When Dogs Get Too Much!
Nobody is perfect and when we live with dogs with many needs it can cause us stress. It’s OK to admit this, it’s fine, we are human.
It’s been a long year and one which has been trying and testing for many of us. Our dogs have been that one consistent in our lives and many studies have shown how much they have supported us during this time. We live knowing that dogs are pretty much always consistent and always loyal. The internet is awash with how wonderful dogs are through quotes and sentimental poems.
Sentimentality is lovely and if anyone deserves it, it’s our dogs. It can cause us problems though, particularly if we tend to be people who give ourselves a hard time, which I freely admit I do.
It’s a funny relationship we get with dogs when we question how ethically we live with them. By the time we learn they are captive animals and that they often don’t get their needs met, we challenge ourselves to do more, be better, be more efficient. Sometimes though, in tough times, we can’t. Sometimes we have to be better, more efficient and kinder to ourselves too.
Sometimes being a dog rescuer, or an ethical guardian, that can add to the overwhelm of life.
My point here is that it’s OK to admit that sometimes some dogs get too much. It’s OK not to do those five things that a random blog post said all dogs need every day. It’s OK not to watch all the things on all the dogs and compare what we do for ours to that person online who seems to do so much more than we do.
It’s fine not to do enrichment one day, two days or a week. We don’t have to do it all, all at once.
It’s OK to realise that our dogs are simply trying to get their needs met when they play alone and not feel like we have to jump to attention for them when they do. It’s fine to realise and acknowledge that the dogs we rescued have complex needs and sometimes we just need to have a rest. It’s OK to be kinder to ourselves too.
Dog needs are pretty simple really, their biggest one is to have and be with a companion, human or dog depends on who they are. So, if you want to just chill out with your dog that’s fine. If sometimes they get on your nerves that’s fine too – I’m sure you sometimes get on their nerves and they don’t feel a bit guilty about it. We are different individuals sharing a space and a life, and although dogs are extra special sometimes they can be a bit much. The key to dealing with that feeling though is basic acceptance.
We wouldn’t expect to live with another human and never inwardly sigh about their dodgy habits. And although we all know that dogs are far less work than people, it’s ok to sometimes take a mental and physical break from worrying about how they are, and just knowing that they are OK.
You are doing better than you might think.