rip the 4th quarter tax coupons, including copies of my first three quarterly payments, right down the middle. (That’s kind of how I feel about them too!)

Lest you think having two puppies involves little more than watching them do cute things and snuggling them, this post is about the frustrating, “OMG, really?!” side of raising puppies. Just when you think it can’t possibly get any worse, they pull a new stunt and make you realize it can … and will.

Take this morning, for example. While taking off Daisy’s leash, Archie jumped on my desk and started lapping up my coffee (again). Later I found them both under my grandmother’s 70-year-old couch, chewing the fabric liner off, one ancient fuzz ball at a time. And when I was playing in the floor with them a little while ago, Archie chomped down on my nose, like he does to his sister about 100 times a day. Ouch!

And then there are the housetraining agonies. By and large, they are both doing pretty well, but you absolutely want to rip your hair out when one of them has just had a protracted sniff-fest outside with no results and then you catch him or her pooping in the corner. Or they scratch on the door every 30 minutes, but when you take them outside, all they want to do is eat mulch.

Then there’s the jumping, sneaking through baby gates and Daisy deciding she wanted to explore the third floor yesterday. The list goes on and on!

At this point, I want to apologize to real mothers who are probably rolling their eyes and playing the world’s tiniest violin for me. You see I’ve never been a mother so I’ve never known this level of perpetual frustration. And 50-something is kind of old to start.

That said, while I have never been called patient (and no one is going to start calling me that now!), I am diligent and persistent. And that’s I’m using now. It didn’t work this way the first 10 times, so let’s try it another way. Most importantly, I realize that raising puppies isn’t a short-term gig; it’s a fulltime, long-term job, with countless responsibilities and a lot of overtime. But this job that I’ve signed up for also has some pretty sweet benefits!