Adventures with Darlington: Consistency and Grace 

As Darlington loves without condition, I'm reminded we all need to give each other a little more grace.  

I am happy to report the behavior of my 60-pound beast of a puppy is, in fact, improving.

I know, I know, I didn’t think we’d get here either. But Darlington’s behavior has improved. It’s been a long and bumpy road and some days are still challenging. For example, just last week I was the only one home and Dar was minding his business (as he’s better at now) so I went back to the bathroom to finish getting ready.

I had the urge (a mother’s intuition) to go and check on him and sure enough with five oversized bones laying all around him to satisfy his desire to chew, what does he have? He has the living room rug ruffled up and is using it as a chew toy.

I guess we all have bad days every now and then.

If you recall in my last adventures with Darlington I reported some of the many things he’s chewed on, or well devoured. Those included a garden hose, the gutters, some of the deck, some shoes and so on.

Now, for the most part we can leave the closet and bathroom doors open and he knows better than to go make chaos there. He goes in, sniffs around, and usually comes back out with clean paws. This is a huge improvement. Before he would have come running down the hall with a roll of toilet paper in his mouth or a pair of his dad’s favorite socks.

Although most nights he sleeps at the foot of our bed, we’ve even trusted him to sleep in the living room with a pair of flip flops laying out. Three were no issues. Ya’ll this is improvement.

I prayed about it. I Googled about it. I asked you for help. I asked our veterinarian. I asked the shelter director. I asked my favorite dog expert.

Everyone said he’d grow out of it and to just be consistent.

As you may remember we brought Darlington home from a local shelter so we aren’t exact on his age but we believe he’s nearing his first birthday. Although we will wait and celebrate him on something the cool kids call a “Gotcha Day,” the day we brought him home to be a part of our family.

I can’t wait for that celebration. It will be ridiculous and I suggest anyone who follows me on social media to unfollow me because I will be spoiling that little fur ball like the king he is and it might get silly.

So perhaps, as he nears his first birthday he is indeed growing out of that wild adolescent stage.

He has earned more of our trust and well just when I think I can’t love him anymore my heart explodes for him.

I’ll likely never have children of my own, I’ve never had that desire, but then again, I never desired a dog... I do love two children gobs and try to treat them as if they were my own.

Sometimes at night I watch Darlington sleep, creepy I know. I think that I hope he knows he’s loved. I wonder how he’ll act over the next few years. I wonder if he’ll ever sit still long enough to let me put a Halloween costume on him. I wonder if he’s happy. I think to myself that I’ll talk him on longer walks. I pray he stops bullying the nighttime friendly frog.

I just imagine these thoughts must be similar to what it’s like when a mother watches her child sleep, only her thoughts are 1000 times more intense.

Darlington will no doubt still have bad days. Days when he eats half of my pumpkins and bounces them around like a basketball. But then again, don’t we all have those days? Days where everything we touch shatters, days where we can barely stand ourselves and days when most of all we just need some extra love and grace.

Those days are the days when we want to love Darlington less, when he’s eating our socks and rolling our pumpkins around, but just like us, those are the days he needs our consistency, patience and love the most.

Let my wild and crazy Darlington remind you that we all might need a little more grace and a little more patience.

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