I'm writing this post early Sunday morning. My fiance Chris and Kit are snuggled up sleeping. I'd love to still be in bed with them, but our younger dog, Fen, almost always wakes me up early. Even after two years with us, he doesn't seem to understand the differences between weekdays and weekends, nor the idea of sleeping in. I make the most of it. I don't always want to get up early, but I try to enjoy my morning walks with Fen and afterwords I usually get quite a bit done around the house before most people are even up.
As much as I love having pets, I'll freely admit that sometimes having them means having to make the best out of a less than ideal situation. Pets are fun, and family, and love...but they can also be frustrating. They are walks on the beach and always having someone to snuggle with, but are also expensive vet bills and waking up early when you'd much rather sleep in. And that's okay.
Quite often I talk to pet owners who are having issues with their pets and seem to feel infinity guilty as they hint at the fact that their pet is frustrating them. As if they feel that if they admit that their pet is inconveniencing them in some way, it instantly makes them less of a pet owner. I've occasionally felt this way myself, especially since I'm a pet blogger. I try to set a good example for people who visit my blog, how would it look if I wrote about how frustrating my puppy is being or how I'm upset about spending money on an expensive vet bill?
I'm the type of person who tries to turn my frustration into something positive. If something Fen is doing is particularly bothering me I figure out how I can use positive training methods to change his behavior. I make our training sessions as fun and stress free as I can, and use them as an opportunity to bond with him. If I'm upset about having to shell out a lot of money to the vet then I figure maybe it's time to readjust my budget, throw a bit more money into my pet savings fund each month so that the next time a big bill shows up I have money to cover it without having to dip into money I'm saving for something else.
That's the (potential) good thing about frustration. If we're willing to admit to it, we can then work to change things.
Not that this will work for all things, unfortunately. Pets are living, unpredictable, beings that sometimes seem to be experts at throwing wrenches into our plans. Luckily most pet owners figure that out pretty quickly and learn to roll with the punches. Our pets, like ourselves, aren't perfect even if we like to think that they are. Admitting this fact does not impact our ability to care for our pets. In some cases, being able to admit and come to terms with our pets, and our own, failings can lead to positive results. In the very least it gives us animal guardians something to commiserate about.
My pets are perfectly imperfect, and as inconvenient as they can be sometimes, the roller coaster of pet ownership is a ride I very much enjoy. The things that make my pets difficult are also some of the things that make them who they are. If I wanted a totally predictable companion, one that gets up late every morning and behaves perfectly all the time, I would have gotten a robot. I don't want a robot. I want warm doggy snuggles, muddy paws and all.
Comment below! Do you ever feel guilty admitting that there's something about your pet that maybe you don't like, or something that frustrates you? What are some of the biggest challenges involving pet ownership that you've faced?