The Puppy - Chapter 5

So this week's lesson seems to be that there is a fine line to tread as a dog owner. The line exists to separate taking good care of your dog by providing a loving and safe environment and becoming so obsessed that life begins to revolve around every whim of the little guy. Since spike has come home, I have been dangerously walking that line. And I’ll admit, at times crossing over to the wrong side.

I think it is common knowledge that when a baby is born, very often the new parents become unable to think or talk about anything else. And while this can be annoying for friends or family who don't have children, the phenomenon is certainly understandable. A newborn baby is fragile and helpless and needs lots of attention. If it's the first child born to a family there are surprises, unexpected discoveries and life suddenly takes a turn in a whole new direction. New parents tend to rightfully acquire one track minds - there isn't much in the world more fascinating than or nearly as interesting as their new addition.

I say all of this because over the past month, I have caught a mutated strain of the above described disease. Spike has quickly become my number 1 priority, sometimes to the detriment of other things in my life. I talk about him, I think about him, I worry about him and I even obsess a little. There have been times when I have found myself unnecessarily altering my life to accommodate the puppy. Luckily, my husband brought this to my attention and it is something that I am trying to get under control.

The thing is, we got a puppy. We didn't have a baby. And yes, while life will change because we are dog owners it isn't like we have to completely readjust as if we brought a child into the world. Because when all is said and done, spike is a dog. As long as he is well fed and groomed, properly trained, sufficiently exercised and shown plenty of affection he's good. It is his responsibility as our companion to learn to adjust to our lifestyle. And not the other way around! (See even typing that was difficult for me...)

It is true that I love him like I never thought that I could love a dog. I love him when he is sweet and well behaved and I love him when he misbehaves (4 weeks of being perfectly potty trained and all of sudden this morning he pooped in the hallway out of nowhere?? What is up with that???) But he is not the alpha dog of this house, and I cannot treat him that way ~ maybe if I keep saying that I’ll start actually believing it!

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