What a day! Sometimes, I feel like my whole day is about keeping the peace - whether it's between kids (my own), or dogs (my own), I just try to keep things even, calm and safe.
At this moment, little Chief and Charlie are playing like mad, chasing back and forth with no regard for furniture or people. Limits? Ummmm not at the moment.
In the car ride home from school, my boys were wild - which isn't the norm. I'm glad they're big enough for one to sit in the front seat. Otherwise, I would not have been able to maintain safety. But around every corner, one of them had a jab for the other, or had to say something really loud. I could not say one word that would contain them. So I let it go.
Sometimes, you just have to let it all go and let them learn for themselves - dogs or boys.
I spent a couple of hours today with some foster pups at the Shelter. These little bundles are Corgi mixes. The mom is the sweetest thing in the world (well, not as sweet as my foster mom...) And these 6 puppies are tiny and furry and cuddly and wonderful. I couldn't believe that to nurse, the mom stands up, tall (for a Corgi) and the pups roll over on their backs and gently suck. So different from Chief's litter!
I got some wonderful puppy kisses that brought back all kinds of memories.
Then I took Chief to his first official training class. He'd been going to puppy play group at UnLeashed for weeks. Finally, it was time for "sit" and "down" and "stay" and all the rest. The trainers are so awesome at UnLeashed. You get the basics and so much more. I learn a ton every time I go. Tonight, Chief tested out of Level 1! A huge accomplishment for my 5 month old, butt-head, energy ball disguised as a puppy.
I know these milestones are more for the humans than the dogs, but that means a lot! I put in my time and try to train this guy. If all I get out of it is a good dog and a certificate, I'm happy. He did amaze me though. I thought he'd be easily distracted by the other dogs and the birds in the barn. But he whipped himself into training mode and showed off for everyone.
This dog is different from the other dogs I've had. He's all or nothing. He's pushing the boundaries all the time, every minute. And if I give him an inch, he'll take the mile and keep it forever and ever and ever. So I'm on guard. But I'm on guard in a fun way.
In the past, I'd viewed dogs more like property than like companions. I'm not proud of this. I thought you were supposed to control your dogs (I'm sure I could rack up some hefty therapy bills trying to figure that out...). But since I've had kids, my attitudes have changed. Why spend time with kids or dogs unless you're going to have some fun?
So my new goal is to have more fun with my dogs. And just today, I discovered a low wall on our usual walk. I invited Charlie to jump up on it and walk along. Chief is too small. That made Charlie so proud and Chief so jealous. But they need that - they're different dogs! I can't wait to get Charlie to prance and jump over stuff on that wall. He'll have a blast. Yes, eventually Chief will master it too.
What did I learn today? What did I accomplish? What do I care? I had a great day doing nothing and doing everything for the humans and the dogs that I love.