My partner and I have had a bit of a rough couple of months when it’s come to our two dogs, Kitsune the papillon and Fenrir the Alaskan Klee Kai. We’ve been to the vet so many times lately that we jokingly call it our “second home”. First, Kitsune was diagnosed with cervical IVDD. Then Fenrir developed pancreatitis. Then, as we were finally nearing the end of Kitsune’s 8-week IVDD recovery, he started to develop another issue that was tentatively diagnosed as idiopathic Cushing’s disease caused by the medication we used to treat his IVDD. Pets can be inconvenient.
In the last couple of months, we’ve had to disrupt our work schedules to make emergency vet trips. We’ve spent way more money than we planned on the dogs. I’ve had my sleep interrupted more times than I care to count. I had to set multiple timers on my phone to remind me to give Kit, and for a short time Fen, medications at the correct times. Kitsune’s Cushing’s symptoms mean I have to stop whatever I’m doing many times a day to bring him outside.
As much as I love having dogs, 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 in the woods 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 dog owners who are having issues with their pups and seem to feel infinitely guilty as they hint at the fact that their pet is frustrating them. As if they feel that if they admit that their dog is inconveniencing them in some way, it instantly makes them not as good 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.
I’m the type of person who tries to turn my frustration into something positive. I make training sessions as fun and stress free as I can, and use them as opportunities to bond with my dogs. 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 it hurts just a little bit less.
That’s the (potential) good thing about frustration. If we’re willing to admit to it, we can use it as a catalyst to initiate positive change.
But Pets Can Be Unpredictable
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 them. In some cases, being able to admit and come to terms with our dogs, and our own, challenges can lead to positive results. In the very least it gives us animal guardians something to commiserate about!
My dogs are Perfectly Imperfect
So is the life we share together. As inconvenient as my dogs can be sometimes, the roller coaster of pet ownership is a ride I very much enjoy. The things that make my dogs 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, never gets sick, and behaves perfectly all the time, I would have gotten a robot dog. I don’t want a robot. I want warm doggy snuggles, early mornings, 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?