These posts are often a challenge to come up with ideas for (*slaps wrist – for which to come up with ideas), but it turns out that training a puppy can offer some important life lessons that translate to the rest of our lives.
So, from my torn-up, bleeding hands and exhausted mind to you, here are some tips on dealing with difficult situations:
- Find things to laugh at. When you’ve got a 10lbs dog’s needle teeth sinking into your ankle, and the only way to reach a safe place to put a barrier between you is to drag your leg behind you, you have two options: yell, curse, kick — which achieves nothing, or laugh at the fact that you look ridiculous to anyone lucky enough to see you. The laughter removes the tension and slows the tears, making it easier to deal with the stress once you reach your safe place.
- Forget the word “no.” I don’t mean don’t create boundaries and instill discipline, because those are kind of essential for everyone’s safety and sanity and development, but the word “no” is quite unhelpful. It doesn’t provide any information. Correction with guidance is more likely to earn cooperation and avoid discouragement.
- Go for walks. A puppy waking up for a long nap is a nice excuse, but why wait for one? Grab your shoes and go out for a 5-minuter to wake up the brain and get those synapses firing.
- Find the fun. You COULD get stressed about the fact that you’re behind on all your work and you’re waking up at unreasonable hours, or you find the joy of the small victories, the quiet moments, the glimpses of pure happiness that come up even in the most stressful, frustrating times.
These are the lessons we’re working on for the next little while (hopefully with more of that small victories, quiet moments, and pure happinesses as the weeks go on), and hopefully there are some little tidbits of wisdom in here to help you through the rough patches, too!