such a quitter.

My whole life I've been a bit of a quitter. 9 times out of 10, walking away from a challenge has proved too tempting to resist.

There were a few exceptions. Law school is the most notable exception. Anyone who tells you law school is anything less than a living nightmare is lying to you. But hey, I did it. The bar exam is the other big exception that springs to mind.

You would think that getting through law school and taking the bar twice would have broken me of my overwhelming desire to walk away from things.

You would also be very wrong.

To this day, when things have gotten a little difficult I've said eh that wasn't meant to be anyways and walked away.

But then I got a dog with separation anxiety. A dog that I love dearly. A dog that made me tear up at the thought that she's already 10 years old and won't be around nearly as long.

Also, omglookatthatface

I tried to find the easy way out. I really, really did.

But none of it worked. All I had left was the difficult, time-intensive option of desensitization training.

That, um, does not sound like my thing.

Yet here I am, doing it anyways.

Four days ago when I started this process I set a timeline in my head. She would be to x minutes within y time, damnit.

To quote that old cliche, God laughs when we make plans.

We are so off plan at this point it's not even funny.

I wanted Ronni to be to 10 minutes of peaceful alone time by Sunday.

It's Tuesday and we are hard-core struggling with 6 minutes. I thought we were up to 6.5 but nope. We're at 6. And 6 is hard. I really don't think 6 will ever end.

Except for the fact that it will end. There are already small signs of progress. They're miniature really. But they're there

When I first brought Ronni to Maryland she was terrified of the staircases and elevator in my apartment building. After physically dragging her through the doorway into the stairs for about a week, I finally got her to walk through them.

But alas the elevator proved too terrifying and she persisted in flattening herself to the ground every time I tried to get her on one, like some sort of silent protest, her way of saying if you want me to get on this elevator you're gonna have to work for it.

But then about two weeks after the surgery I bent down as the elevator doors opened...

...and Ronni walked calmly onto the elevator as if she did it all the time.

Oh, okay then I guess we're doing that now I thought.

There were no signs that Ronni was getting used to the elevator before she suddenly got over her fear. Mostly I just carried her onto it every single day several times a day after surgery (judge all you want but carrying a dog up and down the stairs is exhausting and I was sick).

And if she can conquer her fear of the elevator, I'm pretty sure she can conquer her fear of being alone.

After a rough night last night in which Ronni seemed to be going backwards instead of forwards, I was ready to quit this morning. But instead I took Ronni's face in my hands, looked her in the eyes, and told her I wouldn't give up on her. Because I won't.

This thing we're doing is going to take time. And for it to work, I have to be patient and persistent, words that normally do not describe me.

While I don't buy into the notion that God doesn't give you more than you can handle (I believe He does do that specifically so you actually learn to rely on Him. After all if you could handle everything then how would you learn to trust Him? I digress), I do believe that when something like this happens it's because He's trying to teach you something.

Now to be perfectly frank I don't care for this particular challenge/teaching moment. It's not fun. But most aren't fun.

So hang it all I'm going to learn to be patient and more importantly, to see things through. And Ronnis is going to learn that being home alone is not terrifying.

Hopefully she can do it without a second bout of stress-induced colitis (something we're also currently dealing it). This poor dog, I swear. But a hard life will take it out of you and prematurely age you like that. I don't know Ronni's story but there are abundant signs that she was abused and neglected. For example, the other day I caught her trying to snag an egg shell off my plate, leftover from my hardboiled egg snack. I was so surprised to see her half on the table that I shouted "no" a little harsher than I intended. Not only did she jump down off the sofa, she flattened to the ground, cowering in fear. She was genuinely terrified of me.

Naturally that destroyed my heart so I sat on the floor and held her and gave her her favorite treat in apology.

So note to anyone who interacts with Ronni: speak kindly, please.

But I digress. Again.

All of this rambling is to say that as Lent begins, I'm committing not only to a WholeLent to make up for my quitting on the Whole30 but more importantly, to rehabbing Ronni from her separation anxiety.

Pray for me y'all.

This is going to be... ruff.

Judge away y'all. I ain't apologizing for it.

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