Seven Months of Ender, or Seven Things My Rescue Dog Taught Me
By now, Ender's personality is pretty apparent and he isn't doing too many new hilarious things (just the same old hilarious things). He is ten months old and weighs in at a whopping almost-50 pounds (although I think he may be done growing...but then again who knows).
A couple of weeks ago Rob and I were talking about how we give in certain aspects--travel is harder and sleeping in is more or less a thing of the past; but we also get so much from this little ball of energy and unconditional love. It feels a lot like growing up.
I grew up with the sweetest, most amazing dog and sometimes I actually feel guilty about how much I love Ender--but I have learned over the years that our hearts are full of unlimited room for love, and no one could ever replace Rocky.
So here are seven things I've learned from Ender:
- Everyone deserves a fighting chance. I don't know where he was before the rescue found him but I'm so glad they did, and that we were able to adopt him and give him a forever home.
- A little patience goes a very long way. I knew that training a puppy would be a challenge, but I had no idea how incredibly frustrating it can be at times. Ender still has a long way to go, but he does so much better when we take a deep breath and try again instead of getting upset about anything--dog related or not.
- It feels good to take care of someone. Rob and I take care of each other in many ways, but we don't need one another to eat, drink water, or make sure we're getting enough exercise and have a safe place to sleep every night. Being Ender's provider and caretaker has brought so much joy and purpose to my life--it's incredible.
- You don't matter that much anymore. Is it raining? Your dog still needs to go on a walk or play. I can't even tell you how many fun things we missed every week for two months during his PetSmart puppy training classes. Suddenly you have a priority that isn't yourself, and it's actually kind of awesome.
- Laziness is for the birds. Ender takes up so much of our time and energy that when something needs to get done (dishes, laundry, work, etc.), it needs to get done! Every minute matters. We've become so much better at managing our time since this pup entered our lives. If he's napping, we're probably folding clothes.
- True, unadulterated down time is a dream come true. Some of my favorite moments have been the simplest ones--when the chores of daily life are done and we have nowhere to be but on the couch, cuddling our tired pup and watching Parks & Recreation. Bonus points if there's Thai takeout involved.
- A dog can turn a couple into a family. Even after six and a half years together, something about referring to Rob and myself as "a family" felt a little off. But for the past seven months, it's just rolled right off the tongue. Our little family of three. And right now, I wouldn't have it any other way.