A puppy touches something very deep in us, and when we first hold one in our arms it is easy to be swept away with blind enthusiasm. Who would suspect the challenge that awaits us? – The Art of Raising a Puppy
Meet Uba, a recent addition to our family. Having never raised a puppy before, I was not quite prepared for the challenge. While extremely frustrating and stressful at times, the experience has also been enlightening and rewarding.
Much like writing a novel.
Both require patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement.
Patience is a key virtue in nurturing a relationship, to keep us relaxed and moving forward step-by-step. With patience, we can stay in touch with the bigger picture… – The Art of Raising a Puppy
Writing a novel, training a puppy takes time and patience. Neither can be rushed. Some days will be better than others. Some days Uba will pee on the rug, without ever indicating he needs to go. Some days I can only manage to write only one sentence. Other days, Uba will sit when told, come when called, and defecate where he should. And I am able to crank out 1000 words without crying. The only way to get it done is step-by-step, day-by-day, word-by-word.
Bad habits develop quickly… Whatever your specific desire, obviously they won’t transpire by magic but will require consistent and conscientious work to make them a reality. – The Art of Raising a Puppy
It’s easy to let Uba sometimes lead the way or run into the house without my permission to enter. It’s hard to ignore an excited puppy, jumping on me because he hasn’t seen me for awhile. It’s easy to slack off, hit that snooze button a couple more times, convince myself that I’ll work on it later that night instead.
One unruly puppy. One unfinished novel. One stressed-out, discouraged, possibly deranged writer.
…motivating and rewarding particular behavior is an essential part of good training. – The Art of Raising a Puppy
He sits. Give him a treat. He comes. Give him a treat. He stays. Give him a treat.
Write a paragraph. Get a treat. Write a scene. Get a treat. Finish a chapter. Get a treat.
Uba likes dog treats. I prefer chocolate.
Dog training actually goes beyond the elementary instruction of basic obedience commands; it must encompass a whole new attitude and lifestyle with your dog. – The Art of Raising a Puppy
Writing goes beyond the simple act of putting words on paper. It’s the attempt to use your memories, thoughts, knowledge, experiences, etc. to create worlds that readers will want to visit over and over again.
Neither is easy.
Both can be rewarding.
And now, as a writer with a dog, I know there are two things I must always carry: a notebook and a plastic bag. I never know when an “idea” will suddenly drop.