It’s been 5 weeks of intermittent chaos in our home.
Emmy (our new adoptee 2-1/2 yr. old German Shorthaired Pointer) is making a huge impact on us, on our lawn, on our things, on our sleep, energy, patience. It’s stressful. It’s unclear what to do.
I bounce back and forth. I’ve met with dog trainers. I’ve tried many ways to make the transition more bearable. Talked about it from both sides. And I’m still wondering daily if this is the right dog for us? I’m wavering like a drunken sailor on shore leave.
A good friend, wise counsel for me in many areas of my life, suggested determining my motivation for keeping or not keeping the dog. She says it doesn’t matter the details of how we make it work, but the foundation of why we want the dog is all that matters. If the decision is built upon a good foundation, then the outcome will be good. Ok, I said, I’ll do that… I’ll look at my motivations. That’s easier said than done, I recognize as I begin to write things down. A pros and cons list is much easier because it’s about the dog, rather than about my inner workings and what drives me to do or not do certain things. So I’ll share the easy list with you now, and (maybe) my motivations at another time. When my head is less foggy and my resolve to be transparent is stronger. And maybe when I finally have the courage to decide instead of sitting on the fence where the view of both sides is equally difficult, or wonderful, depending upon the moment!
Pros of dog ownership~
Having a dog expands the concept of family to something ‘more’
Dogs share unconditional love, adoration, unmatched in any other relationship
Companionship – never alone (someone to talk to rather than talking to yourself which can be a problem to some people me)
Mental health benefits (see above)
Feeling of guardianship over the family – no need for an alarm system or a door bell
Teach all of us empathy, mercy, kindness
Children love petting dogs, cuddling dogs, sleeping with dogs, talking to dogs, the idea of having dogs
Husbands can also love dogs if the list of pros is longer than the list of cons
Training dogs is also a lesson in self-discipline
Cons of dog ownership~
Messes – Spotted lawns, dug up planting beds, dirty paw prints on carpets, pet hair on clothes (and Emmy doesn’t appear to know how to eat or drink without slopping both food and water quite a distance from her dishes)
Endless walking and biking when I don’t really feel like it
Strict training regime – repeatedly saying, ‘No, ______, no, No, NO!!!
Mistakes – Chewed couches, pee stains on carpets, tent walls chewed through
Lack of freedom and being spontaneous
Cost of care
Cost of kenneling to allow for being spontaneous
Weight of responsibility
Yard cleanup never shared by other family members because at the end of the day the dog is always ‘my dog’
Anyhoo, that’s my list at the moment which appears to be pretty equally weighted on both sides. As I write Emmy is upstairs sleeping in Claire’s room, until I go get her and bring her to our room where she will hop up onto our bed and cuddle until morning, when she stretches, and yawns and kisses me, and then I’ll let her out and give her breakfast and we’ll start another day together again. For now, anyway! And by the looks of it, probably for a long long time.
Signing off for now,