Thursday, February 7, 2013

Humans: What I've Learned (So Far)

(One of our titles for the blog starts with "Pooches," so I figured that if I was going to post about us humans, I should make an appropriate title.)

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.

2.  Patience
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.

3.  Priorities
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?  

4.  Discipline
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
After reading countless online articles, blogs and books about dogs, dog behavior, reactive dogs, multidog households, avoiding fights in multidog households, resource guarding, etc. I have realized that I know something about dogs now!

What else have YOU learned?!


  1. "I am so patient with students sometimes that people ask me how I can let them get rowdy without yelling."-- Are you a teacher?!

    I also have learned A LOT in the past 6 months. I can't believe that I used to know ZERO about dogs, and now I know A BUNCH! Much of what I heave learned is the same as your list =)

    1. I teach religious school actually and my classes (or private tutoring sessions with two kids) get so noisy that other people cringe!! But I want them to have fun and forcing them to be quiet is NOT the way to go. :-)

      It seems pretty crazy to have learned so much in a short amount of time, right!? I wonder what else I could learn this much about in four months...hmmm...

  2. I don't remember if it was having Miss M or working at an inner-city highschool, but they both started at the same time and I think the combination helped me to become a better disciplinarian. We always remember, if we leave something out or on the's our fault if the dog gets it.

    1. Oh yes...we learned about leaving things out the hard way!!! Honestly, we've still been pretty careless but have just been lucky that they haven't gotten into anything lately. I forgot one, thank GOODNESS for Nature's Miracle!! (And Kongs!!!!)

  3. Wow, your list could no be more spot on! I am OBSESSED with spoiling the pooches - I've found I'll gladly give up a new thing to get Tessie a cute new collar!

    1. I'm eyeing a few Sirius Republic ones...they'll look so dapper. :-D

  4. I didn't grow up with dogs and I can't figure out if that was actually to my advantage in terms of the fact that I didn't have any previous expectations on what dog ownership was like. The whole experience is a clean slate for me.
    I now get more excited to buy any misc. item for the dogs than I am for things I want or need. I'm truly a crazy dog mom there!
    Our biggest challenge has been providing the best for our dogs while maybe not having tons of money for formal training. They are happy amazing dogs but they have significantly less training than a lot of dog blog stars out there.
    FYI we had a point where our dogs were crated 10 hours a day. :( I feel bad to admit it, but it was the truth. 50% of the time someone came to let them out but not always. We have a much better situation now, however, and it's only fosters who get crated also. I don't feel our pups ever suffered from crating long periods. I wouldn't promote that, but we are lucky. They are pretty low-key and low demand for how much exercise they need. They really aren't hyper dogs at all! (Though we'd have hyperactive fosters.)