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Written by Kristen “Sunshine” Lebsock — Click here for event details
Have you ever wished to live a life surround by PUPPIES? Those round little bellies, that intoxicating puppy breath, the floppy ears
So, maybe not everyone pictures a heaven like that. But, if you are a member of Friendship Crossfit, chances are good that you do. Because if there’s anything our community has in common, it’s a love of dogs. Is it even surprising then that Friendship is actually RESPONSIBLE (yes, responsible) for kicking off the series of events that led me to go from zero to four puppies in less than eight months’ time? I think not.
Anyways –if you are curious to know what that life might be like –that one where you’re surrounded by puppies, where that is actually your life –then you probably want to keep reading… because I am about to tell you. And my answers? They just might surprise you.
Our adventures began on a warm spring day. It was mid-April, and Friendship CrossFit was hosting a puppy adoption event. I had been wrestling with the idea of getting a dog. I had visions of myself taking a pup on long walks, hikes even. Bringing the pup on car rides –face hanging out the window, ears flopping in the wind. Snuggling up on the couch to watch a movie. Tail wagging in warm greeting after a long day at work… you get the idea. Those were all my reasons to say YES. But I am pragmatic. And I had my worries too. I worried about the pup spending long hours crammed in a crate. The pup having a desire to run
What I couldn’t have possibly known
I learned so many important lessons in communication over our first months with Lola. I learned that the way I WANTED to respond in immediate reaction to her behavior was often the most counterproductive. I learned that I had to get very specific and break down the communication I gave her into small chunks –giving her lots more chances to be successful. I learned that consistency is king and MAN was it important for Alex and I to be on the same page with our responses and handling of situations. I also learned that it wouldn’t be perfect immediately and that’s ok. Progress was happening, I just had to change my expectations of what that would look like and how fast it would happen. I’ve come to recognize these as the types of lessons that are challenging to stomach at
So, at this point, you’re probably thinking “wow, that sounds like a great ending to the story” … followed by a quick, “wait a minute, I thought she said zero to four dogs in the beginning?” Great callout. And I see where you’re going with it. You’re wondering what compelled me to get another dog, so quickly. And how it happened. And whether or not I’m crazy. Gosh… what a loaded set of questions! Here’s the easy answer for you: fate stepped in and we decided to just say yes. Our second dog, Lily, was from a separate litter, but the same mom as Lola. We laid eyes on
It was the best decision. It wasn’t like it had been with Lola –going from 0 to 100. It was more like 100 to 105. Harder to be sure, but only marginally so. Having Lola to play with meant Lily rarely nibbled (or played) on us –instead, they tired each other out. Lily was brave to try things that had taken Lola months because she saw Lola go first. Lily’s a people pleaser and a snuggle bug –very unlike Lola in those ways, and because of
Ok, so what’s next? You know the drill by now: something happened. It’s no secret. I said this at the very beginning –I want ALL the dogs. Who doesn’t?! Anyways, I had begun to feel this NEW tug on my heart. It seemed like I saw a new post about another dog needing a home–permanent or temporary (i.e. a foster)— every day. I felt compelled to DO SOMETHING. My first choice
I mean sure we already have two puppies under the age of one. Sure, we live in a 2000 square foot condo. Sure, we’re trying to renovate said condo. Sure, we don’t have a fenced in backyard (the enclosed patio doesn’t count, right?). Sure, we both work full time. And, of course, don’t forget… it’s been a near record-breaking, freezing cold winter so far. Yea… all these things occurred to me too and I thought maybe, just maybe, I’ve lost my mind to even be considering this. But then… I thought about the poor, sweet puppies who weren’t wanted. Who’d never experienced a loving home or
I’ve come to realize there’s never a good time for an uncomfortable decision –something that puts you outside your routine,
So, with all that in mind, we did it –welcoming two Aussie Shepherd puppies into our home. I am so glad we did. I already know that when our remaining foster, Saturn, finally finds his
So, here we are –finally— at the end of the tale. My hope is that if you take anything away from this crazy story of mine, it’s that you choose to challenge yourself to step outside of your excuses. You might find them to be worse in your head than they are in reality. On the other hand, you might find them to be exactly as bad as imagined (or heck, WORSE sometimes) … only to become your favorite memories once some time has elapsed. Either of those outcomes
Kristen Lebsock is a Friendship “SuperFriend” – Which means that she has been an amazingly helpful part of our community for over 5 years! She is one of Friendship’s famously strong, confident women and has become a leader in