How To Survive Parenting Kids And Dogs On Deployment

by Heather on October 27, 2014

dogs on deployment

How To Survive Parenting Kids And Dogs On Deployment

Caring for your family day in and day out is a challenge, but caring for kids and dogs on deployment is a feat in itself. When you feel like you’re at your wit’s end and either the children or the dog are going to be put up for adoption, know that grace abounds to you and your situation!

“Nothing Will Change How I Feel About The Dog”

I was one of those people who adored my dog and though, “nothing will change how I feel when the baby is born.” I mean, I knew she would be demoted and the baby would be more important, but I thought I just always be smitten with her.

Well, that all changed with during the month before the baby’s birth when the dog started eating her own poo in the backyard. SO gross! This meant that, for one, we now had to pick up her poo right away so she couldn’t eat it, rather than go gather it up every few days when it was convenient.

This also meant that now with a new baby on the way, my mommy protective hormones kicked in and I was 100% disgusted by the dog and very upset with her.

There was no way I going to let a poop-eating dog near my pure, sweet-smelling clean baby.

Me vs The Dog

I was really not digging the dog– and this my sweet companion who had stayed by my side through a deployment, barked at the door to put the fear of God in anyone coming to my house, and even snuggled on my bed when I let her sneak up there when hubby was gone. Yep, I hated her, which I think was partly a result of the hormones adjusting after the baby arrived.

I didn’t hate her forever– I do love my sweet pooch. But after the baby was born, I would get really mad when her jingly collar woke up the baby, or when she started barking at the UPS man. Then I realized that — hello– those collars come right off, and if I use baby gates the dog can’t bark outside the baby’s door. Mostly it wasn’t true hatred either, it just took a little adjusting to life with dog and baby. But I had some furious moments!

In our new house we are still adjusting to how to get the dog the exercise she needs, especially due to the fact that our yard is the size of a postage stamp. I talked the other day about the bike, which worked well and I need to get her out running again. However that’s one thing that’s impossible unless hubby is home from work. I’m not going to go biking around while the baby is sleeping, and if she’s up it’s just not an option.

dogs on deployment

Our Dog Park Adventure

This morning I attempted to take the everyone to the dog park. I haven’t done it in a while because Copley was kind of a grouch last time. I don’t want to bring her when she’s all pent up from not much exercise. So my goal for today was to take her when no one else was there.

But this morning, there were dogs there, so P and I walked the dog around the bigger section of city park for a bit. I would have taken Copley in with other dogs, but I can’t bring a child into the dog park until she’s 8. So that will be 7 years from now. And actually I wouldn’t take P in there anyway because once at a dog park I saw a man get attacked…

What’s The Point?

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that sometimes it’s just exasperating trying to balance everything. I feel bad about not getting the dog exercise, but I feel like I have a lot on my plate with the baby, doctors’ appointments, and just normal things like groceries and cooking. Maybe I need to hire a dog walker…

All of these things are multiplied when it’s kids and dogs on deployment, because there’s no hubby coming home at night to walk the dog, pick up take out, cook a meal, or just get a big hug from to make it all feel better.

So today I’m hoping this post can be your virtual hug. I know the chaos of trying to balance it all. I can’t imagine how some of you do it with multiple kids and multiple pets, and I have to say kudos to you.

What I do know is that we have to live in a state of constant grace for ourselves and our circumstances. We have to take a deep breath and know that it will be ok. =) Right now the pooch is happily snoozing on her bed and the baby is napping. This mama is happy and relaxed as I write you this little note, even after the morning’s dog park dilemma.

So HUGS to you and know that with a lot of grace, you’re going to make it too!


Is deployment ending soon? Check out these Top 10 do’s and don’ts for Homecoming!

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