What I Learned About Marriage from the Dog

If you didn't already know, we have the greatest little furry creature who lives in our house. His name is Howie but he also answers to Squishy. He's the greatest little buddy and I'm convinced that every marriage/family needs a puppy like him. We've learned so much about life, responsibility, selflessness and love since Howard came into our lives and he makes our lives more interesting and happy. Lately I've been paying attention to how this sweet guy interacts with Joe and he's inspired me to change some things about the way that I love my husband and treat my marriage.

What having a dog has taught me about marriage

Be Excited to See Him

Every night around the time that Joe gets home from work, Howie takes his place in the front window and waits patiently for his daddy to pull into the driveway. I always know when Joe is home because I hear him jump off of the couch, grab a toy and wait for the door to open. If Joe stays in his truck listening to the end of a Dave Ramsey call or does something out in the yard before coming into the house, I hear my poor fluffy friend start to cry because he just wants to be with his best friend. The moment Joe walks through the door, excitement ensues and the two of them play fetch and snuggle with each other for the next five or ten minutes.

I can't spend time staring out the window waiting for Joe to come home, and I won't cry if it takes him longer than 30 seconds to come inside after he's parked in front of the house, but there are definitely a few things that I've learned from Howie's example. The minute I see Joe, I acknowledge his presence, set aside any media so that we can catch up on each other's days interrupted, and try to let him know with my words and actions that I missed him and am glad that he's home.

Puppy Love

Be Attentive to What He Has to Say

Any time Joe starts talking to Howie, that puppy listens intently and there is usually a lot of head tilting involved. I love watching those two have conversations because even though there are only a few words that Mr. Howard knows the meaning of, he hangs onto Joe's every word and for a few minutes, what Joe has to say is all that matters in his life.

Although I have made a lot of efforts to pay close attention to Joe when he talks to me, I know that I can always do better. I pause Netflix, set my phone aside and ignore my computer, but there are times when I still struggle to focus on everything he has to say to me. I'm inspired by the way that Howie listens and maintains eye contact the entire time Joe is talking and I want to be more like him in this aspect.

Puppy Love

Be Content Just Being Together

Every morning, Howie and Joe snuggle in bed together while I'm getting ready for the day. Sometimes the puppy gets belly scratches, but for the majority of the time, the two of them just hang out. Other times when Joe is standing around on his phone or his tablet, Howie will beg for his attention and is always happy when Joe sits somewhere convenient for the Howard to sit next to him.

I'm not the greatest at just sitting around and enjoying the time that I have with Joe, I have a need to have a project going on all the time. From Howie, I am learning to be content with just being together. I don't always need to be getting something done and we don't always have to be working on a project together, sometimes we can just hang out.

Puppy Love

Be Active Together

My two favorite guys can often be found rough housing, playing fetch, chasing each other around the kitchen, racing up and down the stairs, or playing soccer in the backyard. Howard also loves it whenever we tell him that we're going to take him on a walk.

Joe and I like to sit around and watch Netflix together, especially after a long day of work and school. Having a dog encourages us to get out and do things because the longer Howie is cooped up, the more his misbehaves. It was one of the things on our "pros" list when we made the decision to bring our favorite furry friend into our family.

How have your pets or kids encouraged you to love your husband differently?