Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Special needs adoption from a Jewish perspective.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Children and pets

We have recently acquired 2 new members of our household: a 14-month-old Lab Mix, and a 2-month-old kitten. It occurred to me that this would give all members of the family a chance to learn about the joys and difficulties of integrating an adopted individual into a home.   The dog, especially, is analogous to an older-child adoption, as she was found as a stray in Tennessee and has some baggage from her early experiences.  She is eager to please, but very nervous around other dogs, and territorial in her relations with the kitten.  They are still kept separate in our house:  The kitten is in the main bathroom, and we occasionally open the door to the gated-off hallway next to it.  The dog accepts his presence in the bathroom, but if the kitten steps into the hallway, she barks at him until he retreats to the bathroom.  We will be hiring a professional dog trainer to help us with these issues (therapy!).  

Other than more logistics about going places, though, this has been pretty easy!  The dog had trouble sleeping through the night at first, since she is not used to city noises, but is doing much better now.  I am getting used to getting up at a consistent hour with her, feeding her, and then taking her out for a brisk walk or jog.  Exercise!  She is learning (gradually but quickly at the same time) how to heel and walk calmly in spite of distractions.   The kids are learning (finally!) to keep their toys etc. off the floor, and are actually showing some signs of increased helpfulness!  And it's only been a week!

It's a Hanukah miracle!

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