My mother taught me that “patience is a virtue”. For the most part, I was usually very patient back in my 20’s; but as I got older, my patience seemed to dwindle on an annual basis.

I sometimes blame the relationships I was in back in my 30’s; and sometimes the people I used to work with who never learned how to work and play with others. Yet, if I am honest with myself, I would accept my own part. Is it “honesty”, or, is it ego? Maybe my ego is too inflated for its own good at times.

These last two days have been especially “trying” on my patience. This little stinker we adopted/rescued from the county animal shelter has been on her worst puppy behavior most of the day both days. I’m supposed to be able to handle this crazy puppy behavior. I’m near the end of my Dog Obedience Training Instructor course, but this super-charged 7-month-old puppy is pushing my envelope. By lunch time today I needed a break so badly that it was either put her in her crate for an hour or take her back to the shelter. I told the girls at my local PetSmart what was going on. They all said simply “don’t give up”. I knew — deep inside of me — that I wouldn’t give up. Giving up on Ducky would be giving up on myself.

Once home from our outing to the park and PetSmart, I took Ducky out for a walk in the yard and then put her in her crate for an hour’s nap. It was just the break I needed to get my perspective, and my patience renewed, refreshed, and regenerated. When I went downstairs to let her out of the crate, she was standing at the door looking for me. As I walked down the three steps, that sweet little puppy tail started wagging the puppy and my heart melted. I sat on the floor in front of the crate, opened the door, and Ducky climbed into my lap and gave me a faceful of puppy kisses. The rest of the afternoon went smoothly.

Moments like our cuddle session endear the little stinker to me and deepen the bond between us. I truly love the little stinker, despite her little “temper tantrums”. She’s part of the family, for better or worse. Cesar Millan always says something to the effect of “you don’t always get the dog you want, but you always get the dog you need.” In the case of Callie and Shadow, I got both. I didn’t really want a puppy, especially a super-charged one. But Ducky is the puppy I need to teach me patience, and to help me practice working with a dog on its “obedience” cues and other training.



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