Many of us dog owners are highly dedicated, I don’t mean in the sense of competing but in caring, loving and providing for our dogs. Some of that includes important things like daily food and exercise and some of that is also training time.
Those who know me will know that I lost my mum November 2015, to say it was a tough time would be a gross understatement. Part of what made that time difficult was having 3 active gundogs and working full time, it meant little time to grieve, fall apart and rebuild. Working full time obviously there is nothing that can be done about that, life waits for no one and you just have to carry on, especially when there are lots of doggie bills to pay.
The dogs however, reminded me of some valuable life lessons:
- Its ok to skip a walk, they likely wont notice, or mind and the world will certainly not end.
- Forget training until your frame of mind is better. Training in the wrong frame of mind is often the worst thing you can do, it can cause you to make poor judgements, your dog will wonder why you are not yourself and this can be off putting, it is better just to leave training for another day.
- Sometimes the best thing you can do for your dogs is just stop, even active breeds can benefit from downtime and simply being in your calm presence rather than constant activity.
- The sooner you stop and repair yourself the sooner you can get back to enjoying your dogs fully.
- Guilt helps no one, feeling guilty about a skipped walk or a missed training session only adds to all the bad feelings you are already dealing with, it will only serve to hold back your recovery.
- When you do get back to training, your dogs are likely to be even more enthusiastic after the break, after all every one needs a break now and again, even our dogs.
The above does not just apply to the loss of a loved one but to other things such as illness and other life changes such as moving home. We all do our best for our dogs, they are part of our much loved family but sometimes in order to provide the best care for them we have to care for ourselves a little first.