Since my dog is suffering a little from my illness and being at home all day, I tried to make him a special Christmas gift. I took a big carton box from a recent delivery and filled it up with news paper sheets. I wrapped some delicious treats for him in some paper, and put it in the box, scattering more treats and his entire evening ration of dog food in the news paper as well, creating a huge sniffle box for his enjoyment. I think it took him about half an hour to get everything out. He was very sleepy afterwards, and very satisfied. Mission accomplished!
Well. It‘s going really well, compared to when he moved in in January. I am starting to fully enjoy my walks with Lucas. Although he can be very annoying (he‘s a male dog, he has to sniff everything…), still wants to eat too much from the street and can be quite a brat, ignoring me, bark at other dogs… I love him and I love our walks, nonetheless.
It has become such a routine. Getting up in the morning, go for the first walk, food for Lucas, Cappuccino for me. Our mornings look all the same, but it is good to have this routine – for him and for me. It improved my mental health to get up at almost the same time every day, because I also go to bed at around the same time every evening.
During working days, I am strictly keeping my times and breaks. At noon, I go out with Lucas for about 1h. We don‘t only walk, but normally I also play with him, let him play on his own with pine cones or let him seek for treats in the grass, so he has some brain work to do, too. I think he really enjoys these action driven activities we do together.
In the evening, I give him food and we go out later after that. Normally, now that temperatures allow it, I take my time with him, doing some extra walking exercise to keep up those muscles. He needs them to have a sturdy body, since he is such a long dog and I don‘t want him to get joint or back issues. And, it‘s good for me, too. Not that I lost weight, but at least I can easily fulfill my daily step goal of 10k steps per day. And, man, that feels really good!
Yeah, keeping a dog is not only just having a pet, it’s having a partner at your side, it‘s a commitment and a hobby. It takes a lot of your time. I never expected it to be this stressful and fulfilling at the same time. I wouldn’t want it any other way by now.
Okay, so what else.
We still have to train the „staying alone“ and some other things. And I still want him to „ask, if it‘s okay to take X food from the street“, before he just does it (so I have control over it and can allow of decline it). Here in Berlin, it‘s a big issue and a big problem. People leave their garbage everywhere (yeah, I know other cities are not better, but we don‘t live in „other cities“, we live in Berlin) and it‘s pretty annoying to tell your dog like „no, no no… no!“ all the time. So I am working to fix this, since a “no” kind of leaves a negative smack to out walkies, and after all, I really want us to enjoy it while simultaneously learn from each other. Recently, some new problems popped up and I feared it would get out of hand. But actually, maybe, I was overreacting and it stressed me and Lucas.
I always have to remind myself that my dog is just as relaxed and/or stressed as I am. The end of the leash, it’s me who’s holding it, after all. I am trying to focus on not being too impulsive, stressing or pressing about what I want from him and I think it already showed in one of our walks. I hope we are making progress here. Nevertheless, I think I will consult a trainer to fix some of mine and Lucas behaviors. It might be a good idea.
And I also should not give him too much food… I‘m working on this, too. It‘s not his fault and so far, the only one of us being overweight is me. 😉 So that‘s under control, but still. „Doggy look cute? Aww.. give treats.“ – I’m a bad person, haha.
I got over my puppy blues and am now just so happy to have him here with me. It‘s like it was meant to be. But also, not really. We have to keep working on our relationship. But we‘re on the very best way to have a really intense and awesome time together!
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