When we live with dogs that need ‘special’ attention for one reason or another, they take up a lot of our time and energy. Whether it’s a young pup, or a dog with challenging behaviours that need specific handling, it’s sometimes hard to take them places, and even harder to get anyone trustworthy or knowledgeable to look after them.
We all become ‘the expert’ about our own dogs, especially when they’ve got baggage, but it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking no-one else could possibly look after the dog and that they need you to be there at all times because you know their every foible and can interpret every facial expression. You have sole responsibility for keeping them and everyone they come into contact with safe.
But if you never have a break from your dog (or your favourite humans for that matter) you deny yourself the opportunity to truly rest and take care of yourself. And without that – you can’t possibly take care or anyone or anything else. Then you start to forget all the things you like and admire about the dog and the fun bits about living with a dog and only focus on the problems and the bits that are hard. Who wants to live with resentment?
If this is sounding familiar – I strongly recommend that you step back and get creative with finding a solution. There will be a way. There WILL be a way, or someone who can help, even if you need to put a bit of effort into making it work. For now, it might be a small step like giving the dog a frozen kong full of yumminess to enjoy in a different room while you soak in the bath. (If being alone is a particular challenge for your dog, click here for a few ideas to get started training this).
This weekend I have the pleasure of dog-sitting for this handsome chap, Alfie, and his collie sister Nellie, so that their humans can have a well-deserved weekend away from one or two little doggy challenges. The bonus is, I get to have a break from my three dogs and their ‘baggage’ too. Let’s call it a busman’s holiday!
Whatever your weekend has in store, enjoy some time off from your dogs.
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