Tuesday 19 July 2016

5 things we've learnt from our dog

In case you missed all my photos on social media, we got another dog. Some might say it was a strange thing to do, just a month after we lost Molly, but we just found ourselves in the position of looking at a dog's photo online and being cranky that she was being given away, and bringing her home with us. She isn't the perfect dog; she keeps sleeping on the couch, and she digs holes in the backyard, but she cleans up any kid-food spills, and she's happy with a belly rub after the kids have gone to bed; she's best for us right now.

And we've learnt so much from her in the last month or so. I've been pondering this for awhile, as we go about our daily routine, it's kind of been a bit of a surprise that anyone has learnt anything at all from her, but while the lessons may only be little, they've been important ones.

The kids have learnt cooperation Seems like an odd place to start, but dogs poo. And big dogs do big poo. And the kids have had no choice but to remember how to work together to clean it up. They whinge and whine about every second of it (I never said they were happy about learning these lessons), but the mess gets cleaned up.

The kids have learnt to be gentle Not an easy concept to teach a 3 year old, and I've had my moments of hair-tearing-out, but all the kids have learnt to pay attention to their actions, towards each other, and towards Daisy. Daisy often comes to the defence of someone when kids are arguing (I think she's never quite sure who needs her help if they're yelling at each other) And Sophie is working on gentle patting, instead of riding Daisy like a horse (probably the only downside of Daisy being big, Sophie doesn't quite understand that Daisy might accidentally hurt her.)

Everyone has learnt to give love It's fair to say that family loves each other. But they don't always show it in ways that are easy to interpret as "I love you." With Daisy, it's been easy for everyone to show love - all it takes is a belly rub. Natalie and Riley can often be found in the afternoon with Daisy on her back, rubbing madly away at her tummy.

What goes in must come out This was our very first lesson. Daisy chewed the string off a school hat her first night here. The kids weren't home when it made it's way through her system. And we've also had to watch what food she eats. While she loves all food (and is always at the table beside the kids at breakfast time waiting for someone to drop something), mashed potato makes her sick.
Eventually everything gets chewed I've been keeping track of how many pairs of shoes or laces get chewed. The cupboards in the lounge room are piled high with items picked up off the floor away from Daisy. Steve was quite sure that tucking his laces into his work boots each night would be enough, and he wouldn't have to pick them up off the floor. Obviously, Daisy didn't get that memo. These are now hers to chew (FYI 5 pairs of laces, 3 left shoes, 1 pair of slippers, 3 drink bottles, 1 handbag strap, 1 dog leash, 1 cheap chew toy, and countless bones.)

I'm sure over the next 10 or more years she'll teach us many more valuable lessons.

Do you have pets? What have you learnt from them?

linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT
linking up with Pursue Your Project for Family Joy


  1. Bahahaha what goes in must come out. I never thought about it that way but that is so true. My kids hate picking up after our dog but next time I will remind them of this #teamIBOT

  2. I bet he learnt his lesson to pick up his shoes lol.

  3. Oh my goodness, those shoes! Yikes! A lovely post though, and great life lessons. Having a dog that likes eating all the things that fall from the table must be quite useful!

  4. The dog we had in Darwin was a shocker for eating shoes! It drove me batty!
    Dogs are wonderful for the lessons they teach us though. We can learn so much from them.

  5. We enjoy our pets but our second dog is a mastiff and rather messy. She also was destructive mainly to our decks for awhile with chewing. Thanks for sharing on Family Joy Blog Link-up. Please come back and join us again!


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