Sunday, November 22, 2009

Practically Perfect

It's been a while since my last post because, quite frankly, life has gotten in the way. Bella and Baxter continue to grow and eat...everything - baseboards, linoleum, microwave carts, crates, and toys. Now one might think they are bored, left alone too long, or just plain out of control, but let me assure you, they are not bored or left alone -- out of control at times, YES. 

Maggie and I were feeling pretty low over the last few weeks; overwhelmed might be a better term, but the bottom line is that we felt like we are failing at being perfect puppy parents. It wasn't until a long ponderous drive home from work had me thinking that we're not unlike parents who just found out their seemingly perfect child has been a total turd in school, behavior out of control, disruptive in class, and thought to be suffering from some sort of incurable brain damage from birth. Yeah, I'd say we were feeling pretty low - a little on the hopeless side.

As quick as I put my finger on that realization, I thought about those parents who are dealing with challenged children. There are 2 kinds of parents: the parents who give up, suffering for the remainder of their lives with children who cannot be controlled, or the parents who straighten up and do whatever it takes to help their children become productive people - they learn what needs to be done, they take the time, and they focus all their attention on the child in order to get done what needs to be done.

Now this may sound a bit melodramatic, I mean, we're talking about puppies in our case, right? It's not that far off - trust me on this! It's hell being perfect! But parents aren't perfect. Parenting is a crap shoot. And we're talking about puppies -- 6 month old puppies for crying out loud!

Once I allowed myself a break, I was ready to straighten up, take charge, and do whatever I needed to do to keep working on these puppies! Are we going to make mistakes along the way? SURE! Are the puppies going to be perfect? Probably not! Is there a perfect dog out there? Not that I know of!

The truth is, we've taught these dogs a lot in their 6 short months. Starting Dec. 1, they're going to obedience training at the Oregon Humane Society. They're doing great at potty training. Yes, they have accidents but most of the time because we're not paying attention to the signs we taught them to give us! They sit. They stay. They wait. And...they catch popcorn! (Listen to them smack their lips!)


Aj said...

Bella + Baxter caught the popcorn really well! I was impressed.

I LOVED watching Bella doing her "down" it made me laugh! She goes down so fast, making a plop sound. LOL.

Anonymous said...

6 months! Is that all??? You have done amazing in that short time! I remember when I was hugging Abey at that age and she bit me. I burst into tears and wanted to give her back. Persevere, human parents, for you will be rewarded. Your training will give you new tools, too. Jim taught our dog a few simple hand commands to go along with the sit, stay, down. Parenting is tough anyway you look at it. Laura

JulieandCaleb said...

Aww, hang in there! Having one puppy is hard enough...and you have TWO!

Your video cracked me up, that is quite an impressive down that Bella can do!

Annie and Maggie said...

Bella has that "down" command down to a science! Sorta like roadkill with her legs all splayed out like that.

Baxter doesn't have the slightest interest in the "down" command yet. He's a slow learner.

When they both get tired, they'll suddenly plop down on the ground like that and we laugh every time.