365 Challenge: Day 67 – Pet-Dad

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Pet-Dad: male caregiver and parent to a pet

I woke up this morning in the most uncomfortable position, with the covers trapped around me, feeling like I had a heavy weight atop me in a coffin. No… I wasn’t dreaming. Ryder pulled one of his little tricks again last night and basically locked me into such a position by laying exactly between my legs with this head on my knee.


For those that many not have read a post where I’ve previously mentioned Ryder, here’s the scoop: Ryder is my 9 and a half year old shiba inu (dog). Like many, I had no idea what a shiba was ten years ago, when my ex said “let’s get a dog” and proceeded to send me pictures of various breeds.  We eventually settled on getting a shiba, which comes from the mountains of Japan. My ex and I split up shortly afterwards, which eventually led to me meeting my current better half many years ago. Six years later… Ryder’s quite happy with the situation.

Shibas come in 3 or 4 “colors” — red, sesame, black & tan and cream. Ryder is a red shiba and came from a small town in Pennsylvania. We picked him up in a pet store while visiting my parents in Carlisle on Thanksgiving weekend. Below is a picture of him at about 3 months… yes, I’m in it too, but that’s the only one I could easily find:


He was adorable. Male shibas get to be about 25 pounds. Ryder tops out around 20 pounds and is a bit small for the breed. He’s just a little too big to be a lap dog, and although he is deeply attached to me, doesn’t like to be held for very long. He much prefers throwing himself against me on the couch or in bed, so he’s pushed right up against my thigh or leg. And then he can get angry with me if/when I have to move for any reason; he enjoys playing mind games with me. He also gets moody when he doesn’t get what he wants, and then he ignores me. He once got his paw caught in the blanket I had thrown over me on the couch. He yelped and was obviously hurt for a few seconds, but it went away. His attitude towards me did not. For 3 days, I couldn’t pick him up, pet him or talk to him. I got such a cold shoulder attitude. I gave up after 24 hours, telling my better half to deal with Ryder or I was leaving, until Ryder’s attitude changed. It took two more days, but we let it go. I caved first and humbly apologized, tho I did nothing wrong. He thinks he’s perfect.

They say dogs develop personalities like their “owners.” There is no better example than Ryder. He is my twin, but as a dog. Not so much in looks, but in attitude and behavior. He is obsessed with food and must constantly have something off my plate at any meal. It’s gotten so bad that he often gets his own plate, and sometimes gets put out on the terrace, so that I have have at least 15 minutes to finish my own meal. Below is a picture of him outside the dining room, trying to figure out why I won’t let him in… he knows I just made brisket and wants another plate.


Ryder is quite spoiled. He has tons of stuffed animal toys and loves to rip out the stuffing from inside them.  A few months ago, I came home from a lunch meeting to find he took every toy out of his toy box (yes, he has his own… it’s like he’s my kid sometimes)… and threw them all about the dining room, as if to tell me he didn’t appreciate being alone. Who needs that many toys all at once? This dog has some personality… but then again, look at where he’s likely learned the behavior from.


I’ve had pets most of my life, and I was usually very close with them. Cats, dogs, ferrets, fish, hamsters, you name it. But Ryder’s been with me for almost ten years now… and thought I’m tempted to adopt another one, we haven’t done it yet. Ryder, like me, seems to enjoy being the spoiled only child. Although, I’m sure he’d grow to love a sibling and playmate for when we’re both out working or socializing.

Thought it would be a nice break today to show a different side of me… a different characteristic… that probably says a lot more about me than I could say with just 1 new word. And that’s why today is all about Pet Parents.

Are you a pet parent? Do you have a dog or cat or something else that drives you crazy, takes up all your time, but you’d never give up and will be heartbroken over when something happens to him or her? Tell me all about your favorite 4-legged (or other kinds) friend…

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.


14 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 67 – Pet-Dad

    Sassy Brit (Reviewer) said:
    May 18, 2017 at 8:09 AM

    Cute! My dog gets all her toys out, too. She’s often found surrounded by them, just like a child. My other dog who passed over a year ago, she was the world’s worse for taking up bed space, being quite a large dog, I was forever waking up twisted into all sorts of positions subconsciously lol

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 18, 2017 at 8:14 AM

      So you know exactly what it’s like… They do have such strong personalities. We moved to a king-size bed, mostly to accommodate Ryder taking up a 1/3 of the space… it didn’t work, now he takes up 1/2 and I’m still stuck with just a small piece on the side.


    Nel said:
    May 18, 2017 at 8:22 AM

    I have my two cats and my turtle. Turtle has been around for 10 years and still kicking. I talk to him every morning because he swims to wear he sees you attempts to try and get out of the tank. Recently upgraded his living space but I’m thinking of upgrading it again because I can’t help it. Milliardo, which was the jerk referenced in a certain post, you probably already know about. Isabel was brought into the living situation because he seemed lonely and we figured she’d keep them young. They’re both talkers so we get lots of greetings and I love you feed me now, haha

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 18, 2017 at 8:34 AM

      Aw. Turtle probably deserves an upgrade every so often. :). Thanks for the share. Always good to get the love when you arrive home!

      Liked by 1 person

    susandyer1962 said:
    May 18, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    Aww, your Ryder is adorable and I love his personality!! We have a border collie and every time we have pizza she totally freaks out and will demand the crust! It’s her doggy crack!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Nashra Usmani said:
    May 18, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Ryder has quite the attitude, but you can’t help but adore him! One of the cats I used to have used to sit with us when we were having popcorn and beg with her eyes for little kernels, she loved her corn!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 18, 2017 at 10:50 AM

      It’s so funny how animals develop habits to make us feel guilty for not giving them what they want. Too cute!

      Liked by 1 person

    Kristin Joy said:
    May 18, 2017 at 11:37 PM

    Ryder is such a cutie!

    Liked by 1 person

    Judy said:
    May 19, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Thanks for bringing back happy memories. My fur baby also had a lot of toys. Later in her life, I taught her to put her toys away. I discovered she loved playing hide and seek with her toys. She also gave me the cold shoulder when we disagreed. She taught me how to make up: One of us would offer her tug-o-bone; we’d play a short tug-o-war, and all would be well again. Your baby is adorable!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      May 19, 2017 at 10:55 AM

      Aw! Thank you. That’s such a great memory. I love the tug-o-war concept. We should all give that a try in life. And the whole “put the toys away” game sounds great. You may need to come teach Ryder that. I seem unable to.

      Liked by 1 person

        Judy said:
        May 19, 2017 at 11:15 AM

        It started with treats. Yes, I bribed my child. 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    May 19, 2017 at 5:13 PM

    Ryder is a sweetheart; so are you.

    Liked by 1 person

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