Wow, raising a new puppy is tough work. My family and I just got a new Labrador puppy about a month ago when he was just a little younger than 2 months. We've had dogs before, but they've always been either outside dogs, a little older or already behaved (for the most part), so we didn't train them as intently as we are now with Broseppi, our new pup. Who knew it would be so exhausting?
I'm not a parent to my own kids yet, but I imagine that this is just a tiny, tiny little taste of what it's going to be like. While Broseppi is still little, this is when we want to instill and enforce all our values, we want to do everything we can to protect him. We feel sad when we have to scold him, but we also take responsibility of making sure that we do. We watch him grow and he keeps getting bigger and bigger each day, of course thinking that he is growing way too fast. We get angry and frustrated when he does something bad, but we understand that he's still a puppy and learning. We have to discipline ourselves so that he is disciplined, taking him for his vaccinations when he needs them, making sure he is clean, fed on a schedule and making sure he goes to the bathroom where he's supposed to. We want to favor him all the time with toys and treats, but we also teach him how to listen when we say "no." We try to teach him new things everyday and feel like proud parents when he learns; showing everyone his new tricks when we can. We were all sincerely concerned when he was sick for a few days and couldn't help but feel worried, and do everything we could to make sure he got better. When taking care of a new life, there are no breaks.
Thank God for great parenting, huh? Sometimes I feel nervous thinking that one day I will become a parent. I think about how it's going to be and if I'm going to do a good job. I feel that if my husband and I can be half as amazing as my parents were to me and my siblings, then we'll be more than enough.
It's true, our behaviors and the way we grew up, our actions and how we are as adults, has a lot to do with how we were parented. It's funny because sometimes when we're out with friends and we observe the actions of some people, my friend always says, "it's all about parenting." I believe that we can directly shape the future of our society by the way kids are parented (or not parented). Whether you are a biological parent or not, you can be a great influence for the younger generation around you.
Now, you don't have to go out and become a teacher or rush into becoming a parent, but if we are all aware of our words and actions, then we can be a sound example for those who need someone to look up to. You can even be an example to other friends and family who aren't necessarily kids anymore. I believe that you CAN "teach a dog new tricks," if they're willing to learn. I don't know exactly where my future lies, if or how many kids I will have, but I know that I want to leave my mark somehow, and it's so exciting to know all the possibilities!
-Rubi Anne Dijamco Agostini