Saturday, March 24, 2012

short leash mama...the long and short of letting go.

  I wrote this Thursday afternoon as a way to process my thoughts about owning a dog and trying to figure out why Fighter triggered so much emotion in here it is a little bit of dog therapy.

 So after I wrote my last post on how great it was going with Fighter I had kind of a little meltdown about owning a dog. She is still an overall great little pup but I think what has been triggered in me is my own issues. I realized I am at times afraid of the little thing. I will scold Hope for being scared of the dog but still at times when Fighter jumps up on my legs or I don't know how to calm her down I get panicky and actually afraid. In my mind I can rationalize that "I am a grown woman and this is a little dog" but my feelings tell me otherwise. Mark will laugh at me "What do you think she is going to you? " Maybe.
   I have been trying to walk Fighter everyday to the bus stop which is a 1/2 mile walk round trip to get her used to walking on a leash and being around the kids and me. The last couple of days she has been misbehaving on the walk and I find myself wanting to keep her on a short leash but it seems the more I try to control her and keep her leash short the harder it becomes to control her. I was thinking about the correlation to parenting and how at times I do the same thing with my kids. And I realize what really triggers the fear response in me around the dog is when I don't know what she is going to do or  I feel like I can't control her. I realized the same panic button is pushed when I feel out of control with my kids or I feel like I can't get them to listen or behave. So how do I not be a "short leash mama", trying to control every move?
   I need to relax and give a little freedom and grace. If the dog is not perfect all the time it does not mean I am destined to have dog like the one out of the movie "Marley and Me". And when my kids act out or talk back it does not mean that they are going to turn into total brats. I guess training a dog is kind of like parenting children as much as I resist that idea. I think both push on insecurities in me that I am not doing a good enough job, doing the enough of the right stuff etc and then I melt down and feel like a failure because with those kind of voices in my ear I have lost God's perspective.

   So I have gotten into a little more than I bargained for with this little puppy but hopefully I can not only overcome my fear of dogs but become a better mama in the process too...

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