Your Miracle Cure When Raising Teenagers Gets You Down

Raising teenagers got you down? Have they made you feel like a terrible person? The miracle cure--get a puppy!

I’m still shaking my head.

At this miracle treatment.

The syndrome for which I was told there was no cure.

That only time would heal this common malady.

The affliction of living with teenagers.

Perhaps you know the symptoms, Dear Reader.

The rejection of your very being.

To be told,

That you are a dumb adult,

Totally no fun to be around,

A colossal bore.

With an 16-year-old and an 18-year-old at home, we are in the thick of it.

Experts offer the not so comforting comfort, “Hold on. They’ll outgrow this.”

Or at least move out.

Eventually.

Today, I say suffer no more, fellow parents of teens.

I have stumbled upon the teen antidote.

One word.

Puppy.

You gotta get a puppy.

This sweet package of puppy love will instantly raise your self-esteem!

This sweet package of puppy love will instantly raise your self-esteem!


We brought home a three-month old Bluetick Coonhound mix from the Humane Society a few weeks ago.

I was thinking companion.

A Band Aid for my grieving heart after losing my beloved DarlaDog.

That has all been true.

Who knew this fur ball would be a parental self-esteem fairy godmother?

“We are boring, awful people,” I apologized to Pup.

“Fake news!” she replied as she introduced fair and balanced reporting to our home.

The teens groan when we walk in the door, as just our mere presence is a buzzkill to their airspace.

Puppy greets us like we are back from a 40 year war and she’s reunited with her long-lost love.

Teens roll their eyes at the sound of our voices.

Pup rolls over so we scratch her belly.

Teens pick over dinner announcing that they don’t like this dish anymore, even though it used to be their favorite.

Pup has dinner time spasms like I’m the reincarnation of Julia Child.

And that’s just for pouring out a half cup of kibble.

Teens don’t want to be seen in public with us.

Pup can’t get enough.

“A walk? Down the street? You gotta be kidding!” she squeals as she hops from a blowing leaf to her moving shadow, each moment looking over her shoulder to make sure we are experiencing these unbelievable sights together.

Butter the puppy is happy to come along to dinner at the open air market down the road and hang out under the table while we eat. Just to be along with Mom and Dad!

Butter the puppy is happy to come along to dinner at the open air market down the road and hang out under the table while we eat. Just to be along with Mom and Dad!

What it is to once again have a young girl excited to be with us.

There are some similarities between the pup and the teenagers.

Pup is not a fan of boundaries.

No, you can’t chase the three-legged cat.

No, you can’t jump on the dining room table and shred the pile of bills into confetti, although I do appreciate the sentiment.

No, you can’t drive the car while we’re going 40 mph down a busy street.

“Puppy take the wheel,” is a phrase and experience I recommend to no one.

None of these “no’s” has been greeted with glee.

That’s okay.

We’re used to making unpopular decisions.

And unlike the teens, Pup is quick to forget how we did her wrong.

Want a friend in a house with teenagers?

Get a puppy.

Your personal approval rating will shoot through the roof.

Make that woof.

You’ll be so glad you did.

((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)))

And if you enjoy this column about loving your dog and raising kids, you might enjoy my book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover

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Your Miracle Cure When Raising Teenagers Gets You Down

by DarynKagan time to read: 3 min
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