I would assume anyone struggling with an unexpected hurdle in life has thoughts they’re not so proud of. I’ve wanted to give up too many times to count in my journey with Penny’s reactivity and even just the trials of raising a high-energy puppy. Some of my uglier thoughts included:
- “I can just give her back to the breeder.”
- “My mom will take her”
- “Why do I have to deal with this?”
- “I should have never got a dog”
- “I picked the wrong puppy from the litter”
- “I don’t have time for her issues. I have enough of my own”
Again, those aren’t my star moments as a dog parent. There are many more where that came from too, but what makes me not give up? Three things:
My Support System
My support system is probably the number one reason I’m as sane as I am today.
A big thank you to my mom for letting me complain and cry over numerous phone calls, pup-sitting since Penny couldn’t handle crowded holiday gatherings, and reminding me how much I love Penny.
And thank you to Alex, my love, for loving Penny like your own, watching her when I needed a break, going to all of her puppy kindergarten classes, helping me attempt to wear out a dog with non-stop energy, and making me laugh with nicknames for her, like Senorita Paws.
Penny’s Love and Will to Progress
Australian Shepherds are wicked smart, even the miniature ones. Penny can learn and catch onto things extremely fast. I’m in awe every time she gets a new trick or understands a new command. She wants to learn. She wants to make me proud. Then there’s her loyalty. The look on her face and wag of her nub when I get home melts my heart every time. I read somewhere that owners are a dog’s everything. It’s so true. I have friends, family, work, goals, dreams, and more to worry about; but she just worries about me. When will I get home? When I play with her? When will I scratch her belly? Or give her more treats?
My Sense of Fate
Ask anyone I know, I’m not the most spiritual person. I do believe in fate, though. I was meant to get Penny and all her issues. She gave Alex, my boyfriend, a reason to come over for the first time (with toy in hand, I might add), and now we’ve been dating almost a year. She gave me the first real sense of responsibility, and I’ve done nothing but mature since. She also gave me a whole new perspective on those owners that don’t want you petting their dog, those “mean” dogs in the neighborhood, and dog training – it’s not all about sit and stay.
Keep Trekking Along
If you’re at a point in your life where you think it’s time to give up, don’t. Don’t let yourself always take the easy route. The more difficult one could lead you to some of the greatest people you’ve ever met, experiences you’ve ever had and lessons you never knew you needed.