Puppy Love (Part 3)

When you change a relationship, it affects everything else.

Our aging cat’s reaction to our new black lab puppy “Daisy” was out of her character. Normally, preferring lots of horizontal alone time due to difficulty getting around, Clarice expressed her opinion on the newest family member loudly and clearly. The entire first night with Daisy in our home, our demure cat made frequent and loud hisses towards her.

My husband is the one to lap on the affection on Clarice. He certainly got the picture of Clarice’s displeasure with the large fresh poop waiting for him the next morning in the middle of his closet.

The first full day with Daisy at home fell during spring break. I was amazed how entertained and engaged Ian, Gianna, and Benjamin were with her. I was even able to successfully bribe them to pick up the entire house in order to get Daisy out of her kennel again. Alleluia! A worried-looking Clarice was poking around in non-traditional places to get a glimpse of the action. She was half hiding and half spying, but definitely not resting as she typically did.

I suggested the kids give Clarice some attention, explaining her jealously towards Daisy. They were responsive and sensitive to Clarice’s needs.

Clarice’s raw expression of emotions is a good reminder of how important it is to be extremely sensitive to the needs of others when you make shifts in your relationships. Your moves can be seen as threatening. Others can covertly or overtly try to sabotage your efforts at growth as you transition yourself and your relationships into healthier versions.

Always consider the bigger picture. And reassure and reaffirm to others how much you love them.

Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationship Tip: With shifts in relationships take extra care to affirm those you love who might feel threatened by change.