Since I began this project with my pack, so much has changed. Today the changes really struck me as I was getting dinner ready so I decided it was time to plug back into this blog and share an update.
It became clear pretty early on that my original 60 day timeline was not going to be sufficient. There were, and still are, so many elements I wanted to address and to know what is or isn’t working takes time and not making too many changes all at once.
It’s all turned out for the best really and I’m grateful to be on this journey with them. It’s been both very rewarding and extremely challenging.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
Yup, I can confirm the truth of that quote. LOL
We ended up changing our vacation plans for this month and enjoyed a wonderful Staycation. Meaning, as it related to this project, that we didn’t need to be concerned about a pet sitter or boarding.
The trigger for this blog post in particular is Ian. When last I blogged about him, he’d been having his usual meltdown at mealtimes and I’d just spent over 2 hours listening to the boy cry and whine uncontrollably while waiting for him to recover his wits so I could feed him.
Well, the very next day we had what could only be called a breakthrough! All the sudden he had awareness in his eyes and I could see he was trying very hard to please me and stay present in the moment. Breakfast went so smoothly I was in shock really.
I’d intended to sit down and document the moment so…..though it’s 6 weeks later, here I am. Ian has continued to make progress, although setbacks have definitely been part of it all too. Tonight was definitely the former.
Here he is, with 4 bowls full of food on the counter right above him:
THIS is a a cause for celebration! This moment makes me so proud. My heart is filled with love and joy. He did it! He was so quiet I honestly didn’t know he was there at first. Time froze as I looked at him and he looked back….until I was snapped out of it as the thought hit to grab my phone and document the moment. 🤣
While giving Nicklas his bowl, (he goes first) Ian started to get excited and cry. I calmly got his attention, said “hey, that’s enough. You need to be quiet.” I slowly repeated ‘quiiiiiiet’ as he made eye contact and I could see the understanding in his eyes. He knows what Quiet means. Hoooray!
Now if I could only teach this word to Nicklas to stop him barking all the time, over every single little thing, I’d be in heaven…that, however, is a project for another lifetime I think.
I thought I had patience before, well I am almost zen like now in comparison. Haha. Honestly though, even as much as I’ve learned, I now know that I have barely tapped the surface of what Calm, Patience and Kindness feel and look like. Ian has loads yet to teach me. As long as he’s game, so am I!
- Meal prep is tough. My limit is now 2 hours (preferably way less!) of looking, touching and smelling raw meat and I think that’s more than long enough to ask Ian to handle for now as well. I’m strategically buying food in smaller batches and trying to get prepackaged portions instead of a huge 40lb box I have to portion out (with all watching) and put in the freezer.
- Baby Gates. Keeping the dogs away from underfoot has given me some much needed space to maneuver and keeps peace amongst the boys as they aren’t able to jostle for pole position in case of droppings.
- Laying down. Heads hanging over the gates or Larkin laying down in front of the gates blocking access (and guarding) wasn’t working so all 3 boys have ‘the spot’ they wait in. Putting them back into position again and again and again (remember that patience I’ve been learning?) is one area where I am still challenged. Them having a job, laying down close to each other, staying and being quiet, works to keep them out of trouble and me less stressed. One day I dream they will know, and believe, I mean it when I say “Stay”.
- Elly has been included in this process, if she’s not in the bedroom sleeping.
- Snoods now go on one at a time as they each get their bowl. Seeing snoods was a real trigger to start the excitement and noise making so this shift was a great help.
- Meditating. I don’t know who it helps more, me or them but I DO know that there is better balance in the pack and they have greater patience with each other on the days I meditate. I’d like to increase the % of days I meditate versus those I don’t. Are the effects cumulative? That’s the question I want to answer.
- Exercise. This is a work in progress and deserving of it’s own blog. I’m excited for my new mindset!
I think that’s all for now. It’s more important that I publish this quickly than my not leaving out any details. I can always edit or address in a future blog post.
Life is moving on and so is Time.
Stay tuned for more adventures from the pack!