My dogs taught me how to be a parent!

We have all heard the saying “a dog is a man’s best friend,” but I like to say “a dog is a woman’s first baby.”

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Meet my babies- Kallie (left) and Kahlua (right). I never realized how much these 2 taught me to be a parent until I became pregnant. I have learned how to love something more than myself, how to sacrifice my wants and desires for someone else, what unconditional love is, and what it’s like to have someone completely dependent upon me through their love.

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I got Kahlua when I was a junior in college (8 years ago). I was playing softball and going to school full time. I can’t tell you how many times I raced home between classes, skipped dinners with teammates, or missed functions to be with her. She needed me and I always made her my first priority. If there was a conflict in schedule or days I would be gone longer than normal I always made sure to have arrangements for her. My husband and I started dating when she was a couple months old so he was usually the one to come to her rescue when I had games, late practices, or couldn’t make it home between classes.

Living on my own got pretty lonely at times, but I always had Kahlua. There were many laughs and a couple tears during my last two years of college and with both Kahlua was tucked by my side to comfort me and share those memories with me.

She is my girl. She was my first baby and I never thought I could ever love another “baby” the way I love her.

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And along came Kallie. After getting married and moving into our home. My husband and I decided we wanted to expand our family. We knew we weren’t ready for kids at the time so we decided on a puppy. Kallie’s whole litter was put in a dumpster after they were born and thankfully someone found them and brought them to a rescue. She was bottle fed and nursed back to health and ready for adoption 8 weeks later. We filled out an application and were ecstatic when we got the news that we were approved to pick her up.

Like I said, I was scared I would never be able to love another dog the way I loved Kahlua. And, I will be the first to admit that Kallie sure has tested my patience. She is the sweetest dog I have ever met, but she was a high-strung puppy. She needed a lottttt of attention and after a long day at work- I sometimes didn’t have the energy to give it to her. But, I always sucked it up and took her for walks or played outside because I knew she needed it.

My husband is definitely her person. She loves us both but for some reason she has always taken more to him. She is the true meaning of unconditional love. She was a chewer in her early days. I’d come home to carpets, baseboards, beds, and paper chewed up and all over the living room. She knew she was in trouble from the time I opened the door. After the usual “did you do this” and “bad girl” lines, I’d put her outside while I cleaned it up. Even though she knew I was upset with her, she’d come back inside and sit down right by my side. She would inch her way closer and closer until she was pretty much in my lap. No matter how upset I was she still loved me, she still needed me, she still wanted me to forgive her. And, no matter how hard it was at times- she always won her way back into my heart!

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This picture is seriously so precious to me. These two girls love us, need us, forgive us, and fight for our love every day. I’m so lucky to be their mommy and love their cuddles.

They are our family! They are in Christmas pictures, family pictures, and always put up with mom putting them in silly costumes to get the perfect picture.

No matter what anyone says, they are more than “just a dog.” They are loyal, forgiving, loving, and comforting. And just like a baby they need me (us). They rely on us to feed them, care for them, comfort them when they’re scared (mostly of storms), come home to them, and love them.

I know I will make mistakes with my little man. I know my patience will be tested as a mother and I will have the days where I want to lock myself in my bedroom. But, as I learned from being mommy to my pups- I have to make sacrifices. I have to discipline, I have to love, and I have to always forgive- because that’s what moms do for their kids!

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