Being tolerant

Okay, so I made a resolution to be more tolerant, to be less judgemental, to think before speaking, to “edit” myself, to consider other points of view before responding from mine. Unfortunately for me and my siblings, we have a genetic predisposition to flying off the handle. If we were dogs we’d be called “reactive.” LOL  When we get together our emotions are so raw we can barely hold a conversation without scrapping.

I read a description of a reactive dog class and the suggested process is one that might help my family — start with everyone 50 feet apart, rewarding them for being in the same area without aggressing or fighting. Maybe if we start working this summer we could manage Thanksgiving dinner together. LOL

I had a breakthrough last week, though, and I wanted to make sure I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it. I saw something on television and actually considered another point of view before spouting off.

One of my favorite shows has been “Jon and Kate Plus 8.” It reminds me of life with 9 dogs, though I think 9 dogs have got to be easier than 8 kids.

I enjoyed the earlier programs more than the recent segments, with all the product placement, free vacations, and contrived story lines. I also enjoy watching “The Soup,” where they poke a bit of fun at Kate’s treatment of Jon. I figure they’re both pains in the butt at times, and the poor treatment of each other is typical of married folks who lack social skills.

The preview of tonight’s show has Kate announcing that they’re getting TWO puppies!  The kids scream with delight. Then Kate is shown carrying TWO GSD puppies away from a kennel, saying “I’ve got my puppies!” The next scene is of two puppies on the rug in their basement and Mady saying “Oh, she’s peeing!” And Kate says, “what was I thinking?”

My first reaction was, “yeah — what WERE you thinking?” Then I silently chided any breeder who would send two GSD puppies home with a family of 10. After hours at the shelter, seeing all these terrific dogs being dropped off, medicated, fed, trained, shipped to other parts of the country, all at great expense to all the shelters and staff involved, I don’t have high regard for irresponsible breeders.

But then something magical happened.  It occurred to me that this couple, with 8 kids, have had a nationally televised reality TV show for 4 years. The show producers had been rather specific about where the Gosselins live, and I bet there are gawkers, drive-bys, and perhaps even cyber-stalkers as daily events for this young family.

Then I imagined myself living out in the boonies with 8 young kids and I thought, “yep, two german shepherds running around in the front yard might be JUST what the doctor ordered.” That should keep the boogie-men away.

Hopefully dog people aren’t going to freak out as they did when President Obama said he was getting his little girls a puppy to move into the White House. But, if they do, I’m prepared to be the voice of reason. What a hoot!

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