This month, we’re going to try to feature some thankful for moments in the month of Thanksgiving on the daily, from various members of the family. Some of these may be fun and silly, and some may be a little more heartfelt and sappy. We’d like for you to join us by posting your thankful for comments, and we’d also like to welcome some guest posts. Please feel free to email Thankful For stories to us at email@example.com
Day 1: Thankful for Learning
Well friends, this week I celebrate my second documented November in a Forever Home. Last November’s was certainly a little bit rough and confusing, as I was in a bit of a transitional period and scared of everything outside my front door. My Mom had a LOT of learning to do, and despite her best efforts, I didn’t always feel super safe when she was on scary monster patrol.
Longtime readers here may recall there was a lot of quiet on the blog because of it. Mom was trying really hard to help me in my learnings and stress reduction so I could get adopted to a new family. Truth be told, I wasn’t helping give her a lot of fun things to write about at the time. And truth be told, I wasn’t exactly looking to go to a different home at the time, as you probably know.
Looking back, I see now how hard she trying hard to learn, and I can’t help but forgive her. In fact, I forgave her in the wake of those mistakes, even though she kept making them for awhile (we dogs have a one-up on humans in that regard).
When I think of how far we’ve come since then, it makes my furry heart feel warm as cuddles on the couch, and when I think of all the good she’s taught herself so she could teach me. The more she learned, and the more confident she became in her learning and teaching, the more I could understand what she expected of me. And so I became more confident in my learning.
I’ve been with my family for almost 14 months now and I’ve learned a lot since then (awhile ago I wrote about how they helped me learn the word forever). For 7 of those months I’ve been going to doggy school at All About Dogs, which has been the source of many of Mom’s and my learnings. The time has flown since I’ve started school, and it wasn’t very easy to learn at first. I knew all sorts of tricks that I did with Mom and Dad at home, but when I got to class I couldn’t use all my brain to do them because it was scary and noisy, and some of the other dogs in class were also scared.
But my teachers show Mom and me many good things when we go, and Mom and I practice on having fun while learning back at home. My teachers and Mom never make me learn something I’m not ready to, and even though my teachers keep saying every week they love me and want to kiss my head, they know that would be too scary for me (Mom kisses my head on their behalf though, which is allowed).
Learning my manners at home has always been pretty easy, on account of my smarts and love for snacks. My teachers noticed this when Mom and I started working with them, and said “Balton loves to learn and to please you. Teach him a lot of tricks. This will help you continue to bond, keep his mind busy and foster a stronger relationship of you giving him things to do instead of worrying about strangers.”
Thinking and feeling come from two different places, and LEARNING to FEEL differently takes more time than learning facts or how to do a new trick. I’ve always loved learning at home. Learning outside, or when people come to my home, has always been a little harder on account of the fact I panic when I get scared. Learning how to handle stress has been hard, and for awhile it really made learning hard. Almost impossible, really (I hear learning is hard for humans when they have stress or are upset too though, so this helps me feel better about it).
Now that I think about it, I bet Mom was pretty stressed and scared for awhile, so no wonder it took her some time to start doing better at her learnings.
Lately I’ve been doing much better in school, and last night I smiled and pranced a lot more than I ever had before. Learning was fun like it is at home. Mom has become a much better student, and so I can start being my Balton best at learning in scarier situations…or learning they’re not such scary situations after all.
I sure am thankful she likes learning as much as I do. She’s turning out to be a pretty good study buddy.