Well, I always new I wanted children but I never knew just how much I wanted a dog until we got one. Jacob Marley is a 9 week old Golden Doodle. We saw one a few years ago driving in Manhatten on a cold winter night. A young woman was walking down the street with this great big, deliriously happy looking, bounding, long haired white dog which I recognized as a Golden Doodle as we'd been doing a little bit of research on hypo-allergenic dogs. The dog was too big to be a puppy but acted just like a puppy. At one point it did a sort of back flip and at that point I think our whole family sort of fell in love with the idea of a Golden Doodle.
We talked about it for a couple years but with allergic children I just never really believed it was possible, just didn't buy the hypo-allergenic thing because even dogs that shed very little still have dander which is what people with allergies are actually allergic to. And I never thought the hassle and responsibility of owning a dog would be something I'd want to bring to my busy life. To make a longish story short, in one of those "you only live once moments" we drove to the UK and bought Jacob Marley. He has not caused even one sneeze in the two weeks we've had him, despite constant touching, nuzzling, and in general ridiculously affectionate behavior toward him. This dog anyway is hypo-allergenic for us and really sheds very little.
Never having had a dog I'm sort of amazed at my feelings of affection for him and just the happiness he has already brought to our family. Watching the bonding process between dog and his people has been really amazing. Even more than that, the way having Jacob has forced me out of my obsessive work routine and for a couple hours each day to just "be there" observing him, playing with him, caring for him, teaching him, and watching him slowly bond to us, has been such a great experience and a change I really needed at this point in my life.
We got a book written by monks who raise German Shepards for tips on house training, obedience training etc.The first paragraph of the book surprised me as I thought it would just be a "how to" book but instead summed up how I've been feeling about this experience. It expresses how the experience of having a dog can enrich a persons life in a deep way and I immediately related to it. Here's the paragraph from the book The Art of Raising a Puppy by the monks of New Skete:
"A puppy's life clearly displays what characterizes the whole of life: the mystery of development. The entire universe, it seems, is in a continuous process of growth that extends from before the first moments of each individual existence to the end of life and beyond. Nothing is excluded from this movement, though our own consciousness of its breadth can be dulled by the chaotic pace of modern living.Too often we take this journey for granted, carelessly letting it pass unacknowleged. With our busy lives we can easily grow insensitive to the basic wonder of life, leaving us spiritually impoverished and unhappy. This is perhaps why animals (particularly our dogs) are so important to us and why we benefit from their companionship: they root us in life."
On a more practical note, crate training for puppies in order to house break them? Please tell me what you think, yes or no? We're on the fence about it though the monks think it's a good idea....
OK, back to craft, fabric and sewing related goodness next post when I'll be promoting my upcoming book with a pattern giveaway...