Our family became a little hairier on December 19, 2018 when we brought home little Coco-Puff Rambo Rolle. Just 8 weeks old, he was a shy but energetic puppy with fluffy chocolate brown colored fur, hence the name. We had no clue what to expect from our new puppy, and he had no clue what to expect from his new pet parents. It’s been 4 months now, so here’s a recap of life with Coco and 4 lessons he’s taught us so far.
Does this Dog Sleep?
The first several nights were more of a nightmare than a sweet dream. This dog just wouldn’t sleep through the night! When we mentioned this to other pet parents we would receive a familiar nod and “good luck with that” expression. It was awful! We would take turns checking on him, and cuddling him back to sleep, but sleepless nights were taking their toll. The real issue for us was we were trying to do things “by the book” and crate him at night. Supposedly this would make him feel safe and comfortable through the night. No. It did not. We all finally had relief, when we ditched the crate and went with a baby gate partition in the living room. Coco did just fine sleeping in the open and we all could finally sleep through the night.
Lesson 1: There’s a lot of expert advice and opinions out there, but it’s ok to try something different when it’s clear that things aren’t working for you. God made us each unique and special. No one mold can fit us all. Following God’s plan for our lives is the best thing we can do. He knows us best and knows what’s best for us. Because we’re each different, God’s plan will look different in each of us. If you don’t know God’s plan for your life, pray and ask God to guide your life and order your steps. In Psalm 32:8, God promises to lead us. This is certainly a promise to be claimed!
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
A Second Shadow…
So this being my first dog, I had no clue they literally follow you everywhere! Even more amazing, anything you do is totally fascinating to them. From folding clothes to filing nails, puppies are just captivated by what new thing you will do next!
Lesson 2: Our actions and every day routines may seem unimportant to us, but they can mean the world to someone else. Our actions and words are powerful and we should not be careless with them. Even when we think no one is noticing, there are others who are impacted by the choices we make, lives we live and words we say. Matthew 12: 36, reminds us that careless words are in deed important.
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak”
Baby Steps and Victories!
Puppies are super cute and super clumsy. All the reason why being patient and celebrating little victories are so important! Stairs were a huge challenge for Coco. Of course when you’re only 6 inches tall, a single step is intimidating, but a whole staircase could spell d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r! Coco finally overcame his fear of stairs and mastered his climbing skills one week when I was out of town for several days. We’re convinced he finally made it up the stairs looking for his “momma”. Day by day he would make his way up another step, sniffing and looking for me. Coco is a lot bigger now and has no trouble navigating stairs and exploring!
Lesson 3: Life is full of challenges. What is easy for one person may be difficult for another. Let’s be patient with ourselves and with others. We won’t get it right all the time, but eventually we’ll get better at it. When God is leading our lives, the journey is worth celebrating as much as the destination. Your journey needs the destination and your destination needs the journey. Psalm 84:5-7 tells us that we can find both blessings and strength during our journey even when it leads us through difficult paths.
“What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings. They will continue to grow stronger, and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.”
Poop, Poop, and More Poop!
Prior to Dec 19th, if you looked up the term germaphobe in the dictionary you would find a picture of me wincing while hesitantly reaching for a public door knob. I would hardly say I’m cured, but instead of suppressing horror at the sight and smell of canine poop, I find great satisfaction scooping it up, knowing little Coco can go about the rest of his day poop-free! I even found it totally amusing to watch him spin in circles trying to inspect his own poop while it’s coming out! Thank God, he’s outgrown this and just drops and goes. 🙌🏾
Lesson 4: I’m so glad God is not afraid of our messes. When others cringe, He stands with arms open wide ready to forgive, cleanse and restore! Next time, you make a mess of things, run to God. He’s ready to fix it and willing to clean us up. 1 John 1:9 is a beautiful promise that there is no sin too big or stain too deep for God to handle.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
-1 John 1:9