Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up: What 18 Hours of Dog Ownership Taught Me

Two weeks ago, a total cutie pie was brought into the office.

After playing ball and taking some walks I decided that, if I can’t have a baby, a dog would be a fine substitute. We filled out the adoption paperwork and were offered the chance to bring Duke home for the weekend.
Now, the little guy above couldn’t come home with us because he tried to attack Little K twice but the staff suggested we give another dog a try through Sunday. This new dog was totally sweet, very laid back, and loved to lay on your lap, giving kisses.
But, after just 12 hours, it became clear that a dog just wasn’t for us. We waited another six hours and then called the farm, explaining that we had learned that our family wasn’t ready for a dog and asking if we could bring her back early.
So, we did. And none of us miss her.
Lesson #1: Appreciate what you already have.
We have a sweet kitty named Naminae. The past month or so, I’ve been complaining about her. I don’t know about the other cat moms out there, but sometimes you are just DONE with scooping the litter box. And the constant smell of either poop or bathroom spray. And sweeping up the litter that gets tracked all over the house. And the cat hair on everything.
But you know what’s great about Naminae? I don’t have to take her to the bathroom. Ever. And she doesn’t wake me up at night, ready to play. And I don’t have to watch her with Little K. And she doesn’t have to be on a leash. Rock on.
Lesson #2: Take care of (Invest in) what you already have.
After we dropped the dog back off at the farm, Little K and I headed to the pet store for supplies.
To recap, my top complaints about the cat: The scooping, the smell, the tracked litter, the cat hair.
Well, there’s nothing to be done about the poop or the smell. Everybody poops and it eventually has to be disposed of. At least, with the cat, I know where it is and can change up the spray. However, for the tracked litter, a specialty litter mat has solved that problem. We’ve had this extra large mat on the floor for two days and I haven’t had to sweep once. Win!
And, for the cat hair, we picked up a FURbuster brush on super sale plus a $10 off coupon. When we got home, I cracked that bad boy open and removed about a pound of hair from our girl. She has basically stopped shedding since then! Saturday grooming will now be a regular part of our routine.
Lesson #3: Enjoy (Use) what you already have.
While we were at the pet store, we picked up some new toys for Naminae. That in itself is irregular for us but we went a step further: we picked up toys that require us to interact with her! Since Saturday, we have spent HOURS playing with Naminae and have been having a great time. She may not play fetch, but there’s nothing funnier than seeing her go nuts over feathers and ribbons on a stick.
Lesson #4: Don’t wait for an excuse to live your life.
One of my main arguing points for a dog was that it would encourage us to spend more time out in the yard. But you know what? The yard is there whether we have a dog or not. When Naminae needed a break from playing, Little K and I headed outside to fly kites, jump rope, hula hoop, draw with chalk, and kick a ball. It was the most time we’ve spent outside since autumn and you know what? It was awesome.
So how will I be applying these lessons?
#1: Well, for starters, I am going to remind myself how good life is right now. That the kids are pretty self-sufficient. That I can sleep through the night. That we can decide on an outing without much extra planning. That I’m no longer dropping $1000/month on day care. And that I get 6 weeks each year to enjoy my husband without any children needing attention.
#2: I’m going to invest in our children’s future. R and I are working hard to pay off our credit card debt. Once we are able to get everything paid off, we can start putting away for the kids’ higher education. Other things are only a few years away, too, like piano lessons and karate. Now is the time for us to prepare for their future.
#3: I’m going to take the time to enjoy our children. We re-instated family movie night on Saturday, chores after church on Sunday, and at least 4 meals around the dinner table together each week. These moments will help us continue to blend our family and hopefully help us feel like a family of four.
#4: And no more excuses. I’ve put off many things in the hopes of having another child (losing weight and getting back on stage come to mind). No more! I’ve put together a plan to lose the weight and get my voice back in shape. It’s time to start becoming me again!
So there’s your weekend wrap-up. Here’s to a life well lived!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the congratulations earlier - I think your resolutions make a lot of sense. It sounds like you have a full and wonderful life!