Friday, November 7, 2014

The First 336 Hours

As most of you know, we recently rescued a puppy. Something I said I would never do after adopting two (almost) adult dogs and knowing they were trouble enough. But alas, I had a moment of weakness and now Lennox brings our dog total to 3.

After bringing three rescues into our lives, I've found something to be consistently true. And I'm going to be 100% honest in admitting this, even though it doesn't paint me in the best light.

There has been a point with each dog, within the first two week, that I thought we made a huge mistake and I wished we hadn't brought them home.

There, I said it. I'm a bad fur mom. But it's the truth.

Piper was young and hyper and whined for several nights. She also went through a fierce chewing phase that seemed like it would never end.

Bear was big and stubborn and didn't want to listen for shit. He also scared me to death after swallowing a sock.

Lennox is a baby, so that doesn't need much explanation. But her first 336 hours were full of peeing on the carpet, chewing everything in sight except the toys that were meant for chewing, and just adding a sense of chaos to our otherwise relaxing nights at home.

I'm discovering that I like the idea of change, but I don't like the process of accepting change as the new normal. Before Piper it was just us. No dogs to rush home to, to take to the vet, to worry about when traveling. Just two people doing whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

Piper threw me for a loop. Having an entire new routine put me in a state of panic I wasn't prepared for. Trying to adjust caused Tim and I to fight and had me stressing constantly. I thought, can we do this? Should we have done this? Was this a mistake? But after two weeks, the new routine became the norm. And Piper had adjusted in her new environment.

Bear came along and wasn't too bad. We already had the dog thing down, so it wasn't a huge adjustment. But dealing with a much bigger dog who didn't give a damn what you told him to do was frustrating on another level.

Eventually everything settled down. Even Piper and Bear. We were content with our little pack and life was good.

And then wham. Lennox entered the picture. And again, the first 336 hours of adjustment was overwhelming for me. I guess I'm a bit high stung and have a tendency to worry. But I was convinced there was something wrong with us for throwing a 10 week old puppy into our harmonious environment.

But what do you know. We've passed the 336 mark and guess what? We're all OK.

Lennox knows the drill now when it comes to our schedule. She knows when to potty (and where), when to go into her crate and when to go upstairs for bed time. Bear and Piper have adjusted to the new addition and everything has fallen into place.

It took 3 dogs but I've finally seen the light. I've realized that the first 336 hours of change can be hard. So hard you wonder if the change was just a bad idea to begin with. You stress, you fight, you lose sleep.

But then once the 337th hour hits, I look down at these furballs and realize, I can't imagine my life without them in it. Piper is our sweet, high-maintenance Daddy's girl. Bear is my big, lovable softy. And Lennox is an independent pup with the cutest face I ever did see.

I went from panic to attached in a short 336 hours. With each one. Without fail.

Tim joked the other day that I'm going to have a baby one day and want to give it back within the first week. And if babies are anything like dogs, that's probably true. And that's scary as hell.

But at the same time, maybe it will help that I've done this before. Now I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Now I know that the stress of change and lack of routine is just temporary until the dust settles.

And once it does, it's all so worth it. It's all OK.


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