Alice Grist
June 05, 2014 2:58 am

I have a newborn. Nope, it’s not a brother or sister for my daughter Ivy, it is something far more demanding. It’s a puppy.

Before I explain how this tornado of unbelievable cuteness has managed to tear my life apart in less than 48 hours, I first must explain that purchasing Mr Presley was no whim. We had planned to buy a puggle way back in the days before Ivy came along. As such we thought we were prepared. But like any parent knows, you can simply never be prepared enough for your first born. Presley is my first ever dog. No matter how ready I thought I was for accidents, misdemeanors and general dog-related smells and hyperactivity, I didn’t have a clue, not a clue, what I was getting myself into.

This is, of course, was reminiscent of having a first child. But, I have to say, I found having a puppy harder. A child is imprinted and born from your body. The love that stems from the hormonal overkill when that child arrives, helps you to glide through those early troublesome weeks with a big fat glow of happiness. When Presley arrived, there were no hormones, there was no kinship, there was only a spectre of trouble to come. Then there is that first poop on your carpet, and the second one on the kitchen floor. And then there is me saying ‘No. No. No’ all day long. From attachment parenting to dog training in one fell swoop. It isn’t an easy transition to make. I have cried. Quite a bit. I have become the tough parent, and felt miserably unhappy with it. I have not been a happy bunny these past few days.

Now where is the inspiration in all of this Post Puppy Depression that I have suffered? Well Presley, it turns out is a little change-bringer. Sometimes in life, those things that push our boundaries, that make us deeply uncomfortable, are actually little blessings. Our little puppy has brought chaos to our lives, but in effect, that chaos has shifted a few things in our family: bad habits, personal issues, stalemates, and unhealthy schedules. In shifting these, through his little tornado of dopey-eyed love, some heartfelt and wonderful change has come about. The chaos that is Presley Puggle has actually ushered out the stale air and left us with a newfound peace, albeit a peace interspersed with little barks, and demanding, doe eyed happy/sad stares. I suspect quite strongly that he is reforming us as a pack.


Presley has pushed me off my usual, well-worn and familiar track and onto another one. He has made me evaluate myself in a way that has reminded me to put love first. Let me be honest, for the first 24 hours of Presley being with us, I was working from a place of panic and fear. In this panic and fear, I was big, bad scary wolf momma. I had no time for cuddles. I was all about the dog training, treats and repeated stern commands. I was miserable in this place. It suddenly occurred to me that all my actions were not coming from the love in my heart, but from terror. I was terrified of getting it wrong. I was terrified of Presley. I was terrified. And I let that rule my actions. And this made me all the more unhappy. 

So I stopped. I decided to heed my own lessons from my personal spiritual path and I picked the little bundle of fluff up, looked in his big brown eyes and I reassessed. I told him I loved, him, told him he was cute, I kissed his gorgeous paws and I welcomed him to our home, to our family. We had a big cuddle. I decided then and there that all my rules and regulations, which are essential to raising a happy healthy pup, would now come from a place of momma love, not from a place of feeling hounded.

I see so much of life in this small interaction between Mr. Presley and I. So many of us work from a place of fear in all our relationships. We see this play out quite often in the momma/baby relationship and the ‘baby training’ that is sold to desperate mothers as if their child was nothing but an issue to be resolved. From acting in fear we see the child/parent/colleague/partner as a problem to be managed. Yet none of us are problems. We are all sparks of soulful life given bodies to experience. Those sparks need guidance, but first they need love. I had proudly gone down this gentle, loving path with raising my daughter — it seemed natural — but for a few moments there I forgot it. I forgot that love is the first and last thing we should invest into all our relationships. I let fear rule, and so I was creating a relationship with my doggie that was based around that fear. Screw fear. Let it go. Feel the love instead. Infuse love into each and every second of your day with each and every person/animal/plant you have to be around. Your dog/child/husband may still get things wrong, but because you are holding them in a place of love, your reaction will be loving, everyone will be happier.

So Presley the tornado dog has blown into our lives and already he has rearranged me, offered me a new beginning and helped me to see my true, better, spiritual self more clearly. I’m thinking that the arrival of little Presley, our baby wolf, our littlest pack member, is significant. He’s a tiny gift from the cosmos. His dog energy has been and is an education. Thank you, Presley. Now, with all that said and done, let’s go play chase! 

Image Courtesy of Alice Grist

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