Chapter 1: New Beginnings
When Ahro lost Mimi, her beloved Samoyed, she was devastated. She’d had her for years and loved her, and more importantly, Mimi was loved by Moomyung as well. She’d cried for days when she’d passed and it broke both of their hearts to have an empty house now. But she just couldn’t bring herself to get another pet. It was too soon, she told her boyfriend, and she missed Mimi too much. Upsetting thoughts lingered in her mind like “What if I can’t love another pet the way I love her?” and “I can’t handle losing another pet.” Moomyung understood and decided that if they ever adopted it would be later in the future after discussion from them both.
It was nearly a year later when Ahro felt confident enough to engage in Moomyung’s idea of another pet, much too tired of the quiet home. She missed playing with her dog and going on walks and Moomyung was all too ready to surprise her.
Hansung had been perfect; energetic, curious, a little naive, trusting, loyal . A new transfer student at the college who’d had a hard time making friends, who was always bustling with energy and had the sappiest puppy eyes to date. His hair was a beautiful chestnut and long enough to be floofy, with a small mullet, and he couldn’t wait to run his fingers through it. Moomyung loved him. Bringing him home was a huge ordeal and they knew training him would be even harder. He was just a puppy, not knowing any better, as opposed to Mimi who was a little old lady who knew every trick in the book. They were bound to have their hands full and it’d been a long while since they’d trained any animal. They’d even asked Sunwoo to help and when he happily obliged they finally started his training.
The first couple weeks Hansung had to wear his muzzle, a cute, bright, yellow one, and Ahro felt guilt every time he was seen knocking it against the side of his cage. She thought muzzles were cruel but Sunwoo had informed her that it was not only for their safety but Hansung’s as well. It came off so he could eat and drink and they could brush his teeth (a true adventure) but it stayed on often, especially during training.
She took it off at night when they’d put him in his cage to sleep and felt guilty wreak havoc on her everytime she heard him cry. But she knew after a while it would stop and his separation anxiety wouldn’t be so bad and he would sleep through the night. Sleeping through the night also meant that he wouldn’t need as many naps throughout the day, and would adapt well to their schedule.
They’d given him a bright red collar, the info tag printed on the back so it wouldn’t irritate him. He didn’t mind the collar it seemed. He didn’t like his leash as much because he couldn’t go very far and soon they’d changed to the adjustable bungee leash. Once they’d switched it he seemed much happier and spent most of his time outside smelling the plants and the rose bush and trying to eat them.
It’s Saturday, and Moomyung spends the first half of his day playing with his puppy before training time. Hansung rolls around with his toy balls in the living room, every so often taking one by the mouth and chewing it so it squeaked, offering it to Moomyung who took it (even if it was covered in spit) and would roll it back into the play area gated off. Sometimes he would wash it off before giving it back, just for said ball to face the same torment of being ground upon and mauled.
Hansung’s play area was located in the back of the house, separated from the kitchen by a sliding door often kept open. That’s where the gates would come in. If it weren’t for those, they couldn’t keep an eye on him because the door would need to be shut. And if they opened the door, he could easily get to the kitchen and into things he wasn’t supposed to. Hansung had proven to have a habit of stealing the treat bags and gnawing them open. Once discovered, they gated off his entire play area. It helped that he could see them as well and know he wasn’t alone.
The play area was satisfactory enough for Hansung, decorated extensively by Ahro. The walls were still wood, painted with different color paw prints and bones, and while it was cheesy Ahro thought it livened up the area. It was padded with a foam playmat, littered with toys and his blankets and pillow, with one or two puppy pads in case he had an accident, which rarely happened. Hansung was good about scratching on the wood beside the door to ask to be let out of his play pen, the wooden gates forbidden to be touched. They were also difficult to open from the other side and tall enough where he’d have to sit up on his knees to unlatch it. He’d done so once without asking and seconds later been swiftly yanked over Ahro’s knee for a spanking. Hansung hates being spanked but they’ve been training him extensively so that he rarely gets in trouble.
