I was reflecting on all the things I have learned in the last four months of being a mom to furbabies.
1. Being in charge of another living being is HARD.
This one is pretty obvious but having dogs while growing up is wayyy different than being a dog owner. I knew it was a lot of work but between feeding, walking, playing, training and medical visits, having a new dog takes a lot of work! We get up at 5:30am just to make sure both pooches get a good walk in and have enough time to eat and settle before I have to leave more than two hours later. We sometimes feel badly that they're crated for 7 hours a day right now but then we remind ourselves that it isn't a permanent solution (hopefully) and that the alternatives for them were much grimmer.
If you have met a dog owner who said that getting a dog from a shelter who was untrained in all ways DIDN'T require patience, they are either the most patient person in the world or lying, Housetraining requires patience, teaching a dog manners like walking nicely on leash takes a boat load of patience, working with a reactive dog takes patience...basically, a whole lot of patience. And I'm a better person for it.
The pups really force us to keep our priorities in check. Do we really NEED that new thing we wanted to buy or would we rather be able to buy that (insert that dog item we've been talking about) instead? Do we really NEED to go out for a fancy dinner for Valentine's Day or would we rather go camping with the pups and spend the money on a campsite for a night?
Man, I am just a SOFTY! Or at least I used to be. I am so patient with students sometimes that people ask me how I can let them get rowdy without yelling. The truth is that I'm just uncomfortable as a disciplinarian. I used to be not so great at setting rules and sticking with them but the pooches force us to do this. No playing on the bed? Then kick them off right away. No jumping up when we're trying to feed you? Then you have to wait until you calm down to get the food. I have to constantly remind myself that the dogs need structure and boundaries and that's really good for all of us.
5. Dog stuff