I’m a crazy dog mom. There, I said it. I’ve come a long way since the days of, “I hate dogs. Dogs hate me. I never want a dog.” If I’m being honest here, my life has changed drastically over the last few months.
I remember so clearly how I was feeling the day before we adopted Hendrix. It was an incredibly rough day – probably the worst day I’d experienced since moving to Fort Wayne. At that point, I had been out of a job for three weeks, and it was really starting to get to me. I was pissed at the world. My anxiety was through the roof. I didn’t want to get out of bed. Just driving to get groceries made me angry.
The next day, Alex agreed to go to the Allen County SPCA to look at dogs. I was hoping we’d adopt a dog, but I also wanted it to be the right fit. When we decided that Hendrix (who was known as Chandler at the time) was the one, I was so happy. Almost instantly, my mood and attitude changed completely.
And that was only the beginning. The moment we walked out of the shelter, my heart filled with so much love. It sounds crazy, but I actually felt different. It reminded me of the feeling I had when I held my niece and nephew for the first time. I couldn’t believe it, but this dog was helping me feel whole again. I had honestly forgotten what that felt like.
This past few months have been insane, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Here’s how being a crazy dog mom has made me a better person:
1. I Have More Patience
I’ve always considered myself a fairly patient person. But when you walk in the room and see dog pee all over the floor, watch him chew the ear of your Pooh or not respond to your command to “come,” you really learn how patient you truly are. Whenever Hendrix does something bad (which is rare), I just remind myself, “he’s still learning, and right now, he doesn’t know what we’re asking of him.”
Of course, discipline is important, but I never want to freak out on him or be one to use physical punishment. Being a crazy dog mom has taught me to be more patient (and understanding), and I’m grateful for that.
2. I’m More Responsible
Being in charge of a living, breathing being that requires nourishment, attention and care is pretty overwhelming. He’s not a child, but he still relies on me for just about everything. No pressure, right?
As scared as I was, I feel like I’ve really stepped up. I learned when he likes to eat, the types of treats he prefers, where he likes to walk and what different body language means. I make sure he’s walked four times a day, fed when he’s hungry and that he’s taken to the vet as needed. I’m doing my best to give him the best life possible, and in turn, it’s made me a more responsible adult.
3. I Wake Up Earlier
I’m a person that needs eight hours of sleep to function. No amount of coffee can change that. But bringing Hendrix into our home meant changing my sleeping schedule – and ditching the snooze button. I don’t always love getting up early, but I do it because I know he needs me. The alternative is him peeing on the floor, and that’s the last thing I want to deal with.
4. My Spending Habits Are Different
The money I used to spend on makeup, fitness stuff and Chipotle is now spent on treats, toys, 20lb bags of dog food and vaccinations. But you know what? I don’t mind it one bit. Seeing Hendrix happy makes my whole day better, and having him has helped me curb my (sometimes poor) spending habits. Plus, do I really need another $60 makeup palette that will only get used 1-2 times a week? Probably not.
5. I’m More Flexible With My Schedule
I wouldn’t call myself Type A, but I definitely have some Type A tendencies. I like to plan out my day, and I freak out inside when things don’t go exactly how I expected. Having a dog has changed all of that.
I pause my workouts to play with Hendrix or change around my work day to make sure Hendrix gets outside enough. Instead of sleeping in on the weekends, I wake up a little earlier to take him on a long walk in the park – but I also don’t get mad if we don’t end up leaving until 11 am when we planned on 9 am. That Type A part of me will never go away completely, but I’m learning to just relax a little.
6. I See The Value In Me Time
I love being home with Hendrix all day every day, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t get exhausting sometimes. As hard as it is to leave him with Alex (who always takes great care of him), I force myself to do it once or twice a week. Getting out of the house and spending some time alone has allowed me to relax, re-focus and re-energize. In fact, I think it’s made me a better crazy dog mom.
Being a fur-mom to Hendrix has taught me a lot – more than I could ever condense into a blog post. And while there are certainly difficult days, it’s true when they say that the good outweighs the bad. When I wake up every morning and look over at my snoring puppy, I’m so thankful that he chose us to be his parents.