Parenting Training - We Have to Start with Phi

For those who are wondering, who is Phi?  Phi is our beloved Dog. He's 11 months old, super hyperactive, is a rescue dog and a mu...

For those who are wondering, who is Phi? Phi is our beloved Dog. He's 11 months old, super hyperactive, is a rescue dog and a mutt. We kind of traced his lineage back to two prominent breeds; beagle and pitbull. Phi is the most doofus, entitled, spoiled, whiny, and hyperactive dog I ever seen in my whole life. 

My fiance, Alfa, bought Phi when he was a veterinary student from a local breeder that supplied dog as a culinary experience, for his surgery clinic rotation practice. After the rotation is done, most of his friends gave up the dog for adoption or sold it back to the breeder--but being the good person he always is, he's unable to resold the dog and opt for the adoption. Originally there were two dogs, but one is adopted already. Nobody adopts Phi because Alfa's mother wasn't keen on him being adopted since he follows her around.

It was later his ex girlfriend offers an adopter for Phi but I wasn't keen on Phi being adopted at all. I mean, he's attached to the limbs with Alfa. It will break Phi's heart to get separated from his owner. Alfa then told me he barely even got money to eat, let alone feeding Phi. That day I swear to him, myself and God, that I will take care of the dog--eventhough the only thing that get in the way is I can't take him home because my house is super close to a mosque and a dog being there will disrupt the prayers since Moslem acknowledged dog's saliva as forbidden--but I still am the one buying him food, taking him to regular vaccination, buying him collars, taking him for a walk, trained him, sanitizing his cage and more.

I really loved dogs, and I can't say the same with Alfa. There's that one time when his ex asked him if she could take Phi for clinic rotation surgery practice which I oppose since there's nothing wrong with my baby. He voluntarily agreed saying if she bought another dog, it will just be a nuisance, she'll have to dump another dog, et cetera.

I was devastated. My heart breaks big time. I was so worried about Phi that I asked him to check on Phi everyday--something he refuses to do. I understand that his relationship with his ex were so important, but he already promised any kind of decision regarding Phi's wellbeing will includes me. It didn't. When Phi was back from the clinic he looked gloomy. I don't blame Alfa's ex at all. I blame him. This is a breathing, living creature. To treat him as he's just a toy for surgery practice wasn't acceptable. I could never accept it. To this day, I'm not sure I can forgive Alfa for doing this to Phi.

Alfa made me felt like a stranger that time. Something I wish he would never do to me. I was crying in front of Phi's cage talking to him, hoping he'll understand that I loved him like I love all my dogs while Alfa is inside the house. Everytime I went there, talking to Phi was the only thing I could do. I felt like an estranged stepmother. He refuses to go near anyone, not Alfa, not his sister, not a single living thing. He stopped eating his food. I was so worried he will get really sick.

That was the time I cried in the car, emotionally, saying, "Phi doesn't love me," to my fiance. 

"He'll love you, you'll make a good mother to him," he said confidently--which I didn't actually believe because I was having trust issues with him regarding to Phi.

Sadly, I have never experienced with Dogs not liking me, except one particular Dog called Toothsie which was owned by my own bestfriend which bites me TWICE and try to bite me everytime I jog past his place to poop which sadly is in front of my house. So, Phi ignoring the world was something I wish he didn't do. But then I still take Phi for his walk. I still fed him his dog food. I gave him treats and affection whenever he learned the tricks right. It paid off. Whenever I park my car he'll wait patiently for me to go out of the car and jumped into me. If I'm going away he'll block me from entering my car. He'll follow my car around. He sits patiently in the backseat watching me drive with care, everytime I look back his eyes fixated on me. And that's the best feeling in the world.

There's one time when Phi got sick and Alfa had to treated him. He spoilt him by hand feeding Phi and Phi refuses to eat. Alfa got really wary and I took control.

"Left the food on his plate. He'll ate it" I said. He reluctantly put the plate on the floor and I took him inside the house and peek from the window. After a while, Phi ate all the food and left the plate clean. He was amazed,

"How did you know? everytime He's sick I'm hand feeding him, if not, he'll not touch his food,"

"He's a big guy now, should have eat on his own lah," I scolded Alfa, "you spoilt him too much that's why he's entitled and picky about food. Confirm should raise dog like raise baby."

Alfa started seeing his dog as a little more obedient and cheerful. He can jump at obstacles or keeping his calm whenever there's new dog around him. But he's still careless. There's a few time where I found out Phi's thumb nail had been broken off and his been in pain. If it's not because I insist on checking him everytime we go out, we won't understand that his nail had been broken and there's a risk of infection. He'll only worried if Phi is already sick. 

"I only know how to treat them whenever they got sick," says him when I confront him about his carelessness, "When they're healthy, I just let them be,"

"But prevention is always better!"

"He's a mutt, he technically have a better immune system than purebred dogs, so we shouldn't worry so much,"

There goes our fight whenever Phi situation come up. I insist on having Phi vaccinated, and I took him by myself. Bought him food and vitamins. Pays for his monthly check up because Alfa is no longer here. 

But you know what, I can't take credits as Phi's owner. We owned it together, along with Alfa's family. And as we owned it, we have to learned that Phi is not just a living accessories to display our vanities but also a God's creature, a part of the universe that should've been cherished by human being. 

Raising a dog is no different than raising a baby. If he's a part of your family, you must want the best for him. You want him to eat well--bought him good quality dog food and occasionally good raw food! You want him to sleep well? give him his daily walk and training and provide him with a clean place to rest! You want him to train well? Shower him with enough affection and toughness. 

Being a dog owner means you have responsibilities to treat your dog the way you want to be treated. And to be honest, although me and Alfa had differences when it comes to Phi's well being (he become the spoiling dad and I become the tough mom) we came a very long way for this. We need to learn how to assess his problem as our problem. We need to learn that it isn't good spoiling him or being too tough on him. 

We felt like this was a good opportunity for us to learn on how to parent and how to raise a children. If we can raise Phi so well, then we can start thinking on having a baby. Maybe one day we will see how this has train us to deal with a spoiled baby that can't speak human language. Both of me and Alfa are the only child of our family. We're strong willed and stubborn. We both are an extroverted introvert and barely has any concept to how family should've been run. His parents were divorced and mine is always busy at work. We're not exactly a model citizen and a role model for kids, let alone our children.

Being a parent is always a scary thing. We can never really planned enough for parenthood. Most of people figure it out as they go along. And sure, there will be differences with your spouse on how to raise your kids, but do understand that raising children is NOT a competition and will never be. It took patience and time to craft the relationship. There's no such things as perfect kids. They're not robot and we should be calm and composed and look at each of them in a different light.

Sure we have plans for their future, but we can't imposed it on them like some sort of law. And maybe, just maybe, by raising one rescue dog, me and my fiance will understand on how to raise a kid. We'll never be the perfect parent, because parenthood is also not a competition, but we'll try to understand our kids and disciplined them thoroughly with love and create those good environment for kids to grow up--something that we didn't really experienced when we were kids.

So here we go. One rescue dog at a time.

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