Happy New Year! New Years has, admittedly, never been my favorite holiday. I’m not one for making a bunch of resolutions and God knows these day Jack and rarely stay up late anymore. LOL! However, as I’ve gotten older, as Jack has grown I’ve learned to appreciate that ‘fresh start’ feeling that comes on January 1st. I think one of the most exciting parts of the New Year is that it feels a bit like a blank canvas. I love anticipating what’s to come, the milestones I will cross and the adventures I will have with Jack. But with that anticipation also comes some anxiety, because I know enough to know that the blank canvas won’t be filled with just happy memories. I’m learning life is a mixed bag. Joy and sorrow seem to intermingle – they aren’t as mutually exclusive as I once believed. Some parts of puppy parenthood get easier, while other aspects grow into challenges. Jack is now five years old and with that maturity comes an new lifestyle approach. I know I need to start taking his diet and exercise regime a more serious. He needs supplements to keep his bones strong. I also know that going into the new year I need to be more conscious of how rough I play with him at the beach and not too run it him too hard beyond his means. I need to keep him healthy and not tire him about before the “race is over”. I also want to make a habit of taking him to more pet friendly activities and events like dog friendly happy hours and street festivals because I know he likes being social. With that said, one more aspect of puppy parenting I especially hope to tackle is understanding that while I know I can practically take him to 90% of the public places I go for leisure he does not need to go with me to everywhere, ever day. Jack is no longer and puppy and it’s okay to leave him home for a couple hours . A few years ago, when I started this blog, I set out to create a platform where I could engage and archive with my fellow puppy parents and get advice on local puppy friendly event and lifestyle accommodations. Now that Jack is older, while I am certain any extended time away from him here and there will give me anxiety, I know it’s good for both of us. This is not to say I have plans to leave him behind all the time because that is no way to kick off the new year at by means. This, just means that I need to understand he’s older now and he can be alone for longer periods of time without me have to worry so much. Back in 2013 when I first launched BarkingBeast.com I published an article titled Separation Anxiety I have from my dog Jack. It got a lot of interesting responses from the community of people who related to the issue. I like to think Jack is a distinguished old man now, Ole Red I like to call him. At 5 years old now (42 in dog years) surely he will manage if he stays behind now and then. In fact he’ll probably enjoy it. Dogs need get their “me” time too, yes? With every year I’ve always set out to help Jack be the happiest dog possible. I see the smiles he puts on people faces by the dozens everyday, especially on mine, and I never want that love to go away. I want to keep him smiling and keep him here with me as long as possible and it’s for that reason on behalf of Jack’s health and happiness, the following will be my 2018 resolutions to work on:
- I will feel him daily doses of glucoseamene to strengthen his joints
- I will be considerate of his health and will limit the amount of table scraps he consumes to prevent him from getting obesity
- I will not push, pull or stop Jack from smelling plants on our morning and or evening walks. I too will stop to smell the roses
- I will stop putting my social life and social media engagement before his needs. I will be considerate and feed, bath, walk or play with him before my affairs
- Lastly, I will not force Jack pose for social media pictures he does not want to do especially at the park or beach. He has made it clear he doesn’t enjoy picture taking very much, especially taking selfies.
So there you have it, a couple resolutions I plan to work on to enrich my relationship with Jack. What are yours? HUGE thanks to the Barking Beast supporters over the years! I wish you all the best in 2018!!! WOOF!!!