The Good, The Bad, and the Poop
On March 5th I came home from work to an empty apartment. For those of you who don’t know, my husband is attending the Criminal Justice Academy to become a state trooper. While I am immensely proud of him, this means he’s gone Monday-Friday for months. I came home, dropped my bag, and shut the door behind me.
Then I started to bawl.
As a new wife, all I wanted was to share this space with my husband and make it our home. I wanted someone to eat dinner with and someone to come home to.
We thought adopting a little companion would help soothe the loneliness I’d be facing until the end of the summer. My husband and I had talked about getting a dog, and after seeing a
sketchy ad on Craigslist for a free puppy, we jumped head first into puppyhood.
We’ve learned a lot over the last 7 weeks. Here are our tips!
1. Throw Personal Time Out the Window
We bought Bailey to keep me company. Has she fulfilled that role? YES. However, now I find that all my free time after work is spent cleaning up after her, taking her on long walks, and making sure she has the affection she needs! Sounds great, but when I need a minute alone to watch TV or unwind…I CAN’T. Bailey is always there to remind me that she needs attention!
2. Forget a Clean House
Honestly, I let the apartment get pretty messy during the week when my husband isn’t here. It’s just me and the dog, so it’s okay. However, it is VERY difficult to clean up when I need to! I’m in one room cleaning up and she’s in another digging through trash and climbing on furniture! Even when I give her a bone/toy, she passes it up for a decoration on the coffee table or a pillow from the bed!
3. Valuables Must be Accounted For
I learned this the hard way. I had a semi-new pair of Steve Madden shoes left out for ten minutes and that’s all it took for her to chew through the strap and tear apart the front of the shoe.
She also spilled milk on my phone.
She also chewed up homemade pillows I made.
Socks and underwear aren’t safe either, y’all!
4. Mundane Tasks Become Adventures
I walk my dog about 9-12 miles a week. These walks would be pretty boring without Bailey. Now we stop every 5 minutes to say hi to strangers, attempt to dive-bomb off bridges, and sniff every suspicious looking plant in our path! (poison ivy anyone?)
I sit down to eat dinner and it’s like I’ve been transported back to the cavemen era! I’m constantly trying to protect my food!
Showering is no longer a private affair! (unless I want her to scratch through the door!)
5. Poop, Poop, Poop
Potty training is hard. And dirty. We’re keeping carpet cleaners in business. I’ll just leave it at that.
6. Your Become Protective (of your food)
Like I mentioned above- it doesn’t matter if you’re eating at the table, on the couch, or in the car. YOUR FOOD IS NOT SAFE PEOPLE. Last night my husband left the room for two seconds to grab his phone charger and Bailey had taken an entire slice of pizza off his plate.
It doesn’t matter if it is a raisin or a piece of chocolate cake- as long as we’re eating it- she wants it!
7. He/She is just a baby
My husband tells me this on a daily basis. Whenever I get frustrated at her messiness, inability to potty train, and obsessive need to chew, Tyler reminds me that Bailey has been on this planet for less than 5 months!
Just remember that you need to have a grace period for your doggy. Also, the vet told me that the bigger your dog is supposed to get, the slower it matures!
Get all the chew toys in PetSmart. Get every bone from Walmart. Do it.
Also, be prepared to have scrapes and marks all over yourself. Bailey’s love language is biting. Not aggressive enough to make me bleed, but definitely enough to leave a mark.
The only way to combat this is to redirect the biting. When she bits me when I pet her, I give her a toy. She hasn’t caught on yet, but I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES!
Like I mentioned- I take Bailey to a trail almost everyday. She has so much pent up energy living in this apartment. She needs exercise like I need a week off work! (Can I get an amen, teachers?)
Even if it’s spending 30 minutes throwing a ball- running calms her down and makes her a much more pleasant dog to be with!
10. Love is Powerful
I know what love is. I have a great family, a wonderful husband, and lovely friends. I’d do anything for them. We’ve been through rough patches here and there, but love always pushes us through.
Dog love is different.
Bailey does nothing for me but act cute and occasionally take naps next to me to give the illusion that she loves me.
But from the moment I held her in my arms, I had a connection with her. It felt so different from any love I’m used to. It’s sounds so cheesy, but it was magical!
This little, helpless puppy was now counting on ME to take care of her every need. To make her feel loved, feed her, bathe her, and play with her! I had never felt that level of responsibility before!
But here’s the weird part- even though she is FAR from perfect and a few choice words have escaped my mouth whilst dealing with her, I. Love. Her. She is mine. She has hurt me. She has torn up my best pair of shoes. She has stolen my dinner and wrecked my apartment.
But I love her anyway. Because she is mine.
What kind of love does that sound like? Total unconditional love?
God loves us the same way.
How many times have my actions or words hurt God?
How many times has He disagreed with my decisions?
I am a sinner and I mess up every hour! (just like Bailey)
But He loves me anyway.
It doesn’t matter what I do, either! Because I AM HIS. He calls me his daughter and He delights in ME. In ME! Regardless of my screw-ups and failures! He loves me just as much on my worst day as He does on my best day!
It’s so funny how a little puppy can teach me about Christ’s love, but God chooses to teach us lessons in the most unexpected ways!
So maybe you have a fur-baby. Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Even while cleaning up dog poo, your love for your dog does not waver. If she was hurt, I would drop everything and get her help. When she is scared, I want to comfort her.
God sees you the same way. When you’re down on earth
pooping everywhere making mistakes, He still looks down on you with unconditional LOVE!
Please forgive me for referring to poop so much in this post! I’m just being honest PEOPLE!
Poop. Poop. Poop.