Who’s teaching whom?

One week since I last posted? Oh, my, where did the time go? I know that answer. So do you. Harvey. He’s all we think about. He has all of our attention when we’re home, and much of it when we’re not. Although we give it to him gladly, he also demands it, as this photo proves:

He does not approve of my laptop and will not have me staring at it endlessly when I should be playing or cuddling with him. So I always cave and put it aside. How can I not? Look at him and try to say no to that face. I am only able to write this as he is cuddled up to his other Daddy, who is still in bed asleep.

Training and puppy class continue to go well. He has learned three basic commands (Look when his name is called, sit and “watch me”). This week will be a real challenge. We must teach him to lie down on command. Apparently, this is a very difficult thing to teach a dog with chihuahua (possibly dachshund as well) lineage. They do not lie down as a matter of survival (“we’re small and must keep moving”) so the last thing they want to do when they’re up and around is lie down. Every other thing he’s done he’s done well and quickly, but this one is giving us a hard time and we have not managed to get him to do it even once. We have 7 more days to master the skill before we are humiliated in front of our puppy trainer and his classmate, Buster, who has already learned and mastered both lie down and puppy push-ups (getting your dog to lie down and sit up and lie back down, all in progression, without running away.) We will continue to work on it.

Today he will do his first extended visit with new dogs, as we will be taking him with us to have dinner at our friends’ home this evening. They have two miniature schnauzers. We are nervous, but excited as well. Socializing him with other dogs is very important so we will see how it goes.

I posted on Facebook this morning that Harvey receives twice the love: the new Love we have for him and the misplaced Love we still have for, but can no longer give,  Clyde. I meant it. I also realized that, perhaps, that’s the secret to getting through the loss of people who were once in our life but no longer are. Perhaps we merely need to take that misplaced love and affection and, rather than let it sour to anger, depression or misery, refocus it on the people who remain in our lives. Much like the way we combine the ingredients from one cup to the next when one cup cracks, because we want to save the contents rather than let it leak out and away and go to waste.  Pour that love into the love we feel for the people still here. Let them know through our deeds and words that not only do we love them, but love them for sticking by us, staying put and continuing to enrich our lives.  For being here. Now. With us.

Once again, through teaching Harvey to obey and behave and trust us, he has taught me something, as well: no love need be wasted. It is a gift and not everyone wants it, appreciates it or returns it, whether by choice or by circumstance. And that’s OK. Gifts should not be forced or mandatory. Besides, if you have something great to share, it is better shared with someone who will appreciate it. There is always someone waiting to accept what you have to give. We learn this through our friendships, our significant others, our pets, our neighbors, our pupils, our communities. And as painful as it can be to have our offers rejected, it is far more rewarding to have them accepted, embraced, appreciated and returned. If we stop offering after our first (or second, or third) rejection, the person who might accept it never gets the chance.

For all the love I feel we give Harvey, he returns it ten fold and through him, I have found a way to turn the pain of missing Clyde into the joy of getting all that love and affection returned once again. I cannot turn back time and get Clyde back. I cannot erase the loss of people in my life. But I can give my love to Harvey and the people who remain incredible presences in my life. That is far more rewarding than letting those emotions sit and rot, wasted on longing for things that are no longer there.

SO, I’m going to accept this little tidbit being offered me, may-hap unintentionally,  by this innocent, adorable  little pup, and learn to focus what I have to give on the people who want to receive it and will appreciate it.

And I’m going to continue working with Harvey to get him to lie down. He’s worth the time and energy and effort.  Not to mention the puppy kisses I get in return when I pet and reward him for a doing a good job and being a good puppy. Oh, those heart warming puppy kisses.

Maybe I’m the one who’s actually getting rewarded for doing a good job, after all.

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7 Responses to Who’s teaching whom?

  1. Urspo says:

    remember at all times you are training the dog or the dog is training you.

  2. Victor says:

    How cute he is!

  3. anne marie in philly says:

    I would not be able to resist that face, that face, that fabulous face either!

    (sorry, got caught up in a show tune!)

  4. Raybeard says:

    ‘Buddybear’ above has said EXACTLY what I wanted to say. Can’t improve on it. I’m going to my own bed in an hour – and after reading this blog of yours, S/b, I’ll be sleeping with a smile on my face.

  5. Buddy Bear says:

    That’s the sweetest doggie picture ever and the sweetest blog post! I’m so happy for you.

  6. Sean says:

    My Truvy may chihuahua in her, no ones sure what she’s a mix of so when people ask, I just say, “She’s a Great Dog!”

    She has never been a noisy dog, one or you requirements, but she is very high maintenance. Even at 10 she must be played with or toys pile up at my feet and it must be tug-of-war – she thrusts the toy into my and or paws me. She is like a swiss clock and knows when to eat, go out and go to bed. She imposes her will and is beyond patient. She will stare at you for hour – I usually cave at 10 minutes but have lasted up to one hour before caving. I’m sure she would have gone longer.

    The first time you wrote about Harvey, I thought he could be a diva in training – all be it a loving one.

    • Sassybear says:

      Harvey is VERY quiet as well but definitely shows signs of high maintenance as he gets more comfy here with us. We don’t mind. We are doing our best to train him but we are not going to overdo it…he sits, he comes when called, he is almost completely housebroken and he doesn’t bite or bark incessantly…we’re pretty happy with that. In the end, we just want to love and be loved by him – that’s what counts. That’s what matters.

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