Thursday, January 15, 2015

Teenaged Dogs and Toddlers

We're going through an interesting period of time right now at our home.

Our puppy just hit 6 months old. Our son just hit two. Both of them are now exhibiting erratic and occasionally frustrating behavior.

Arkhon (on the left), Kevin, and Loki (Arkhon's brother)
Arkhon is a wonderful dog. He is now as tall, or probably a bit taller, than Dakota. He usually listens really well, sits and stays on command, and knows quite a few more tricks. However, over the last week or so, it's like he's suddenly forgotten how to do everything. He's pushing his limits and trying to see how far he can go. When you tell him to sit, he will eventually do it, but he takes his time and ever so slowly inclines his rear toward the ground.

He has these super bursts of energy where he just can't contain himself, and occasionally he winds up urinating on the floor.

Did I mention that before this week he hadn't had an accident in nearly two months?

Kevin on the other hand, is just really sad lately. A couple of days ago, he woke up sad and followed me around all day saying, "Mommy, mommy." That would have been fine if I could have done something to make him happy, but it didn't matter what I did, he just got more upset or cried. If I picked him up, he cried. If I put him down, he cried harder. Even things he usually loves, he just wanted to cry about.

That was kind of a long day.

That night, we wouldn't go to sleep. It was after 11, and I knew he was tired. However, every time I thought he was asleep and tried to get up from his bed, he'd sit up and sob. I was tired and frustrated, but I was handling it okay until he cranked back and slammed his head into my nose.

I heard it make a crunching sound, and I was done.

I set him on his bed and held my nose. It hurt and I didn't know what to do. I began to pray as Kevin cried and tried to get me to hold him.

I told Heavenly Father that I didn't know what to do to help Kevin go to sleep, and I needed his help. After a moment, Kevin stopped crying and just patted my cheek, saying, "Mommy? Mommy?'

My heart melted and I patted his cheek back and said, "Kevin, Kevin."

Then a thought struck me, and I know it came from the Lord. I asked Kevin, "Do you want me to rub your belly?" He seemed to think about that, and then he laid right down. I was able to stay out of his bed and just sit on the floor next to it while I rubbed his tummy. It didn't take very long for him to go to sleep.

The next morning, he slept in until 11:00.

Since that night, the belly and back rubbing has been an answer to prayer. I even got Kevin to take a nap yesterday! That was a first for a while.

Parenting is a constant learning experience. I know I couldn't do it without the Lord's help. Having both the dog and the baby going through the terrible twos can make for some frustration, but there are also wonderful moments mingled in with it.

Yes, it's been challenging, but the times when I do something right make it kind of wonderful. I'm learning a lot too.

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