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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Power of Blogging

A few weeks ago I was hit hard with an award that has stuck in my head and left me pondering as so many of Kristine's post do.  The Shiva the Dog's Perseverance Award was given with these simple words:

The title of this blog should tell you why this crew was a shoe-in for the Perseverance Award. With six very different dogs to care for and train, I don’t know how the author does it. Like last year’s winners, I am starting to think she’s part cyborg. Robo-Mama. However, every post she writes about her crazy canines is filled with so much love that she can’t be anything but pure heart.

It has taken many, many mistakes to realize I am dealing with a multiple family of animals.  For some reason I have tried to operate like I have one dog instead of six, because that is all I have known.  I remember when we would visit pups from our litter, who were the owners of their first and only dog and I would walk away with horrible envy.  I remembered how easy one dog was, or even two.  How simple the routines and focus you could have on a couple of dogs and the realization of the double workload I had waiting when I got home.  I almost came to dread it. 

I’ve done some bizarre things trying to catch up to all of you one dog owners.  I remember one time trying to teach Brut about five different lessons all at the same time that were completely out in left field.  All I did was aggravate the hell out of him and walked away feeling like a complete ass.  And since I have huge expectations that I don’t think even God can meet some days, I’ve always felt under some kind of pressure trying to the same things the other kids were doing.  When I came to realize the limitations I had with just the number of dogs in our home,  I kept finding myself slowly taking a several steps back to adjust my thinking to accommodate the number.. 

I had to learn to take everything in pieces.  Didn’t matter what it was.  Whether it would be who gets walked and how far, training, behavior issues anything.  Which meant for me there could be days, weeks or even months before returning to certain issues and I had to learn to accept that. 

Another thing I really had to take in was the fact that not every dog is going to get everything they may need.  If I walk two dogs one day, the rest had to accept that they were not getting one and I had to find a way to deal with the guilt of being a horrible dog mom.  Which is much easier said than done.  One of the many gifts of having multiple dogs I soon came to realize is that there is some level of understanding that some may get more attention than others on some days or others.  It is like a child that gets to go on an adventure and come home and share about it and for the most part sets me free from that burden of guilt that let’s me know everything is OK. 

There are days when one dog gets full attention for one reason or another.  And I am learning how to live with that with the acceptance that there is a reason for that.  I don’t know how many times I’ve come home from being gone all day and all they have had is the basic of food, water, shelter and love and have to know that those simple needs are enough for that day.

I have had to learn to rely on playtime to make up for the lack of walk time each gets.  I have been learning how to be creative with not just physical exercise, but mental as well in order to compensate for a less structure walk schedule and adjust food amounts accordingly. 

And I have beat my head many times against my personal wall, have felt less than, and have try to shove my myself to meet my ridiculous expectations.  And while these are commons themes in my life, I have struggle with what I felt was the living proof of my failures by comparing to others.  It has been overwhelming the difference just the amount of dog bodies in this home for some time and that’s not even mentioning our two cats and our duck.  Nine living beings who need to be tended to every day.  I haven’t had that many animals in my life all put together and to have them all at once…it still blows my mind. 

It has taken quite a bit of time for your compliments, encouragement and praise to soak in, but I am getting there.  Being part of blogging community has been my rest, my rock and my comfort and has probably been the only reason I’ve been able to make it through.  Of course besides my husband who constantly must deal with my “dog mom flop” belief.  Believe me that boy has been dealing with me far too long on his own, he has needed all of you as well.  J

Thank you so much Kristine.  Your words truly hit home.

19 comments:

HoundDogMom said...

Congrats on your award and beautiful words. Sniffs, The HoundDogs

♥♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥♥ said...

Congrats on your awesome award - well deserved too. Great post - you always speak from the heart.

Woos - Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

MAXMOM IN SOUTH AFRICA said...

I also say...Congratulations, you deserve it!!! And, I also don't know how you manage all your pups, yet you persevere with love. That is admirable.
sending lotsaluv
MAXMOM IN SOUTH AFRICA

Bassetmomma said...

Great post. Congratulations on your award!

Painter Pack said...

Congrats on the award! You are an AWESOME doggie mama and blogger! Having 8 dogs myself, I understand how difficult it can be to make sure each one knows they are loved and wanted. It's like having 8 toddlers that aren't old enough to do more than babble and drool. But aren't we blessed! You do such a great job with blogging; I don't know how you do it all!

I think I will strive to be more like you!!

God bless!
Sherri
Painter Pack Mom

Mr. Pip said...

Blogging friends are very special! They have helped us through many difficult situations, too.

Your pal, Pip

sharkgila said...

Congrats on the award. You both are pawsome pawrents.

Woooo,
Togo, Tagar & Gamby

Brian said...

Congrats on the nice award, you are really doing great!

Lindsey RN said...

Congrats...and what a wonderful post with some GREAT insight.

p.s. I hope you and your pups are enjoying the snow!

Linda said...

From the beginning, I was drawn to your blog because of the day in and day out struggles of being a multiple dog family because I can relate to what you write about. And you write from the heart with a sincere honesty and wanting to do the right thing for all of your dogs.

No matter how good of a pet mom any of us try to be, there's going to be days where someone gets pushed to the background for a day. It happens and I think they understand.

Congratulations on receiving a well deserved award.

Nancy K. said...

I feel your pain.

Because I operate a small, private, canine rescue, my 'pack' fluctuates from at least three to at most six dogs living in my home at any given time. I just kind of go through the motions and do what has to be done, without even thinking about it! Thank God they love us so much for what little we give them...

Congratulations on your award!

Pup Fan said...

Congrats on your award... so deserved! I am hooked your blog and reading about how you deal with challenges along the way. :)

Siku Marie, White Dog said...

A much deserved award! We cannot imagine a more worthy recipient.

Number does change the rules and alters the "common sense" approaches. You are finding your footing beautifully and your entire pack is growing before our eyes into a more cohesive whole with room for individual quirks and a sense of devotion to you and each other. Bew proud of what you have accomplished...we know how hard you have worked.

browndogcbr said...

Hi Y'all,

Congratulations on finding your way through all those different personalities.

Just stopped by to catch up on your happenings and say hello! Have a great week!

Y'all come by now,
Hawk aka BrownDog

olddog said...

Congratulations on the award. All the best to you and the pack

T. Maxx said...

Kongrats to your well deserved award!!

Cheers,
Maxx

Glenna said...

You're dedication to your pack of furry angels is amazing. You totally deserve the award!

Emily said...

I sometimes come home dreading all the work we have to do with three! I love the time I spend bonding with my dogs, but because we have so many different leash issues with our crew, the thought of doing our twice daily walks is frankly not something I always look forward to. I need to remember how much YOU DO next time I don't feel up to the task!

sagechronicles said...

If anyone deserved this award, it was you! Congratulations!! You do an amazing job.