“Hansung~” Moomyung calls from the couch, shaking the bag of animal crackers they used as treats. Hansung’s eyes were on him now and he can see the gears turning in his head when he slowly sits back on his knees. “Good boy. Can Daddy take off your muzzle? Come here, let’s get this off,”
Moomyung slides from the couch to the floor where Hansung sits still, and unclasps the muzzle. Hansung immediately nuzzles his arm, rubbing his face against him.
“Okay, okay, good boy. Sit still. Hansung, still,” Moomyung patiently waits until he stops. Patient is virtue with Hansung. He’s an overexcited puppy and they’re never going to get mad about that. “Good boy.”
He holds out a cracker for Hansung to take and he does so hastily, and Moomyung has to pull his fingers out of the way. He pets Hansung’s head while he chews and waves Ahro over from the kitchen.
“Do you want to train him today? I’ll finish cooking,”
“Of course!” She ruffles his hair with both hands and kisses his nose. “You’re going to be a good boy for me right?”
Hansung’s brain short circuits and he licks Ahro’s hands excitedly and she squeals. It feels weird to be covered in slobber again. “Hansung, down, sit. Sit. Hey, mister, eyes on me! Sit.”
It takes a few tries to get him to calm down again to sit but when he does she holds out a cracker. He takes it more carefully this time. When Moomyung leaves to finish cooking he follows him with his eyes, on edge. Ahro knows this and brushes his bangs back to kiss his forehead.
“Daddy’s not leaving. Eyes on me, okay? Look at me.”
Hansung looks at her and she melts. His eyes are gorgeous.
“Sit still, good boy. Lie down. Lie down, go on,” she shakes the treat bag and he reluctantly lies down on his stomach, not used to the position. He looks uncomfortable but Ahro holds a cracker right under his nose for him to take. “Good boy.”
Hansung pushes himself up to sit again, eyes on her.
“Lie down.” She repeats.
He does so more swiftly this time and waits. “Stay.”
Hansung frowns now but she ignores it for the time being. “Moomyung, I think he’s okay with lie down!”
“We’ll try it a few more times, just in case, hm?” She coos. “Okay, Hansung, sit.”
Hansung now understands how to lie down and Ahro only repeats it a few more times before she gives him a couple more treats and allows him to lick her fingers and her face. She’s laughing too much to push him off and he gently wrestles her down against the couch to sit in her lap and continue the kisses. She scritches him behind his ears and it only fuels his active behavior. “Okay, baby, good baby, good boy,”
He soaks up her praises and headbutts her neck a couple times to be pet. She pets his head, kissing the top of his head while she does so. “Mommy loves you so much.”
Hansung knows this, she knows, and she knows that Hansung also loves her. He never misses a chance to show her, always so excited to see the couple. His attachment is certainly what feeds into his separation anxiety but they’re working on it. Right now she just wants to feel him pressed against her face, smelling his fruit shampoo.
“The food’s done, but I don’t know if you’re ready to eat,” Moomyung’s voice reaches from the doorway to her, a smile evident on his face. “You might want to wash your face. There’s spit and crackers all over it.”
“Oh, that’s gross,” she giggles, still engaging with her pup. “Hansung, sit. Mommy has to get up. Sit, boy.”
Hansung rubs his face against her one more time before sitting and letting her up. He turns to watch her go to the bathroom to wash her face and hands, to get ready for lunch. Usually they put food in his bowl in his play area but sometimes they feed him by hand. He waits until she comes back.
“Here. Good boy!”
He only needs to be told once to scamper over to her. It was the first command he learned and only needed to be repeated once before he perfected it. He follows them into the kitchen, waiting by his play area, bumping the gate with his nose. They laugh at him and pet him a couple times but they’re too busy setting the table and moving the food into bowls to pay attention to him.
Ahro yells when she almost trips over him as he dashes over to her. She hardens her voice a bit. “Hansung! By your gate! Go to your gate!”
Hansung slinks back to his gate, watching his Mommy closely. Ahro puts the dishes on the table before petting him again and letting him into his play area. “Good boy. Go on.”
He whines when she closes the gate but sticks her hand over it. “We’re right here! Go play with your toys. Go play!”
Moomyung carries the rubber balls into the kitchen and dumps them over the gate into the play mat. “Here’s his balls. Hansung, play with your balls, okay? Play time.”
