According to Facebook, yesterday was apparently National Dog Day. (What on this earth?!?) Anyway, I thought I would share an update on Freddie. For the first several months after we adopted Freddie, I sincerely considered him to be my greatest parenting mistake – perhaps my greatest LIFE mistake. He was positively exhausting to live with. I cannot overstate how miserable he made my life. He chewed up everything – seriously hundreds of dollars of lost shoes and toys and throw pillows and dog beds – plus, he jumped on everyone and ‘bit’ the children like they were his litter-mates and he peed everywhere. It was constant mayhem.
My neighbor Barbara would say, “Just love him,” and I would sigh.
Fast forward three and a half years: Freddie still jumps on some people – mostly the ones who pet him as they say sweetly, “No, Freddie. Don’t jump on me.” Love love love. Pet pet pet. It drives me crazy that he jumps on people, but my powers of dog-and-people training have been insufficient to correct it. I now stick him in the office when the doorbell rings. As for the other stuff, he’s so good!!! He stopped biting and chewing on the kids like puppies and instead bites and chews on Claire who seems to love the game! He never, ever pees in the house. Mostly, he naps.
He is a good dog.
Love really does have a transformative power and sometimes (all the time) we all need that. I will never forget what Leah said when we first got him and I asked the children if they thought Freddie would ever settle down and be a good pet: “No, but I want to give him three more chances anyway.” I have seen that love and acceptance change people – and at least one dog.
Not long after we adopted Freddie, my neighbor Barbara got a little crazy puppy of her own who nearly drove her to the brink. He was so naughty! When she called him, he would run the opposite direction and she’d have to chase him. It was hilarious! One day, she pulled up to my house and handed me the puppy. “You can have him,” she said – and drove away. She was just kidding (SORT OF) and I was laughing hysterically when she came back to get him. “Just love him!” I said. Her puppy turned out to be a great little dog. It’s like a magic!
When in doubt? Add more love.
I saw this throw pillow the other day and thought of my friend Molly. 😉