Greg’s been saying for about the past five years, “Kepler needs a dog.” I’ve been saying for about the past five years, “I can’t imagine adding a dog into this household.” Sometimes it was more like, “ARE YOU SERIOUS.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t agree with him; I just didn’t see how I could add another living creature into the mix, especially since when this conversation started five years ago, all five kids were living at home, and I had no positive experience with owning a dog. So, I think it’s safe to say that five years ago, what I was saying made a whole lot of sense for our family.
I didn’t see it as possible for me to adopt a dog from the pound or rescue a dog. We did look into a rescue at first, but the dog Greg found online turned out not to be a good fit for us. I didn’t really understand why until I read that a dog should match the energy level of the family or be lower energy than the family energy level. The rescue dog was very high energy and would require a GREAT deal of training; something I simply could not do. But I came to believe eventually that it would be good for Kepler to have a pet companion. Through a series of many baby steps, I heard about Toast’s breeders from another family who had one of their dogs.
I wanted to name him Mr. Rochester, after the dog who took care of Charles Wallace in A Wrinkle in Time, and call him Rocky for short, but Toast seemed to be the name that stuck for Kepler, so after about 24 hours of having him home, I decided we’d go with Toast.
For the first time in my life, I understood how important it was going to be for me to be the alpha dog here and establish my authority over him from the beginning. We have a family member who is a virtual dog whisperer who is helping me so much with training Toast in these early days. I have so much to learn but i AM learning. And Toast is quite a dog.
He’s a Labradoodle and has a temperament suited to being trained as a therapy dog or a service dog. We’ll decide about this in the next few months. I don’t know all the ins and outs of the training for the different types of pet, but have my hands full right now with all things puppy.
BLAH BLAH BLAH. I discovered today my patience DOES have limits. I discovered today that Kepler is adjusting to having a new being that also gets my attention by ramping up his questions, comments, requests for help, and other attention-getting actions. I discovered today that I remember why I used to be irritable when I got too much sensory stimulation. And I discovered today that I have resources now that make it much more possible to find my way out of a downward spiral, and that spirals are still going to occur from time to time.
I was going to go to an alanon meeting tonight. It was so good last week, but more than anything tonight I just needed a little break; some quiet time. It’s been awhile since I felt this challenged, so I’m getting lots of practice seeing the challenges as opportunities. Though sometimes I feel like growling, I try to give myself and those around me grace, and trust that I can say yes to what is.
1 thought on “Introducing Toast Taylor”
I have heard that border collies are usually named one syllable names with an open vowel in order to make it simple for the dog to learn and pay attention to it. So well done!
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