It’s that time of year when everyone starts to reflect back on the year and look ahead to next year. And I’m no different. I know I’m incredibly thankful for all of my amazing clients, and how much they want to help their dogs live a better life. I’m in awe every day that my precious BooBoo is still with us and that we celebrated her 15th birthday in October. We’ve enjoyed sunrises on the beach, daily walks, nightly snuggles and she even hiked 27 miles this spring when we did a tour of waterfalls! Most days she’s spunky, tail high and even get bouts of sprinting. She needs pain meds a little more regularly, but honestly, so do I as I get older! As our vet says, she’s doing pretty darn good for 15!
I’m also so thankful for the business growth opportunities I’ve had and how well received my self-paced courses I released this year have been. This year I released Conquering The Urban Jungle and Bringing Home Baby to add to my inaugural Separation Anxiety Foundations course. I am planning for and can’t wait to see what is in store for next year and how I will continue to grow my knowledge, education and continue to help change lives along the way.
This year, inspired by losing Barbo last year, I became certified as an end-of-life pet death doula. This has become such a meaningful addition to my business and it’s allowed me to better support clients facing loss and grief, especially those struggling with behavioral euthanasia.
Recently my alma mater, The Academy for Dog Trainers held their annual Academy Awards and my blog, Permission To Spoil Your Dog won for Best Blog! This is such an honor, because this is chosen by my peers, some of the people I respect most in my industry. This post was inspired by living with senior dogs over the last few years, and by losing Barbo and by seeing how others interact with their dogs on a daily basis and how sad some of those dogs lives are. They have to sit or work for every morsel of food. They have to earn every pet or show of affection. They aren’t allowed to rest on comfy resting spots like couches or beds. They’re constantly being told commands and what to do or not do. The have no control over their own lives. These relationships are so one sided and I can’t imagine the dog gets much joy or satisfaction out of that relationship.
So this Thanksgiving, I encourage you to spoil your dogs. Like I say in my post, “I want dogs to be exceptionally happy.” I encourage you to be thankful for the time you have with your dog. Bask in the good times and fond memories, even if they’re gone. Laugh at the things that annoy you like barking, chewing,digging, peeing, shedding, rolling in stinky stuff, begging for your food, growling, chasing squirrels…all things that mean your dog is being a normal dog, because one day, they’ll be gone and you will miss them.
Enjoy it all, because one day, they will be gone and those are the precious moments you will remember. You won’t care what a great job your dog did not going through the door before you, how great he was at staying or what a good heel position he held when you walked. You will treasure the times your dog made you laugh because he embarrassed you. You will remember the softness of their fur when you snuggled close. You will reflect on how he looked at you with those puppy eyes that made you melt.
Be thankful and I think you and your dog will both be happier.
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