He waits for them to go sit down, and start eating, before he does so. Ahro watches him from the corner of her eye and tries not to engage him. She doesn’t want him to get the wrong idea and they need to draw boundaries at meal times. “I feel a little evil.”
Moomyung snorts, covering his mouth. “Sorry, sorry. It’s okay, he’s fine. Look, he’s forgotten about us already.”
She turns to where her boyfriend is pointing and finds Hansung swinging his stuffed bear back and forth between his teeth. It’s the best Sunwoo has given him. “Wow, replaced already.”
Moomyung shrugs, “what can we do?”
She laughs dryly but she doesn’t actually mind. She loves watching her puppy play. She loves watching her puppy regardless; when he’s sleeping, eating, playing. She just loves watching him and petting him and kissing him. She loves her puppy, just as much as she loves Mimi. All those scary thoughts leave her head and never come back.
Chapter 2: Potty Training
Hansung feels a little silly but it’s okay because mommy and daddy love him so much!
The potty training was hard. Hansung wasn’t used to going on a schedule—it wasn’t all structured, especially not at first. His mommy and daddy were really nice about letting him out and really patient with him all the time. They always took him before bed, in which he was locked in his “house”, the spacious cage that held lots of blanket, his little bed, a pillow and his stuffed toys. Just in case, they always put down a pad in the back of the cage. He hadn’t had to use it yet but there’d been a couple close calls.
One had been in the morning, where Hansung woke up earlier having to pee, but figured he could hold it until one of them woke up. They always woke up early. But he was so full that it was hard to hold and when he heard Moomyung on the stairs he scratched to be let out. Moomyung let him out quickly, and ruffled his hair. He squirmed while Moomyung clipped his leash to his collar and then guided him outside. Once he was off the porch he had no problem peeing. It still felt silly to have to lift his leg but everytime he finished his daddy gave him lots of kisses and called him good and he felt perfect .
He had been too embarrassed at first to go in front of Ahro. She’d let him out in the yard without his leash, encouraging him with a babyish voice and soft coos of “come on, baby!” and “go pee pee” but he’d just circled around a few times waiting for her to become distracted or take a hint. Once she pulled out her phone to text he’d wandered over to the small shrubs to pee, tricking his brain into the “you can’t see me if I can’t see you” mentality. Once he finished he wandered back over to her where she waited quietly, giving him a treat and kissing his nose.
He’s still having trouble today. He knows he has to pee and his daddy somehow always knows when something is up but it’s early in the morning and he feels kinda silly still. Dumb, even. Moomyung comes to get him in his sleep pants and sweatshirt, wearing only slippers, eyes still squinty with sleep. He pets Hansung to wake up the rest of the way telling him it’s time to get up. Hansung doesn’t want to move but he does have to pee. It’s like clockwork now—he always has to in the morning.
Hansung sleepily drags himself out of his cage and sits, waiting for Moomyung to put his leash on, but it doesn’t come. “No leash today, pup. Let’s go.”
That makes him a little nervous. He clambers down the ramp to the grass and immediately says hello to his new friends around the rose bush. They’re big, chubby bumblebees that are always buzzing by. Moomyung tried to nudge him away.
No, no. Leave the bees alone. Go potty, Hansung.”
Hansung contemplates. He has to pee but he’s sleepy and he just wants his bed. He shuffled over to the side of the porch and peers underneath. He can’t fit because of the tiny fence material Moomyung has built around the edge of it. He doesn’t want to pee near here either. He’s feeling vulnerable and picky today, wandering around the yard. Moomyung lets him and says nothing.
Hansung stops eventually and just sits. He wants to go back inside but he can’t until he pees and it sucks because he’s feeling so weird today. Moomyung seems to realize something is up because he comes down and claps his hands together in a “here” gesture and Hansung comes over.
“Hansung, it’s potty time, not play time. Go pee for me.”
Oh, so now even his daddy is losing patience. Hansung moves closer to nuzzle his hand and Moomyung pets him for a bit.
“Can you go for daddy? Can you try?”
Hansung shifts his weight on the heels of his palms and knees. He needs to go! He knows he does! But he feels strange and anxious being outside right now with his daddy.
