I brought home another baby last week. After
months of discussing it, we committed to becoming a family home with two dogs.
Meet our puppy, Bear . . .
Going on little sleep and a lot of
coffee, I’ve been thinking about the kind of influence Bear has had on me in
the past eight days. In this puppy stage, she requires a great deal of work,
however she’s a pure joy and worth every second I invest in her.
The following are a few reflections I’ve
had as I take on the task of raising another puppy.
Bear has brought to light . . .
How I respond to inconveniences
Cleaning up accidents is not my idea of
a relaxing summer task. It’s tedious, humbling, and no one ever feels like
doing it. But I have a choice how I go about it. Complain with every squirt of
Resolve or suck it up and just do it.
How well I function on little sleep
Ha! Let’s just say I’ve been freakishly
forgetful lately. Naps are my best friend. I have to be mindful to keep my
fogginess and my irritability in check. This is familiar ground. Babies put me
through the same test.
My preferred method of teaching
I’m a researcher. My Google feed must
have forty different puppy-type searches on it. I want to learn all I can, then
adapt my style with what works. I’ve always believed in the philosophy there is
no one way. For me there are forty ways squished into one workable, effective
way that often adjusts in time.
How willing I am to admit when I’m wrong
I started off following an old school
method of raising a pup, only to do a little fact-finding and quickly shift my
application. I was wrong. I didn’t like the first way. So I changed.
My ability to trust a little one to learn—to let go of perfection
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told
myself she’ll get it over the past week. She will though. I wouldn’t expect a
baby to act like a young child. Growing up is hard work. It’s my job to guide
Bear through that in a safe and loving environment. That’s the fun part,
really—watching her get it and releasing control.
How well I’m able to step back and allow others to work out
We knew this transition could be
interesting because we threw two dogs in the mix. They need time to figure out
where they stand. There’ve been some dicey moments.
Then again, there are times
we catch them chilling out together like this . . .
Most of all Bear has shown me how much
love I still have left to give.