A lesson from Henry

For one week I had a glimpse. We found a yellow lab puppy and decided to care for it until we found a loving home. He was so adorable, but the cuteness rubbed off after he peed on my floor three times. He was very reluctant to go outside and I was having a hard time bending over to clean the mess.

By the second evening my hormones, combined with severe agitation, was getting the best of me. For five hours all I did was take the puppy outside to make sure he would use the grass instead of our linoleum as a toilet. By the fifth hour, I had brought him inside and not a minute later I found him squatting in the kitchen. I shoved his face in the urine, smacked his nose twice yelling “Bad puppy!!!,” and carried him outside only to start crying as I dropped him onto the grass.

I felt like a monster. I was yelling at this precious puppy over something he could not control. He was messing with my schedule and my emotions. I grabbed my belly and then started to sob. I felt guilty that my baby had to be exposed to these emotions. Baby Boo already had to hear me yell daily at my class. That thought made me cry even more because I hated that I had to resort to fussing at children in order for them to listen. One piss on the floor made me unravel. That’s when Jon walked into the house.

He had left to get a crate from my father. He walked in to find his pregnant wife hysterical. He immediately dropped the crate and consoled me. I calmed down enough to realize it was probably just the hormones and that once my emotions were rational I can rethink the possibility that I am, in fact, a monster.

The crate helped tremendously. The puppy adjusted and the accidents were far less frequent. I had been calling the puppy Henry, because that’s what street we had found him wandering. My favorite moment with Henry was when Jon and I sat down for dinner and said grace. As we were saying things we were grateful for, Jon said he was thankful that God had sent us puppy. At that precise moment Henry started to pee on the floor next to the table. I began to laugh until I had good tears.

The next afternoon when I returned from work, I let Henry out in the back yard to do his business. He immediately pottied and then came sit next to me–he knew I would feed him. In a matter of days he was getting used to the idea of being domesticated. He understood that yes, I would leave him in the morning, but when I returned I would let him out, feed him, and then play with him. He didn’t have the freedom to run around and roam the streets, but he was guaranteed food and affection.

It’s funny how in that moment with Henry, several things became quite apparent to me. I myself was quite afraid of domestication. I was the social butterfly who enjoyed exploration. I didn’t want anything to keep me in one place. How would I ever discover new things?!?!

Well I have uncovered the fact that I like to know that I eat dinner around the same time every night. I enjoy coming home to unconditional love. And just because you do return to the same place every evening doesn’t mean you don’t learn anything new or that you will lack experiences.

The parts of Henry’s arrival that were so disturbing, i.e. interrupting my schedule, was a loving gesture from God to make me realize I have grown too attached to my schedule. In less than five months I will embark upon a thrilling roller-coaster of unfamiliar twists and turns. It will be a ride that does not leave or return at a particular time. Henry helped me to realize that I have to be open and that just because something is hard at first, doesn’t mean it will not be worth it in the end.

Henry left my house yesterday. He found a fantastic family to join. We will be able to see him often and watch him grow. I can only imagine what they will learn from him. I guess Jon was right. I do thank God for sending us Henry, even if he was only meant to stay with us for a week.







1 thought on “A lesson from Henry”

  1. Love this! You’re so right. And it’s natural to be worried about losing our “freedom” when we’re tied down with kiddos, but every day with them truly is an adventure. I learn things from my daughter all the time, usually about myself and just how much patience I DON’T have! And it’s so fun to watch them learn. Izzy loves showing off and pointing out numbers, colors, and letters everywhere we go. She’s such a little sponge. You’ll have a blast as a mommy. There’s nothing better.

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