118: Love Lessons from Dog School

While watching the young couple across from us fussing with their baggies filled with treats, their backpack loaded with toys, and the stubborn clasp from one of their fancy accessories, a temporary calmness washed over me.
     My own flash of serenity may come across as insensitive and snobbish, but it is the truth. Thank goodness that is not us over there, because from this side of the room they look quite silly and exhausted. 
     The Will Ferrell/Chris Farley lovin’ part of me, began to conceptualize a Saturday Night Live skit – “The Overindulgent Doggie Parents” or “The Spoiled and Pampered Fifty Pound Puppy.”

And then…I stopped. This sweet, young, childless couple just loves their puppy. They aren’t being “silly” and if they are “exhausted” then they probably don’t feel it yet. And if they do feel it – then they don’t care how tired they are. They are focused on making their dog happy.

Am I finding similarities with raising puppies and raising my children?

     I admit it. My goal for my children is that they become happy adults. But don’t worry, there are other dreams for them floating in my head which sound more refined, penetrating, and insightful; however, when push comes to shove – I want them happy. Happiness to me is simple. I pray their hearts are filled with love, their actions pour out kindness, and their souls are saturated in faith.


This young couple attending dog training with us weren’t intentionally spoiling their puppy – they were searching. They were hunting for whatever would make their dog content, peaceful, and fulfilled ~ happy.

     We are all searching. And at times (especially in today’s society,) we may over-stuff our bag of tricks. But I’m not going to beat myself up over it anymore or worry about what other people think or secretly analyze others for doing the same.
Done. No more judging.

Dear Sweet M,
I’m trying my best. (And if the size of my old bag of tricks (aka…diaper bag) I used to bring to church when you were little is any indication of how my heart overflows with love for you, then I rest my case.)

I love you to the moon and back, moon and back, moon and back. 
Always have. 
Always will.


One thought on “118: Love Lessons from Dog School

  1. I've never had a goal for my kids to be happy. Not as kids. Or as adults. I see a difference though, between happiness and joy. I hope that they will have joy. But happiness, not so motivating to me. This has prevented me from being indulgent and raising spoiled kids.

    My goal, my wish for them, is that they grow up to be GOOD adults. With that I am certain joy will cone. And if happiness follows, that's fine too.

    Good luck!

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