About three weeks ago, my family of four grew to five. We got a puppy! Her name is Penny, and she is a mini-French Bassett Hound. I’m in love. She has so much energy, curiosity and so much to learn! She’s brought a lot to our family so far, but not without a disruption to our routines and spaces.
While I grew up with dogs, I don’t really remember what it took to train them and integrate them into the family. But, now with two boys (aged 8 and 10), it is so important that Penny learn how to integrate into our family. Or so I thought…
We have started puppy training Penny, and our boys are being really great with her, and the responsibility that is required. They are learning about what it takes to learn, be patient and understanding. As a family, we are learning about distractions, about setting boundaries, and that things don’t always turn out the way you planned. She is teaching us about how we have to change not only what we do, but how we do it. I’d go so far as to say, she is teaching us more about who we are. There is a lesson in here about how this applies to education, but I have to take her out for a walk… so let me end with this:
What Penny has taught us, so far, is that empathy can be learned, that changes in routine bring opportunity, and that patience can be practiced. It’s more valuable for us to see how we can change to support her in becoming a member of our family. In this way, she’s a litmus test for living our values.