Worth repeating: Six things my puppy taught me

17 December 2020

Our standard poodle, Bix, joined our family as an eight-week-old puppy five years ago this week. I’ve been enjoying the puppy pictures that Facebook Memories has been presenting. And I enjoyed re-reading this post from five years ago. It seems like a lot of friends are getting puppies these days, so I thought it might be useful to run again. Bix has grown up into a beautiful, playful and very well behaved boy. He’s a keeper!

Six things my puppy has taught me

Happiness is a warm puppy

My thoughts are all wrapped in my dog these days. We brought our standard poodle puppy, Bix, home from the breeder two weeks ago. He’s now ten weeks old and commands most of our attention. Emails have gone unread and unwritten. Blogging has slowed way down. I feel behind in everything.

But I have a warm snuggly puppy and it’s worth all the effort. (That’s Bix in the photo at right snuggling with his dad.) This morning, as he and I had a quiet moment together on the couch, I jotted down a few things that this time with Bix has taught me. He’s not my first puppy, but he is my first puppy since I’ve become an organizer and blogger. I’m in the habit of turning everything into a blog post. So here you go.

Six things my new puppy has taught me to do

  1. Be patient. Oh my goodness. I think of myself as a patient person. I can stand in silence for minutes as a client ponders whether to keep or donate an item. But Bix is taking my patience to a new level. It’s been pouring rain for days and Bix is still being house trained. Waiting in the rain for my dog to eliminate requires an exquisite amount of patience.
  2. Be attentive. One has to pay attention to an unhousetrained puppy or one cleans up a lot of messes. Also, puppies chew stuff up. So when I’m with Bix I need to be focused. When I focus instead on my phone, I usually am sorry. (In fact yesterday I was focused on neither of them and he started chewing on my phone!)
  3. Look for the positive. Puppies are a clean slate. They need to be taught which of their natural behaviors are desirable and which are not. I practice positive-reinforcement training so I have to stay attuned to those things he does so I can reward him for it. (I realize I should be applying this to my interactions with humans as well!)
  4. Be prepared. When you have to be ready to take a puppy outside at a moment’s notice and it’s winter, you have to be prepared. That means my coat is at the ready, clicker and treats in pocket. I try to have a toy handy at all times to give to him when he tries to bite my fingers (and other body parts). And I always have a clicker and treats in my pocket for a quick training session or just to reinforce something great he’s doing. And, of course, I try to have my iPhone handy to capture the cute moments!
  5. Prioritize. My husband, Barry, and I share puppy duties. (Barry works from home.) It seems like all I have are small snippets of time that I must make the most of while Bix sleeps or Barry is entertaining him. The fact is that all I really want to do is post pictures and videos of Bix on Facebook and read the admiring comments, but really I need to prioritize the things that are essential to keeping my business running (like communicating with clients and team members).
  6. Stop and enjoy the little things. Puppies are young only once. And they’re outrageously cute. It’s easy to get frustrated but, really, there is so much to enjoy. Like snuggles. Like the sight of a puppy running toward you with a ball in his mouth. Like the first time he walks up the stairs by himself. This time with him is precious and I’m focusing on creating lasting memories.


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About Janine

Hello! I’m Janine Adams — a certified professional organizer based in St. Louis, and the creator of Peace of Mind Organizing®.

I love order, harmony + beauty, but I believe that the way that you feel about yourself and your home is what truly matters.

If you’re ready to de­clutter with a purpose and add more ease to your life, you’ve found the right blog — and you’ve found the right gal.

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