“Come on Hansung. You can do it. My perfect boy,” his daddy is praising him even though he’s done nothing but stroll around. He loves mommy and daddy.
Hansung circles around again, trying not to look at Moomyung, because that’ll just make it worse. He lifts his leg a little so he won’t go all over himself and strains to pee. Once he starts his stream picks up and he’s not struggling to go. When he’s finished he turns back to his daddy who’s crouched down, smiling, waving him over with a treat. When had he gone back to grab those?
“Good boy, Hansung! You’re such a good boy! Come on,” he offers Hansung one of the crackers and let’s him lick his hand in thanks. “Let’s go back inside and see mommy so I can tell her hoe good you were.”
Mommy! Hansung races up the ramp now to go back inside to give his mommy kisses, no longer feeling awful, and now fully awake. If he’s still tired he can always nap by her feet, after all. That’s why mommy’s his favorite.
Chapter 3: Blanket
Hansung doesn’t want his blanket to be washed!
Me totally crying over this chapter: whats good folks
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Hansung is currently napping while Ahro and Moomyung go about their Sunday. Sunday’s consist of chores: laundry, deep cleaning the kitchen, mopping, bleaching, cleaning the bathroom, and whatever else it is they need to do. Because of those reasons, Hansung is confined to his play area so he doesn’t mess anything up or get into anything he’s not supposed to. The laundry machine is going and Ahro’s washing dishes and the noises are almost putting him to sleep. He opens an eye when she reaches over to him, wiggling her fingers for him to come over to.
“Come here, boy,”
Hansung doesn’t want to get up. His blanket is soft and comfortable and he just wants to lie down. But Ahro asks him to come again more firmly so he sleepily wanders over to her, nudging her hand.
“I’m coming in, okay? Have to grab your blankie,”
Hansung wakes up at that, darting over to the blanket as soon as she grabs it, pulling on it with his teeth. It’s his blanket! She can’t take it!
“Hansung, let go, it’s not play time. Hansung.”
Hansung tries to pull it out of her hands, tugging at it. Ahro has a good grip on the blanket but she’s not going to rip it from him. She tugs on it gingerly.
“Let go. Be a good boy and let go.”
When Hansung lets out a tiny frustrated growl Ahro grabs his stuffed bear and shakes it. “Do you want your bear? Come get your bear!”
Hansung doesn’t want his bear; he wants to keep his blanket. Ahro tries to tickle him under the chin but he stands firm, teeth clenching the blanket. He shakes his head, trying to tear the blanket back from her. She finally sighs and calls for Moomyung.
“Hansung, please, your blanket hasn’t been washed in two weeks it’s going to get gross. You’ll get it back in less than an hour. You can go outside and play with your toys! Just let go,” she pleads, waiting for Moomyung. Hansung glares.
“What’s going on? Tug of war?” Moomyung strolls into the kitchen, spotting the two of them and giving Hansung a quizzical expression.
“He won’t let go of his blanket.”
Moomyung steps into the play area and grips Hansung’s cheeks with his fingers, squishing them. He works his way down to Hansung’s jaw, massaging, putting more and more pressure in hopes that Hansung will open his mouth like he does when he won’t give up his toys during play. But this isn’t playtime. This is his territory and they’re stealing from him.
“Hansung. Open for daddy. You want a treat? Open up.”
“Hansung, we need to wash the blanket and you’ll get it back. I promise. Now let go,”
When Hansung doesn’t budge, Moomyung gives him a sharp smack on the butt. “ Now , puppy,”
Hansung lets his jaw go lax just enough for Ahro to tug the blanket from between his teeth. She dashed off with it and when Hansung goes to chase her, Moomyung grabs a hold of his collar.
“No. Bad boy. Sit.”
Hansung, now distraught over his blanket, sits. Moomyung ruffles his hair and offers him a cracker. He might as well take it.
“Daddy doesn’t like having to be mean but you need to listen when we tell you to do something. Your blanket needs to be washed just like all your other toys.”
Hansung huffs. Moomyung pets him, shaking one of his balls. “You want to play with Daddy? Go outside and play?”
No, he doesn’t. He lies down again and whines, kicking his legs just a little. Moomyung rubs his tummy a bit.
