Thursday, February 20, 2014

Treat Yo... Dogs (did someone say TREAT?) for Love Your Pet Day

One of my favorite episodes of Parks and Rec is when Tom and Donna teach Ben how important it is to “Treat Yo Self.”  Regardless of your job, or even lifestyle if you don’t have a traditional j-o-b, there is bound to be stress.  And although a specific event or situation (or person, yikes!) to place the blame on for causing all that anxiety may somehow be comforting, I’ve come to terms with the fact that regardless of my love life, housing situation, and bank account something’s going to run me ragged.  So I treat myself.  This usually ends me up in the Target home section or (and hiding bags/boxes from my husband shhh).  But it doesn’t have to be that serious.  Taking some extra time to do my hair or make up in the morning (so I don’t look a usual hot mess) is something that makes me feel good.  And one of my favorite places to be?  On the couch with the boys.

Which brings me to my focus.  I’m sure you’ve seen that quote floating around, probably on some adorable, pull-at-your-heartstrings rescue dog meme saying something along the lines of “who rescued who?”  My two little guys have brought so much cohesion to our lives.  Griswold and Coop have such different personalities and teach me life lessons all the time.  Griswold has taught me the importance of not wasting food.  Or how a good snuggle and nap can really help to reset things.  Coop has taught me that not everyone likes a good snuggle all the time; being by yourself is okay.  It’s not just going outside or a car ride, it’s an adventure!  Who likes to roll in poop?!  (okay no.  That’s never okay.  But sometimes it’s fun to get a little dirty).  I’ll tell you, when I take out the trash and come back inside, the love I get makes me feel genuinely valued.  “Yes!  I AM awesome!  Hells yeah you should’ve missed me in that 23 seconds I was gone!"

So.  Since I’m responsible for t-r-e-a-t-ing the dogs (Gris can probably spell at this point), how do I do that in a way that isn’t going to leave them obese, traumatized (pampering a dog in ways like giving it a nice bubble bath or doing its nails isn’t exactly equivalent to a human experience), or with stuffing guts all over my living room?  I spend time with them.  My favorite bonding activity is to teach them tricks.  Gris is more into this than Coop, but sometimes Coop really loves to participate too.  They love to go to the park (taking a car ride to the park is nirvana in their opinion) and sniff (and pee on) everything.  Griswold loves to play catch.  Coop likes to find himself snuggled in the crook of my knees when I’m lying on the couch.  And having his belly rubbed.

Maybe your dog likes to be brushed or play hide and seek.  Take a long hike.  Sit at a dog friendly cafĂ©.  Whatever it is, pamper your furkid by spending time with him/her.  I love this wall art by Primitives by Kathy. 
Life is short.  And I, as a pet parent (certainly not a dog owner… who owns who for reals?), want to make the most out of what I have in this moment.  It’s pretty easy to postpone or even push aside spending that extra twenty minutes outside watching your dog eat bugs or grass (hopefully not poop).  I try to be conscious of these little things and savor the time we have together. I am the one responsible for being there for my guys for their entire lives.  Talk about pressure!  So believe me, throughout that ultimately too-short time, I am more than happy to make an attempt at reciprocating the excitement and love they give me.  Although, I will draw the line at sniffing butts.

To get you started, here’s a super-cute video by Kristen Crestijo to show your dog how much he/she is appreciated by teaching them to give you a hug.  Post-Valentine’s-love-your-pet squee!  Check out her YouTube channel for more bond-building tricks and tips.

Oh.  And our iFetch came in today!  BO-NUS best dog mom award :)  

Have a wonderful day with your furkid (all kinds included)!  The best day of the year!  What are some of the things you do to treat your pets? Gris and Coop are looking for ideas...

This post was inspired by Personal Creations and the Pampered Pups Project

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