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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Just when you thought it was safe

I've finally reached a point in life where...

My children are out of diapers
They can dress and feed themselves
School is a nice routine (okay…only some days)
I'm happy in my career
My home is mostly peaceful

And I'm bored.

So...we're considering the fulfillment of one of our daughters' long-held wishes.

A dog.

And not just any dog, but one that first existed in Enduring Justice. Gotta love it when fiction becomes reality. :-)

So I did what I always do when faced with something new....

I read.

Yesterday, I searched online and read a ton of things, looked at a load of pictures, and even took some doggie and family compatibility quizzes.

Then today, I went to the pet store and bought a bunch of books on Labrador Retrievers.

And now I'm not so bored.... I'm scared.

And tired.

Who knew how much went into finding, buying, and training a canine?!

Not me. At least not before today.

All I can say is, it's a good thing I didn't read a bunch of books on parenting until AFTER I found out I was pregnant.

Or maybe that was God's divine wisdom.

Because had I read about babies like I'm reading about puppies.... well, let's just say I might have waited a while longer.

But I love being a mommy. And I'm praying I'll love welcoming a new canine addition to our family.

Thankfully, we're going into this a bit slow. We're all reading and planning and puppy-proofing and budgeting BEFORE our dear little fella joins us.

And I'm sure, once the big homecoming day arrives... I'll not be bored for a gooooooood looonnngg while.

Maybe never again. :-)

Any tips or lessons learned the hard way would be much appreciated! Leave me some wisdom in the comments. My whole family and family-to-be thanks you!


Lori said...

Labs are such great dogs!! You will love having a dog. Hopefully will be smarter than mine, I went for the all heart no brains (wondering if it was actually me that had the no brains) but my Cocker has been a great dog.

Lacy J. Williams said...

I'll share 2 recommendations for new dog owners:

1) (sounds like you are already doing this) Make sure you research what kind of dog you're getting - make sure it fits your lifestyle.

My parents have 1 Jack Russell - she is super high energy, high maintenance, and goes nuts when they have company over.

My husband and I have 3 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels - they are low-key, low maintenance, and they love being around people but won't bowl them over when guests come in the front door.

2) Invest in good obedience training. In Oklahoma City we have a great club - OCOTC - that has tons of experienced trainers. It's more reasonable in price than Petsmart, and I personally believe you get a better result because these people have owned and trained dogs for years.

If you aren't sure what training resources are available to you, try visiting akc[dot]org and looking up Obedience Trials in your area. People who participate in Trials are a higher level of training than most "normal" people want to do, but I guarantee if you attend and ask around, you'll find out where the best training places are.

And a final tidbit... dogs are like 2-year-old children. If you give them an inch, they'll try for a mile. Be consistent with what you let them get away with and what you don't, and your family will be much happier!

Judy said...

We've owned dogs for 35 of our 41 married years - and would never even think of being without one. We've always had 2 (almost always German shepherds) and they are perpetual 2 year olds. Consistency, and beign on a schedule as best as you can are the key.That and puppy-proofing your house.
Oh, we also crate trained our it for techniques and the wisdom behind it if you're unfamiliar with the term.
You definitely will never be bored again!

Amy Wallace said...

Awesome wisdom, you all! Thank you! We're going to start visiting breeders soon.

And my princesses have read the books I bought. One is a crate training aficionado already. ;-)

Rel said...

I grew up with Labs - you never know what you are going to get though. One was a gentle giant, the other an over excited little kid ;-) Loved them both to pieces.

We are looking at an addition to our family this way too and it is a big dog for us, all the way!

Amy Wallace said...

Our families are so much alike I wonder if you and I were sisters separated at birth! ;-)

Let me know how adding a canine family member goes for you all!

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