…On Being a Puppy Parent

This is the fourth summer we’ve had Madison in our lives. It’s hard to believe how quickly it’s gone. She was this crazy 2.2 pound ball of energy and craziness.

We were totally under prepared for how much work having a dog was; for having to train her to sleep through the night, not go to the bathroom in strange places, and all that. We weren’t ready for how much she would change our lives and our priorities. Suddenly long nights out were out of the question; someone had to go home and make sure she was okay. Trips required a puppy-sitter and more thought. Even a casual weekend away was suddenly a lot more work.

Despite it all, though, she has been a joy. Having grown up with and always loved our pets, I was completely shocked by how much I truly love Madison. She is a part or our family and extremely important to me and to Tim. We love having her and playing with her. I’m constantly amazed how much she affects me and my moods. Nothing makes me happier than seeing her excited to see me when I come home. And, nothing makes me sadder than when she is sick or under the weather.

I would say I probably have a somewhat unhealthy attachment to her, honestly. Over the last couple months, she has gotten sick on a few occasions; nothing major,and she has always bounced back quickly. I know the chances of their really being anything wrong with her are slim to none. Regardless of logically knowing that, every time she gets sick, I freak out. Seriously, freak out. It’s so not healthy. Luckily I am married to a calm, logical man who doesn’t freak out at the little things. And, because I know he loves her just as deeply as I do (and maybe even more – he does get up at the crack of dawn with her every single day), so I know he would never ignore something if he thought she really needed help. I am paranoid about every little sound and motion; Tim knows that dogs are dogs and sometimes they make noises and get sick.

What I’ve realized, mostly, about being a puppy parent, is that all I can do at the end of the day is love her deeply and do the best we can to take care of her. We give her a good, happy life. She is loved and cherished. She has taken our hearts. I just have to remember to temper that unconditional love with some good ole’, down home, logic!

While I’m having this conversation in the context of my dog, the reality is I should apply it to more things in my life. I need to be better at not thinking I can control or have to control everything; I have to be willing to let things go and live in the moment more. I need to accept what I can change and realize there is a lot that I can’t. I need to trust that life is, indeed, unfolding as it should. I need to stop letting everything affect me to the core! I will start with Madison…and work on all the rest later.

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