Friday, January 3, 2014

6 Things I Never Knew Until I Owned a Dog

Sure, my family has a cat, Samantha. Samantha the Siamese cat... from the world of Voldemort. Seriously, the cat has issues. Deep daddy-must-have-never-cared-because-he-left-pregnant-mom-stranded-in-a-Walmart-parking-lot ISSUES. (Okay I know that was the plot to Where The Heart Is, just go with it.)

Therefore, this cat with multiple personality disorder gave me reason to overestimate what it took to have a pet. I also spent the majority of my adolescence being told, (say it with me) "dogs are a big responsibility." I was under the impression I had to be someone specific in order to have a dog. I hadn't taken in account who I would be after I made the decision to keep one.

I didn't know finding a dog on a busy road would change me. I also didn't know a lot, that is, until I began to realize I was the one wandering aimlessly.
I found him at the right time. Or should I say, he found me.

6. I was wasting my life procrastinating.
Leave it to a dog with nothing but time on his hands to pressure you to do everything as fast as you can. 7:45 the little mutt is barking up a storm... for a walk. Really? I get up, walk him and now i'm fully awake. Hey, maybe I should do something productive that will benefit my future (and make my existence notable.) Yes, that sounds right.

5. I need to stop letting others tell me what I think I want. That's my decision.
I have gone through six, yes SIX dog foods. Who knew Yorkies were this picky? These were suppose to be top of line dog foods. Milo was not having it. He knew what he wanted and he would starve before he got JUST what he wanted. Thankfully for the both of us I discovered Kibble N Bits with Beneful Beef Stew was the Valveeta of dog food.
Bottom line: No one can make you want something, unless it's your decision.

4. Sometimes I have to trust that the people around me won't run away if I give them space. I didn't sleep well the night I lost Milo. I had him for a total of FOUR days before he ran away through an open window. I was terrified and told myself that I was over my head. Thankfully the neighbor found him trying to... um... be friendly with his pooch. AWKWARD.

I was so scared to let him out of my sight after that. He managed to get loose a few weeks later after a friend's dog broke out of the back yard Milo was in. To my surprise, he didn't run. He stayed, waiting for me. For me.

It took a little time and some bonding to trust that he could be left off his leash as we took our daily strolls down the beach. You can't keep a tight grip on your loved ones, trust that they will find their way back to you.

3. Having children is for the pro's.
Just looking after this pup is enough birth control for the next 5 years or so. I love having him to care for, but it's a learning process. I suggest couples own a dog before making a decision to have a child. Don't let those Teen Moms and their glamorous mug shots tell you differently.

2. Sunsets are underrated. 
The moment I knew I wanted to keep Milo was after a few days of trying to find his original owner (who left him un-chipped, starved, collar-less and fending for himself.)
The moment would have been missed if I hadn't taken notice. I was driving home over the bridge and Milo was riding shot-gun with his head out the window, as dogs do. Just as the sun began sinking in the ocean I smiled and I remember thinking, "Is this how it's suppose to feel?" I hadn't enjoyed a small moment with simple effort in such a long time. It was an honest feeling --sometimes we're so wrapped up in what were suppose to be doing that we forget to be honest with ourselves.

1. I need to rely on myself if I ever want to grow into the woman I want to become.
College students tend to rely on our parents to help guide us to where we need to be. My parents have done this and I've tried to fight the idea of being on my own. I tried to tell myself I needed more time to grow up. Alas, my time is up. As this once frightened me, I see now that it enlightens me. Milo is my responsibility, he deserves someone who has their life goals in reach. I can be that person. I am that person.