FINALLY, the time has come and I am now the proud owner of dog… well, it’s probably more the other way around but, you know what I mean.
As a teenager I had my first experience with having a dog join the family and I was hooked. I fell so deeply in love, not just with Arthur, but with all dogs. From that point on I was a staunch dog-lover. After I moved out of my parent’s house the hardest part about leaving was saying goodbye to Artie! I even sent him postcards. For years I moved around a lot, which made it hard to justify getting a dog, but I did foster one for a time and I was the go-to dogsitter for all my dog-owning friends. I just never became a full-time dog mommy- that is, until now!
Last Saturday R & I made our second trip to the local dog shelter where we were given custody of the most precious little 2 yr. old male Tibetan Spaniel (or they say he is, I think he may be a Pekingese) whom we have named Bodhi. With each passing day our bonds with him have grown stronger and he has already brought so much joy and excitement to our lives. Here’s the first pic we took of him while still in the parking lot of the shelter last Saturday:
Is he not precious? The first day he was here he kind of just sat by the front door, confused. He whimpered a little and wouldn’t eat much of anything. By the second day he was a little more comfortable. He came away from the door and quickly warmed up to the cozy laps of friends who came by to visit and meet him.
On Monday R went to work and it was time to introduce him to his new weekday routine. He gets 4 walks a day- lucky dog! He LOVES walks. We only saw him get excited when he saw us grab his harness & leash. When R came home from work I told him Bodhi still wasn’t eating his food, only treats. When we sat down to eat our dinner R suggested we bring his bowl over to the table. Turns out Bodhi just wanted to eat meals as a family! This has now become our routine for breakfast and dinner.
When he begs for food, which is usually when I am in the kitchen preparing a meal, he stands on his hind legs and looks up at me with this pitiful look in his eyes:
It is very difficult to not give in! Just look at that face. I will often give him a treat at times like this but we have agreed to never ever feed him from the table. We find he is a pretty smart guy. He immediately took ownership of the bed we designated for him, snoozing in it often, as well as a blanket that is all his own. We tested his ability to be alone the other night when we decided to go out for dinner. We first sat outside on the steps to see if he would cry or yelp loudly which could disturb our neighbors. Nothing. When we returned after about 2 hours it seemed as though our entry had awoken him from undoubtedly much needed slumber and there was nothing destroyed or peed on in the house. Score! But the best part was seeing his excitement upon seeing us again. We hadn’t seen that yet, and at that point we knew we all agreed that we make a pretty sweet family.
For the first few days he would always start pulling back at the tail end of a walk when he realized we were close to home again. We started rewarding him with a treat immediately after we enter the house. We now all but race him to the door! That didn’t take long. Bodhi is smart and he learns fast. He hasn’t barked much at all, except in the beginning when he was anxious and wanting attention. One day, I think it was Tuesday, he heard a neighbor’s dog crying and he started howling back at him. It was the cutest darn thing I had ever seen or heard. I’d never witnessed such a tiny dog howling like a wolf before!
Other than that, I’d say he has made himself pretty comfortable in his new home:
I’m very happy to have Bodhi as a sweet companion each and every day as I work from home, previously all by myself. It’s amazing that I already feel more relaxed since he’s been here. Moving and starting a new life definitely brought on some unwanted anxiety the last few months. Bodhi’s presence has helped me feel more calm and I know it will continue to do so. It also gets me out of the house more as I take more breaks to walk him and in doing so get to know my new surroundings better. We’ve been discovering the beauty of Tübingen together and I am really coming to adore this area where we now live.
Do you have a pet? How does he or she add joy & health to your life?
Be you and enjoy it!