Sometimes I think we are at an impasse when it comes to having pets...and then we don't.
Let me back up a bit. My wife is a dog lover and I am a cat person. Few years ago when my older daughter was born, my wife let me know that our cats had to go. She was afraid of the baby getting taxoplasmosis despite my assurances that this wouldn't happen if we clean the cat litter regularly. She wouldn't hear me out.
We made a deal - in exchange of the cats going, she would not get another dog when her dog dies. Her dog died 6 months ago after living with her for 14 years. We got another dog 2 months ago. So how do I deal with that?
Yes, I felt negatively about my wife not keeping her part of the deal...but the girls WANT a dog. Never mind the fact that she was "encouraging" them to beg me for a dog. I knew I was creating an impasse by not going along with this.
She let me know that she was going to do this anyway and I let her know that I was still against this. The perceived impasse (in my mind, that is) was not an impasse after all - she had every intention of going through with adopting a dog. This did create some stress in our relationship...before, during, and after the adoption...and I resented the dog even though it was not the dog's fault.
However, the dog was not calm or respectful. Kept getting into things, chewed things up, ate things, playfully bite us (sometimes too hard), and all kinds of unwanted behavior patterns. I decided to take the high road and I rented a whole bunch of DVDs of The Dog Whisperer...and they really didn't bother to watch any episode of it.
Sighs. I have to instruct everyone on how to address the unwanted behavior patterns after I watch Cesar Milan every week. The problem is the dog focuses on me more than others when she wants to play...and how does she let me know? She barks at me or lunges for my hand. If only she would stay calm...
I do hope that the dog learns because I am willing to meet not only my wife halfway, but the dog too. We have this family dynamic relationship and I have to balance my resentment with patience and kindness.
1 year ago