This series covers my first puppy, Wrigley, and any lessons I learn as I raise him. Find him on Instagram @puppywrigley.
As any pet owner who has had to endure house training knows, you eventually hit a point where you feel it will not end- the countless times you clean up little accidents, discipline your pet, and stand outside holding a leash for what feels like forever only to come back inside and watch as your dog finally decides to “let loose.”
At first I was pretty understanding, but it didn’t take long for my perseverance to wear thin. Would he ever learn, or would I be stuck taking him out every hour for years?
This situation is actually a really good way to exercise patience and perseverance. How many other things in my life do I attempt repeatedly only to get basically the same result? How many things do I put this much dedication into only to be met with such a slow, agonizing pace of progress?
Compared to that, sticking with other tasks doesn’t seem nearly as difficult.
There are also plenty of areas in my life where I’ve recognized that patience is a quality I could stand to have more of. Wrigley definitely gives me a clear choice: get extremely angry and let my grudge against him ruin my whole day, or take a deep breath and remember he’s still learning as I clean up pee for the thousandth time.
The reward is in moments like this:
Don’t get me wrong- I still discipline him. But I try to keep a tighter check on my anger as I do so. There’s a big difference between yelling at him out of anger and scolding him for a mistake, and I think he knows it.
Is your dog helping you out with character development? Post on Instagram with the hashtag #wrigleywednesdays or comment below. Want more Wrigley? Follow him on Instagram @puppywrigley.