A few months ago, we decided to adopt a dog from the local Humane Society. We know that just like children, there are a lot of dogs who need caring homes so we decided to adopt. We originally thought we would like to foster dogs, but after going through the orientation and training, we decided that adopting would be easier for our family.
We chose to adopt this friendly looking dog and named him Duke. While his cute face appears incredibly sweet, he has some behaviors that have been challenging. He does not know how to walk on a leash, he is not house trained, he jumps, he eats any and all food left unattended, he likes to climb on top of the dining room table, and his favorite way to wake us up in the morning is by pouncing on our faces.
Through all this, we've learned to practice patience. We attended dog training classes and work on maintaining consistent rules in our household. We take a deep breath when we find yet another shoe, clothing item, or piece of furniture destroyed by Duke. We remind ourselves that with patience, compassion, and consistency we can make Duke feel comfortable in our home and that, hopefully, good behavior will follow.
We do not know much about Duke's past. Only that he has been returned to the Humane Society multiple times. We can guess that he was often hungry as a puppy (why he tries to eat constantly) and that he likely did not get a lot of love (probably why he needs constant attention).
When our child arrives, we will also not know a lot about his or her past. And when challenging behaviors do arise, hopefully not with the same frequency as Duke, we will remind ourselves to practice patience.