Remember that whining puppy I mentioned previously? Well, she was at it again this morning. She had eaten. She had been taken outside to relieve herself and she was surrounded by a number of toys. She was whining for attention. She just wanted to be near her family. We were around the house doing various thing to get ready to start the day. She gets plenty of play time with the family, but that doesn’t stop her from wanting play time with us all the time. After all, she is just a puppy. She doesn’t understand that she can’t have us to herself at all times. This morning I told Eric that I felt guilty for not playing with her more. He said that she is played with plenty, but just not as much as she wants. He told me it wasn’t feasible to play with her twenty-four hours a day because there are other things that have to be done around the house. She won’t completely outgrow whining when she becomes an adult dog, but she will whine less and at appropriate times. Just as puppies are supposed to grow and mature into well mannered dogs, we are supposed to grow and mature into well mannered adults.
What am I getting at this time, you might ask? When my puppy whines constantly for my attention, it begins to work on my nerves. It starts out as a small tapping on my nerves; then it grows into a steady hammering; and by the nighttime, it feels like nails being screwed into my nerves with a power drill. It is no doubt that I adore my puppy. She is the softest, fluffiest, most adorable golden retriever puppy ever (though I may be a tiny bit biased); however, there are times I need silence to clear my thoughts. There are days I long for her to be grown, trained, and a big, fluffy rug for me to hug at the end of a hard day.
Relationships can sometimes remind us of a whining puppy. When an adult enters into a relationship with another adult, there is a generally implied expectation that each member of the relationship act in an adult manner. Most of the time relationships begin this way – two mature dogs trotting down the road of life together. Most relationships go well as long as the two dogs are trotting side by side in the same direction; but, when one dog veers off to the side of the road to sniff, the other dog may break out into a whining, howling, barking fit. Relationships sour quickly when one or both parties nags too much or is too demanding of the other’s time. The Bible says “It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a contentious woman in a wide house” (Proverbs 25:24 ASV). In the beginning of a relationship, two people generally want to be together all the time; but, as the relationship matures, the love birds realize that other things have to get done: jobs have to be undertaken for income, houses have to be cleaned, and other obligations have to be fulfilled. This is not to say that the boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife are expected to take a permanent backseat to these other things, but rather that they have to be prioritized in a mature fashion. A woman who begs and manipulates her man to stay away from work and friends to stay with her will not only get him into trouble, but will cause him to eventually resent her. When a man uses mind games and guilt to keep his woman from spending time with family or friends, she will eventually find her feelings for him dying, even if she does not leave the relationship.
Everyone wants to be important to their significant other, but loving them means you are ready to share them with other people and things that are important to them in their lives. Whining dogs don’t make good mates. It is the well-mannered, evenly-tempered, affectionate dog – that would do anything to love and protect us – that we would want to have as our life’s partner – though, as a human, of course. 🙂