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What My New Puppy Taught Me About Motherhood

NotBeauThis past Christmas, my husband and I finally gave into our kids’ ceaseless pleading and got them a puppy.

So on Christmas morning, we welcomed our new Boston Terrier, Beau, into our home. As you can see by the picture, she’s ridiculously cute.

Which is a good thing, because she was also an absolute hellian. She chewed on the furniture and peed on the rug, she refused to walk on her leash, and she would hide under the bushes for hours if we let her off. She didn’t respond to her name, or stern commands of, “No!” Or “Bad Dog!” in the slightest. She was, as I came to realize, what’s commonly known as a “puppy,” and puppies get away with a lot because they’re so freakin’ cute.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had little ones. My kids are now 13, 11, and 10 and I’ll be honest, a lot of the hard work I did when they were little has really paid off. They are pretty good kids, they don’t need a lot of reminders anymore, and with our guidance, they are doing a pretty awesome job at becoming really good people.

So I have to admit, when we got this puppy, I was reminded very quickly about all the things I ask my readers, clients and fans to do on a daily basis. I guess you could say I was a little out of the loop and, having not been in the baby/toddler world for a while now, I think I’d lost touch a little bit about what you are living through day to day.

Now, before anyone starts to yell at me, I am not saying kids and dogs are the same thing so just get over it.

So, here are a few things this new puppy forced me to remember about life with little ones.

  1. Consistency:  
    I know, I know… It’s a broken record with me, right? But the puppy reminded me just how dang hard it is to remain consistent. All. The. Time. For example, walking her on the leash. I want her to walk politely and not pull. I reward her for good walking, I stop when she pulls, and I’ve done everything the trainer taught me… It’s been 4 months, and she still pulls. She’s better, but it’s so slow! Consistency is hard work people!
  2. Be open to help and advice.  
    I will admit, I like to think I know a lot of things, and I do know a lot of things, especially about raising kids. I thought when we got the puppy that I’ve have this nailed. How hard could it be? I know how to raise up well behaved kids, I should be able to train this puppy no problem. No so much… I had to get over myself really quickly and look to those who were experts in this field. Ask and pay for advice to make me a better dog owner.
  3. Always and never:  
    This relates back to the consistency part. Puppies, a lot like toddlers, see the world in black and white. There isn’t a lot of grey. You either are allowed to do something or you are not. If she isn’t allowed on the white chair, then she can never be allowed on the white chair. If she has to walk beside me, then that always has to be my expectation.
  4. Babies are fun.
    Like I said, my kids are older now, and beau has been a good reminder about how much fun babies (even the furry ones) can be. Beau is the very embodiment of the things I love about kids, be they human or canine. She’s forgiving, she’s not afraid to show affection, she’s always living for the moment, she loves everyone she meets, and she never holds a grudge a moment past the point where you reach down and scratch her ears. She’s completely comfortable in her own skin, and never lets her tiny size deter her from approaching other dogs who are, quite literally, twenty times her size.
  5. Your hard work will pay off.
    I remember having a client once who said, “Oh, it’s just the terrible twos, right? She’ll grow out of it.”  To which I said, ”She’ll only grow out of it if you teach her the skills she needs to move past this behavior and into something more appropriate.”

So true when I look at my own kids. All our hard work has paid off. When I take the dog out for her 10th trip to the potty, I have to remind myself that all this hard work is going to pay off too. All the time, consistency and effort we are putting in now to raise a well behaved dog will pay off one day. Right?

Oh people, please tell me I am right!

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Straight talk about sleep, parenting,
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My blog is a great place to find opinions, advice, the occasional rant, and some great videos about sleep.

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