We adopted our dog, Miss T, through a dog rescue organization five years ago. We'd been talking about and plotting for getting a dog for a couple of years, since we moved into our house, but hadn't quite gotten around to it until then. The impetus for finally, actually adopting her was Alfs and a medical crisis he had. During that crisis I realized the time to find the family dog was now, not in six months or a year, but now. Well, then, but you know what I mean.
Dog chores are part of Alfs and Woody's household responsibilities, but they rarely happen easily. I'm tired of the constant, constant reminders to them to take her out and what did she do? Nothing? Then take her out again, every five minutes until she does. It's been ten minutes, have you taken her out? It's exhausting to be on the reminder side, just as I am sure they get tired of being on the reminder side. The solution, of course, is that they do it without asking. Well, they are kids.
I use all sorts of strategies to keep the kids on task with their pet responsibilities, from simple reminders to blatant guilt. No one strategy works consistently.
I suppose this is par for the course, really, and I'll push through this bit of frustration soon enough. The kids are learning valuable lessons. The kids are learning what it means to be a pet parent, but with real parent backup:
What we gain with Miss T in the house far exceeds the annoyances of who is doing what and when for her. She's the instant mood-lifter, for all of us. One look, one nuzzle, and smiles return to our faces.
I'm pretty sure that by the time my kids are old enough to introduce pet friends into their own homes, they will have learned these lessons in responsibility. They'll get it. In the meantime, I'll be back up for all the two legged and four legged members of the family.
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