I stumbled across an episode of the REI Wild Ideas Worth Living podcast. I sit here
working on things for our website and I had to stop and listen to the episode. This was episode 146 about Ally Coucke: A Girl and her Dog. I highly recommend giving it a listen, and will warn in advance it will give you all the feels. I will try to not reveal too much in this entry, but may have some spoilers, so if you want to pause reading now, enjoy this cute picture, and give the podcast a listen; then come back and join me.
One of the things Ally said that really resonated with me, and is something I stress to new adopters is, getting a dog is going to be a lot of work. Make sure you are willing to put in the work. The outward appearance we see from social media or even from people walking down the street in our neighborhood is that owning a dog is just a walk in the park (HA). Nothing could be further from the truth.
When we adopted Hailey, and I mention this in her bio, we had no idea what we were getting into, I don’t think we discussed anything in detail. We soon realized, as many people do, having a dog is a lot of work. We also realized that it is one of the most rewarding things we had ever done. We went pretty quickly from a couple with a dog, to a family. When you bring a dog into your home you are bringing in a living being that needs to be cared for. They aren’t going to grow up and become self-sufficient, they will always need you. And they will need you to make their lives the best they can be, because they will give that back to you 100 times over.
Ally said a couple of times I don’t have kids, I am not a mom, I have dogs. I have said that for years, we don’t have kids, we have dogs. But when I look to what a mom is, and I had one of the best examples, someone who is selfless, who would do anything for you, who makes your life better, who wants to make you happy, who protects you, would do anything to keep you safe, I could go on and on. When I think about those qualities, than I am a mom. Ally is a mom, you are a mom. And the same thing with being a dad, these are the qualities and you are a dad.
That love really kind of sneaks up on you, you don’t expect this four legged animal to crawl into your heart and set up camp, but they do.
Just like with anyone and anything in your life, you know that there will be an end. None of us know when that end will come so we need to live our best life, and help our dogs live their best lives too! Our pack here at The Baying Hound has lost three dogs over the years, the most recent being our sweet Wendel this past April. There is really no advice about loss other than, don’t dread loss. Like I said, an end comes to everyone and everything. Look forward to your next adventure. Plan fun things for you and your dog to do and experience together. Our dogs can’t see these things unless we show them, so show them.
Be sure to checkout the podcast mentioned above! And tell us about the amazing adventures you have with your pack; give us a bark in the comments!