“I know, I know. You’ll get your blanket back soon. I promise.”
Moomyung leaves him with a couple of nose kisses, letting Hansung lick his lips to prove he doesn’t hate his daddy, and shuts the gate after. He lies there for a bit in self pity before he becomes distracted with his stuffed carrot. He hasn’t teethed on it in forever and it’s freshly washed. He goes over to it and picks it up before biting it and swinging it around. He plays with his carrot for a bit before he remembers his blanket is gone and then goes to wait by the gate, shifting his weight excitedly, trying to peer over the top of it. He can’t and stands on his knees for a few seconds before he comes back down. If they see him doing that again he’s going to get in trouble.
“Do you need to go outside? Outside? Potty?” Ahro waits for him to respond. He shakes his head and licks her fingers when she sticks her hand over the gate. “You just want mommy, huh?”
No! He wants his blanket! He snorts before moving away from her hand, moving back and forth in front of the gate, pacing as best as he can in his small space. He picks up his stuffed carrot and hurls it at the gate, watching as it bounces off the grates.
“What are you doing?”
When he does it again, Moomyung hollers his name from across the entire kitchen and Hansung almost west himself in fear. It takes a moment for his heart to start beating again and he makes a run for his cage in case Moomyung is coming to get him.
“He’s just being pushy at this point,” Moomyung tells Ahro. Hansung watches him grab his leash and walks across the kitchen, folding the laundry forgotten. “I’m gonna take him outside for a bit.”
“Let him run around off the leash, he needs it,”
“Mhm.” Moomyung unlatches the gate and reaches inside the cage where Hansung is sitting still. He clips his leash on and gives it a tiny pull. “Come on. Outside. Let’s go.”
Hansung doesn’t move, stubbornly pulling against his leash.
“Hansung, outside. Now.”
Hansung doesn’t want to go outside! He wants his blanket! When Moomyung tugs his leash gently again Hansung huffs and shakes his head Moomyung squats down.
“You’re being a bad boy, Hansung. Come.”
He doesn’t move from his cage. He sees Ahro covering up a snicker but doesn’t pay it any more mind.
“Hansung, if you want your blanket, you have to come outside.”
This is a trick and he knows it. It’s suspicious, so he alternated between sitting and getting up a couple times before he takes it as a threat. If he doesn’t go, then will he get his blanket? He presses his face against the cage and whines.
“Hansung, come. Now.”
Hansung shuffles forward and out of his cage, and Moomyung’s face changes from disapproving to bright in a second. He scratches Hansung’s head and kisses him.
“Thank you. Let’s go. Outside.”
Hansung follows him outside, still not pleased about how his whole day is going. He decides to walk as slowly as he can down the ramp once he’s unleashed and pads his way carefully across the grass. When he snaps at a butterfly, his daddy scolds him and he immediately takes his anger out on the bushes, whacking the little branches around. He cries when one hits him in the face and Moomyung rushes over to check if he’s alright.
“You’re fine, you’re fine—that’s why we don’t do that. Don’t be mean to the plants, they’ve done nothing to you.”
He throws a couple balls for Hansung but he doesn’t chase after them. Hansung just wanders around uninterested and bored, waiting until he can go inside and get his blanket back. Moomyung stands outside with him the entire time. Somewhere along the line he tries to get Hansung to pee but he doesn’t need to right now. He just scampers about from plant to plant and when he sees hello to the bees again Moomyung decides it's time to bring him back inside.
“Did you have fun outside?” Ahro pars his head between laundry loads.
“He tried to make friends with the bees again so I brought him in. He didn’t go either so he’ll probably need to go out again in a bit.”
They let him back into his play pen for a while more and talks mongsf themselves about dinner and about the week they have planned. Hansung waits by the gate still, lying down, stuffed carrot cushioning his head. He drifts off for a few minutes before he hears Ahro calling his name. What does she want now?
“Hansung. Here’s your blanket. Just like we said!”
Hansung waits til she’s at the gate to sit up and once she lies the blanket down, he snatches it and drags it back to where he was originally sleeping an hour ago. She laughs at him when he kneads it, circling a few times before he decides that’s it’s just right and lies down. Finally , he can nap.
I love my puppy.....