No matter how many books you read or how many videos you watch you will never be fully prepared for the challenges you face internally when a new family member comes home. A fluffy family member that is. My fur baby. I have learned so much from Margot over the past few months, not just of how to be a pawrent, but also about myself as a person. I have never talked about how we got Margot. Truth is, I never gave Kamiran a chance to say a proper yes or no. He knew I was obsessed with Cavaliers, my goodness I breathe and live Cavaliers everything. So I kept saying to him for over a year I am going to get a Cavalier, and “oh look how cute this cavalier is“, “isn’t this so precious?” (shoves a Cavalier photo in front of Kam’s face) “Oh wouldn’t it be nice if we had a dog walking with us right now?” Kamiran kept repeating it is a huge responsibility and I knew it, but I did not care. I wanted a Cavalier and I wanted it now. I think at one point he gave up and just went with it because he knew there was no talking me out of it. Reading Cavalier books became my thing. But I remember. The day came for us to go pick up our fur baby, and thoughts were running through my head. “Oh my God, can I take care of another living soul? Ah look how fragile she is. What if I snap her neck just by holding her wrong?”. The next coming months were challenging and a huge learning curve for both Kamiran and I. The books helped but not to the extent you think they will help.
Here are a few lessons Margot taught me…
1 | Sleep is Important
I used to not value the importance of sleep at all. Let’s be honest I still struggle, but it has drastically improved. When we got Margot things changed. She taught me to create better sleeping patterns and to actually go to bed at a reasonable time. Before I used to go to bed at 2 and 3am and then I would have to get up at 730am and go to work. Obviously Margot sleeps tons throughout the day, but when it comes to night time she waits for mama to go to bed and then she goes to her bed too. So as a responsible fur mommy I knew I had to create a regular bed time for her as well.
2 | Not My Time
Margot taught me to share my time not just with her, but with others as well. Thinking about your busy schedule is the worst when you have to walk your dog. Margot loves to stop and sniff e v e r y single thing we come across when we are out for our walk. I used to get so frustrated with her. Like girl, do you really need to sniff that concrete everytime we walk by it? I have to get back home and do work. Then honestly I started thinking that THIS is Margot’s time. It is her time to walk and sniff and stop at e v e r y single spot if she feels like it. This was not my time. It was her time. It doesn’t matter if I have work to do. I have to take my time and go along for the ride.
3 | Be Patient
I feel as if most of my life lessons happened during our mommy- daughter walks. Margot can be very stubborn when we are walking. I want to go one way, but she wants to go the other way (because of course there is a nice concrete wall RIGHT THERE she wants to rub herself all over). The worst thing I could do as a pet owner is let her have her way. She is spoiled enough as it is (I mean those eyes staring right into my soul how can I not spoil such a cute face?) the last thing I want is for her to walk me instead of me walking her. I used to get very frustrated so I would pick her up and go the way I wanted. Then I realized all I need to do is be patient with her and she will come the way I want. Each time she decides to pause in the middle of the sidewalk and be stubborn about which way we are walking, I know I need to have patience. So instead of me picking her up, I encourage her to take a step forward to get us from point A to point B. I have seen some pet owners pull so hard on the leash so that their dog will move and in my humble opinion that is just not right. I always treat Margot the way I would like to be treated as well.
4 | Don’t Hold Grudges
I came home one day only to discover that Margot chewed the strap of my Ralph Lauren cross body messenger bag to pieces. I was livid. I loved that purse, and it had cost me a fortune. But she was clueless. She was just sitting there excited to see me, ready to give me kisses and ready for her welcome belly rubs. I was mourning my purse thinking of the wasted money. But then she smiled. How can I possibly stay mad at her and how can I explain to her that purses are off limits? After all it was really my fault. I had left the purse on the chair. I mean, I would choose a purse over a toy too. Through the mistakes she has made, I have also learned to let go of grudges and to be more forgiving not just towards her, but also in our household. Shit happens. Literally though. There was a time she legit pooped in the middle of the living room. lol.
5 | Have a positive energy
Dogs pick up your energy. It is so hard to maintain a positive attitude especially when you are faced with the harsh reality of what is called life, but dogs pick up energies. When I am anxious or frustrated, Margot picks up on it and she gets rather depressed. We do not realize the impact a negative energy has on our internal state, but seeing how Margot suffers from my negative energy I knew I had to start being more positive regardless of the challenges that come along my way. Having a positive energy not only makes others around you happy, but your happiness also projects (at least I think) to your inner core as well.
7 | Appreciate Life More
I don’t know what it is like to have children, but I do consider Margot my baby that has taught me so much about who I am and the world that surrounds me. But if Margot could speak she would tell me to appreciate and enjoy my everyday life a little bit more. To be silly and to take the moment to just live life. To not be occupied with what is next, but rather what happens now. All Margot does is eat, sleep, play/snuggle, poop and repeat. Her life is so simple yet she is so happy, and I think that has been the biggest lesson. To appreciate the everyday things. Even though they are so simple they are in fact so precious. Just like Margot.
Do you have a pet? Have you learned any practical lessons about life from her?