Last week I offered up that no dog is perfect, just as no person is perfect. We can try our best, just as we can try to help our pets be their best. I’ve been doing a lot lately that can be described as “self improvement”. I have recently gotten into pod casts, I know they have been around for a while and I’m behind the times (sigh). My friends laugh at me because I can’t stop talking about all the interesting things I’ve been learning. One morning I listened to a podcast on adrenal fatigue. I arrived to work and said “Well ladies, I think I have adrenal fatigue.” My coworkers just stared at me and said “Did you listen to a podcast about this?” Yep, this is me. I’ve been reading so many good books about health, positive mindset, and personal growth. I guess I have just hit a time in my life where I’m feeling like I know I can be better. I know I’ll never be perfect, so I came to the conclusion that I am “Perfectly Imperfect”, and I’m okay with that.
You know who else is “Perfectly Imperfect”? My dog Teddy. I mean I think he is perfect, and often describe him as an angel sent from heaven. When I brought him home he was 8 months old and very easy to train. In a month he was house broken, he could sit, shake, and lay down. He even learned how to go up and down the stairs, which he had never done before. He had been so good up to then, barely barking, listening to his Mama. Then I took him to training class. Queue the ominous music. I fortunately knew the trainers from the SPCA (I don’t know if this made it better or worse). Teddy proceeded to bark the WHOLE time. I’m not exaggerating. It was one of the most stressful nights of my life. I later told my trainer friend that I was shocked she didn’t kick him out of class. Teddy was a very fearful dog when I got him, this was from his prior life. Being in this training class just set him off. He got better in class week by week and ended up getting the “Gentlemanly Scholar Award” at graduation. I don’t really know if he deserved it, but I was grateful that they put up with us for the duration of the classes. My point is, even my dog is not perfect.
Whenever I’v assisted in dog training classes, I’ve been drawn to the people that have the most reactive dogs in class. I use my testimonial over and over again. “My dog barked non-stop the whole first class and they didn’t kick him out! Don’t worry it will get better!” And it does get better. Some dogs need more attention than others. They all have different personalities and needs. This doesn’t make any of them better or worse than each other, they are just different. You have to manage your expectations. I personally want my dog to be my companion. I don’t need him following a super strict training regimen if it doesn’t fit in our life. How you want your dog to behave really depends on your life. If you want them to accompany you to nursing homes, out on hunting trips, or even to play sports, then you should work on different skills with them. But regardless of what you do, remember how “perfectly imperfect” they are. This is why I only practice positive reward based training. I’m not going to punish a dog for not being perfect.
When you decide to bring a dog into your life remember that you are both “perfectly imperfect”. Don’t stress yourself out about training them to be the perfect dog. You will only end up stressing them out as well. For example, he other night I met a nice young woman walking her two dachshunds. I had never seen her before in our neighborhood. I love dogs with short legs, so I got excited and went over to pet them. She kept saying “I’m sorry…I’m so sorry.” I said “For what?” and she replied “Because they bark when they get excited.” She was so nervous that her dogs weren’t going to be the most well behaved dogs on the street. So I proceeded to regale her with tales of my little Teddykins being his non-perfect but angel like self. She walked away with her two little cuties, thanking me for being so nice. We all need to stop aiming for perfection and support each other for who we are, same with our dogs.
Remember to follow me on Instagram @singldogmom for more tips and tricks on being a successful dog mom or dad. I am still working on expanding the Single Dog Mom Website, and exciting things are coming! Thanks for reading!
Pup of the Week:
Meet Bert! He is an 8 year all Beagle Bulldog mix. His face says it all. He is the sweetest. He has been with us a few weeks now. Last week someone said they were coming back for him, but I guess it didn’t work out. Click the link below or DM me for more info!
Exciting news! Patty was adopted! I’m so happy for her. We spent time together last week and I just wanted her to have a home so badly. Have a great life Patty!
What I’m Into:
If you’re interested in what I mentioned I’ve been reading and listening to here are some of my favorites right now:
Podcasts: The Boss Babe Podcast, Rise Podcast, The Lavendaire Lifestyle
Books: You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting your Greatness and Start living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero, Girl Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Success, Sanity, and Happiness by Cara Alwill Leyba, Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis, Train Your Dog Positively by Victoria Stillwell (my favorite dog trainer to follow)
Shows: I am recently obsessed with the show Outlander, if you are looking for something to binge look no further!