Morning routine:

  • Wake up
  • Put on big, fluffy, polar bear robe
  • Let Mo and Eli the foster dog out to do their business
  • Hop in the shower
  • Get dressed

Or so I thought. I thought I left a bra in the bathroom. Maybe I was mistaken, it could be in the drawer. Ok, not in the drawer. Well, the wash then. As I walk through the kitchen, I see the two brown and white dogs playing outside. They are having a blast, running and chasing each other. Eli has a toy and Mo is galloping after him. So cute, I’m happy they are getting along.

Wait a minute… we don’t have a black toy.

I realize my bra is clasped in Eli’s mouth, the straps flowing in the wind. I don’t cry or get frustrated, instead I have a genuine laugh. The ridiculousness of two dogs playing with women’s underwear at 7:00am is just too funny.

Humor

That’s the key: humor. That bra is just a thing. In the spectrum of important things in life, it is material and of low importance. Mo is not a big chewer, but he’s had a go at some beautiful nude heels and my husband’s very expensive Army Kevlar helmet (which doesn’t really instill a lot of confidence in the effectiveness of this helmet protecting my hubby’s head). But, they are just things. Of course it’s upsetting and frustrating to lose money, but it was also my fault for leaving my bra and heels on the floor and not providing mentally stimulating toys and activities for a bored dog so he doesn’t eat a Kevlar helmet (Kevlar may want to dog test their equipment, they may be surprised by the results).

Humor is an important tool, especially with our reactive or problem dogs. Finding a laugh in any situation with your dog helps you embrace your dog’s quirks, brings a little sunshine into a crappy situation, and relieves some tension (they can sense that tension!). My dog reacts to the sound of sirens; the ambulances and fire trucks sound in the distance and Mo lets out long, mournful howls. I’m good with it because It makes me chuckle and he seems to enjoy connecting with his ancestral roots!

You laugh, you learn from your mistakes, and then you move on. Our dogs don’t know what’s a toy and what’s not a toy unless we manage their environment and teach them what’s appropriate (not in a corrective or forceful way). Some things are more laughable than others, I totally understand that. If a puppy shreds a fresh toilet paper roll, take a deep breath, a step back to take a picture, and then post it on Facebook because it’ll probably get a few likes and laughs. Lesson learned: close the bathroom door when you’re not using it and give the puppy a chew toy!IMG_0079

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