So as if we are not crazy enough at home we are picked up an 8 week old Bluetick Coonhound about a month ago! We have been excited and stressed all at the same time.
We have learned over the years just how therapeutic a dog is for our kids and since our 12 year old Beagle passed away a few weeks ago, we have had kids arguing and shoving over our Basset Hound! Over the years we have learned that hounds are great with kids that have traumatic histories. Hounds have their short burst of energy and excitment, followed by their passed out sleeping periods. This is great for our kiddos because they will curl up with our hounds while the hound dozes off. We can watch our kids match their breathing and slowly relax from head to toe.
As our family has worked to move on after the loss of our beloved Miley we have pondered what to do for the kids. I found our next baby through craigslist and we are excited to have her in our home!
One of the major challenges with having foster and adoptive children with traumatic backgrounds is that we have to keep the new addition secret as our kids will struggle with their excitement. This life event lead to complete overwhelming excitement from our kids.
What does this look like, screaming, verbally lashing out, physically lashing out, fighting about the puppy, and yes even phyiscal signs of stress such as full body hives and vomiting.
I am sure this sounds odd to many parents as they can’t imagine the good news of a new pet causing such a response, however we have to remember that these children are stuck in the fight or flight state and so often they are already handling all the emotions they can so adding on something as exciting as a new puppy will push them over the edge.
This is how we have to live our lives! It is crazy and fearful and tiring! It is super stressfull and anxiety causing at times. A great example of this is when someone cancels appointments or our plans have to change due to other children’s issues. These events are enough to put some of our children in crisis states and as the parent it is always disheartening that we know as soon as we hear of the change and instantly go into preparation mode in which we have to manage the crisis we are walking into.
After we have calmed the storm we turn to our puppies to help calm us down too! Back to our new addition it is has been an adventure, but one we really needed in our lives!