Anyone who has ever met my kids knows that they begged and begged for a dog forever. It wasn't until a week before my oldest left for college that I finally caved, and we became the proud owners of a beagle. (You can follow Miss Mabel on Instagram!)
Miss Mabel was tiny, and she fit in the palm of our hands. It wasn't long before she showed us she had a mind of her own, and her naughty side began to show. I talked to a dog trainer, and she suggested doggy daycare to help socialize her. That plan didn't stick though because we fell in love with a sweet sheltiepoo, and we bought Mabel a companion instead. Sassy Cassie (Instagram) looked a little like Cruella Deville, with white fur on one side of her head, and black on the other. She quickly whipped Mabel into shape, and the two are best friends and companions.
In my two years as a dog owner, this is what I've learned:
As we head into the busy holiday season, I think we can learn a lot from our dogs. How different would that conflict with Aunt Esther be if we approached it with the heart of a dog? I'm not suggesting that you lick her or that you challenge her to a game of fetch while Grandma does the dishes, but I do think the outcome might be more pleasant if you took some of the above dog lessons into consideration.
As you prepare for the end of the year and life gets stressful, remember that the most important gift of all is our presence. Just like our dogs, our friends and families just want to be with us. The food and the decorations and the presents are all just bonus. You don't need to be perfect to be loved and accepted. Just ask your dog!
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