I Want To LOVE My Dogs #thesearethedays

I’ve always loved animals. As a child I dreamed of owning 3 homes, side by side; one for me and my family, one to house people who needed help, and one for all my animals. {And of course an underground tunnel connecting my house with my best friend’s, but who didn’t have that dream?!}. Early in 2013 we finally decided we were ready for both the time and financial commitment. Our ultimate plan was to have two, so we first planned to get a puppy from our friends’ litter (Axel) in the fall. But a few months before he was born, we learned my cousin’s dog was having puppies and got one of hers too (Malibu).

Before picking up Malibu and then a few months later, Axel, we discussed our plans and expectations for having pets. I was very determined that we were not getting dogs to forget about them. I wanted to make sure we took them for walks daily and gave them love and attention, etc.

We had Malibu by herself for a few months and we were so good about playing and going on evening family walks with her.  We loved having her around, but as soon as Axel came along, we sort of booted them outside {lovingly of course} to play together. Which was great, except we sort of *forgot* they still needed us, you know?! We still took good care of them, but as time went on and life got busier, they fell to the bottom of the priority list. And I hated it. They are great dogs and are somewhat trained, but still are in a need of a lot more. Malibu specifically is jumpy and hyperactive and that can be soooo annoying. But interestingly, in all my reading, the most common suggestion to combat that is spending time with them. Imagine 😉

I always had plans to, but never seemed to HAVE the time ~ which is precisely how we ended up with puppies. During an especially busy time, I did not notice that Malibu was in heat ~ and Axel did. But one thing those puppies taught me was this:

Nobody HAS the time

So once the puppies were thriving with their new families, I resolved to use at least half of the previously devoted puppy time, on Malibu and Axel.

I decided to MAKE the time.

Caring for Chewbarka, who became my sweet and snuggly shadow for an additional month, reminded me what I want with Malibu and Axel. Because while I love my dogs, I want to LOVE my dogs. I don’t want them to just be pets, but rather a part of our family. A part of everything we do ~ camping, paddleboarding (on our list of things to buy this summer), daily walks, bike riding, etc.

More time together in the front room

Thanks to fireworks, they’ve even weasled their way into my bed

More time outside together – AT LEAST once a day

So in the past several weeks I’ve really spent my extra time focused on them, and honestly the impact of this effort has been awesome and immediate. Malibu loves being a part of everything, being where the action is…and although she’s still jumpy and excitable when someone comes to the door, she has calmed down a ton mostly in the last couple of weeks. The kids too have started interacting more with her now that she isn’t quite as hyperactive. It’s been a lot of fun, though our house is certainly boasting more dog hair than before.

Strangely I’m okay with it. It means they are here…a part of our family..a part of us.

Way more snuggles

And I can honestly say I LOVE them

WE LOVE them!

 

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