Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ellie Monster Turns One

My puppy girl is going to be a year old in a few weeks. How has time passed that quickly?!

So I was thinking the other day about all the ways she has helped me prepare for being a parent someday. Here's the rundown on the things she has forced taught me to have:

Patience. Some people can internalize their frustration and let it out constructively after they have calmed down. I am not one of those people. When I get super frustrated, I basically explode with emotion. There is throwing and crying and cursing and gnashing of teeth. I can't even count the number of times that I have gotten to this point while puppy training. People warned me when we were first talking about getting a dog that it was a lot of work. It's so true.

Over the last 12 months I have severely improved my ability to stay calm and collected in the face of total disobedience. My dog doesn't really have an "I didn't do it" look, but I've definitely gotten the "Yeah, so what if I ate the memory card for the camera, what are you gonna do about it" face from her. There is, quite possibly, nothing more composure-shattering than when your animal, who knows better, intentionally ignores/spites you. I'm sure it's at least 1,000 times more difficult when your opponent is a same-language-speaking, tiny human.

Selflessness. The times when Ellie has needed me most, always seemed to be around 3am on a week night. The event was usually something like an upset stomach (surely caused by eating something she wasn't supposed to) that resulted in her vomiting, etc in her kennel. Which then required one of us to get up and clean her/the kennel/the carpet, do a load of laundry so she has a fresh pillow/towels to sleep on, and rub her belly until she falls asleep. Who doesn't want to sacrifice hours of precious sleep for that? Oh, me.

In those moments though, I could feel just how much she loves me. It's really pretty great to have someone or something that just needs you like that. Once I could get past the frustration (see #Patience), I actually kinda treasured these moments.

A more relaxed attitude. Having a perfectly neat home (even for a moment), with no random plastic shrapnel strewn about is a thing of the past. Treasured home decor pieces and picture frames now all have at-least-slightly-chewed corners. Being on time happens less often because, sometimes, the dog just does not understand that you have somewhere to be and she would rather watch the birds in the trees than go #2 for you.

But it's all good. I absolutely love and adore her.

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