Archive for June, 2010

New Puppy

Posted: June 29, 2010 in General Life
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I just bought a new puppy this past weekend, and let me just say, life is way more interesting than it used to be.  My schedule is pretty full, already, and I fully expected things to get a more hectic for a while.  I was not expecting this new dog to change everything.

Gabe is a two month old, purebred German Shepherd.  He’s a great dog, and already shows signs of intelligence.  He knows his name, and understands “no” and “come”.  He doesn’t always listen, but he is starting to get it.  Every day he listens a little better than the day before.  He pretty much goes outside to do his business, but he has utilized the carpet a couple of times.  He is very friendly and seems to enjoy people and other dogs.  I do believe he is going to be an amazing dog.  Right now, he’s a puppy…

If you have never owned a puppy, it’s hard to truly describe the mind-numbing amount of attention they need.  If you have, or are planning on getting a puppy, you should invest in a small voice recorder and attach it to the puppy’s collar.  Just say the “no” into the microphone and have it loop continuously whenever he is awake.  If he isn’t chewing on something (walls, floors, chair legs, table legs, people legs, electrical cords… ) he is probably trying to find the perfect spot in the house to defile with some sort of post-digestive material.  My roommate also has a dog; a two and a half year old chocolate lab, named Bella.  Gabe loves to torment that dog, chasing her around, biting and yelping at her.  I guess all of us are having to deal with a new puppy, even the older puppy.

I am crate training Gabe, and I used to keep the crate in my room, next to my bed.  I decided to keep him there for a couple of reasons.  I can keep him close to me, so he gets used to being around me, which helps when there are two other guys living in the house.  I also want to be able to let him out at night so he can learn to go outside to drop a deuce.  The problem with him being in my room is that he does wake up in the middle of the night.  So, he whines, and I wake up to let him out.  Then I stand outside for a couple of minutes with him to make sure he does what he needs to do.  Then it’s back upstairs where I try to go back to sleep, only so he can wake me up again in another hour or two. Obviously, that didn’t work for very long, and he is now in his crate down in the basement.  I found out that keeping him in my room not only kept me from sleeping, but it actually could cause him to start thinking he was the head of the household.  By giving into his every whimper and whine, I was showining him that he was in control.  Not a good idea to let an already dominant dog breed think he runs the house.

Don’t get me wrong.  Gabe is awesome.  I really love having a dog again, and I’m looking forward to him growing up.  I’m just not used to this whole puppy thing yet.  I forgot what it was like to have one running around.  The last time I did, I was 10, and that doesn’t count because my parents did all of the work.  This is going to take way more effort than I thought.


I performed my first wedding this past weekend.  An old Army buddy asked me if it would be possible to get my license to perform the ceremony, a thought that hadn’t ever really crossed my mind until then.  I went to my church’s pastors and asked them if they would help me through the process, and they obliged.  So, I told my friend I was able to do it.  We were all pretty stoked about the idea, but for me, nervousness crept in quickly.  And by nervous, I mean really nervous.  I haven’t ever been more nervous about anything in my life.  I think the stress is what caused the upset stomach I dealt with for 5 days.  I didn’t want to screw up the start of two people’s life together.  In front of all their friends and family.  And on camera.  Not with Youtube and Failblog lurking in the shadows.  So I was nervous.

Nervousness can be fairly destructive, ruining many experiences, or even causing people to forego certain experiences altogether.  Fear is a big motivator, but it is also a big de-motivator.  For me, the two are closely linked.  I get nervous when my fears take hold of my thoughts and run rampant.  All I can think about is how horribly wrong things can go, and how everything is going to suck, and nothing good will come of anything.  My irrational fears push aside my rational thought until all I’m left with is doubt.  The problem is that when I start to go down this road, my view becomes very narrow, and all I see before me is failure.  The worst part about all of it, is that I forget that there are friends around me to help and support me.  I lose sight of the joys in my life, and the opportunities laid out before me.  I get caught up in the negative and forget about any positive.  That’s not a good place to dwell.  The stress takes a toll on my body, and my mind.  It’s not healthy to live under fear, nervousness and anxiety.

Jesus said we should not worry.  He instructs His followers to leave things to God, and allow Him to take care of it all.  Jesus wants us to live our lives unburdened with stress and fear.  These things will drag a man down and keep him from enjoying life.  Trusting in God does not mean He takes away all pain and suffering, it means that we trust that He will bring us through.  When we actually trust in God, we can let go of the worry, the fear, the stress. It isn’t easy to give it up (which is why I’m writing my second blog entry about stress in a little over a month) but we need to, if we plan on living a fruitful life.  The fear will keep us away from the beauty of life.  We must rise up and not allow our doubts to control us.  We need to follow God when He pushes us forward, not wondering how it will work out, but trusting that He knows how.  Our job is to go where led, not to come up with excuses about how things could fail.

There were many times over the past few months where I tried to figure out how to bail on doing this wedding.  I was so stressed and worried about it that it actually made me sick for the better part of a week.  I made the decision to do it, so I had to follow through; plus, there was no time to call in a backup a week before the wedding.  I am so glad I decided to stick with it.  The wedding was in Oregon, a place I have never been before, but had heard a lot about.  If I didn’t go do this wedding, I would have missed seeing the Pacific Ocean again (it’s been many years since I have seen it).  I would have missed visiting a place where the weather was cool all day long, the trees and fields were green and lush, the people were friendly and only slightly odd… I would have missed a lot of wonderful things.  I was reunited with old friends, and met new ones.  I even had the honor to be an integral part of the new life two people will now share as one.  Not many people can say that.  I could have missed all of that.  I am grateful that my friends wanted me to be a part of their lives in such an amazing way.  I am grateful that God placed me in the situations He did, so I could be able to legally perform weddings in the first place. If only I would have given my fears and doubts to God, I would not have been as nervous and I would have been able to enjoy the weekend even more.  Maybe that is a lesson I will keep and apply over the rest of my life.  I don’t want to miss out on amazing blessings just because I can only see how things can go wrong.