Sunday, December 21, 2008

gifts for me under the tree!

Not exactly what I had in mind.

Sophie has been leaving presents like this all over the place, so now we've confined her to the family room. I'm reminded of the days potty-training my children, something I was terrible at even though I went through it six times. I admit that sometimes I look at my adult children and am amazed that they made it this far without thousands of hours of therapy -- and in dry pants, no less.

Puppy love can be fickle, but I'm not giving up on my girl, or on myself. I know that she and I will figure this out. Since I've been spending all my free time searching the internet ("puppy poops in crate" and "how do I housetrain?" were recent searches) I've had little time to blog. When I'm not looking for training assistance I'm locked in the bathroom with her (that's where her training papers are) praying that she will let loose. It's a pain, but I'm still glad I got here. Weird? Love, puppy and otherwise, is like that.

I'm learning about myself, of course, as I struggle to train the little sweetie. Every puppy training manual (including my current fave read, Puppies for Idiots) claims that it is indeed the owner who first needs discipline. Oh dear. Discipline is NOT my strong suit. My lack of it leads me to say things like, "I'm a great mom, but a lousy mother." I'm horrible at providing boundaries, for myself and others.

This experience is reminding me that I need to grow in this area. Developing a schedule, following rules, erecting barriers, establishing boundaries -- all these ideas make me exceedingly uncomfortable. They go against my nature. But that is not an excuse to abandon them.

Sophie and I can learn together, and we will. I talked with my brother the other day, who is proud "papa" to a black lab and a life-long dog lover. He reminded me that I need to exude confidence, and that I should essentially "fake it til I make it." Sophie will learn that I'm leader of the pack, and she will be my faithful friend and companion. It will all be worth it.

Just another reminder that living a full life means doing things that are challenging, taking risks, pushing ourselves. It also means there will occasionally be unexpected presents under the tree. That's ok. Just clean it up and keep going!


Suzanne said...

argh - you posted a poop pic!

Bia said...

I like your brother's philosophy of 'fake it til you make it". . . sometimes I tell my son's something similar: when they are particularly nervous about something, I tell them that it sometimes works to pretend you're confident and sometimes you can fool, not only those around you, but yourself as well.

I don't know, though...I think I'd rather find a jewelry box under the tree:)

Kim H. said...

Wait, your kids pooped under your Christmas tree?...

Oh, I'm sorry, I misunderstood.

Hang in there. It'll get better. When you're at the bottom, there's only one place to "go" - get it, "go"? I'm sorry. You may smack me now.

Thank goodness for linoleum, tile, pergo, hardwood - just keep fakin' it! And like the famous Cesar Milan would say "remain calm and balanced and you too can be a confident pack leader" - okay, something like that. You'll get there!

Journey of Truth (Sarah) said...

You have the right attitude. We have a year old Yorkie. It took a long while to get her crate trained (they will not poop in their beds/crates). By long while, I just mean a disciplined three to four weeks. If she knows where her food/water is, just give her water as needed, not always available. If she's not eating and standing at her bowl, you know she's thirsty. Every time she eats, you may want to put her outside (especially true with drinking). If Holly messed on the carpet, I told her no very sharply and put her on her lead outside and coached her to "go potty". Eventually, she figured it out. But, like you read and your brother said, CONFIDENCE. You can do it and she'll be a wonderful pet and friend. Good luck and MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Kate Wicker said...

We think poop is very funny around here. I'll have to show this one to my preschooler to incite some giggles.

Julie said...

Oh my goodness- our puppy left us an almost identical present under our tree! In fact, she gave us more than one. (I guess she's going for the whole 12 days of Christmas effect. Either that, or she's Jewish.) How funny!! I can totally feel your pain.
Thanks for the encouragement, by the way!

momto5minnies said...

Ewwww ....

Don't give up. Our sweet Border Collie was terrible as a pup. Now he is the best doggie. I guess i should heed my own words when I say that all of what you say and teach will click ... someday.