Thursday, October 29, 2009
As I was walking this morning and all the dogs on my path were barking their hellos, I was remembering Polly the dog. I possessed Polly for all of 2 and half days. She was a doberman puppy. Cute! Smart! A spur of the moment possession. My brother and sister-in-law decided to get another dog**Polly**and had a week to decide if she was right for them. They figured it wasn't going to work about half way though the week and asked me if I would like her. I jumped at the chance. I'd seen how they were with their dog**Ziega**and I wanted a piece of that for me. And, the fact that my daughter was begging me to say yes didn't hurt. As I ran a day care at the time, I quickly found out just how scared of dogs parents can be. Many expressed immediate concern and threatened to put their kids elsewhere if I kept her. That was strike one against Polly. I was good about follow through on discipline and enjoyed walking her: the first day. The kids loved her and she them. But then, that night, I wanted to relax. Puppies don't relax. They play hard and they sleep hard--No in between. This was strike two for Polly. Crating her at night and having her cry was strike three. Then came the final blow--Rain! Walking a dog in the rain is not fun. It was not in the dog owning dream I had been having. You know the one--you and your dog are inseparable. The dog behaves and knows what you expect of it before you even command. Your dog is a miracle worker. Your dog saves your life and the lives of many others... Umm... Wet dog is horrible! Polly went back to where she came from. I'm sure some more loving family adopted her, 'cause she was sweet.
Flash back to my walk this morning. It occurred to me, in all my pondering, that none of my excuses were valid. I gave Polly back, Not because of relaxation, crying, crazy parents, nor rain. I gave Polly back because I had absolutely ZERO discipline myself. I was wondering if maybe someday I might try dog ownership again. And I kept coming back to the same phrase: "If you can be disciplined with exercise and change your life--then maybe you can handle dog ownership." How can I teach a dog to have repetitive good behavior if I don't have repetitive good behavior myself? What an inspired correlation! I do in-vision a dog as my own someday. I realize now though, that I need to be better behaved. Have better habits. Be in more control of me. And, folks, I'm on my way!