I often hear people say to me:
“Oh, I would love to have a dog. Maybe one day..!”
I often reply: “Why not today as being that one day?” They smile back, they fidget for a few seconds contemplating the idea of having a dog and then reasoning kicks in. “Oh, but I have a busy life. I don’t have time for a dog. I don’t have the space for a dog. It’s too much responsibility to take on my shoulders…”
I hear you! Loud and clear! And since you’ve thrown this in a conversation with me, I get that there is something from my perspective that might bring a different angle to all those fluffy conclusions you are running around with.
Let’s be clear on one thing: what I hear is not what you are telling me in words. This is what most of the time reaches my radar:
1. You’ve been putting yourself and your dreams on hold for a long time hoping that one day, when the house is paid, the bank account is looking good, your health issues are solved, your kids are grown up, you will finally have time for you. You’ve been so caught up in what other will and desire that today the only way your voice would be heard and make a difference in a well established routine would be something extreme, different, a statement.I’m ok with that as far as you are willing to take a look at what made you abdicate from you putting yourself on the first place in your life? What judgements, what projections, what misinterpreted obligations and what benefit is there for you to always be involved in what others want and never stand up for whatever you desire?Unless you are willing to ask a question and sink your head underneath the running waters a dog would just become a next recipient of all your attention, depriving you even more of… what you know you so much long for. Please don’t do that to your dog…
2. Not everybody is thinking about having a dog. So if this thought has been secretly sprouting in your heart, you might want to consider it. Listen to it. Ask what makes this thought still be there in your world and what stops you from acting on it? I bet that you have a secret library in your heart where a lot of beautiful sparkly desires that would like to come out to the light. Will you open those doors wide open? If that thought has been staying with your for years, since childhood, if it makes your heart warm, if you find yourself giggle imagining having that dog in your life, maybe, just maybe you would like to explore it even more. I’m not saying: go get a dog! I’m saying… maybe you would like to experience more the company of a dog. Maybe you have a friend who has a dog. Maybe you could try to doggy-sit for a few days. Maybe there’s a dog shelter looking for volunteers. Maybe you would like to visit some farms… the list of options and possibilities is endless when you are willing to have a sense of: “Do I really want a dog?”
3. Whose permission are you waitting for? I have been nagging my husband’s ears for 10 years before one day I had enough of dreaming of having a dog, and waiting for the kids to grow, I took him to a pet shop and I bought Snoof. He resisted the idea, he fought it for as long as he could until I stood up for my choice. His reasoning was that he didn’t want to get attached because the dog would die one day. Even the vet told us that Snoof has a life expectancy of 10 years. This is like saying… “becauase I’m afraid I will get hurt I am no longer falling in love with anyone!” Or… “I will never have mossels again because I ata one that was really disgusting.” We’re nine years further down the line. Like every family we’ve had ups and downs and some extra hassle to fit Snoof in our daily lives but I would never undo that choice of having her.
4. This being said, I do believe that dogs have a choice. As much as we think of ourselves as being smart and ‘know it all’, even when we are the ones pointing the finger saying: I want this one, it is the dog’s choice to become part of your life or not. I first had an idea of having a second dog in March-April this year. Until then I have never considered a new member of the family. We were 5 people, 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 fish. More than enough. But somehow this itchy though would not leave me alone. I am a fluff girl. I like furry animals. Snoof is actually a Beaver Terrier with a gorgeous fluffy white and coffee spot coat. So imagine my surprise when all of a sudden I fell in love with the idea of a Dachsund dog… I mean, when I was a little girl I told myself that one day I would have a ‘Patrocle’ – this was the name of a famous dog from a TV show. When I got married, my mother in law told me stories about her ‘Cȃş-Cȃş’ dog, and for along time I could even hear the sound of the nails on the floor from my childhood dog (a German Sheperrd) streamlining me to our dog today: Blu. A joy bomb on 4 legs. A dog on a mission. She went through a lot of trouble to reach us and say: Hi! Me dog! Me puppy dog! You, my momma!”
5. A dog will only reveal more of who you are. So watch out what you are wishing for. A dog is not bad, neither is it good, but they will play those energetic strings that would push and pull you to become the leader you are in your life. Not by domination, but by invitation to more play, to having fun, to presence in your own life. It’s not uncommon to see dogs play out the owner’s emotions. They are invaluable companions and trustworthy partners in dealing with lifie’s shennanigans. They are revelators and… love instigators. Dogs are the ultimate door to receiving. Because, let’s be honest: when you feel like the whole world is crumbling down, with no way out of what you call a problem, there, just in front of you is a dog madly in love with you. While you see yourself as a failure, your dog sees you as the hero. Where you see walls, your dog sees a a fun reason to jump. Where you see shit, your dog is seeing excitement and fun. Where you see a mess, your dog sees a playground. When you crash on your couch exhausted, your dog knows it’s time for loving. Nothing compares to the snorring of a dog with the head on your lap during those dark evenings of the soul.
In a nutshell, this is my take on having a dog:
1. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to have you as a priority in your life
2. The thought of having a dog is not random. Explore it.
3. Are yous till asking for permission to be you?
4. Dogs have choice.
5. Dogs are not good or bad, they are revelators of greatness, fun and love in you.
If you’re looking for more insights, Kwispelcoach Academy and dog specialist Christel Sonck have put together an online education platform for everyone willing to enjoy the experience of having an ease-fulfilled life with a dog. You can also check the Spotify podcast Tails Wiggle: https://open.spotify.com/show/6PR9EXA8ShNaDJ6Nkpp8Hg