Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Becoming Better: Life with a Dog

It is so lovely to have a new family member. This tiny puppy brings sunshine and love and doggy kisses. He also brings a new kind of accountability. There is no faking or cheating with a dog. He takes you for what you are and understands who you are. A child who cringes when picking him up? Will be used as a chew toy. An adult who allows him to gnaw on a shoe or sock in a moment of laissez-faire? A new bad habit. 

His needs also need to be met, on time and unconditionally, every single day. I don't feel like getting up at 5:30am? There will be consequences, and I will have to deal with them. It's too hot, no walk today? Try one over-excited puppy destroying the house until he is walked. He's small, but mighty. I forget to play after taking him out? Watch the toes! He will remind me and keep me faithful to his routine I have, after all, established in order to help him grow in confidence and obedience both.

Thank you, Tuxy dog, for teaching me the value of predictability and rhythm in a whole new way, and keeping me true to my promise to bring to light one great family dog. Some day I might even forgive you for chewing a hole in that hand-knit sock.

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