Friday, August 24, 2012

Going to the dogs...

In today's chapter of "WTH was I thinking?!?"...

A friend gave us a dog. More accurately, they gave us a beagle puppy. Now, I love dogs...and baby beagles are just so adorable...how could I say no? Wth was I thinking?

I love Charlie. Really, I do. BUT, I must have forgotten that taking care of and training a puppy is like having another kid. They need a LOT of time and attention...and I'm. Tired.

There's a reason I said I don't need any more kids. Four is enough for one person to take care of. Yet, in the name of making my children happy, I brought home their new little friend.

Initially, he lived with friends and family members because our apartment was too small for a dog, and we had no yard. So, we were more like his non-custodial family, with rights of visitation. The recent move to a real house has allowed us to bring him home to stay. Let's just say...it's been interesting...

It's been an adventure to keep him from destroying the house and getting him used to our routine. I'm sure PETA would call me an unfit dog parent. Charlie does not have the run of the house. Instead, he lives in the kitchen and dining area...where there is no carpet. He has a big backyard to play in with (thanks to the generosity of a friend) a doghouse that is nicer than my last apartment. However, when he's out in the yard with no supervision, he is on a cable.

Now, don't attack me with the whole "no chain" argument. His cable is long enough that he can reach the entire backyard, but not long enough to allow him to dig under the fence and run into the busy street. So, I'll reconsider the idea that his cable equates to cruelty as soon as I see the authorities forcing parents to take their children off those ridiculous looking leashes that seem to be getting more popular.

Having Charlie join our household has been frustrating at times...and wonderful. The kids are so happy to have him to play with and take care of him. That's right, I said they are HAPPY to TAKE CARE OF him. They are seeing to it that he's fed, watered, played with, etc. They clean up after him without being told. While they don't always know what needs to be done, they seem to be making a point of asking me to teach them, rather than just letting me do everything. This makes me so thankful because it definitely takes away some of my stress. Most of all, it makes me proud as a parent that my children have internalized the compassion, initiative, and responsibility that I have always tried to instill in them. As I watch that little puppy grow, I've also been watching my kids growing into responsible individuals.

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