The past year and a half of my life have been INFINITELY brighter and it's all because of this little (not so little) guy.
I always knew I was meant to be a dog mom. But after losing my family dog a few years ago, I didn’t know if I had it in my heart to love a pup that much again.
(And to be honest, a few years ago, I was out of the house more than I was in it & living paycheck to paycheck and getting a dog just wouldn’t have been fair.)
But a year after my leap into coaching, so much changed and all of a sudden the idea of owning a dog wasn't out of the question.
And every single day, when I wake up next to your fluffy goofy self and I get to spend so much of my day snuggling, going for walks & playing, I can’t help but be filled with so much damn gratitude.
It's amazing what dogs can teach us -- if you're a dog mama you know! And I'm forever thankful for the daily reminders.
THE TOP 5 THINGS MY DOG HAS TAUGHT ME
1. PLAY IS SOMETHING YOU SHOULD STRIVE FOR, DAILY.
I don't know about you, but past the age of 22, it seemed like everyone and their mother went from play mode to #adulting up the wazoo.
Don't get me wrong, I totally had the same thing happen to me. I went into "I have to pay all the bills" mode. I picked up 7 different part time jobs and was running myself ragged, frustrated and irritable as all hell. And the LAST thing I made time for in my life was play.
Getting a dog completely fliped that switch -- it's a daily reminder to not take your life so goddamn seriously. To take moments to BE SILLY. Celebrate your goofy-ness. Run in the rain/snow/whatever!! And Toby is just as goofy as me, so it's been a freaking GOOF PARTY over here since he's come into the picture, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.
2. LOVE, LOVE, ALWAYS LOVE.
The best thing about dogs? They love you unconditionally.
They don't hold grudges. They see you as your BEST every dang day. And the way I see it, we could all take a page from their unconditional love book.
Holding grudges... Being frustrated with others or things...who is that helping?
Certainly not yourself. And while I am ALL about feeling the feels, holding onto frustration about things that are out of your control (I used to be like this ALL the time about traffic) is only hurting yourself, right?
So let's just choose to LOVE. Forgive, so you can release YOURSELF from the burden you're holding onto. Life is too short to live being frustrated and irritable on the daily.
Toby teaches me the power of LOVE everyday, and I think we can learn a lesson or two from it!
3. SHIT DOESN'T ALWAYS GO THE WAY YOU PLANNED, AND THAT'S OKAY.
Toby may be the best thing in my entire life, but sometimes he can be a royal pain in the ass.
When we first got him, every time we took him driving in the car he got hella car sick. We learned quickly that we always needed to have cleaner and paper towels in the car at all times. #lessonlearned
All my favorite tupperware? If I leave it out (or even in the sink -- yup he's tall), by the time I get home it has been DESTROYED. Invest in glass tupperware, my friends. It's a game changer.
And sometimes your dog decides to eat an avocado, and you end up canceling all of your plans and spending 4 hours waiting at pet emergency. *cough* Toby *cough*
Please say Toby isn't the only pup out there making all the weird choices with his life...
My point is, shit doesn't go according to plan with a dog all of the time.
And isn't that the way LIFE goes too? Having a dog has helped me EMBRACE the mess, and remember that there are going to be days when shit hits the fan, and that's OK because that's LIFE.
4. BE PRESENT
It's so easy these days with social media and the news to get wrapped up in everything going on, and forget to slow down and appreciate the little things that are right in front of you. And what I love about Toby is he lives for the little things -- literally. Dude is STOKED for a day of cuddles, naps, eating amazing food, play time & belly rubs.
And if that's not a life lesson in and of itself, I don't know what is.
Stay present. Appreciate the little things, and what's more -- make TIME for the little things.
Cuddle your favorite person. Eat amazing food. Have tickle fights if that's what floats your boat.
And turn the electronics OFF. You'll be so grateful for those moments once you do.
5. PARENTING IS HARD AF, BUT WORTH IT.
As my hubby Kev always says, Toby has been our furry test child, and he's proven just how challenging parenting can be.
Now I'm not saying having a dog is like having a kid, but this is the first time in my life that I've been entirely responsible for something outside of myself. And I'm not just talking the daily and weekly tasks -- feeding him, walking him, playing with him, bathing him etc. But the TOUGH stuff? That shit you can never prepare for? It's can hit you like a ton of bricks.
July 2017, I was out of town in NOLA with my coaching tribe when I got a call from my husband that he was taking Toby to the emergency room because the vet found a mass in his stomach. My heart DROPPED. You hear the word mass and you immediately think cancer, right? And let's just say, the anxiety attacks and uncontrollable sobbing were real that night. After some tests, he was cleared from anything life threatening and it ended up being an allergy to gluten (yup, this is real you guys -- I had no idea gluten could impact dogs too), but the sheer panic I experienced when I found out he wasn't doing so well broke my heart.
I never expected to bond so much with a dog. To view him as more than just my dog, but as my freaking kid. I would do anything for him, and that means loving him through the vet visits, the destroyed tupperware and his inability to understand personal space.
So there ya have it -- I'm officially a crazy obsessed dog mom and I'm never going back.
Are you a fur mom too? What are some of the favorite things your pet has taught you?