Monday, July 15, 2019

Everything My Puppy Reveals about Me

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 and control
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 conflict resolution
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.


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