Learning to Parent from Parents-a 4th of July Story

July 4, 2016 | We Love
My husband and I (and our dogs) just spent the weekend with my parents (and their dogs), celebrating the 4th. The 4th, our Independence Day, also happens to be their wedding anniversary-this year celebrating 29 years.

Isn’t that amazing? 29 years.

Every memory I have of us as a family included pets-dogs, cats, even a rat or two. And so, many of my current skills as a dog-parent came from seeing how my mom and dad raised me and our animal brood. There were clear boundaries in our house, the things we could do and the things we couldn’t. There was roughhousing and hide-and-seek, and many games of tug-o-war. There was, even more memorably, the cuddles-the hugs and “keesis”. We had a happy house. My parents loved me, my brother, our animals.

And they’ve been married for 29 years!

My parents have rescued countless dogs in the years they’ve been together, and recently had to let go of our runt, Cinderella, the 17 year old Basset Hound we got while I was in high school. In her absence, my parents mourned. And when they were ready, they went to an adoption event and got Charlie. Charlie is at┬áCatahoula Leopard, a big, ooey-gooey love bundle of a dog.

He pairs well with Sara, their aging Akita mix, in both size and love of belly rubs. At some point, I’ll have my dad write a post about his furbabies but in the interim, they are mentioned here to showcase the love my parents have for one another, for their pups, and for us kids.


“My parents loved me, my brother, our animals.”

As my husband and I figure out our future regarding parenting human babies, I’ll take a few lessons from my parents in the interim: Be weird, be happy, be loving, and above all, be present. Life is too short for anything else. I’m learning from the best.

I am so grateful for them. Happy 29th anniversary, your first 4th with Charlie! Here’s to many more (and an extra photo, just because I can!).

Please share your favorite 4th of July story! Barkswell would love to hear from you!



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