Well, it's been 6 months since I brought Stanley home and I'd say he's settled in well. Because he had such a traumatic last number of years and because he's been through 2 surgeries since I've owned him, I have made it a point to make sure Stanley knew he was loved and adored. Ohhhh, I have showered him with affection and kindness morning and night (I'm at work during the day...Ha). When I found him at the animal shelter I had to wait almost 3 weeks before I could bring him home. Everyday I would spend at least 1 hour with him which meant that when I brought him home he knew he was in for a sweet situation. Oh yeah! Even at the shelter...seeing me only 1 hour a day....Stanley picked up that I was a safe human, a kind human and a human that gave him lots and lots of tender attention. Stanley knew that I wasn't looking for a pet just to be cute. No....he knew I was looking for a pet so that I could shower love and affection and give him a better life. Yep, Stanley figured it out and he practically smiled when he saw me.
Fast forward 6 months. Pretty much when I am at home Stanley is next to me. Whatever room I go into, Stanley follows me. Wherever I sit, make room for Stanley because he's coming up. It started out that he was content being next to me. However, after months of innocent baby talk and innocent brushing of his coat and rubbing, Stanley now has the expectation that I am home just to hold him and rub HIM. Hello! Really? Where did he get that idea?! Innocently, I was setting myself up by always petting him, rubbing him, talking to him. I had no idea that his expectations would change! Now, I'm having to negotiate with him that it cannot always be about him. Ha Ha. I am having to negotiate with my own dog just to be able to go to the gym, read a book, work on the computer....in other words, do things for me not him!
I tell you what. Being a master is stressful some days. LOL. I'm sure it is just me...."master error." With what I'm going through with Stanley, I now have better understanding as to how a parent can unintentionally spoil a child. We become so fixated on having the pet/child happy all of the time that we don't realize the slippery slope we are sliding down that eventually dumps us out in "I've got a spoiled pet/child" land. What do you do when your pet/child starts crying, jumping up and down, forcing his way onto your lap without regard for the laptop that is in your lap? My first plan of action was to stop what I was doing and pick Stanley up, rub him, talk to him.....pretty much make it all about him. Now...no way. If I'm going to get anything done around the house I've got to put my foot down and readjust Stanley's expectations. Ha. I have decided that I will not be stressed by a dog. Come on!...it is crazy to let a dog stress you out!
So, I'm learning as I go and following my motherly instincts, even though Stanley is my pet (not my child). He is doing pretty well at adjusting, although every time I get near my handbag or car keys he is downright insistent that he go along for the ride. Good thing he's not asking to drive the car.........