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Stop Stealing Pizza Slices and 4 Other New Year’s Resolutions I Made for My Dog

Riggins and I reflected on how he could be a better dog in 2017. Here's what we came up with.

Wendy Newell  |  Dec 28th 2016


Last year, I made New Year resolutions that revolved around Riggins, my 11-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer mix. I did pretty well. I wasn’t perfect, but who is? This year, I figured it was Riggins’ turn to look deep within himself and reflect on how to make himself a better dog in 2017. Since he is a dog and therefore lacks typing skills, I decided I would help him come up with and share his resolutions. After all, who knows him better than his mother?

1. Stop stealing pizza slices

Riggins eyes some of his Grandpa's food! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins eyes some of his Grandpa’s food! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

My baby boy is a thief, a food thief. Although he will eat anything, and I do mean anything, he is especially fond of pizza. He loves a delicious slice so much that he will lock his laser beam eyes on it from across the room and slowly approach without you even noticing. Like a well trained Navy SEAL, Riggins will watch patiently, observing your every movement, waiting for the right moment. As you lift the delicious slice of pie up to your mouth, there will be a flash of fur and your slice will be GONE.

I’m not kidding. Riggins will actually snatch a slice of pizza pre-bite. It would almost be impressive if you weren’t so hungry. It’s also rude, so he should definitely stop that.

Honestly, he needs to stop mooching food off humans all together, but that is much too tall of an order. Let’s start with pizza.

2. Quit hogging the bed

Riggins the king of the bed! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins, the king of the bed! (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins rarely sleeps with me, instead choosing to spend his nights on his own bed. He does make his way up to the human bed in the early mornings and for naps. Once Riggins settles in with a circle circle plop, there is no moving him. It’s like trying to move 70-plus pounds of dead weight.

If I want to join him in bed, I have to manipulate my body around his. I’ve slept between the bed and the wall, with my head at the foot of the bed, curled up in a tiny little fetal position, and smashed against him awkwardly spooning, just so I can cuddle with my baby boy. I have even given up and moved to the sofa, only to have him come join me there, where I have to hold onto him for dear life so I don’t fall off.

I want my baby boy to be comfy, but is it too much to ask for him to stay on his side? I think not.

3. Behaving on hikes

Riggins and his friend Sam on a hike before he pulled her off he side of a hill. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins and his friend Sam on a hike before he pulled her off the side of a hill. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins and I love to go on hikes. When he is out with his four-legged friends and me, he is good as gold. Once another human or two show up to join in on the fun, Riggins becomes his own man. On a recent hike, he pulled a friend off the side of a hill. He likes to go downhill, and apparently she wasn’t going fast enough for him.

A couple weeks before that, he led a gang of his friends on an off-trial adventure into a homeless camp, where he decided to raid trash bags that obliviously held some delicious treats. After three different people retrieved him, only to have him call “psych!” and run back into the woodsy area, I got smart and put him back on leash.

It makes me look silly when I shake my head and tell my hiking friends, “I swear he behaves when it is just me,” while Riggins rolls his eyes and licks his lips. The belching in the car post off-trail snack is no treat for me either.

4. Make friends with children

Riggins and his human cousin, Kira. One of the only children he will tolerate. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Riggins and his human cousin, Kira. One of the only children he will tolerate. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

In general, Riggins isn’t a fan of small children. He does have two who he adores, my niece and nephew, other than them, it is hit or miss. Those high-pitched voices, eye level stares, and grabby hands are just too much for the poor pup.

As Riggins and my friends’ human kids get older, I am hopeful that Riggins’ dislike will grow into admiration. After all, these small humans are willing to drop food on the ground that he can steal and to play endless rounds of fetch with him. Maybe this year, Riggins will see the source of happiness and love kids can bring.

5. Make friends with his nemesis, Black Cat

Black Cat isn't fond of Riggins either. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

Black Cat isn’t fond of Riggins either. (Photo by Wendy Newell)

I’m sure I’m asking too much, but it would be nice if our neighbor Black Cat and Riggins could become friends. I realize that cats and dogs have been sworn enemies since the dawn of time, but I feel like Riggins can be the bigger species and negotiate a piece treaty. I’ve been making him watch Madam Secretary with me in the hopes that some of Tea Leoni’s character’s negotiation tactics will rub off on him.

I suppose if I looked deeply into the resolutions I’ve made for Riggins, I will come to realize his faults are really my own. Perhaps I should turn the spotlight on me and instead just stick to my last year resolutions of being a better dog mom!

What New Years resolutions do you and your dog share? Let us know in the comments below.