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September 15, 2012

Lessons learned from puppy a lot like those from kids

And so our first summer with a dog closes. Lessons have been learned, as I suspected they might. In case you are pondering a similar addition to your house, here are a few of them.

Lesson One:

The kids will mostly be of no help when it comes to taking care of a puppy. Just know that from the start and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when you can get them to take her for a walk or throw a ball around. 

That isn’t to say that the kids don’t contribute in their own unique way. Most of the stuff that the dog would have chewed on/broken had already been chewed on/broken by the kids. This reduces the stress about a thousandfold.

Lesson Two:

No matter how much you harp on the kids to put their dang shoes where they belong — which is essentially any place that isn’t the floor — they will never respond to just your nagging them. Add a shoe-eating puppy to drive the message home. 

When they come to complain that the dog has destroyed yet another flip-flop, shrug and remind them it wouldn’t have happened if they followed the rule.

Expect zero sympathy, however, when said dog gnaws the heck out of your favorite pair of summer flats because you were distracted when you walked in the door and failed to pick them up. 

I own that this was completely my own fault. Still, I’ll miss those shoes.

Lesson Three:

You will no longer only step on Legos when you walk across the living room. You will instead step on slimy, half-chewed pieces of rawhide.

Lesson Four:

Everything on your desk will be shoved onto the floor by your fattest cat who firmly believes that is the only safe place in the house. The cat will then ever-so-gently dangle one paw in front of the dog’s face, who will then fall into a barking frenzy because the cat is taunting her. Yelling will do nothing to help this situation but might make you feel better.

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