Thursday, July 21, 2016

Day 162- I am NOT a Dog Person!

This blog will reflect my process with having my first dog (Zoey) and how I reacted at first to her and how that changed as I changed my attitude and adapted towards Zoey.

We got Zoey a little bit before my cat Lisa passed away. It was in the beginning of January that my husband decided he would like us to get a dog as our next pet. I was not exactly agreeing with him as I wanted to wait for another pet after my cat had passed. And this decision was a fast one because previously we had discussed not having any pets for awhile or having a small pet like a rat. After some convincing and persistence on his side I agreed on getting a dog as our next pet. We talked about what breed would be best and that we would adopt from the shelter. He made a phone call to the shelter and asked if they have what we a re looking for and they did. We went and adopted Zoey that same day. It took a few days for her to come to her new place and when she made it it was the beginning of our life with a dog.
First we had to divide Lisa and Zoey as Lisa was old and she would not respond well to the dog so we had to adopt our house with some fencing. And I also had to give up my yoga/dance studio for Zoey's space. To that I had a little bit of a reaction because I had just gotten this space a couple of months prior. Both of us were kind of new to having a dog so we were thinking that it would be nice for her if she would be able to have space around the house when we are gone. However since she was a puppy and also adapting to her new environment she ended up peeing and pooping everywhere as well as chewing and destroying a few things. To that I accumulated irritation that upon returning from work I had a big mess to clean every day and I was not happy about it. So I reacted in getting angry at Zoey and not wanting to touch her or play with her. I kept thinking to myself that I am a cat person (since I have always had cats in my life) and I was resisting the adaptation to a dog which only made me feel more unhappy about the getting a dog. So something had to be done and we decided that she will be kept in the cage for the time when we are not home and if it's nice outside she will be kept outside. Within making this decision I also had to work on understanding what it means to have a dog and to adapt myself to caring for a dog (breaking down my resistances that accumulated with the idea that I am a cat person and I will never have a dog). That way I am not allowing myself to be angry with her for something that she is adapting to as well. One of my other reactions was the hair- she was way hairier than having a cat. I was going nuts having to clean hair everyday which also caused irritation and blame that she was shedding too much for me to handle. So what I did was to relax my cleaning and accept that with a dog that sheds there will be hair and mess and that it is OK to let it get "dirty" for a bit. I ended up creating a cleaning routine for myself -once a week sweep, vacuum and wipe the floor. The rest of the week if I had time I can quickly sweep off the hair.
As soon as I let go of my irritations and resistances and idea that I am NOT a dog person I was able to start building a relationship with Zoey. It has been now 7 months since she first came into our lives and my lesson learned here is that I had to face my reactions and resistances so that I am able to be free to create my relationship with Zoey. I am glad that she is in our lives just as I was glad for my Lisa. I am enjoying her presence.

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