Old habits

Keep looking up. That’s the secret of life.

-Snoopy

I have heard that it takes 21 days for a habit to be formed or broken. Three full weeks.

We are testing that theory because we’ve adopted a little beagle named Lilly who has a few, um…habits… that need some tweaking. God, in Her infinite wisdom, created beagles to be absolutely adorable. This is so sane, rational, women like me who swore that they’d NEVER have another beagle would get sucked into the Cute Beagle Vortex AGAIN. I’m also pretty sure this is so that beagles don’t get hung from the highest branch for their beagle shenanigans by sane, rational, women like me.

I’m no stranger to the breed. We had two different ones when I was growing up and Lilly makes three in my adulthood. She is a typical beagle, and by “typical” I mean highly food motivated. There is no OFF switch on a beagle’s stomach. If she isn’t eating or snuffling around for crumbs, she is sleeping with one eye open on the off chance that one of us just might walk into the kitchen where all those yummy food smells live. It must be a terrible burden to have a sense of smell about eighty times stronger than a human’s. I thought I kept a pretty clean house until last week. Her biggest find so far? A strawberry scented lip balm that’s probably been under the family room sofa for a year. Lilly’s rule? Finders keepers. Mom’s rule? Nope. Drop it right now, Small Dog. We are working on this.

She would have made a great federal employee in airport security. I guess it’s nice to know that she can get a job without a college degree if she ever needs one.

Right now, we are watching her as closely as she’s watching us. And let me tell you, this is a full time job. Yesterday, against all my better dog-rearing instincts, I let my guard down and discovered that she is still a tad fuzzy on where her bathroom is. She got busted and she’ll be under strict house arrest until I know that THAT habit of hers is broken. Oy vey. Beagles. So. much. work.

But we have survived Week 1 without a beagle in a tree around here. Two more to go, according to the experts. Both of us need your prayers.

It’s the strangest thing, isn’t it? You spend one lifetime raising kids (and the pets they beg you for) and then when you can finally (finally!) sit back and take it easy, you have a moment of sheer madness and you’re right back in parenting mode- setting boundaries, making schedules, and trying really hard not to damage anyone’s self-esteem. Maybe you never truly stop missing being followed around and needed when you’re a mom. Maybe it’s having a warm, sleepy, little being in your lap who waits for the last bite of your toast every morning. Maybe it’s nothing more complicated than needing more noise and joy than peace in a too-still and too-empty house.

All I know for sure right now is that we have an Easter Beagle around here. Our adult kids will be home to meet her for the first time this weekend. Our home will be messy and noisy and our hearts will be full.

I hope you can say the same about your home and your heart.  Happy Easter!

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3 thoughts on “Old habits

  1. Happy Easter my Minnesota friend. You make my world lighter just reading your wonderful blogs. Trying desperately to get to Wabasha this summer.

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