I’ve had one and only one goal for the last two weeks—house-training a three-pound puppy. My online class said never to use the kennel as punishment and always reward after each successful “potty.” It also said to remember “I” am the boss.
I’m becoming less enamored with the puppy and the training. What the experts claimed isn’t applicable when it comes to Lucy. She uses her cuteness to do whenever, whatever, and wherever she chooses. She is the boss, and I am the compliant, forgiving, and loving servant.
Goals are the secret to success. Success builds confidence, and confidence leads to self-esteem, which grows success. Lucy takes me back to faint memories of parenting: don’t hang success (or failure) on someone else’s behavior, especially when they’re babies.
Because Lucy chews on everything with her razor edge tiny teeth, including my fingers, but happiness hit my heart this week when a sweet young woman at the pet store recommended two chew sticks—one chicken and one beef. Lucy loved them and chewed on the beef stick for at least an hour. She then buried it—a difficult task since all room access doors are closed, and rugs are rolled up and stored. I couldn’t find the beef stick, so I gave her the chicken. The same thing happened—she chewed and chewed and then buried it. After playing hide and seek several times, Lucy hiding and me seeking, I now can’t find either stick. She is back to finding comfort from baskets, table legs, my fingers, and my only wooden spoon. Her teeth are still sharp, so I’m not sure chewing on a freeze-dried strip of animal works. But searching high, low, and under mimics the mystery of socks in the laundry—where DID they go? Yes, I found the brownish and yellowish stick often enough to know she didn’t eat them gone.
I also feel a little (a lot) of pressure to train my Lucy to be as obedient, calm, and devoted as my neighbor’s dog. He defies my truth that perfect isn’t possible. I know you are all wishing me luck.
Thank you for listening; I haven’t done anything with anyone other than princess Lucy since August 10th. At the date of this writing, I’ve had Lucy for twelve days and nights. Please forgive me for whining; potty training is not my ideal dream. Watching one fuzzball move around my living space, alert for her tells (training word) of needing to go outside, has entertained and frustrated me. I’m leaving you with mental health thoughts from my Lucy ramblings:
- Keep on keeping on
- Notice and celebrate small successes
- Set reasonable and attainable goals
- Instinct and expertise can (should) work together
- Do not trip on the comparing trap
- Give credit whenever possible (including to yourself)
- Help helps –Lucy and I are a team.
Finally, it’s not all bad; we’re still in love.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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