Part 3: What Has Your Pet Taught You? by da-AL

Newborn Black Labrador Dog
Image courtesy of nixxphotography at

Life with dogs…

The twin puppies we adopted ate and ate and ate. And pooed and pooed and pooed. Six months later, they’d grown to 50 and 50 pounds!

Plus, I’d learned nothing about training them.

One day…

As usual, for 10 deafening minutes, they barked at the mailman across the street. Later that day, they destroyed yet another throw rug.

“Bad dogs,” I snapped.

They were too busy chewing to hear me.

“Bad, bad, bad dogs!” I hollered, my voice shrill, my throat raw.

They sat. Four watery eyes gazed up at me.


Fear made them urinate on the carpet.

My thoughts reeled back. That was me! When I was only four years old!

Back then, I tried ever so hard to be good, yet I didn’t always succeed. My father would yell at me.

One time, he sounded as angry as I had when I’d hollered at my dogs. Same as with my two puppies, the big person’s anger blotted out my ability to think and hear. All I was able to do was to feel — that my father was furious at me — and that I was terrified.

All I knew was that he seemed angry enough to kill me. Out of terror, just like the dogs had, urine streamed down my legs.

Looking into my dogs’ upturned faces…

I saw how they trembled. The little dogs blinked their moist eyes hard.

Puppy Dog Eyes
Image courtesy of Tina Phillips at


Sobbing, I sank to my knees and hugged them. It had taken six long months for me to learn that, all along, they had been trying their best to please me. Despite my ineptitude as a trainer, they had refused to give up on me. They had given me the benefit of the doubt that like them, I was trying my best.

They never gave up hope on me…

They knew I would learn to love them. Through the example of my pets, I’ve learned that the more I gaze upon everyone in my life with the benefit of a doubt, the happier we all are. We’re all doing our best, even when we could do better.

Do dogs forgive?

Here’s part 1 of this and here’s part 2.

Do you have an interesting animal experience?…

28 thoughts on “Part 3: What Has Your Pet Taught You? by da-AL

  1. Samantha September 14, 2018 / 7:16 am

    I am a sucker for puppy eyes. Or those big eyes cats can make. I tell you, they can tell I’m a sucker for that. Always gets them out of trouble and me into some.

    I love this story, Daal. So sorry to learn your father got you that scared.

    I recently learned a lesson from my two gerbils. Yes, from those little friends. As I put them on the table to play, Waldo ended up attacking Darwin (out of stress, not out of anger – it was a silly accident and lasted for 2 seconds). Still, I learned that I should not make them adapt to me, but I should adapt to them. No more play time on the table if that causes too much stress. Now I put them on my lap instead. Works better for all of us 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • da-AL September 14, 2018 / 4:52 pm

      love your story, Samantha – I had a hamster — all creatures have distinct personalities 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Samantha September 15, 2018 / 8:36 am

        I know right! No matter how small they are, no matter how many gerbils I’ve had, they were ALL different in personality. Gotta love pets ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Sturgeon September 12, 2018 / 2:00 am

    ❤ So many stories in my heart. I so felt for you, with yoursxX

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Adrienne Morris September 11, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    My dogs have taught me that there’s more to life than wearing black clothing. With 4 dogs brushing up against me I’ve had to change my dress code. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. roughwighting September 10, 2018 / 4:52 am

    I don’t think dogs even think of forgiveness. They want to please; they just don’t know HOW to please when they’re pups. That’s why we’re told at puppy training classes that it’s the people who need to be trained, not the dogs. We need to show them the love as we show them how we want them to behave.
    “Use the carrot, not the stick” is a great expression. In my dog’s case, he loved carrots, so even better than dog treats to stop the barking and figuring out where he was allowed to pee in the yard. :–)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. sherazade September 10, 2018 / 1:16 am

    Prima di ogni cosa ti segnalo un libro delizioso di Catherine Shine intitolato “I newyorkesi.
    Nella mia famiglia sin da piccola c’è sempre stato un cane e tanto allegria per la sua presenza per la sua personalità.
    Gli animali in questo caso il cane va cresciuto con tenerezza e soprattutto con equilibrio emotivo.
    Il tuo paragone con il ricordo di te bambina è perfetto.
    Nel mio blog c’è sempre una fotografia è un riferimento alla mia piccola Sally.


    Liked by 1 person

    • da-AL September 11, 2018 / 12:03 pm

      tx for the book tip — I love books, shera! your Sally is indeed has fun in her eyes ❤


  6. PlantsandBeyond September 9, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    Went through lots of mischief with my dogs , but would not trade it for the world❣️🐕❣️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. anne leueen September 9, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Well, as you know I have a horse who is a huge part of my life. The relationship with a horse is very different from the relationship with a dog or cat. They are huge and do not live in our homes with us. They can hurt us unintentionally by stepping on us or bumping into us and knocking us over. But the magical thing about a horse is you can ride the horse and establish a working relationship with him or her. And riding a horse can give us a freedom of movement and speed that is not possible to experience in any other way. To be on the back of a galloping horse is vastly different from being in a fast car!

    Liked by 3 people

    • da-AL September 11, 2018 / 11:55 am

      what heaven if we could take a horse — & a dog — everywhere 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sharon Bonin-Pratt September 9, 2018 / 3:55 pm

    Your story made my eyes water, Daal. It’t that moment of getting what it’s all about, whether you’re a teacher, parent, boss, politician, spouse or new puppy owner. You have to see it through their eyes and that often comes from past personal pain.

    I think I was a bit of a bumblebee who by its physical traits shouldn’t fly but does – I knew nothing about training a puppy but I knew I loved her and she loved her family. Looking back I wish I’d treated her with more compassion at times (let her in the house more often) and fed her better quality food (though I thought it was good stuff.) We all played with her a lot and walked her a lot and she was showered with affection she showered back at us.

    I’m still hoping to get a puppy once a few other issues are resolved – we have no AC and I won’t have a dog in our home until we do – it’s just too hot here. When I do bring home that new pooch (named Jupiter) we will both enroll in puppy obedience classes. If I can’t train Jupiter, maybe she can train me.

    I hope your dad figured out his error and asked your forgiveness.

    Liked by 2 people

    • da-AL September 11, 2018 / 11:54 am

      I didn’t know anything about dogs when I got them — watching a zillion The Dog Whisperer episodes helped me immensely. as for my dad, some folks are good for teaching us what not to do…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. mydangblog September 9, 2018 / 2:48 pm

    If they were destroying the rug, I don’t blame you for being upset. My cat has just ruined another rug by continually peeing on it unbeknownst to us—it was all I could do to not scream. We’v had her tested for everything, her litter box is always clean, she’s on special calming food, and still she pees. Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    • da-AL September 11, 2018 / 11:51 am

      so sorry — I had a cat that when she got older, she decided to pee under sink — vet said they get picker with age (perhaps to take better care of themselves?) & that at some point one needs to just accept & move the rug, etc. wishing you luck whatever you do 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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