Tough love-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
“IT'S difficult to teach a new puppy anything if one is not willing to be strict even when your heart is breaking. I am just plain awful and that's probably why they say that my dogs can be such spoiled brats. I always seem to give in to their wiles. Not that I purposely wanted them to behave that way, it's just that I don't want them to get hurt or feel unloved in any way.”
I HAVE a new puppy. It was given to me by good friends last Friday. I was very happy and excited to have her so much that she spent most of her first few hours in my arms. I even gave her a bath and played with her as much as I could.
I "introduced" her to the other dogs and let her mingle with them a bit under my watchful eye. I fed her and gave her water. I even took a picture of her and posted it on my Facebook. She seemed happy but I noticed that she would let out a yelp whenever I was a bit far away from her. Needless to say, she kinda followed me around and demanded that I carry her; I obliged.
When night came, I had to keep her in a cage. Since she was still unfamiliar with the surroundings and the household was not yet used to having her around, it was only right that I keep her safe. I didn't want to lose her in the middle of the night!! As the night wore on,
I woke up dog howling. By the time I got up to take a look, it had become so loud I was pretty sure it had woken up at least one other person! As I made my way out, it confirmed my suspicion; it was the new puppy and she was really unhappy!
Believe me, I tried to ignore her but my heart ached every time I left her outside while she cried incessantly. I must have gone out thrice before I gave up and let her follow me to my room. I wrapped her in my old shirt and after a while, she was all curled up and fast asleep on my chair.
Whew. I slept a bit and deeply until I heard her whimpering. Oh no! I was up at 6 a.m. because I needed to bring her out. The whole morning I could hear her cry and it pains me. Sigh. How do you teach a puppy? I’m probably the worst teacher!
It's difficult to teach a new puppy anything if one is not willing to be strict even when your heart is breaking. I am just plain awful and that's probably why they say that my dogs can be such spoiled brats. I always seem to give in to their wiles. Not that I purposely wanted them to
behave that way, it's just that I don't want them to get hurt or feel unloved in any way. Besides, I didn't want to feel I was being cruel to them. Hmmm. I guess they, trained me well!
I need to show tough love. To muster enough strength to do what is right. I keep telling myself this every time she starts crying. But I fail repeatedly because I give in repeatedly. In the course of writing this article, I have failed in tough puppy love several times. But I keep trying over and over. I hope I do not give up. I hope she adapts to her new environment soon.
Geez, I am so bad at this! She needs to learn and remember well! Right? Boy, it is during times like this when I’m a bit relieved that I am not a parent. To a human being.
It must be really tough to raise a child and bring him up well. For parents to bring a child into this world and make sure they become good human beings. So much love and attention, worrying and tears! A cute infant that smiles and makes your heart melt can easily become an unruly teenager or young adult who answers you back and makes you livid and hypertensive.
They act like they know everything and that they can do no wrong but you know better simply because you've been there before!
Sometimes you just have to put your foot down even when it means them thinking that you're a killjoy and that you’re killing their "inherent coolness." Or, they might resent you, wish to trade you for another set of parents but it will pass. But, at some point during their adult life they will realize that you were right and now they’re grateful for the tough love you showered them when they were too young to know that they possibly can’t know everything because our lives are works in progress. Oh but you know that because you were once that child, too.
Here's the thing. Sometimes, we need to practice tough love on ourselves, too. These are during times when we know we shouldn't, but still do. When we know that we should, but we don’t.
When we pretend to see when we don’t; and pretend we don’t when it's right there staring us in the face! Deep inside we know we need to deal with things, so deal with it. No amount of denial nor pretending solves anything. Instead, it just prolongs the agony and may even worsen things. We would not want to set ourselves up for a lifetime of regret, right?
Whoever said that pain is inevitable while suffering is optional, has a point. Do the things that you can do no matter how difficult it seems because you are the first person to benefit from it.
Let's try to find ourselves in less situations where there is nothing left to say but "I should have.." The earlier we learn how to accept challenges and face them, the less regret we have to deal with in the future.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 02, 2012.