I am exhausted.

I keep telling myself that this is only a fraction of what it will be like with children. My heart goes out to every mother.

We’ve had Jera for three days now. That doesn’t seem like a long time when I say it like that, but in my mind I feel like I’ve wrestled with this for years. There is no improvement in the potty training. For some reason, she has it in her head that she is not supposed to go out on the grass. She holds it in until she gets back inside – even if we catch her mid-squat. Today after we fed her dinner, Paul and I sat and watched her for an hour, but she just laid on her pillow asleep. Finally after an hour Paul and I decided to take her out anyways, whereby she stood with us in the grass for another 45 minutes. Paul and I had to go somewhere, so we put her in her crate, left for an hour, and when we returned we noticed she somehow had pushed through the cardboard divider in her crate and went on the other side (the problem is we got a crate to fit her as an adult, so it is too big for a puppy. Normally they come with wire dividers but for some reason this one didn’t – no wonder it was the cheapest!).

I had to get up at 7:30 this morning to keep with her routine and walk her and feed her (and walk her again). Then I went back to sleep for an hour – she only cried half an hour this time – before I had to get up again and take her to her vet appointment. That went well, she’s in good health except for a mild parasite so I have to give her medicine for that. She did well in the car (I was nervous because I was by myself) but she just crawled in my lap and was calm the whole time. I really liked this vet – it’s a different one than I normally go to; it’s a bit farther away, but it might be worth the drive. I came home, dropped Jera off, and had about 20 minutes to get lunch before I had to leave again. I spent 10 of those minutes IMing Paul about the vet appointment, and then 10 minutes cleaning up more of Jera’s messes in the kitchen. I then went to a “potty training seminar” which gave me some great ideas.

When I got home from the seminar, I spent about an hour cleaning the kitchen. I mopped the floor several times (I also mopped it yesterday!), and completely cleaned and disinfected her kennel. I also had to wash her blanket and several other things which had gotten yucky. That was tiring. A friend was supposed to stop by to play with the kitties, but she never came and I’m sort of glad!

Another thing besides the potty training frustrations is her pitiful crying whenever we leave the room. We’re being good and ignoring her, but it breaks my heart. Tonight I walked over to my neighbor’s house and apologized, and she said that basically the whole building knows we have a beagle (from the howling). :-) That made me feel a little bad, but she was really nice and cool about it. Almost everyone in the building has a dog so they all understand how noisy puppies can be. Jera is definitely getting better in this regard – I’m hoping that before we know it, she’ll be quiet when we leave her alone.

So yeah, I feel a bit like a post-partum mother! I am so exhausted and yet I have to keep going. I have to keep feeding, walking, cleaning up poop from the kitchen floor. I can’t let it sit and worry about it another day. I have to stay consistent with the potty training; I can’t falter because I’m tired. Although I don’t have to worry about 2 am feedings, I am wakened several times in the night by her whimpering. Even though I don’t get up, I don’t sleep until she is quiet.

So this is how I’ve been feeling. I love Jera; she makes me laugh and she’s soo cute. I love when she crawls in my lap and lays her head down to sleep. She’s adorable when she chases after her favorite stuffed animal and chews on it. She is hyper and cute and waggy-tailed. I don’t regret getting her. I’m just looking forward to her being potty-trained!

I read a book once about a woman who was raped and found out she was pregnant. I think she was around 19. She came from a bad home life, and she was lost and confused about what she would do. She walked by a church and decided to go in for some help. The pastor listened to her story, put his arms around her in comfort, then gave her the money for an abortion. She left bewildered, knowing she didn’t want to have an abortion, and feeling let down by the person she had trusted. I feel a bit like that right now. Today as I have been lost, confused, and tired, I got an email from someone with advice. The advice was good, but the assumptions and overall tone of the email did nothing but reinforce my feelings of inadequacy. It crushed my spirit. Do you ever have days like that? When someone has just said the worst possible thing they could? The mere suggestion that I should give the dog to someone who can train it made me feel an inch high. I *KNOW* I can do this. I might (and will!) make mistakes, but I know I can. I’m not a stupid person or a stranger to animals. I have a loving husband who is in this with me 100%. So yeah. That’s been my day today.

Tomorrow is Sunday. A new day. Another day of attempted training, of cleaning up messes, of exhaustion. Then the weekend is over and I’m back to work.

I’m writing all this down so in a few months I can look back and remember. :-) Because I know it will get better!

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