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Dissertation Buddy

I got a dissertation buddy. She’s a dog. She’s my dissertation dog.

Perhaps more appropriately, my husband and I got a dog that happens to have arrived right around the time I need to start doing data analysis and writing my dissertation.

Her name is Gertrude, and she is crazy cute. She’s a weimaraner, and she’s 8 weeks old. Here’s a picture of her helping me finish (finally) Catch-22. She wasn’t much help, really, but it made reading that book a little more pleasant.

Helping me finish reading Catch-22.

I’m sure I’ve been annoying the crap out of all my friends on Facebook by continually posting pictures of her. I’m trying really hard to stop posting pictures of her, guys, but she’s really all I have to talk about. My life has revolved around her for the past week.

This is because she likes to chew on everything in sight, and we’re trying to train her not to do this (and to keep her from electrocuting herself on a cord). Also, she can only make it in her crate for about three hours before she needs go out, so that means every three hours, one of us needs to go out. When she’s up playing, it’s more like every 20 minutes. When it’s 3am and storming outside — like it was last night — the prospect of marching my ass downstairs to go out in the rain and thunder with a puppy who’s going to scream bloody murder because she hates the feel of rain on her ears and can’t piece together that I’m holding an umbrella so she might want to stand under it is… well… not appealing. But she’s damn cute and I love her. So out into the rain we went. And scream she did.

But holy crap, this dog is smart. Which is awesome — maybe she’ll inspire me to be smart for the next two years (and hopefully longer), too. She can sit. She can stay. She can let me know when she needs to potty (when she’s in her crate, anyway). Pretty awesome after just a week, I think. She’s also stubborn as hell. Which means she’s perfect for Kristoff and I, who are definitely more stubborn. Or at least equally as stubborn.

This week, I’ve been trying to settle into a routine that will allow me to get some work done while still paying attention to her during the day. This means dogsitters on long days, at least while she’s still this little. This means I only work in short bursts of intense semi-productivity (“semi” because I’m really not very good on operating with little sleep). This means I’m not sure how in the hell I’m going to write that paper for my social network workshop class while still collecting data.

But it’s awesome to have a dissertation buddy. And she’s a very sweet puppy. And I’m going to put her in her crate now so I can go to the dentist’s, where I’ll probably fall asleep in the dentist’s chair while the hygienist scrapes at my teeth.