six months ago today, we brought home rufus, a 75-pound, 2-year-old black lab. probably a mix of some sort because his body is a little shorter and wider than a thoroughbred lab would likely be.
we've learned a lot about each other, that dog and his humans. our biggest challenge is still his separation anxiety. it's gotten somewhat better, but we still have to put zip ties on his crate to keep him in when we're not home (otherwise he'll just tear the place apart – something he won't do if we are home). we can't leave him in the yard for a little while, and we can't leave him in the car while we run into the store for more than about the length of time it takes to pour a cup of coffee at a gas station.
we've yet to board him for a weekend; he's come with us on all our trips thus far. he copes ok if one of us is gone for the night; that happens very rarely, though, so it's not good practice for when both of us will be gone.
more than anything, we've learned patience, selflessness and to plan ahead (we have to make sure rufus has some time out of his crate if we're going to go out for the evening; not to mention bathroom time and food).
rufus has also grown accustomed to changing schedules, and he's picked up on various patterns (i take him for a walk in the morning, then we go to the office so that i can read and write, for example, or that we brush our teeth, go upstairs, take his collar off, and then he goes into his crate to go to sleep).
in addition, having a dog has given us a little more insight into what truly makes us happy: time with family, relaxing, reading, entertaining. if it comes down to 20 people, loud music and mediocre food and drink or time alone or with 2 or 3 friends at the house with a couple of bottles of wine and a couple of bricks of cheese, we'll definitely choose the latter.
what's helping you grow?