I hope this makes you smile. (Smiling is one of the ways you can diminish stress – just by doing it!) Amidst the horrors of the world I find I am still able to smile and laugh. I adjust my mind to a more positive and humerous outlook. It just makes life easier, and if you think about it – life itself is kind of funny!
I awoke this morning at 3 AM to discover our new puppy had gotten my husband up several times already. He was trying to let me sleep. However he is the one who has to work all day as shop manager and heavy truck mechanic for a paving and excavation company. He REALLY works hard and EARNS every penny!
I got up and said I would take the puppy out to go pee. I did and sat with him in the living room so he would be still and quiet. Within minutes my husband came out to make sure I was alright (he worries constantly about me after I broke my back.)
He made me get back in bed and we closed the bedroom door and we just ignored his little cry of wanting to be right next to us. He only did it for a minute. I could hear our 5 year old Rottie growl, letting the puppy know he wasn’t welcome in his bed.
The little patter of feet finally stopped and he crawled halfway under the bed (his bed is right next to ours) but he likes it under the bed right now. We didn’t care. Soon he won’t be able to fit there anyway.
Somehow my husband escaped at 4:30 AM when he had to get ready and leave for work. He didn’t want anyone to awake.
No one did until about 7 AM. I grabbed my robe and got my cane and headed out for the back door. Both dogs were hot on my feet.
We need rain badly, but when I opened the door and the dogs went flying out I heard it for the first time. It was pouring. I sneaked into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and went back to the slider. Dakota was clammering to come in. The pup was still off in the distance. I opened the door and she stood while I gently wiped her dry and cleaned each paw off. She was in!
By that time the pup was ready and he was a mess. He had been mesmerized by the rain as this was a first for him. So he absolutely had to splash through the puddles, play in the mud and eat one of the many things he discovered in the yard – nothing lethal, things like leaves and sticks.
I opened the door and he tried to fly in. I may not look fast, but I can be, if need be! I grabbed him by the scuff of the neck and held him while I grabbed each paw and used a baby wipe (they are invaluable for so many things with a pup!) He wiggled and tried to worm his way out, but I’ve been a puppy mama before. When he was clean, I let him go and he flew across the room to the toy shelf. Dakota, our older Rottie, had never torn apart anything, so he had about fifty toys all shelved close to the ground.
The puppy loved it and pulled every one out within a few minutes.
I decided to bring the apple juice in from the garage, with pup hot on my feet. My “recycled” bag broke and half the huge bottle spread all over the garage floor. Had to put Axel in the house and douse the apple juice with water to keep ants from attacking.
To summarize the morning, and I only thought WHAT HAVE I DONE? once, this is the scenario. My life was quiet and I wrote when we brought the puppy home at almost 9 weeks. Dakota is fully trained and quite amazing actually. Axel got in the bite mode so it was training time all morning, plus he follows me everywhere (so does Dakota) and so I have to be extremely careful. I put little bells on his collar so I would be able to know exactly where he is at all times. He wasn’t crazy about the collar, but now lets me put it on without a fight.
He knows how to step on my little stool and reach for stuff. He found my carpet so old he can just pull shreds of it out with his little sharp teeth. He knows how to dump the dirty clothes basket and empty it out. He found he can reach anything hanging like towels and my robe, and he likes to drag all the toys all over the house. He can grab hold of the material on one rocker and spin the chair around and he thought he might like to chew the back of my glider or a dining room chair leg – however, that’s not happening anymore.
Let’s see now was there anything else the first two hours I was awake. I almost forgot he likes to jump at Dakota and nip. Dakota does not care for it. She growls and looks at me as if to say – “What have you done TO ME!
That doesn’t concern me though as she treats him like she is his mama and when she’s had enough she lets him know.
He can already reach the pillows on the couches and he decided to turn the dog beds upside down and chew on the handles. He pushes his way past Dakota to sit on her bed, and he quietly moved to the next bed. He then decided he liked her bed and moved just to lay next to her. She let him.
The doors to all rooms are closed unless we are in that room. Cords are taped and tied out of sight. He thought my toes looked delicious and tried to take a bite out of one. I ever so gently said “No, easy and gentle.” To my surprise he backed off. I said “Get a toy” and he did!
At first the puppy would try to eat Dakota’s food, but now they stand next to each other and eat out of their own bowls. Before they eat they both are told to sit, and they do!
You may ask too, “What you thinking? You have disabilities and are not young enough to raise a new Rottie puppy!”
Excuse me! Who said “Too old” (hahaa) First of all, I am not too old to do anything I choose to do! We wouldn’t have agreed to get the pup if I couldn’t do it. I know about challenges and this is a wonderful motivation to do better, and easy to love the challenges associated with puppy training.
I have a young pup to train, messes to pick up , and twice as much poop! Just like a small child, t’s not easy sometimes, but the love our extended family gives and receives from our animals, and the loyalty and fun our dogs give to us is returned one hundred fold. I am exhausted but happy!
On the positive side, he is smart (thanks Joe!) – he sits before he gets his food. He learns quickly – is 98% house trained in a week!!
He and Dakota are bonding.
Dakota says no when he is too “in her face”, and then the two lay together on one dog bed! He loves the bath and is EASY in the tub! He eats good and really minds much better than you would expect at his age. He is curious, cute, fun, and an absolute addition to our family. He sits by the back door when he has to be. Never poops in the house. He can be cuddly, a rascal, and is already protective. When Dakota charges across the yard to bark or growl at a stranger, Axel is right behind!
Axel is now chipped, “shot”, got his first physical, and is ready to roll. We love him so much!
Have to close as there is a small black thing that has sharp teeth coming my way!
Where is the stress management you ask? It always comes from within us humans if we just listen to that small voice from within . We must be patient with a puppy, and extend love and forgiveness. We must remember to take in extra oxygen to calm us and regenerate our energy and patience! We must remember to have fun and take things (light a broken vase) with a grain of salt. Material things can be replaced.
These techniques are all an invaluable part of stress management – You just need call upon them (and I always pray) – and consistently use the techniques. There’s the magic.
The first exercise is to exercise your brain. Have a “breath taking” day! Literally.