Alternate title: “5 Signs You’re too Attached to Your Dog” according to Steven but he’s never been more wrong in his life.
Happy weekend! As I’m writing this Steven and I are flying the friendly skies on our way to our annual family vacation to ocean isle beach in North Carolina. I’m super duper excited to have some time away from work and plop my bum on a beach to enjoy the sunshine and the sound of the ocean.
As with every trip we take, Luna enjoys a mini vacation of her own at Camp run-a-mutt, a cage free dog lady daycare/boarding option we found (and love). I dropped her off earlier today and y’ally heart hurts. It never gets easier. I remember the first time I dropped her of and it sucks just as much every time. I’m grateful she’s having a blast but I am sure she is missing our daily cuddle sessions as much as I am. But this makes our reunions all the more amazing. The wiggly butt and propeller of a dog tail that comes out of the back room when we arrive is all I need to see to feel better <3
I feel with a lot of “feelings” whenever I’m happy or sad or insert any emotion which I attribute to my passion for life but when it comes to missing my dog? Man, I’m a blubbering mess. Steven doesn’t really understand it but I just scream back at him “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING ABOUT MY LIFE HOW COULD YOU NOT MISS HER WHY AREN’T YOU CRYING” #dramaqueen but he does have a point; I can continue to be sad and mopey about something I literally cannot change the physical circumstances of (we’re a plane ride away, I can’t go pick her up) or I can try my best to be positive about it. Over time I’ve started doing a couple things to assuage the tears before and after they’ve begun and i figured I’d share these with any other dog parents out there. And I totally realize that not everyone is as pathetic as I am about this topic; y’all may be normal and can handle it like an adult but for all the children out there I hope you find these tips bringing a smile to your face whenever you’re missing your pup!
1) Week leading up to travel, spend *quality* time with Luna. I mean this could apply to human partners, too. I find myself craving quality time with Steven and Luna when I know I have a busy schedule coming up and won’t be as mentally available to hang or chat. That being said, when it comes to leaving Luna, I will be sure to come home from work and make her my priority. I tend to get caught up in the chores and relaxing before I pay attention to her needs (when I get home I immediately take her to go potty) however this week I made sure to work on extra training, longer and more meaningful walks, extra praise and cuddles. You get the idea. I think quality time even if you’re doing nothing together leaves me feeling less guilty about leaving her behind.
2) When I drop her off, I commit to memory the feeling I have in my heart when I gave her that last smooch/cuddle/hug/head scratch. And every time I’m feeling down or I’m missing her, I summon that feeling and smile. SMILING IS MY FAVORITE.
3) Distraction: I have a tendency to distract myself when I’m feeling any sad emotion. I’ll get entrenched in a tv show or want to spend time with people. And that really helps if I’m not in a position to feel lonely and sit with it for a while. It’s healthy to understand why you’re feeling down when you are, so I’m not suggesting to shove it all under a rug but rather encourage yourself to find joy in the other moments around you.
4) Tell stories about your dog. This one probably sucks for everyone who knows me already because I talk about Luna more than I talk about any other subject literally ever. I just find it cathartic and emotionally freeing to talk about the cute stuff 🙂
Hopefully these few tips are useful or made you reminisce about your own dog if you’re not with them now. I will admit that after spending the first week of vacation last year away from Luna, and constantly watching the video feed of her at camp run-a-mitt, these tips have helped me not obsess over the sad parts and get extra excited to see her when we return 🙂