When I was a very little girl of three, I had a puppy for the brief span of two weeks. It seemed the puppy liked me a little too much; it was constantly nipping and scratching, so out the poor little fellow went.
Jump twenty some odd years into the future… I had four kids of my own and still no pup. That was all about to change though! Our youngest daughter fell in love with the sweetest little thing at a family function. Lo-and-behold, the little one had a brother that needed a home too!
After much debate (me convincing my husband), we finally agreed. Two years ago, we brought home our puppy and our home hasn’t been the same since!
Everyone told me that we would regret it. They told me the kids wouldn’t be attached after the first three months and I would be doing all the work. Well, we are a couple of years into this and my baby girl is still going strong.
Bringing a puppy into the house certainly has been an education though. Our kids have learned quite a bit from having Dutch and so have we. The first year we learned the hard way, then we decided to get smart and read a book. Along the way we learned some great lessons:
- Patience– Training a dog takes a lot of patience. They won’t understand why you get angry or frustrated, impatience serves no purpose.
- Persistence– We had to learn not to give up, even when the dog just didn’t seem to be getting it.
- Consistency- It never pays to be lazy in training (which we learned the hard way).
- Gentleness– Yelling at the dog isn’t going to aid in training. You need to speak with a gentle, yet firm, voice.
- Work Ethic- Laziness and pets do not mix. Grooming, feeding, and exercise are all essential to good animal care.
Dutch is not fully trained yet (due to our late start on the right path) but he is making excellent progress. It has been great to watch the kids learn these valuable lessons.
To add to the fun, about six months ago we decided to allow our youngest daughter to get birds! We bought her two little budgies (parakeets). Like with Dutch, the same lessons needed to be learned and there were areas for her to grow.
Having pets has been a fun adventure that (so far) I do not regret. We have learned a lot and are having so much fun with them. It was the right decision for our family.
Who knows what might be coming up next? Angelina has her eye on kittens… Hmmm… Nope; I don’t think my guy is going to budge on that one!
Do you have pets? What valuable lessons have you and your children learned?