Okay, don’t get too excited and rush out to buy the first puppy you can find—dogs and kids can be a tricky combination. Your pet certainly won’t teach you kids to brush their teeth every day, not to forget their lunch box, or to get their homework done (and so on). These adorable creatures can, however, teach your children to put their toys and games away! And their shoes! And their books! At least that’s what happened in my house.
It’s no secret that puppies like to chew on everything. We explained this to our boys when we got our new dog, and that it would be extra important not to leave their things all over the house.
Despite my constant warnings, the first few weeks, I found myself saving many stuffed animals, books, shoes, and even original artwork from puppy destruction. I reminded my sons that if these things meant something to them, they’d better keep them out of the puppy’s reach. This seemed to be a never-ending cycle—until I wised up and stopped cleaning up after my messy boys! And then it happened—that fateful day my then six-year-old will never forget—the day his Star Wars Yoda bobble head lost its important, distinctive Yoda ear. There were tears of sadness, there was anger toward our dog, and there was a good lesson learned (albeit, a lesson learned the hard way!).
Our sweet puppy is now two years old, and I don’t think there has been a single toy causality since that day. The real lesson is, of course, a life lesson that goes beyond owning a puppy—we should always look after things that are special to us.
(And we should always forgive our puppies.)
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